Original German WWII RLB Air Protection League EM-NCO Visor Cap
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a really attractive example of a German WWII RLB Reichsluftschutzbund (National Air Protection League) Schirmmütze (visor cap)! This example shows high quality fabrication, made with a very nice dark gray wool body, with a black band and a traditional high front. The cap has correct purple Waffenfarbe (corps color) piping along the top edge and flanking either side of the band, indicating the branch to be Railway.
It is decorated with a well detailed silvered aluminum eagle RLB insignia on the peak, which has an eagle perched on the starburst organizational emblem of the Reichsluftschutzbund, which has a Swas (Swas) in the center. Below this is the typical metal tri-color cockade with a red felt insert. Some examples of these caps have a "Wing" shaped front plate, but this example does not, and does not show any signs of ever having one installed.
The dual-buckled black leather chinstrap designates the wearer to be an enlisted man, and is attached to black lacquered buttons on either side. The vulcanfibre visor has a smooth black leather-look upper, exhibiting slight wear along the edge and is orange on the underside. The brown leather sweatband is in good supple condition, with light wear. The underside is marked 22 1/8, which may be the size.
The inside of the cap is lined with orange sheer fabric. The top celluloid diamond shield is fully present, and is maker marked with what looks to be "Hud Helg" and the city of Aachen Germany. The writing is somewhat unclear, so we are not entirely sure.
The condition of the cap is quite nice, though as with many wool caps, there are some moth nips to the exterior The interior is quite nice, showing light to moderate wear, and the front crown metal stiffener that supports the badge has unfortunately come unattached from the interior. at some point. This tore the stitching on the liner in the front, but could probably be repaired.
A very nice example of a rare German WWII RLB Air Protection League visor cap, ready to add to your collection!
History of the RLB
The Reichsluftschutzbund - RLB was organized by Hermann Göring in 1933 as a voluntary association. Existing volunteer air raid precaution associations were then forced to merge with RLB. In 1939 the RLB became a Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization), while in 1944 it became an affiliated organization of the NSDAP Party. It was in charge of educating and training ordinary German men and women in civil defense procedures necessary for the basic level of local self-help of the civil population against air raids. The local level was formed around air raid wardens and operated in small first intervention squads. The training include fire fighting, protection against chemical weapons, communication procedures and preparation of houses and apartments against air raids.
The visor cap (Schirmmütze) was an important part of the headgear worn by German uniformed military, civil, paramilitary and political organizations during the Third Reich. This was the standard cloth headgear worn as a part of the service uniform. Visor caps were worn outdoors as well as indoors, and were often required to be worn by all personnel on duty. Visor caps were made in versions specific to each organization and were often further differentiated through the use of insignia, colored piping, or style of chin cord, to indicate rank, role or branch. The insignia used on these caps ranged from simple stamped metal emblems, to elaborate hand embroidery. Visor caps were issued to enlisted soldiers and NCOs in the military and in some other organizations. Officers had to purchase their own hats, and lower ranks could choose to purchase caps that were of a higher quality than the rather basic, issue examples. The private purchase caps were generally made in very high quality, with fine materials. A wide variety of fabrics were used, from Trikot and doeskin, to heavy wool, or even lightweight white fabric for summer wear. In the military, issue of these caps was generally suspended shortly after the outbreak of the war, but they continued to be worn by some troops until the end of the war.
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