Product Description: This Luftwaffe officer M43 cap has a great look and is dripping with character. It’s made out of a fairly coarse, late-war wool, similar to that used on enlisted caps, reflecting the order for officers in field units to dress as their men. It’s a tailor made cap, with officer piping installed along the top edge when it was made. This Luftwaffe officer M43 cap features an enlisted type trapezoid, with the Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem and national cockade embroidered on wool. This trapezoid is machine stitched to the cap, with some fraying along one edge. The insignia is well bedded in the wool surface, and the stitching does not go through the liner; there is no doubt this is an untouched piece with insignia that has been there forever. The cap shows honest wear, with some inset dust and a minor color shift in the areas that show the heaviest wear. There is some moth grazing and tracking to areas of the exterior, with a small hole on the top and another small hole on the side of the turn down flap, but no really significant damage. The inside of the cap shows heavy wear and has a partial leather sweatband as is often seen on tailor made officer caps. Every part of this gorgeous Luftwaffe officer M43 cap just screams originality. This is an outstanding example.
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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