Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap


SKU: 22.GOR.

Estimated market value:

$350 USD

  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap Left
  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap Right
  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap Eagle Detail
  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap Interior
  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Field Cap Maker Mark

Estimated market value:

$350 USD


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The German Wehrmacht was composed of three main branches, the Heer, the Kriegsmarine, and the Luftwaffe. The Heer and Kriegsmarine uniforms were based upon the designs utilized by their predecessor organizations, the Deutsches Heer and the Kaiserliche Marine. Conversely, the Luftwaffe uniforms were based upon the uniforms worn in the sports and para-military organizations that were the forerunners of the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe uniforms were specifically designed to deviate from the designs of the other Wehrmacht service branches. It was also necessary that the uniforms differentiate between military and civilian pilots.

There were two main organizational precursors of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Sports Association (DLV or Deutscher Luftsportverband), and the National Air Raid Protection League (RLB or Reichs Luftschutzbund). The DLV included both a civilian group and a secret military sub-group called the DLV-Fliegerschaft (Pilot Base).

The DLV and the RLB were officially founded in 1933, and they were used to secretly train members for future roles in the Luftwaffe. The DLV became obsolete after Hitler’s official introduction of the Luftwaffe in 1935, and it was disbanded in 1937.

The Field Cap is also known as the Overseas Cap or Garrison Cap, and the Flyer’s Cap (Fliegermütze). It was worn by General Officers, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men in the Luftwaffe. The design for the Luftwaffe Field Cap was introduced in the early 1930s, but the form worn by Luftwaffe personnel was not finalized until 1936.

The caps worn by General Officers and Officers are generally composed of Luftwaffe blue-grey fine tricot cloth. The caps worn by NCO/EM ranks are generally made of Luftwaffe blue-grey wool/rayon blend. The interior of these caps tends to be made of rayon or a cotton/rayon blend.

Piping was placed along the top of the side skirts to differentiate between General Officers, Officer, and NCO/EM ranks. The piping is gold-coloured (gilt) for General Officers and silver-coloured (silver/aluminum) for Officers. The caps do not feature any piping for NCO/EM ranks.

Each cap is adorned with a tricolour cockade on the front flap and a Luftwaffe pattern national emblem above it; both are placed along the centre seam. The cockade is composed of either cloth or wire thread and padded, while the composition of the eagle corresponds with the rank of the wearer. For Generals, the eagle is composed of gilt wire thread. For Officers, the eagle is composed of silver-aluminum wire thread. For NCO/EM ranks, the eagle is composed of grey wool/cotton thread.

The Luftwaffe pattern national emblem eagle featured on these overseas caps was produced in two distinct patterns. The 1st pattern eagles were made from 1934-1936 and they feature a “droop” tail, while the 2nd pattern eagles were made from 1936/1937-1945 and they feature a “flared” tail.

During the Second World War, a tropical tan-coloured field cap was introduced for wear by Luftwaffe troops. This cap was worn by Luftwaffe personnel who were stationed/serving in the Mediterranean and Africa. It followed the same piping rules as the blue-grey field cap, but it was made from tan-coloured light-weight cotton, and the national emblem eagle was embroidered on a tan-coloured backing. Insignia composed of wire thread was avoided on the tropical caps of Generals and Officers. The interior cotton lining of these tropical caps is generally red, but there are rare examples of a tan interior lining. Also, unlike the blue-grey field caps, the side skirts of the tropical cap are movable.

A black version of the Luftwaffe Field Cap was worn by Luftwaffe personnel who were in Herman Göring’s “Panzer” field division or were a Luftwaffe mechanic. It followed the same piping rules as the blue-grey cap, but it was composed of black herringbone twill. This cap also does not feature the tricolour cockade and only has the national emblem eagle in silver/grey thread.

The interior lining of all field caps may be stamped with the manufacturer mark, date, and place of manufacturer, and size of the cap. The manufacturer mark may also be a tag sewn into the lining.

The tropical field caps and black field caps of Generals and Officers are very rare.


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