Product Description: This Dachau SS Panzer M43 Cap is a very nice example of an extremely desirable piece of late war enlisted Panzer headgear. This type of cap is one that is known to have been found in the warehouse at concentration camp Dachau, when it was liberated, and this is a textbook example. It’s made of a fine black wool fabric, that is virtually pristine. The wool shows no sign of wear and retains all of the original nap. The front of the cap is adorned with an original, factory applied trapezoid, which is machine embroidered in white cotton thread on black wool. This SS trapezoid is virtually perfect, and is undoubtedly original to the cap, as the machine stitch line attaching the cap’s top to the sides runs directly over the edge of the insignia and the machine stitching used to affix it. The two typical black plastic front closure buttons appear to be factory stitched. Inside, this Dachau SS Panzer M43 Cap is lined with simple grey HBT fabric, a material commonly seen with late war SS items. It does not appear to have ever been worn. The size “55” is stamped in black ink, and there is no maker mark, which is typical for these. The underside of the visor shows the exposed cardboard visor stiffener, which has age patina throughout. This cap was purchased directly from the veterans granddaughter. The veteran’s name was Herman “Babe” Paolinelli, and he was a part of Patton’s Third Army during the drive across Europe. It would be hard to find a better example of this cap. It remains in outstanding, near mint condition.
Historical Description: Model 1943 Field Caps: Prior to WWII, all branches of the German military issued their soldiers a field cap in the traditional “side cap” style (there were other types of field caps for certain specialized units). This type of field cap, called “little boat” (Schiffchen) by the troops, was found to be inadequate in the harsh extreme cold weather conditions on the Eastern Front in the brutal winter of 1941-42. As a result, in 1942, some units started issuing a type of field cap that had flaps and a button closure that could be folded down and fastened under the wearer’s chin, to provide protection to the ears. This type of cap, known as the M42, saw limited issue and was replaced a year later with a new model field cap, the Einheitsfeldmütze, that was intended to be issued to all branches. This final model of Wehrmacht field cap, which collectors have termed the M43, was based on the cap that had originally been issued to Wehrmacht mountain troops and featured the fold down ear flaps, as well as a visor. These caps were made out of wool and were intended for year-round wear in all regions where tropical uniforms were not issued. The caps were apparently very popular, as they very quickly replaced the earlier models on the heads of the troops in the field. By 1944 this was the most commonly seen field cap in combat units. These caps remained popular after the war, and many had their insignia removed and were worn out and discarded.
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