Here are some images of headgear currently or recently in my collection…
Enlisted tropical cap with golden-yellow soutache upgraded for officer wear
This enlisted tropical cap has been upgraded to officer wear by the addition of silver piping, the replacement of the embroidered national insignia with bullion insignia and the addition of a golden-yellow soutache. Although a tropical cap, it probably was not worn in North Africa, since the available evidence indicates that copper brown (kupferbraun) was the Waffenfarbe of choice for the reconnaissance elements that arrived early on. When the 10. Panzer-Division arrived in 1943, the Waffenfarbe used by its reconnaissance battalion was rose pink. As a result, this cap was most likely worn in the Mediterranean theater or the southern part of the Eastern Front, where large numbers of tropical uniforms were issued and worn.
An “old style” cap with plenty of character, it easily folds flat when placed on its side.
Enlisted Black Panzer M43
Enlisted black M43 with factory applied, machine-sewn insignia. Size 56, featuring an Erfurt depot stamp from 1943. I previously owned one of these by the same manufacturer, but it was missing the insignia. The former cap had been “liberated” from Czech film studios by an enterprising American dealer.
Black Officer M38 with Golden-Yellow Soutache
A “salty” M38 black officer overseas cap with golden-yellow soutache. The cap has a name tag sewn into it, as well as featuring a few typical field modification for the officer: Sewing down the upturn along the sides (so it didn’t flop open) and sewing along the top seam (so it did not open up). In addition, it has a typical feature often found in enlisted caps but not seen as often in officer caps: A safety pin along the inside crown to make double sure the cap die not “open up” and present a less jaunty appearance. So far, I have not been able to lash “Ehrich” up with a unit.
Black Officer M38 with Pink Soutache
Another officer black M38, this time with pink soutache. The cap was tailor-made by the firm of Tiller in Vienna and was constructed out of a light cotton material. The cap features the relatively rare officer versions of the Panzer BeVo insignia. It also saw considerable service in the field, as evidenced by the sun bleached seen along the crown seam and along the upturn on the sides. This cap has found a new home, being replaced by another.
Unusual Enlisted Panzer Overseas Cap (ex NSKK) for the 23. Panzer-Division
A late-pattern NSKK cap converted into a Panzer enlisted overseas cap by the addition of army insignia and a pink soutache. The portrait shot shows the cap in wear by the tanker. Originalkly accompanying the cap and image was a photo album that chronicled the membership of the future tanker in the NSKK and his close association with Panzer-Regiment 23 of the 23. Panzer-Division. The cap is unique, not only because of it having been converted, but also because of the addition of the traditions badge from the division. Although there are some discrepancies between the angle of the soutache seen in the postcard image and the actual cap, I believe this might have been due to the resewing of the soutache at some point in time, since there is evidence to suggest that the soutache was originally positioned at a more obtuse angle. This cap was also purchased from me by a fellow collector.
Enlisted Visor for an Armored Reconnaissance Scout
An enlisted visor belonging to a scout assigned to the 2. (Panzer-Späh)/Kavallerie-Lehr- und Versuchs-Abteilung. This was the armored car troop of the cavalry school house in Krampnitz. Note the unusual size!
M38 Black Officers Overseas Cap
Tailor made. Nice even wear throughout. One of my favorites. It sure would be nice to find out who FW was! This cap was purchased by a well-known collector and author, when I found the other reconnaissance one shown above.
Enlisted tropical overseas cap with copper brown soutache
The second image shows the cap piping and comparing it to that seen on a well-worn pair of officer-candidate straps. There were great variances in the shading of copper brown, dependent upon dye lots and general confusion as to what shade it truly was. North Africa was the only theater of operations where kupferbraun was almost universally worn by reconnaissance forces. I recently sold this cap to a collector.
While this cap most likely belonged to an officer in the cavalry, it is also possible that he was assigned to Kradschützen-Bataillon 3 of the 3. Panzer-Division, which was authorized to wear the Schwedter Adler on its caps. With nice wear patterns and a period-applied traditions eagle, this cap was sold for me by Mike Davis at Virtual Grenadier. (It no longer belongs to me. Dadnabit!)
Gerhard Holzweiß, Scout in Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 3
Scout Gerhard Holzweiß was assigned to Aufklärungs-Abteilung 1 (mot) / Kradschützen-Bataillon 3 / Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 3 and wore the Schwedter Adler on his caps. His caps and other effects came together as a lot, with many of the items seen above featured in the book. Another collector is the current owner of the cap; another collector owns the remaining effects. (Hope to get the cap back one day!)
Of interest is the wide variety of uniforms being worn (probably what was on hand at the photo studio when Holzweiß took some of his sittings. Also interesting to note is the wear of the Schwedter Adler above the national eagle on his visor cap!
Black M34 Enlisted Panzer Cap
Officer M38 Black Panzer Overseas Cap
This cap was paired with my named grouping for Leutnant Kaestel. It was acquired separately, but represented a fine match, since Kaestel’s high quality wrap was made out of gabardine and this cap tailor made out of a fine-quality tricot material. It is pending sale with the Kaestel group.
M34 Black Enlisted Overseas Cap for a Panzeraufklärer (Golden-Yellow Soutache)
I had this particular cap for a long time, before I got another –the Holzweiß grouping–and sold it to a collector in St. Louis. Wish I had kept it! It had lots of character…
Tropical M40 Billed Field Cap (Pink Soutache)
This cap was acquired in a trade deal with the late Doug Feryo. It had been picked up at a garage sale somewhere on Long Island, which is batting 1000 compared to any garage sale I’ve ever been to. The soutache may have been replaced, but the original thread and remnants of soutache material left no doubt that it had belonged to a Panzer soldier. It has long since resided in another collector’s home.
Panzerartillerie Officer Privately Tailored Overseas Cap (Red Soutache)
Once I sold my Panzer-Artillerie-Beobachtungs-Batterie 16 field-gray wrap, this particular cap was excess to my needs. It now resides in the collection of one of my collecting friends.
Black Enlisted M43 Cap (with Restored Insignia)
This particular cap was obtained without insignia. It came from the stash of black M43’s that was discovered in the Czech state film studios shortly after the fall of the Wall. This cap was sold when a nicer example with original insignia was obtained.
F44 Enlisted Black Panzer Cap
This is a “one looker” cap, and it was acquired mostly through chance. The story goes that the vet brought back two of these for some reason, with both being in unissued condition. It’s another cap I wish I could get back.