In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, the German Hamburg Center for Tropical Research quickly developed tropical uniforms and equipment designs for use by the German Armed Forces in the Tropics. With the DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), arrival in Tripoli in February 1941, unites were partially outfitted in the new uniforms. At the same time the Luftwaffe also developed and introduced their own version of the tropical uniform, headgear and equipment independently from the other branches of service. Originally the tropical uniforms were only intended for wear in North Africa but this was later extended to the entire Mediterranean theater of operations including Greece, and the Balkans (from May 1ST to September 30TH).
The tropical overseas cap was based on the standard continental overseas cap but in a sand colored cotton material. Tropical overseas caps were sometimes piped in the same manner as the continental style overseas caps, with no piping for EM/NCO ranks, silver piping for officer’s ranks and gilt piping for general officer’s ranks.
The example offered here is made of lightweight, ribbed, tan cotton twill construction, featuring fold down side and back panels with gently sloping, downward scallops to the front and forward sides. The front center of the cap has a machine embroidered, second pattern, tropical Luftwaffe eagle in pale silvery/grey threads on a ribbed, tan cotton twill base. The cotton twill base has been folded into an inverted triangle and is hand stitched in place. The front-center of the cap has a machine embroidered, padded, national tri-color cockade on a cut-out tan cotton base. Both the eagle and the cockade are neatly hand stitched to the cap. The interior of the cap is fully lined in light weight darker cotton. The lining appears unmarked and the cap has been laundered over time, showing a few small burrs, sun fading, wear and use and is approximately a size 59. Condition II+
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