Original German WWII Soldatenbund Soldier's League Converted to NSRKB Veterans Association Visor Cap

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Soldatenbund (Registered Soldier’s League) was an early Veteran's association founded in 1936, which proved to be very short lived. Two years later in 1938 it was merged with the Kyffhäuserbund as part of the NSDAP-ification of that organization, forming the National Socialist Veteran's Association, which would be the only approved veteran's organization until the fall of the NSDAP in 1945.

This cap is a very nice example of an early pattern German Pre-WWII Soldatenbund Members Schirmmütze (visor cap), which was later updated with an NS-RKB band insignia after the groups were merged. This example is in very good condition, showing light use during service. It features very dark navy blue (or possibly black) construction with a black ribbed band and a traditional high forward crown. The cap also has matching Weiß (white) piping along the top edge and flanking either side of the band, the Corps Color (Waffenfarbe) for infantry and motorized infantry. It was traditional for members of the Soldatenbund to have caps bearing the corps color of their service branch, so this cap was owned by an Infantry veteran.

It is decorated with a Silvered aluminum Soldatenbund cap eagle on the peak, which features the Reichsadler National Eagle surmounted by crossed swords and an Iron Cross. The cap band however has had the original silver wreath and cockade insignia replaced by an open gold washed metal oak leaf wreath, with the NS-RKB insignia in the center. This shows the Kyffhäuser monument on a white field, over an NSDAP swas.

The dual-buckled black leather chinstrap, designating the wearer to be an enlisted man, is attached to black lacquered buttons on either side. The vulcanfibre visor has a smooth black leather-look upper, exhibiting light wear and finish crazing consistent with age, and is brown on the underside. The leather sweatband is in good condition, though it is somewhat stiff, and the stitching attaching it to the cap is deteriorated, so at least 25% is no longer attached. Size seems to be a 58cm / 7 1/4 US.

The inside of the cap is lined orange lightweight "service cloth" style fabric. The top plastic shield is still completely present, and underneath is still much of the original Soldatenbund official markings:

(Soldatenbund Eagle)
Die vorschriftsmäszig Mütze
des Soldatenbundes
Ges. Gesch.

This basically translates to "The Regulation cap of the Soldier's League), and indicates that it is a trademarked design.

A great example of an early German Soldier's League cap, later repurposed after the organization merged with the NSRKB. Ready to display!

The Kyffhäuserbund (English: Kyffhäuser League) is an umbrella organization for war veterans' and reservists' associations in Germany, founded in 1900 to unify the various veteran's groups in Germany. It owes its name to the Kyffhäuser Monument (German: Kyffhäuserdenkmal), a memorial built on the summit of the 473 m high Kyffhäuser mountain near Bad Frankenhausen, in the state of Thuringia in central Germany. It was not a political affiliated organization, and was open to all German war veterans.

When the National Socialist party came into party however, as with all national organizations, the group was absorbed under the NSDAP umbrella. In the name of Gleichschaltung (Co-Ordination or NSDAPfication), the Kyffhäuserbund was after the NSDAP takeover of power in 1933. Five years later, its name was altered to NS-Reichskriegerbund ‘Kyffhäuser’ e.V. (National Socialist Reich Warriors Association ‘Kyffhäuser‘ - NSRKB), becoming the sole and exclusive organization representing the Veterans´ interests in the Third Reich. The organization would then be disbanded in March of 1943 and its members would be drafted into Volksturm service in 1945, as the fall of WWII Germany approached.

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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