Condition: Near Mint
Maker: RF 0/0496/7540
Product Description: This Heer M43 Cap is a great example of this very desirable late war field cap. This one was an indirect veteran purchase, found in a footlocker with approximately two dozen caps like this. It’s made of typical late war field gray wool. The materials and stitching are all textbook late war style. The front of this cap features a Bevo machine woven German Army trapezoid insignia, which is factory machine stitched to the cap, and in perfect condition. The two pebbled buttons on the front flap closure retain the original field gray finish. The interior of this Heer M43 cap is lined with a thin, tan fabric. The lining is stamped with the manufacturer code “R. F. Nr. 0/0496/7540” as well as year 1944 and the size 60, a scarce and desirable large size. There is little or no sign in the interior that this cap was ever worn. Under the flaps, the reinforcement for the buttons is made of a different shade of wool, typical late war use of scraps. There are no pull down tabs under the flap. There is no moth damage, no holes or staining, just extremely minor age toning. This cap is in near mint condition and would be very hard to upgrade.
Historical Description: 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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