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Trenchfoot

Post war? M43 cap with Austrian ww1 insignia?? What the heck is this??

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Hello again! I have a hat that has stumped me! It is a m43 cap, post war (i think cause it has a grey sweatband) and has a ww1 Austrian F.J I pin that someone put on the cap.

 

Is there any Austrian unit that may have used this cap, or did someone just put the pin on?

 

Also on the right side of the cap, it looks like there was a patch there. Has there been any occurrences of ww2 German m43 caps being stripped of insignia and "refurbished" and then issued to other armies?

 

I would love some insight on this hat. It's driving me nuts!

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The cockade, if original can be dated between 1914-December 1916, as it has the monogram FJI - for Kaiser Franz Joseph, who was succeeded by Kaiser Karl after December 1916. These cockades were not worn after November 1918, when the monarchy was abolished. The cockades were originally brass, but as from 1915 they were of blank zinc, and later fieldgrey coated.

In the years since WW1 - countless film and theater productions have been made in a WW1 period setting, and I have seen many of these in German tv. They often use the M.43 type cap with an Austrian cockade attached, which is quite wrong. The Austrian WW1 Kappe (sometimes humoristicly Kapperl) had a much higher front, and a very short, turned-down peak made of grey-lacquered leather or vulcan fibre. Also the cap buttons were entirely different. After 1916 caps were produced with a cloth peak. Some peakless caps were also worn by certain units, especially cavalry.

This is the explanation of this cap.

One classical piece in WW1 setting is the story of the good soldier "Schweijk", played by actor Heinz Rühmann in 1960. Insignia on M.43 caps should normally be stitched on and not pinned. Hoiwever, insignia certainly does not belong to this cap. You may be lucky to own also an original WW1 Austrian cockade. Maybe you should restore this as a German M.43, which is what it was made as.

The cap itself looks like a regular M.43, check to see if there is a stamp in the lining. There is no postwar fieldgrey. The West German army did not have fieldgrey, and the East German army did also not have this type of cap, and not this type of cloth. The old original fieldgrey as in WW2 was no more after WW2.

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There isn't stamp in the lining. It pretty much has no identifying features at all. Does that mean it's a repro?

 

Also what stumps me is how the sweatband in this cap is grey. Usually, post war m43's had that color band. Perhaps the enlisted man or officer put the grey sweatband in it themselves because it looks like it isn't original to the hat due to overlapping stitching.

 

The cap has been sun bleached, but it is minor. So it was worn somewhere.

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Cap is not necessarily a repro as no stamp. I have seen caps with a leather sweatband, also light grey, but in the forehead position, normally not all round. Overlapping stitching could be a later repair. The outward appearance of the cap looks correct in the picture´nap of cloth looks well worn. However, it would be advisable to get an opinion from an experienced collector.

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I live near a ww2 museum and got help on a previous helmet by asking them. I will ask them about the cap.

Thanks for all your help!

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Hi Trenchfoot,

 

sorry to say the cap is 1960's West German Zivilschutz or Civil Defence, they still used the field grey colour and had the exact same type of sweat band, in the 1980's these caps and matching tunics were often passed off as WW2.

 

Here is a picture of the matching tunic being worn in the 1960's.

Klteschutzanzug2_zps741362f6.jpg

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Never seen a uniform like this, although I have been here since 1974. I can remember the old Bundeswehr uniforms, but they were of khaki coloured cloth and styled like a shirt with no hip pockets - tunic in photo has many features of WW2 uniforms. I recognise the armbadge as THW - Technisches Hilfswerk - you still have this, and white helmets like this I have seen on the fleamarktets, assuming they were red cross, (style of Luftschutz gladiator).

Apart from this, I have seen skicaps in a rough, almost anthracite grey (never fieldgrey) - these matched the tunics of the Red Cross - Deutsches Rotes Kreuz - these have also now disappeared - they still had the same collar patches as in WW2. In the old days, I only barely heard of Katastrophenschutz (-equiv. of civil defence), ir was not something everybody mentioned. After 1989 I know more about the DDR Zivilverteidigung, than about the West civil defence! Since the cold war period, much has been abandoned and forgotten, especially the near-episode of September 1983, when we were all closer to war than we realised. Thirty years later this has been revealed.

The belt in the photo is about the only traditional feature left, and is today worn by the police and bundesgrenzschutz. Just a matter of time before that disappears as well, as a "relic of nazi tilmes" - Relikt der Nazizeit - you can*t really get more politically correct than in Merkel-Deutschland.

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Even if it is civil defense, why in the world would someone put a ww1 badge on it? That's why I'm so confused, plus the fact that when I removed the ww1 pin, there were remnants of white yarn under it, which may mean there was a patch on it a while ago

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Hi Paul,

 

you are correct the tunic in the picture is Technisches Hilfswerk both organizations wore similar uniforms, here is a picture of an actual Zivilschutz tunic.

 

Trenchfoot, possibly used in a movie or the like or maybe just added to decieve,the white yarn is probably the remnants of the ZS or THW badge.

78322-6312-1-W.jpg

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During the Reich period - a tunic like this would always have full details, including the turnback cuffs - which are missing in later postwar jackets. Also the buttons of the postwar period are different - these have a slight golden tone. The cap, as I mentioned, has probably been used in a film or theater production as an Austrian WW1 cap. I've seen this often enough on film and tv productions in the last decades.

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Its cool that it might have been in a movie, but disappointing it may not be post war or ww2.

Thanks so much for your help!

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A lot of things land in a movie setting or costume fundus of a theater etc.

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On 28/07/2016 at 12:07, Trenchfoot said:

Even if it is civil defense, why in the world would someone put a ww1 badge on it? 

The answer is that a WWI Austrian field cap is worth at lot of money these days.

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correct.

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