Original German WWII SA Stormtrooper Tan and Emerald Green Kepi from Gruppe Sachsen with RZM Tag
Original Item: Only One available. This is a very nice German WWII SA "Stormtrooper" Kepi (Dienstmütze), often called a "Coffee Can Hat." It is made of tan cotton fabric, with an emerald green felt top and silver "pip" button on the front. This indicates use by the SA Gruppe Sachsen (Saxony), which was formed from the State (previously Kingdom) of Saxony. The major cities are Dresden and Leipzig, and this is an area of Germany with a long history.
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. Unfortunately some colors are quite close in shade, and after years of fading, can look similar. There were three greens used: Apple, Emerald, and Steel, and we are fairly certain this is the emerald green, but cannot guarantee it. There is also some disagreement whether the Silver button is for Sachsen or Nordmark, but most sources indicate that Emerald Green and Silver is for Saxony.
These caps were worn by SA personnel, especially the "Stormtrooper" groups. It is made from heavy tan canvas, with an aluminum Reichsadler (National Eagle) on the front top. There is a nice dark brown leather chinstrap, held in place by the correct chocolate brown buttons. The interior has an oil cloth crown lining, with a pressed paper faux leather liner.
The inside of the cap under the sweatband still bears its original fabric RZM tag, which is also in great shape. The tag identifies the cap as a Dienstmütze (Service Cap) features the RZM logo as well as the ink stamped numerical designation of the Hersteller (manufacturer) 591 over lot No. 455472.
Condition of the kepi is good though it does show quite a bit of wear to the inside liner, which being pressed paper, did not hold up well over the years. The exterior has some light moth damage to the emerald green felt, however the canvas is really in great shape, with minimal staining and wear. The oil cloth crown is still fully intact, and the brim does not have any cracks or folds. These are rare in any condition, and this is definitely a very good example.
A hard to find SA Stormtrooper Kepi, ready to display!
The 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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