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Two Afrika Korps field caps


Fritz

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Two Afrika Korps (DAK) or Südfront field caps. Both are manufactured by Clemens Wagner in Braunschweig and dated 1942, they are both small sizes in keeping with the period. Both show very slight signs of wear esp. inside and also years of storage, some greying to inside of zinc side-gromets. The first example, a peakless side cap, is of the olive brown coloured light cotton drill material associated with the Africa Corps. The liner is deep red, as with almost all tropical headdress. The cockade is machine stitched, the eagle hand-stitched, there is evidence of a Soutache Winkel above and around the cockade, which has left an impression on the surrounding cloth and two tiny holes where the ends were sewn in.

The second cap is the peaked variety, both emblems are machine stitches. This is of the lighter sand coloured drill cloth and shows minimal sun bleaching. This example had no Soutache Winkel and has again the typical red liner. It also leaves the impression of many years of storage in a depot, otherwise remarkably fresh condition. The latter obtained at an auction in Southern Germany almost twenty years ago. The first item of headdress came from a well known Hamburg dealer, who is still in the trade today.

With the display is an all webbing belt as worn by the DAK, the buckle is a standard army buckle with leather tab and missing most of paintwork to front. The DAK had a different green finish and the tab would have been web. With the display is a breadbad similar to DAK, but with leather fittings.

Headdress of this type were worn also in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Greece, Italy and Southern France, but also in Russia during the hot Summers there. I was told by former veteran Rolf Bohn, who served in Russia many years ago, that items such as shorts, the long tropical laced boots, sun helmets, etc. were worn in Southern Russia and Ukraine during the Summertime. This was told to me by infantryman Obergefreiter Rolf Bohn from Hamburg-Altona, who spent most of his war years in Russia and was then captured in Normandy in Summer of 1944. He had been a sharpshooter or Scharfschütze and had been issued with a Kar 98 with Zielfernrohr (telescopic sight), which was also noted in his Soldbuch. After the war he worked for the Ford Motor Co. in Cleveland/Ohio until his retirement. He and his wife spent their last years in Florida. His only daughter lives in Hamburg. A short vita and decorations he aparently only had 2, can be seen under www.ww2awards.com or similar.

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