Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Visored Field Cap


SKU: 22.GOR.

Estimated market value:

$700 USD

  • Luftwaffe NCO/EM Ranks Black Visored Field Cap Profile

Estimated market value:

$700 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 paramilitary 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.

The first Visored Field Cap introduced was named Bergmütze (Mountain Cap). The Mountain Cap worn by Luftwaffe personnel was based off the Mountain Cap originally introduced for wear by German Mountain and Ski troops in 1930. The Luftwaffe version was officially instituted in 1937, for wear during skiing and sports activities only. These regulations were altered in 1939, and the cap was permitted for wear by Luftwaffe Flak and Signals troops who were serving in mountainous regions.

The Luftwaffe Mountain Cap is composed of blue-grey cotton and, generally, a grey cotton twill lining. The visor is slightly shorter and the skirt arms slightly thinner than those elements featured on the later instituted M43 Cap pattern. The skirt arms were closed by one button, and while the buttons tend to be composed of pebbled and painted steel, they may be made of other materials. These caps generally lack the grommets seen on either side of the mountain caps worn by other Wehrmacht branches.

In 1943, new regulations were passed which stated that piping would be added to the crown of the Mountain Caps to identify personnel ranks. For Generals, the piping is gold-coloured, while for Officers the piping is silver-coloured (aluminum). This same order also introduced gold-coloured insignia on these caps for General and Officer ranks.

These caps also feature a Luftwaffe pattern national emblem eagle insignia and a tricolour cockade. For Officers, the insignia may be composed of bullion insignia and have silver-coloured (aluminum) piping, but they also utilized insignia composed of cotton thread. For Other Ranks, the cap features no piping, and the insignia are always composed of cotton thread. These insignia are sewn onto the cap separately, not with a shared T-shaped backing as seen with the Heer Mountain Caps. These caps may also feature a metal Edelweiss badge on the left side, but they were only rarely worn on the Luftwaffe Mountain Caps.

The M-43 Field Cap pattern of the Visored Field Cap for the Luftwaffe is also known as the M43 Standard Flyer’s Cap (Einheitsfliegermütze). This field cap was worn by all ranks of Luftwaffe personnel, and it was meant to replace the Overseas Cap (Fliegermütze). The design of these caps is based on the design of the Luftwaffe Mountain Cap.

The design of this visor field cap is similar to the design of the Army’s M43 Standard Visor Field Cap. These field caps are generally composed of blue-grey cloth, which tends to be a higher quality tricot or doeskin wool for General Officers and Officers, and a lower quality wool/rayon blend for Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men (NCO/EM). The field caps for Luftwaffe mechanics and Luftwaffe personnel within Herman Göring’s “Panzer” field division were composed of black cloth, while the field caps worn in tropical theatres of the war, for example the Mediterranean and Africa, were composed of tan cloth.
Camouflage pattern caps exist as well, either with regular flaps buttoned down by one or two buttons, or in the style of the tropical caps with simulated flaps without buttons.

The difference in design to the earlier Mountain Cap pattern is mainly in the M43 Cap pattern having thicker skirt arms that are squared and closed by two pebbled buttons instead of one. It also has a slightly higher peak. The buttons were composed of painted aluminum. The tropical field caps worn by Luftwaffe personnel do not feature skirt arms, because the side skirts on these caps are merely simulated.

Each Visored Field Cap was also adorned with at least two insignia, the Luftwaffe pattern national emblem eagle, and a national tricolour cockade.
When these insignia were added separately, the eagle was machine-embroidered and the cockade was either machine-embroidered or machine-woven. They may also have been added on a shared triangular backing that mirrors the colour of the field cap. The insignia for General Officers and Officers was allowed to be made from gold or silver coloured Bullion wire respectively, but tended to follow the same design as the insignia worn on the field caps of Other Ranks.

The field caps worn by General Officers have additional gold-colored celleon mesh cord added along the crown seam, while the field caps worn by Officers feature silver-aluminum piping. The field caps worn by NCO/EM ranks have no piping.

The lining in these caps was generally blue-grey coloured cotton for NCO/EM ranks, and fine quality blue-grey coloured cotton or rayon for General Officers and Officers. Maker marks may rarely be seen stamped or sewn into the lining. Leather sweatbands are also featured in the interior of the field cap.


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