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Fieldcaps (Feldmütze)

Sidecap (Schiffchen)

Generally called the Feldmütze in the Wehrmacht and SS, the Fliegermütze in the Luftwaffe and the Bordmütze (or, colloquially, the Schiffchen) in the Kriegsmarine.

Heer and SS

The Wehrmacht version introduced in 1934 was of field-grey cloth with a turn up all round, the upper edge of the turn-up being "scooped" at the front. On the front of the crown was a small version of the eagle and swastika badge, in white on dark green. On the front of the turn-up was a roundel or cockade in (from the center out) red, white and black. This was woven on a dark green diamond-shaped backing. Early in the war an inverted-V (^) of Waffenfarbe, or arm-of-service piping was sewn to the turn-up, enclosing the diamond, and butting to its upper edges; the lower "legs" of the "V" extended down to the bottom edge of the cap. In 1940-41, a new version of the eagle and swastika badge appeared woven in light grey on field grey backing.

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M34 enlisted men fieldcap with 1941 insignia and soutache M34 enlisted men fieldcap with 1941 insignia

 

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M34 EM fieldcap with 1939 insignia Officer M38 with soutache and officers insignia

In 1942 a new version of the sidecap appeared, with two small buttons of the front of the turn-up. The eagle and cockade badges were produced on a single back of cloth, and worn on the front of the crown. The(^) of piping was discontinued. The officer's version bore silver piping round the edge of the crown and along the edge of the "scoop" at the front of the cap.

 

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M42 fieldcap with T-shape insignia side view

Issue winter caps (ushanka) were to be seen from 1943 onwards. These were of field-grey cloth with fur or pile on the inside of neck, ear and forehead flaps. The flaps could be laced up over the top of the cap when not in use. The eagle and swastika, and sometimes the cockade, were often sewn to the fur side of the front flap in the form of cap or breast insignia, and metal cap badges were sometimes pinned here by NCOs and officers.

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Winter fur cap with SS insignia (ushanka)

Wehrmacht tank crews wore a black version of the sidecap, piped pink.

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Heer Panzer M40 EM fieldcap with pink soutache (early war)

Heer Panzer M40 EM fieldcap without pink soutache

At the beginning of the war, the SS wore a sidecap that was similar to the Wehrmacht version, but had the central gusset offset to the right. A grey metal death's-head badge on black cloth was sewn to the front of the turn-up, and a smaller version of the SS eagle, in white thread on a black triangular patch, was worn on the crown. Early in the war, the (^) of Waffenfarbe was also worn. In 1940, this cap was replaced by the Luftwaffe-style cap, but in field-grey. The death's head, SS badge and (^) were retained, though the "V" was later discontinued. Officers' caps were piped in silver round the entire edge of the turn-up.

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SS Panzer M40 EM fieldcap

SS tank crews wore a black version of the sidecap.

Luftwaffe

Officers overseas cap. (Fliegermütze)

The "Schiffchenform", (Boat form), style overseas cap was originally developed by the DLV, Deutscher Luftsportverband, (German Air Sports League), the civilian forerunner of the Luftwaffe, in 1933, and was adopted by the Luftwaffe shortly after its official establishment on February 26TH 1935. The insignia on the caps included the Luftwaffe style national eagle and the circular, black, white, and red national tri-color cockade as introduced on March 14TH 1933. The Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was originally introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV, on August 18TH 1934 and was officially adopted for wear by all Luftwaffe personnel on March 1ST 1935. The original, short winged, first pattern national eagle was utilized until a, slightly modified, second pattern national eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations dictated that the national eagle was to be worn on almost all headgear and on the right breast of almost all uniforms with a few minor exceptions. The overseas caps for Company and Field grade Officer’s holding the ranks of Leutnant up to Oberst were distinguished from EM/NCO’s caps by bright silver/aluminum piping while Officers holding Generals ranks of Generalmajor up to Reichsmarschall utilized gold colored fittings and EM/NCO’s caps were generally not piped. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own headgear and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), system. 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

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The Luftwaffe version of the sidecap was in blue-grey cloth, and differed from the army version in that the turn-up was not "scooped" at the front but had a smooth upper edge all round. It bore the cockade on the front of the turn-up, and a small version of the Luftwaffe breast eagle on the crown. No "V" of piping was worn, but the officer's version had silver piping round the entire edge of the turn-up. There were also tropical versions of the cap, in sand-colored cloth. The eagle and swastika badges were sewn to cloth backings the same color as the cap.

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Luftwaffe DAK fliegermütze side view

 

Kriegsmarine

The Kriegsmarine sidecap was called the Bordmütze, or colloquially, the Schiffchen, or "little boat". It was similar in cut to the Luftwaffe and SS version, but in fine-quality navy blue wool. The turn-up was tapered, and was wider in the center than at the front or rear of the cap. On the crown was a yellow on dark blue eagle and swastika badge, with the cockade on the front of the turn-up. Officers' caps had silver piping around the edge of the crown. The shore-based naval units wore a field-grey version of the cap, with the eagle and swastika woven in yellow on a dark green of field grey cloth, while members of the Marine Infantry Divisions likely were issued with the Wehrmacht version.

 

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