Product Description: This very rare Luftwaffe M41 cap is in excellent condition. It is 100 percent textbook in material and construction, and is a very choice all-original example, that has never been messed with. This type of cap is known to tropical uniform collectors as an Italian made type. It is complete with its original embroidered Luftwaffe eagle and national cockade insignia, which are factory machine sewn, with no damage or issues. This Luftwaffe M41 cap has silver piping around the top edge and on the front scallop, indicating officer rank. It’s made of a very attractive, light tan colored twill fabric. The air vents appear to be made of zinc and never had any paint. Inside, the cap is lined with a lightweight tan fabric. The interior leather sweatband is still present, though dry and cracking from age; a few pieces here and there have become detached and lost to time. There is a minor stain on the top of the cap, and it shows even, honest wear from use. This Luftwaffe M41 cap for an officer is an extremely hard to find piece of Luftwaffe tropical headgear, which is missing from most collections.
Historical Description:Even before the outbreak of WWII, the designers of German military equipment had begun tests to engineer uniform items for wear in tropical climates. In 1940, with the German invasion of North Africa imminent, the German military quickly instituted a wide variety of tropical uniform and equipment items. Tropical uniforms were used in Africa, as well as other parts of the “Southern Front” including Italy and the Mediterranean, the Baltics, and southern Russia. The soft headgear used in the tropics took various forms. There was a tropical version of the M34 “overseas”-type cap, which lacked a visor, but the cap which came to be most widely associated with the Afrikakorps was the billed M40 type field cap, which was based on the cap issued to German Army mountain troops. The German Army M40 tropical cap was made of a lightweight fabric, in shades that ranged from tan, to brown, to olive. The interior of this cap was lined with a red fabric which German engineers believed would help the interior of the cap stay cool. Other branches of the German military, including the Kriegsmarine, utilized this same pattern of cap for their tropical uniforms. Early on in the Afrika campaign, some Luftwaffe troops were issued the M40 caps from Army stocks, but by 1941 the Luftwaffe had its own tropical cap, known as the M41. The insignia used on these caps featured the national eagle specific to each military branch, manufactured in special tropical colors, as well as the national cockade. Army caps were additionally adorned with a branch of service soutache, over the cockade, though this was deleted and ordered to be removed in 1942.
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