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S003874 OFFICER'S M40 OVERSEAS CAP. (Feldmütze neuer Art für Führer)

BACKGROUND: The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), was originally formed in May 1923 as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler (Shock Troops Adolf Hitler), and was redesignated Schutzstaffel, (Protection Squad), in April 1925 with the official acceptance of the name verified on the second anniversary of the failed Munich "Beer-Hall" Putsch on November 9TH 1925. On January 6TH 1929 Heinrich Himmler was appointed as Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader {of the} SS), and on July 20TH 1934 shortly after the, June 30TH 1934, purge of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), on the "Night of the Long Knives", the SS was rewarded by Hitler by being granted the status of an independent organization under direct control of the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party). From its inception the SS began an aggressive policy of expansion which resulted in the formation of the SS-SD, SS-Sicherheitsdienst und Sicherheitspolizei, (SS-Security Service and Security Police), in June 1931, the SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), and the SS-TV, SS-Totenkopfverbände, (SS-Death’s Head Units), in March 1933 which would eventually evolve into the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), in December 1939. The first pattern SS overseas cap was introduced in June 1934 for wear by EM/NCO’s serving with the Allgemeine-SS, the SS-VT, and the SS-TV. In 1937 an earth grey version of the first pattern cap was introduced and worn until a second pattern, overseas cap for EM/NCO’s was introduced on November 1ST 1940. The M40 overseas cap was produced in field-grey for most personnel and black for panzer personnel and was similar in cut to the Luftwaffe’s "schiffchenform", (boat-form), overseas cap and was worn for the duration of the war. The insignia worn on the overseas caps consisted of the SS pattern Totenkopf, (Death’s Head), as introduced in October 1934 and the SS pattern national eagle as introduced in February 1936. In 1939 the Waffen-SS adopted waffenfarben, (Branch of Service Colors), with each branch of service being allocated a specific identifying color which was originally displayed as a soutache on the front of the overseas cap until regulations of October 1942 abolished the use of the soutache and instructed it to be removed from the caps, although the directive was not strictly adhered to. The Officer’s version of the M40 overseas cap was introduced in December 1939 and was slightly different then the EM/NCO’s version and was intended to be adopted for wear by all Officers as of January 1ST 1940. Prior to the introduction of this overseas cap Waffen-SS Officers had no regulation field headgear and it was not uncommon for them to use the Army M38 overseas caps. On its introduction all Officer’s M40 overseas caps were piped in silver/aluminum braid until regulations of November 1ST 1940 restricted wear of the silver/aluminum braid for Officers holding the rank of SS-Oberführer to Reichsführer-SS, while Officers with the ranks of SS-Untersturmführer to SS-Standartenführer utilized white piping. SS Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and as a result the SS established the SS-Kleiderkasse, (SS-Clothing Account), system in Munich in 1935. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase privately tailored garments and headgear of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. Of Note: The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and were marked by a RZM/SS approval tag/mark. In 1943 the Waffen-SS assumed full control over their uniform item production and no longer fell under the authority of the RZM.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality field-grey wool/tricot blend construction cap features gently sloping, fold down, scalloped side and back panels. The top edges of the fold down panels are trimmed in bright, interwoven, silver/aluminum braid piping indicating officer’s ranks of SS-Oberführer up to Reichsführer-SS. The front center of the cap has a second pattern, (Circa 1936-1945), machine woven, SS style eagle, with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in it’s talons in bright, silver/aluminum, flat-wire threads on a cut-out, woven, black rayon base. Eagle is hand stitching to the cap, maybe original, but might also be restored to the cap (hard to say 100% either way). Skull has been removed. The interior of the cap is fully lined in ribbed, grey/tan rayon blend material with an underlying, internal stiffener in the central crown seam. The lining has is well marked with a black, size inkstamp, "55". Good original officer’s example, just need an original flat wire skull to complete it.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $2,975.00

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