Original German WWII Heer Gebirgsjäger Mountain Troop "Crusher" Visor Cap by EREL
Original Item: Only One Available. This cap is a very good service used example of a rare German WWII Wehrmacht Heer Gebirgsjäger Mountain Troop Officer "Crusher" Schirmmütze visor cap, made by the legendary EREL company. It has a lovely saddle form shape, an iconic look preferred by seasoned soldiers. The cap features the typical green wool gabardine construction with a forest green band and a traditional high forward crown. The also has matching Hellgrün (Light Green) piping along the top edge and flanking either side of the band, the Corps Color (Waffenfarbe) for Gebirgsjäger (mountain troops ), Skijäger (ski troops), and Jäger (light infantry troops).
The chinstrap is unfortunately completely missing, as are the buttons that retain it, leaving small holes in the sides of the cap. We can see however some markings on the visor which look to be from aluminum, so we believe that this originally had a silver bullion cord indicating officer issue.
It is decorated with a high end hand embroidered silver bullion eagle insignia on the peak and and an open silver bullion embroidered wreath surrounding a tri-color cockade on the band. Only early high end examples have all embroidered insignia like this cap does. The vulcanfibre visor has a smooth black leather-look upper, exhibiting minimal wear along the edge and is cream on the underside. The top has a lovely pattern of crazing and checking to the finish, confirming great age. The brown leather sweatband is still mostly intact, however it is now worn and stiff, with a portion of the forehead section missing.
The cap is lined with cream rayon and still retains the full celluloid diamond sweet shield in the crown. There is some cracking, and unfortunately time and wear has caused the silver EREL Trademark logo to degrade, though parts are still legible. The cap also has an embossed and stamp over the left ear on the sweatband: EREL PATENT / STIRNSCHUTZ, which refers to the "Forehead Protection" of the sweatband design.
Condition very good considering the amount of service it must have seen. There is some damage and small repairs, but very little in the way of moth damage or other similar issues. As mentioned before, the sides of the band where the chinstrap show holes where the retaining buttons tore out.
A great example of a classic hat worn by German Army Mountain Trooper in WWII. Very impressive and ready to display!
Gebirgsjäger material is among the most popular of all German WWII items. They were the light infantry part of the alpine or mountain troops (Gebirgstruppe) of Germany and Austria. The word Jäger (meaning "hunter" or "huntsman") is a characteristic term used for light-infantry or light-infantryman in German-speaking military context.
The mountain infantry of Austria have their roots in the three Landesschützen regiments of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The mountain infantry of Germany carry on certain traditions of the Alpenkorps (Alpine corps) of World War I. Both countries' mountain infantry share the Edelweiß insignia. It was established in 1907 as a symbol of the Austro-Hungarian Landesschützen regiments by Emperor Franz Joseph I. These troops wore their edelweiss on the collar of their uniforms. When the Alpenkorps came to aid the Landesschützen in defending Austria-Hungary's southern frontier against the Italian attack in May 1915, the grateful Landesschützen honored the men of the Alpenkorps by awarding them their own insignia: the edelweiss. Together with the Fallschirmjäger (Paratroopers) they are perceived as the elite infantry units of the German Army.
The German Schirmmütze Visor Cap:
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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