Original German WWII M43 Italian Made Tropical Field Cap - Tropeneinheitsfeldmütze M43
Original Item: Only One Available. In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms headgear and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel's arrival in Tripoli in February 1941.
The M41 tropical field cap was introduced in early 1941 and design of the cap was loosely based on the Mountain Troopers, Bergmütze with minor variations. Officer ranks caps were distinguished from EM/NCO's with silver piping for the ranks of Lieutenant to Oberst and gilt piping for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall while EM/NCO's ranks caps were not piped. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), and originally the M41 tropical field caps had a branch of service soutache applied to the front consisting of an inverted "V" encompassing the national tri-color cockade but regulations of July 10TH 1942 abolished the use of the soutache and instructed it to be removed from the caps, although the directive was not strictly adhered to.
This wonderful example is correct in all respects. It features ribbed olive/khaki cotton twill construction, dual-ply, stitched down side and back panels with a gently scalloped downward slope to the front center. The cap has ventilation grommets to each side positioned just below the outer edge of the crown seam. The top center seam is correctly stitched right through the interior liner for added strength. The front center of the cap has a machine woven national eagle in light blue/grey threads on a cut-out, woven field gray base.
The front center of the dual-ply, downward sloping scalloped panel has a machine woven national tri-color cockade on a woven field gray diamond shaped base. Both the eagle and the cockade are hand-stitched to the cap. The cap has a cotton twill covered, forward visor with an internal cardboard stiffener. The visor has a subtly raised lip to the top of the forward edge and dual rows of reinforcement stitching to the bottom of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in light weight tan cotton with a light weight leather sweatband.
The Afrika Korps or German Africa Corps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK was the German expeditionary force in Africa during the North African Campaign of World War II. First sent as a holding force to shore up the Italian defense of their African colonies, the formation fought on in Africa, under various appellations, from March 1941 until its surrender in May 1943. The term "Afrika Korps" is pseudo-German (so-called "cod-German"), deriving from an incomplete German title. The German term referred solely to the initial formation, the Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK), which formed part of the Axis command of the German and Italian forces in North Africa. The name stuck, with both news media and Allied soldiers, as the name for all subsequent German units in North Africa. The unit is known for having been commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
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