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Matrosemuetze/sailor white interior cap insignia

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I have a white work muetze from the late 1930s--probably 1938-1939 for an engineroom rating on a cruiser. It has the cockade, but no evidence that an eagle was ever attached. The white cover itself is very worn and dirty so it clearly was worn by this sailor for his work duties and was not a walking out rig.

My question is if all such caps were required to have the separate eagle or not. I am not sure about this as most late 1930s white caps had the eagle, but did the sailors always wear a cap with an eagle for their working cap?

The rest of the cap is very worn as is the tally, so my question does not concern authenticity, just if the eagle was always worn on the working cap. Since the cap has a post 1933 cruiser tally, also in very worn condition, I am sure it was not RM, but KM, however, I guess the sailor could have had a pre-KM white working cap cover in 1939.


Edited by John Robinson
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The very low front to the cover here is much more reminiscent of Reichsmarine than Kriegsmarine caps.

However , what you have to bear in mind is that there were four patterns of sailor's cap which ended up bearing the eagle/swas.

The first three were earlier caps which saw some transitional use when the Reichsmarine morphed into the Kriegsmarine, these being the M21, the M24 and the M26. The final type was the M31 which saw srvice throughout the war. All of these caps being designed before the Third Reich era, NONE was originally designed to take an eagle/swas emblem.

The height of the front of the cover ( measuring the front seam from band to edge of crown) on the M31 was 6cm, the earlier styles were around 4cm.

The cap insignia we normally associate with the sailors cap - one piece eagle with cockade attached, was introduced in 1935. It was also available as two piece, with the same dimension wingspan.

However, there was an earlier, much smaller 1st pattern eagle which is rather rare and was introduced in 1934. This was tiny enough that it would have fitted on one of the early caps. You can see from the attached photo, which shows top to bottom, visor cap eagle, M35 sailors cap eagle and M34 sailors cap eagle, just how small these were.

So, it looks like this cap is probably an M26 which started life without an eagle and for whatever reason, never had one added. After 1934 all caps should have had an eagle added, but if this guy was an engineer serving below decks, he may well have just used an old M26 cap, without eagle, as a working cap.

It isn't however an Arbeitsm?tze if it has a blue base. The Arbeitsm?tze ( introduced as a version of the M21) was worn with no insignia and no cap band and was all white.

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Most informative Gordon. There is no end to what you can learn in relation to the complexities of the German Navy uniforms. Something as simple as the front seam measurement turns out to be not simple at all. In any case, thanks for the timeline of the caps and emblems.

In this case, the seam is 5cm exactly.

I do not think this is a Arbeitsm?tze since it appears, without tugging on the top, that it is attached to the black base ring of of the cap over which is the m?tzenband. In other words, it does not appear to be interchangeable with the blue top.

I have never seen an Arbeitsm?tze so if an image of such a cap is available, it would be interesting to see.


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