S006581 POLIZEI NCO’S M43 FIELD CAP. (Einheitsfeldmütze M43)

BACKGROUND: On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies within Germany. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted on June 25TH 1936 to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country although it wasn’t until April 1ST 1937 that it was fully implemented. The M43 field cap was originally introduced in the German army, for wear by all ranks, on June 11TH 1943 as a replacement cap for the other field caps then in use. On October 1ST 1943 the Police and the Waffen-SS also adopted the M43 field cap. The design of the M43 field cap was based on the earlier M42 Feldmütze, (Overseas cap), and the Mountain Troopers Bergmütze, (Mountain Cap), with minor variations. The police version of the M43 caps were produced in the standard, police green for most branches of service but a navy blue version was also manufactured for the Feuerschutzpolizei, (Fire Protection Police) and the Wasserschutzpolizei, (Water Protection Police), and a black version was also introduced for wear by Polizei crews serving in armored vehicles. Police NCO ranks M43 caps were un-piped while the Officer’s version were issued with silver/aluminum piping for the ranks of Polizei Meister to Polizei Oberst and gilt piping for the ranks of Polizei Generalmajor to Generaloberst der Polizei, inclusively. Generally the early versions of the M43 cap came with a two button front retainer while the later versions reduced it to a single button. The insignia on the police M43 caps consisted of the second pattern police eagle as introduced on June 25TH 1936 and the national tri-color cockade. Police Officers holding the rank of Polizei-Leutnant to Generaloberst der Polizei were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and could purchase them through the SS-Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system which was originally established in Munich in 1935. The Officers were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The ranks of Polizei Unterwachtmeister to Polizei-Obermeister were issued their uniforms although they could also choose to purchase privately tailored garments of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. Of Note: The German Police had no enlisted ranks with the lowest rank being an Unterwachtmeister which was equivalent to the German army rank of Unteroffizier.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Polizei blue/green wool/rayon blend construction cap features fold down back and side panels with a downward scalloped front edge and forward sides and dual, field-grey painted, magnetic sheet metal, front closure buttons with original stitching. The back and side panels were designed to be folded down to protect the wearer’s ears and neck and the scalloped front section could be secured with the button closed under the wearer’s chin. The front center of the cap has a machine embroidered, second pattern, (Circa June 1936-May 1945), right facing, Police eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a canted swastika in its talons, encompassed by a vertically oval, oak-leave wreath all in silvery/grey rayon threads positioned below a machine woven national tri-color cockade in black, red and white rayon threads, all mounted on a six sided, field-grey wool base. The insignia is original machine stitching to the cap. The cap has an extended, cloth covered, forward visor with a single row of reinforcement stitching to the bottom of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in grey/green rayon. Cap is size marked 57. Nice clean example.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $795.00

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