Original German WWII Early SA Stormtrooper Tan and Light Blue Kepi from Gruppe Hochland with RZM Tag
Original Item: Only One available. This is a very nice service worn early German WWII SA "Stormtrooper" Kepi (Dienstmütze), often called a "Coffee Can Hat." It is made of a khaki canvas fabric over reinforced fabric sides, with a light blue felt top and silver "pip" button on the front. This indicates use by the SA Gruppe Hochland (Highlands), which was made from the mountainous areas of Southern and Western Bavaria. The major city in this region was München (Munich), the core of the NSDAP movement in Germany.
Before 1939, to help differentiate the different SA groups, the top of these caps, as well as the collar tabs, were issued in a variety of colors. Additionally, the "button" or "pip" on the front of the cap could be silver or gold, which matched the color of the uniform buttons, which allowed colors to be used more than once. Even though faded, the felt on this cap is definitely light blue, and did not fade from a darker navy blue.
These caps were worn by SA personnel, especially the "Stormtrooper" groups. It is made from heavy tan canvas, with an early pattern nickel SA Reichsadler (National Eagle) on the front top. There is a nice aged dark brown leather chinstrap, held in place by the correct chocolate brown button on the right, while the left side is missing, and the strap held on by a safety pin. The interior has an orange oil cloth crown lining, which shows light wear and staining, and the sweatband on this example is made from real leather, and in very good condition.
The inside of the cap under the sweatband still bears its original fabric RZM tag in the rear, and features the RZM logo as well as the ink stamped numerical designation of lot No. 407316. The top portion of the tag is unfortunately worn down to the threads, but most likely identified it as an SA service cap.
Condition of the kepi shows that it saw long use during the NSDAP period, with sweat staining to much of the brim and forward interior. The shape has slightly caved in due to the early design of the sides. The light blue felt on the exterior is well retained, with some light mothing, though it does show fading due to light and age. The oil cloth crown is still fully intact, and the brim does not have any cracks or folds, just a bit of rippling. These are rare in any condition, and we rarely see them with this much authentic period wear!
A hard to find SA Stormtrooper Kepi, ready to display!
Sturmabteilung, literally Storm Detachment, was the NSDAP Party's original paramilitary. It played a significant role in Adolf AH's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Its primary purposes were providing protection for NSDAP rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Romani, trade unionists, and, especially, Jews – for instance, during the NSDAP boycott of Jewish businesses.
The SA were also called the "Brownshirts" (Braunhemden) from the color of their uniform shirts, similar to Benito Mussolini's blackshirts. The SA developed pseudo-military titles for its members, with ranks that were later adopted by several other NSDAP Party groups, chief amongst them the Schutzstaffel (SS), which originated as a branch of the SA before being separated. Brown-colored shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large number of them were cheaply available after World War I, having originally been ordered during the war for colonial troops posted to Germany's former African colonies.
The SA became disempowered after Adolf AH ordered the "blood purge" of 1934. This event became known as the Night of the Long Knives (die Nacht der langen Messer). The SA continued to exist, but was effectively superseded by the SS, although it was not formally dissolved until after NSDAP Germany's final capitulation to the Allies in 1945.
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