BW Heer/Luftwaffe Schiffchen Introduction
Does anyone know when the schiffchen was on issue with the Bundeswehr? It doesn't feature in any photos from 1955/56 that I've seen (granted, I've only seen a few hundred so not exactly a huge number) -- headgear appears limited to the schirmmütze, M-56 (postwar version of the M-43), and steel helmet.
02-05-2015 11:44 AM
Indeed a contentious issue, currently hotly debated over on WAF, rather than pick the information you require it would be better for you to view the current thread to grasp the implications of the "Schiffen".... BundesLuftwaffe early Off. overseas - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums
Prost ! Steve.
"The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)
Yes, I was over there, as well.
As it turns out, it appears the schiffchen was on issue from the beginning -- at least for the Luftwaffe. It features in several video, along with some publications from the April/Mai 1956 timeframe.
Interestingly, the officer and enlisted versions have completely different badging configurations. The officer versions features the expected silver piping and have a sewn-on, woven cockade set low on the front. The enlisted version mimics the badging of the (then) M-56/M-43 cap -- metal cockade set above a metal wing.
The officer version can be seen in some very early Bundeswehr videos. The videos are on a flightline setting so my opinion is that these caps were part of some flying order of dress -- possibly explaining why they aren't commonly seen.
I've seen no photos of the enlisted version in wear (yet) but am presuming that this was likely also a form of flying attire. I don't know when the first enlisted aircrew were trained.