Original German WWII P.O.W. Worn M43 Afrikakorps DAK Tropical Field Cap - Tropeneinheitsfeldmütze
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 the Deutsches Afrikakorps (German Africa Corps or DAK), 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 very interesting service worn example of the M43 Tropeneinheitsfeldmütze (Tropical Unit Field Cap) is correct in all respects, and these are rare in any condition. 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 two 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 of the dual-ply, downward sloping scalloped panel has a machine woven national tri-color cockade on a woven tan/olive diamond shaped base. However, the eagle on this cap was removed, though the outline can still be seen due to there being less fading where it was. This was standard procedure when German soldiers were taken as POWs and sent to various camps, often in the United States. There they would often work in the field, and this would further fade the caps. The remaining tri-color cockade is hand stitched to the cap, and is only through the outer fabric layer, so it was installed during cap production.
The cap has a cotton twill covered, forward visor with an internal cardboard stiffener. The visor has a row of reinforcement stitching to the bottom of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in light weight red cotton with a reinforced cotton oilcloth type sweatband. The inside liner is marked with size 56.
The condition of the cap is quite good, showing extensive service and use in the field. There is some fraying of the fabric, and the right side vent grommets are both missing. The brim stiffener has some creases and deformation, and the oil cloth sweatband base layer is stained and degraded. However none of this is out of line with service wear. This is a cap that was really there, used during the war and afterwards, most likely in a P.O.W. camp.
An extremely rare example of an Afrikakorps M43 Tropical cap, still in very good condition, ready to display!
The Afrika Korps or German Africa Corps (Deutsches Afrikakorps or 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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