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Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

Article about: by HPL2008 I may be wrong there, but I think that the term "Knautschmütze" - although now widely used and recognized by German militaria dealers and -collectors - has come into bei

  1. #1

    Default Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Hi

    Finally, it came today, the last piece to enable me to post this time-line of caps.

    The basic idea is to show an example of each cap as they developed through the years to give an idea of how they changed.

    These caps differ from the service cap in respect of their basic softer design to allow ease of use in the field environment. This included leather peaks, some had no peaks but the idea was always about functionality and practicality.

    I am only covering peaked Nco's caps for the Imperial section rather than enlisted man's. There is already an excellent thread on Kratzen in the imperial forum which i would recommend.

    So here we go........

    The Imperial field cap for officers and nco's came with a leather peak and was not allowed for wear other than in the "field". They were private purchase items and the main difference was the cap band. Velvet for officers and cotton material for Nco's.
    the cap did not have the stiffened springs at rear and sides of the cap as found in service caps.

    This example if for an artillery/pioneer NCO's

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next example is the same branch of service, again for an Nco but in "grey" circa 1907 onwards. The other interesting point on this cap is the red cap band has a black band sown over the red one, a common practice on Imperial caps.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In 1908/9 a peaked cap was also introduced for use by other ranks who served certain functions. This included soldiers of the train and medical services.
    This example is for medical personnel and also sports the grey leather peak and chin strap authorised from 1915 / 1916 onwards.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next change came with the universal field cap circa 1917 and the end of coloured piping. These examples were also supposed to come with a field grey peak and chin strap (either leather) or more likely at this point in the war ,ersatz materials such as in this example, card board.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The reichswehr adopted a new type of cap based on the 1917 field cap but with a cloth peak. This was used by both officers and enlsited men. The piping remained field grey as did the cap band.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In 1928/29 they also experimented with a field cap for enlisted men but this was not adopted as the time. This example is tatty but original and dated 1929.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But it did bear a similar resemblance to the side cap that was eventually accepted for other ranks from 1934 onwards. This example has no soutache attached to show branch of service.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1934 also saw the introduction of the officers field cap with leather peak to help distinguish them from the herd. A post 1936 for a signals officer is shown.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1938 and the officers side cap is introduced and this remained till 1943. An infantry officers is shown below. The soutache was ordered removed from these cap in 1942.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1943 the visored universal field cap is introduced with a cloth peak. This is the one that also remained in use for the services of post war germany.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for looking cheers

    tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Quote by spandau View Post
    Next example is the same branch of service, again for an Nco but in "grey" circa 1907 onwards. The other interesting point on this cap is the red cap band has a black band sown over the red one, a common practice on Imperial caps.
    Very interesting, thanks for that!

    Thought I'd post this and I'm sure Daniel won't mind me stealing his photos.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	260797  

  4. #3

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Quote by spandau View Post
    Hi

    Finally, it came today, the last piece to enable me to post this time-line of caps.

    The basic idea is to show an example of each cap as they developed through the years to give an idea of how they changed.

    These caps differ from the service cap in respect of their basic softer design to allow ease of use in the field environment. This included leather peaks, some had no peaks but the idea was always about functionality and practicality.

    I am only covering peaked Nco's caps for the Imperial section rather than enlisted man's. There is already an excellent thread on Kratzen in the imperial forum which i would recommend.

    So here we go........

    The Imperial field cap for officers and nco's came with a leather peak and was not allowed for wear other than in the "field". They were private purchase items and the main difference was the cap band. Velvet for officers and cotton material for Nco's.
    the cap did not have the stiffened springs at rear and sides of the cap as found in service caps.

    This example if for an artillery/pioneer NCO's

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 87.jpg 
Views:	499 
Size:	102.8 KB 
ID:	260710


    Next example is the same branch of service, again for an Nco but in "grey" circa 1907 onwards. The other interesting point on this cap is the red cap band has a black band sown over the red one, a common practice on Imperial caps.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0747.jpg 
Views:	630 
Size:	200.0 KB 
ID:	260726

    In 1908/9 a peaked cap was also introduced for use by other ranks who served certain functions. This included soldiers of the train and medical services.
    This example is for medical personnel and also sports the grey leather peak and chin strap authorised from 1915 / 1916 onwards.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 86.jpg 
Views:	456 
Size:	117.3 KB 
ID:	260708

    Next change came with the universal field cap circa 1917 and the end of coloured piping. These examples were also supposed to come with a field grey peak and chin strap (either leather) or more likely at this point in the war ,ersatz materials such as in this example, card board.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 82.jpg 
Views:	510 
Size:	181.8 KB 
ID:	260709

    The reichswehr adopted a new type of cap based on the 1917 field cap but with a cloth peak. This was used by both officers and enlsited men. The piping remained field grey as did the cap band.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0746.jpg 
Views:	553 
Size:	252.7 KB 
ID:	260763

    In 1928/29 they also experimented with a field cap for enlisted men but this was not adopted as the time. This example is tatty but original and dated 1929.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0744.jpg 
Views:	198 
Size:	168.8 KB 
ID:	260766

    But it did bear a similar resemblance to the side cap that was eventually accepted for other ranks from 1934 onwards. This example has no soutache attached to show branch of service.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 68.jpg 
Views:	205 
Size:	115.5 KB 
ID:	260761

    1934 also saw the introduction of the officers field cap with leather peak to help distinguish them from the herd. A post 1936 for a signals officer is shown.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 35.jpg 
Views:	370 
Size:	253.7 KB 
ID:	260765

    1938 and the officers side cap is introduced and this remained till 1943. An infantry officers is shown below. The soutache was ordered removed from these cap in 1942.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 48.jpg 
Views:	348 
Size:	244.7 KB 
ID:	260760

    1943 the visored universal field cap is introduced with a cloth peak. This is the one that also remained in use for the services of post war germany.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cap 47.jpg 
Views:	206 
Size:	127.5 KB 
ID:	260762

    Thanks for looking cheers

    tony
    Thanks for the nice photo essay with knowledge vital for all concerned. In fact, the pre 1918 aspects of this head gear are generally lost by the field cap enthusiasts, who even call this cap a "Knautschmuetze," which is an exceptionally ugly term.
    Very nice items of which you can be proud.
    damit, basta.

  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Quote by Friedrich-Berthold View Post
    who even call this cap a "Knautschmuetze," which is an exceptionally ugly term.
    Why is that FB?

  6. #5

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    (Crumple) dont bother me if that is what you mean FB?

    Eric
    [h=3]e plu·ri·bus u·num[/h]

  7. #6

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    I forgot to add one thing !!!

    School boy error, the m1910 officers field cap in a the new grey. This the cap that brought back the chinstrap. Example is for a vetinerary officer with leather peak,

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	261035Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	261036Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	261038Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	261041Very nice examples and very useful thread. If you can find the word "Knautschmuetze" in the sources attached below, I will eat my hat.
    damit, basta.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Notice with care the text in the RZM circular on the production of the NSDAP PO cap ca. 1934.

    The cap in post # 6 more or less was the model what followed and has become zerknautscht in collector argot.
    damit, basta.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    Reichswehr uniforms are much under appreciated, very rare, and very interesting objects that should attract a greater collector following.
    The books from the Bavarian army museum published by Militaria Verlag in Vienna are excellent on all this material.
    damit, basta.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Evolution of the army field cap......1871 to 1945.

    I may be wrong there, but I think that the term "Knautschmütze" - although now widely used and recognized by German militaria dealers and -collectors - has come into being in the post-war years as an approximate translation of the English-language term "crusher cap".

    (As Friedrich-Berthold already pointed out, it was definitely not an official designation in the Third Reich period.)

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