Original German WWII RAD Labor Service EM/NCO "Robin Hood" Cap by F. Kallenbach dated 1937 - size 58
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent nearly unissued example of a WWII German Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD - National Labor Service) "Robin Hood" cap. It is constructed of very nice field gray wool with lovely "faux" ear flaps, with a top that is usually depicted sunken in, though it can be pushed out if desired. There is black piping along the top of the ear flaps, as well as across the brim of the cap. This indicates the cap is for an EM / NCO, as officers had silver piping, an General Grade officers had gold. In 1940, EM/NCO caps stopped being issued with piping, so this is a pre-1940 cap.
The front of the cap has a lovely metal RAD shovelhead logo, which has a canted Hakenkreuz (Swastika) in the middle, with 2 sheaves of wheat extending from the bottom at 45 degree angles. The Swastika is highlighted with black enamel, while the border of the shovel is highlighted with red.
The lovely leather sweatband is embossed with a very nice overlapping FK monogram, and on the underside it is ink stamped with the manufacture information:
F. KALLENBACH | | 37
Ferdinand Kallenbach was a well known hat maker in Luckenwalde, which today is in the State of Brandenberg. The cap was manufactured in 1937 in nice larger size 58.
This really is an excellent example of a Pre-1940 belt, ready to display!
The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service, under the control of Reichsarbeitsführer Konstatin Hierl. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.
On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD, and from then onward, men aged between 18 and 25 may have served six months before their military service. During World War II compulsory service also included young women and the RAD developed to an auxiliary formation which provided support for the Wehrmacht armed forces.
In April 1934 Hierl had developed a uniform, including the distinctive "Robin Hood" style service cap. The design of the cap was based on a cross between a traditional style peasant cap and the traditional hunters cap. Originally the caps were issued with rank distinction piping with black piping for the EM/NCO ranks of Arbeitsmann to Truppführer, silver piping for company and field grade Officer’s ranks of Obertruppführer to Oberstarbeitsführer and gold piping for General Officer’s ranks of Generalarbeitsführer to Reichsarbeitsführer. In 1940 the use of the black piping for the EM/NCO ranks was discontinued but the silver and gold Officer’s piping remained in use until the end of the war.
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