Heer Officers Overseas Cap with Hand Applied Pioneer Soutache

Condition: Very Good

Size: 55


Product Description: This handsome Heer Officers Overseas Cap shows a lot of honest wear and has a great “field” look. This model of field cap was introduced for German Army officers in 1938. This one definitely appears to have seen actual field use. It’s a typical, tailor made example, as was standard for officer caps. It’s made of a field grade, Feldgrau (field gray) wool, with silver braid identifying it as an officer cap. The exterior shows a lot of wear, with nearly all of the nap worn away from exposed areas. The silver piping is frayed in a couple of small spots. The wool has a lot of patina, with inset dust and soiling from wear. The protected areas under the flap show the original wool color and texture. The cap is complete with its original officer pattern Bevo flat wire cap eagle, and Bevo cockade. These insignia are hand sewn with neat, tiny stitches, typical of period tailor application. The patina on the eagle and cockade match the rest of the exterior of the cap. The cap also features black soutache, indicating a Pioneer (Pionier) unit. The soutache is hand sewn, and the application method is not typical. The soutache does appear to have some wear, but we can’t say for certain if this is wartime applied or not. It could be that this soldier transferred to the Pioneer branch from a different unit type, and replaced the original soutache this way. The interior of this Heer Officers overseas cap features a twill lining similar to that encountered on early enlisted caps. It shows matching wear to the exterior, with typical staining from use. There is a faint maker mark and also a size stamp, “55.” A nice worn example of a Heer Officers Overseas Cap, with a “been there” look; it would be a perfect fit for a combat uniform.

Historical Description: The “sidecap” was a part of the uniform worn by nearly all military, paramilitary, political and civil organizations in the Third Reich. It was a narrow hat that could be folded flat and tucked into a belt or haversack. This was, at the time, a very stylish type of uniform cap; in the German Army, it replaced the round “pork pie” style of field cap used in the Great War. The German name for this cap, in most organizations, was “Feldmütze”- field cap. Despite the name, it was often worn as a daily service cap by postal workers and other personnel who would never be deployed to the field. The men and women who wore the sidecap gave it the nickname “Schiffchen,” meaning little boat, due to its shape. The sidecaps were made in the same type of fabric as the uniforms, in the uniform color particular to each organization. The sidecaps were adorned with branch-specific insignia, usually bearing some form of the German eagle and swastika national emblem. Many sidecaps also bore red, white and black national cockades. The insignia were usually embroidered or woven, but metal devices were used on some caps as well. Officer caps generally were distinguished by silver braid along the top edge and/or on the upper part of the flap at the front of the cap, and were often custom tailored from fine fabrics. The German military, and many other organizations, had broadly replaced the sidecap with a new, more practical cap featuring a brim, by 1943. But the sidecap continued to be worn by some troops until the end of the war.


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