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K001878 IDENTIFIED SENIOR NCO'S VISOR CAP. (Schirmmütze)

BACKGROUND: German Naval uniforms and headgear were based on traditional designs that date back to the creation of the Prussian Navy in 1848, and although uniforms and headgear did evolve during the interim years many items used during the Third Reich would still have been quite recognizable to the Imperial sailor. The Kriegsmarine clothing regulations differed from the army and Luftwaffe in that enlisted personnel did not wear visor caps although all ranks from senior NCO’s upward did and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individuals rank. Officer and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Kriegsmarine Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their caps directly from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase visor caps of higher quality. Originally the Reichsmarine era visor caps were worn until a new slightly modified version was introduced in 1933. Originally Kriegsmarine personnel wore the Weimar Reichsmarine era oval, black, Weimar eagle "cockade" on a gold background encompassed by a gold oak-leaf wreath on their visor caps until March 14TH 1933 when the Weimar era cockade was replaced with a circular black, white, and red cockade, followed by the new NSDAP style national eagle on March 24TH 1934 and a new, more detailed, pattern wreath on April 2ND 1935. Kriegsmarine officer’s visor cap also differed from their counterparts in the army and Luftwaffe in that they did not utilize the twisted chincords to denote rank as they proved impractical for actual usage and the leather chinstraps were worn instead. As a result of the use of the leather chinstraps there was no way to determine Officer’s from NCO’s until regulations of May 13TH 1936 introduced new identifying visor trim for officers ranks to distinguish them from the NCO’s. The new visor trim came in three different patterns with one pattern for Company Grade Officers, one for Field Grade Officers and the third for Flag Officers. Of Note: Kriegsmarine Administrative officials visor caps were distinguished from other Kriegsmarine personnel’s visor caps by the use of silver insignia and the twisted chincords.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, dark navy blue doeskin wool construction cap with a black, horizontally ribbed mohair centerband and a non-removable top. The top crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband piped in the same navy blue doeskin wool as the balance of the cap. The internal wire crown stiffener has been removed but an internal vertical stiffener to the front center and heavy internal padding is intact and gives the cap a nice relaxed shape with a high central forward peak. The front center of the cap has a hand embroidered national eagle in gilt wire threads mounted on a cut-out navy blue wool base. The front center of the centerband has a hand embroidered oak-leaf wreath in gilt wire threads encompassing a national tri-color cockade in black and silver wire threads with an inserted red felt centerpiece. Both pieces of insignia are original hand stitching to the cap. The cap has a black patent leather chinstrap with two sliding, leather length adjustment loops and a metal snap retainer all intact. The chinstrap is secured to the cap by two, small, fire gilted, magnetic sheet metal buttons. The chinstrap retaining buttons have a horizontally ribbed background field with an embossed fouled anchor and a simulated twisted rope outer edge. The cap has an extended, black lacquered vulcanfibre forward visor with simulated black leather trim to the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in red brushed rayon. The interior of the cap also has a wide, tan leather sweatband fully intact. Stitching on one part of the sweatband is missing. The cap is roughly size 54. Note; This cap was giving directly by the family to the current owner. Cap belonged to Otto Renniger, who served as a "blockade breaker" on the Annaliese Marie." Comes with a complete notarized statement with research about this hat. Hat is of British manufacture, which he no doubt picked up at one the the ports and then had his personal insignia added to it.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $1,619.00

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