Product Description: This is a rare, attractive and textbook example of the M43 Army T Trap cap insignia, still stitched to part of the field cap on which it was worn in WWII. The “T” shaped cap insignia was originally intended for use on the Bergmütze of the mountain troops and the M42 field cap, but was later used in large numbers, folded in a trapezoid shape as shown here, on the M43 cap. It is machine woven, Bevo construction. This M43 Army T Trap was sewn on along the top, with the piece positioned upside-down; it was then flipped over and stitched with a straight stitch along the sides. This is a textbook form of insignia application known to collectors as “zip and flip.” The remnant of the original factory made enlisted issue M43 cap to which this was sewn is made out of a typical later war field gray wool material. It was neatly and closely trimmed along the edges of the insignia, with the somewhat coarse wool exhibiting only very minor fraying. This M43 Army T Trap insignia has a nicely and gently worn appearance, with typical age and usage toning. The thread used to attach the eagle to the cap appears to be the same thread used to construct the cap itself. The M43 Army T Trap is very hard to find as a cut-off like this.
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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