Original German WWII 1942 dated First Model DAK Afrikakorps Sun Helmet with Badges
Original Item: Only One Set Available. On first deployment to North Africa in 1941, Afrikakorps infantry were issued with the traditional European sun helmet known as Tropische Kopfbedeckung (Tropical headgear), of the type known to the British forces as the solar topi (or topee). In the German case, these were made of pith, had prominent ventilation holes in the crown, were khaki in color and bore two metal shields; on the right the national colors and on the left the German eagle. There were several models made, with the first model like this having cotton outer covering made of fabric panels sewn together.
The pith an fabric construction was lightweight, and permitted ventilation while warding off the sun. Also, it was common for them to be doused in water, as the evaporation effect would cool off the helmet, and therefor the air inside. This however eventually resulted in the helmet becoming soft overall.
This example is in good service used condition, though it has lost almost all of the original painted leather components. The edge trim is nearly completely gone, and there is about 3 inches remaining of the original leather chin strap. This allows the pith construction of the helmet to be easily seen at the edges. The cloth components have fared much better over the decades. The original khaki cloth covering is intact and retains its original color, with some water staining and a few small tears. The helmet band is very good condition, and still hides the liner split pins.
The interior of the helmet still has the original red cotton covering intact, with staining from water and wear. The original leather liner is present, though it does show age and wear. There is some cracking, and the stitching at the rear has completely pulled out. The underside is stamped with the makers initials K.R.L. in an oval next to date 42.
The metal badges are totally genuine and are in good condition with a nice finish and lovely patina. The National colors and Wehrmacht eagle badges are both made of zinc, which was originally silvered, with a painted finish in areas for the insignia. The paint on both is still almost fully intact, but the silver wash is long gone, and now replaced with a dull gray oxidized zinc patina, as seen on many WWII era German Badges. The Tri-color badge still has all three retaining prongs, while the eagle has lost one.
A very nice service worn example that will make a great addition to any German WWII Afrikakorps collection.
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