ORIGINAL WW2 EM/NCO’s GERMAN M43 FIELD CAP SZ 57
(Einheitsfeldmütze M43 für Mannschaften)
BACKGROUND: The M43 field cap was introduced for wear by all ranks on June 11TH 1943 as a replacement cap for the other field caps then in use. The design of the M43 field cap was based on the earlier M42 Feldmütze, (Overseas Cap), and the Mountain Trooper’s Bergmütze, (Mountain Cap), with minor variations. The standard issue M43 field caps were constructed of field-grey material while a black version was introduced at the same time for Panzer, (Armored), personnel. Officer’s ranks were distinguished by piping on the crown of the cap with silver piping for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt piping for General Officer’s ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall while EM/NCO’s caps were not piped. Further regulations also dictated that the buttons on the cap were also to be an indicator of rank with field-grey buttons for EM/NCO’s, silver for Field and Company grade officers and gilt for General’s ranks but this was not strictly adhered to. The German army originally adopted a slightly modified version of the NSDAP’s, National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), national eagle by order on February 17TH 1934, with instructions to have it applied to all steel helmets, visor caps, and tunics by May 1ST 1934. Regulations followed on October 30TH 1935 that stipulated the national eagle was also to be applied to all field caps. On March 14TH 1933 the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and was utilized through-out the Third Reich period. Of Note: The M43 field cap was probably the most popular of all the field caps produced by the Germans during the Third Reich period. Of Note: Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own headgear items and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the army’s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The clothing allowances for Officer’s consisted of a singular pay out of roughly, 450.00 Reichsmarks, ($180.00USD), followed by a maintenance allowance of roughly 30.00RM, ($12.00USD), per month. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their headgear from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase headgear of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their caps from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored caps although the price may have been restrictive.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Field-grey, wool/rayon blend construction cap features fold down back and side panels with a downward scalloped front edge and forward sides and two button (buttons missing) front closure. The back and side panels were designed to be folded down to protect the wearer’s ears and neck and the scalloped front section could be secured with the buttons closed under the wearer’s chin. Machine embroidered eagle and separate cockade are original and machine stitched to the cap. The cap has an extended, cloth covered, forward visor with an internal stiffener. The interior of the cap is fully lined in rayon. Cap is nicely size marked “57 “. Shows the expected period use and wear but overall nice condition. Cap was a U.S. vet bring back.