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What a fine-looking cap! In 1963, I served in the U.S. Army in Berlin & recall West Berlin police caps as appearing more "plain" than the one shown. No insignia appeared on the upper-front of this style cap. Of course memory grows dim over a half century. However, not long ago I saw a film of President Kennedy delivering his memorable "Ich bin ein Berliner" address. Standing behind him was a high-ranking West Berlin police official wearing this style cap with no insignia on the upper front.

West Berlin policemen patrolling along the infamous Wall often wore M-43 style forage caps & were armed with U.S. M-1 .30 caliber carbines.

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Long Thrust VI

Since Berlin was not considered part of West Germany, early West Berlin Polizei visor caps did not have cockade in the state colours of West Berlin. I do not know for certain when the cockade was added but probably sometime in the 1960s. Here is a picture from my photo archives showing the visor cap without the cockade and only the Berlin polizei star.

Regards,

Gordon

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Thank you.

Here again a picture of my little exhibition in my office room.

Regards

Red

Red,

Nice display. Especially the cased Berlin medals. Here is the version of the visor cap you posted with the metal insignia. The same maker as your cap.

Regards,

Gordon

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What a fine-looking cap! In 1963, I served in the U.S. Army in Berlin & recall West Berlin police caps as appearing more "plain" than the one shown. No insignia appeared on the upper-front of this style cap. Of course memory grows dim over a half century. However, not long ago I saw a film of President Kennedy delivering his memorable "Ich bin ein Berliner" address. Standing behind him was a high-ranking West Berlin police official wearing this style cap with no insignia on the upper front.

West Berlin policemen patrolling along the infamous Wall often wore M-43 style forage caps & were armed with U.S. M-1 .30 caliber carbines.

There were two different model of the M43 style cap worn by the West German police. A summer and a winter version. Here pictures of both types.

Regards,

Gordon

First, a picture of the summer version in wear. I don't seem to have a picture my summer cap on file. I'll have to correct that soon.

Followed by pictures of the winter version of this cap from my collection.

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Red Eagle & Gordon,

Thank you for your replies & for sharing your photographs. Both your collections must be outstanding! A Berliner friend, retired from the West Berlin Police Department, has sent pictures of that agency over the years. I'll attempt to post a couple here (Please understand I'm new to this site).

One photo is of a West Berlin Police Department para-military unit referred to as BEPO, on parade in about 1960. The unit commander was reportedly reprimanded for parading with fixed bayonets. The other photo shows President Kennedy reviewing a West Berlin PD unit on 26 June 1963. Policemen are wearing traditional shako headgear which have apparently been discontinued.

Regards,

John

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Long Thrust VI,

Interesting photos. Thanks for posting them. BEPO stands for Bereitschaftpolizei which is usually translated to English as Barracks Police. This organization was used in riot control etc. and were more heavily armed than the regular Berlin police force. The BEPO appear to be carrying French rifles which was one of the firearms they were issued with in the early post war years. The wearing of the schako was was discontinued sometime in the 60s. In Red Eagles post he shows two schakos for the Berlin BEPO. The badges on the Schakos are slightly different. The earlier schako badge had an older style crown dating back to pre-war years. The later badge had a more modern crown.

The flag in the picture with Kennedy in it is very interesting to me.

Regards,

Gordon

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Well, if you like, I can show some more details from my Tschako.

The crown is the form from 1954 - today and is called "Blätterkrone". The crown wich used before was called "Mauerkrone".

Edited by Red Eagle
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Red Eagle,

Thanks for posting pictures of your schakos and the different badges. I've posted mine on the Police sub forum but not here. Your web page, which I refer to often, is a great resource. Thanks for taking the time to build it.

Regards,

Gordon

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Alex K,

Interesting comment on the cap cords. I do not own a Berlin polizei visor cap with the embroidered insignia for comparison although I would certainly like to add one to my collection! These are high quality caps so perhaps they do have thicker cap cords or it might be just the way they look in the foto. Hard for me to say. Here is another high quality cap by Alkero from the Berlin Feuerwehr for cap cord comparison.

Regards,

Gordon

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Here are 1980s-era photos of BEPO training at U.S. Army's Parks Range in West Berlin. Notice the variety of weapons: rifles, pistols, light machine guns, light mortar, sub-machine guns, light armored vehicle (the M-60 Main Battle Tank belonged to Co. F, 40th Armor, U.S. Berlin Brigade). Steel helmets appear to be M-53 variants (without side vents). Footgear appears to be pull-on boots but not the heavy model worn by Bundeswehr troops. Notice on the far right of the first photo are men wearing white jackets & helmets with red stripes. Parks Range was situated next to the Soviet Zone of East Germany -- East German border guards were only yards away from some firing lanes.http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2013/post-16322-0-18753400-1381849204.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2013/post-16322-0-85254800-1381849337.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2013/post-16322-0-87827000-1381849391.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2013/post-16322-0-32722500-1381849423.jpg

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Alex K,

Interesting comment on the cap cords. I do not own a Berlin polizei visor cap with the embroidered insignia for comparison although I would certainly like to add one to my collection! These are high quality caps so perhaps they do have thicker cap cords or it might be just the way they look in the foto. Hard for me to say. Here is another high quality cap by Alkero from the Berlin Feuerwehr for cap cord comparison.

Regards,

Gordon

Hi Gordon, I had several hats by the same maker in my collection once. Maybe it's just me but fat capcords epitomises the style of dress both before and during the time. They seem to send out a subliminal message! (Or I'm just being strange now??)

Alex K

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Here are 1980s-era photos of BEPO training at U.S. Army's Parks Range in West Berlin. Notice the variety of weapons: rifles, pistols, light machine guns, light mortar, sub-machine guns, light armored vehicle (the M-60 Main Battle Tank belonged to Co. F, 40th Armor, U.S. Berlin Brigade). Steel helmets appear to be M-53 variants (without side vents). Footgear appears to be pull-on boots but not the heavy model worn by Bundeswehr troops. Notice on the far right of the first photo are men wearing white jackets & helmets with red stripes. Parks Range was situated next to the Soviet Zone of East Germany -- East German border guards were only yards away from some firing lanes.attachicon.gifW Berlin PD - formation.JPGattachicon.gifW Berlin PD - mortar.JPGattachicon.gifW Berlin PD - training.JPGattachicon.gifW Berlin PD tng.jpg

Long Thrust VI,

First, I must correct my bad manors and welcome you to the forum. With only three posts you have really contributed with these last pictures.

I would like to ask you your source for the pictures. I would also like to discuss the 80s date on these photos. There are a number of things that make me think they could be from an earlier period. The helmets for one. You mention that they appear to be M53 variants without air holes. These helmets were made for a short period without the air holes but they soon reverted to having air holes because without them they were too hot. That was in the early 60s if memory serves me right. Also, if the colour of the foto is not too far off they are wearing brown and blue helmets. The brown ones were worn before the blue helmets were issued in Berlin. I have been unable to find out much info about even a rough time frame when the brown helmets were worn. This photo would appear to date from the period where they were transitioning from the brown helmets to the blue helmets. Interesting to note that the MG42 crew is armed with the MP-L and either the PO-8 or the P1.

The colour of the BEPO Field uniforms is also of great interest to me. I have an un-issued field uniform from the Berlin Freiwillige Polizei Reserve which is Khaki coloured. The NCO in the picture could be wearing a uniform the same colour as the one I have but the guys in the ranks appear to have brown uniforms of varying shades. Is it ok with you if I post the picture of the uniformed guys in ranks on another forum? We have been trying to identify mag pouches which look much the same as the ones in this picture and posting this photo might help us a lot.

Regards,

Gordon

PS - I should have mentioned that the guys in white coveralls and helmets with a red stripe around the helmet would be feuerwehr.

Edited by Gordon Craig
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Thank you, Gordon. Hopefully, my posts have not rudely hijacked this forum on West Berlin Police headgear. My "dating system" for these photos is dubious, at best; based primarily, on the Battle Dress Uniforms of U.S. Army personnel in the final photo & my assumption that they were all taken during the same time frame, perhaps, even the same day. Please feel free to share these photos with others. I'll get more definitive time-frame information from my source, a retired West Berlin Police official & get back to you. My understanding is that the M-53 helmet was designed, by BGS, as an improved M-35/40 with a top-suspension liner, not requiring exterior rivets & that the "vent-less" model came later as an experiment. Unfortunately, my written sources are packed away now as my wife & I are moving. In any case, I just found this website & am in awe of the knowledge of you participants -- it's a true learning experience for me to be here (& I haven't even begun exploring the whole site)!

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Long Thrust VI,

Thanks for your additional comments. I am glad that you found the web site and are posting to this sub forum. I started posting to it again recently because it has been inactive for a few months and will probably be removed if there is no recent activity. As you can see, I used to moderate the HUPR forum which no longer exists because of lack of posts to it. Now I moderate the Eastern European forum. You didn't "hijack" this thread but I guess we should stay more on topic and perhaps start another thread on Berlin polizei uniforms.

Regards,

Gordon

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Greetings, Gordon. My retired West Berlin Police friend reports the photos I posted were taken at different times. One showing BEPO firing a light mortar is from the early 1960s. At that time, BEPO (Bereitschaftspolizei) & another police paramilitary organization, Einsatzkommando or "E-Kommando," existed. In 1974, both units were replaced by Einsatzbereitschaft or EB. My friend served in BEPO briefly in 1965 & returned to police service in 1974. Other photos show EB training at Parks Range in 1970s & 80s. In late 1967, West Berlin Police replaced Allied WW II weapons with Bundeswehr 7.62mm NATO arms (MRA3 light machine guns & G3 rifles). Following reunification, Berlin Police Department released its stocks of strictly military weaponry, keeping only pistols, submachine guns, & special sniper rifles. Hopefully, this information is helpful.

My regards,

John a/k/a Long Thrust VI

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Greetings, Gordon. My retired West Berlin Police friend reports the photos I posted were taken at different times. One showing BEPO firing a light mortar is from the early 1960s. At that time, BEPO (Bereitschaftspolizei) & another police paramilitary organization, Einsatzkommando or "E-Kommando," existed. In 1974, both units were replaced by Einsatzbereitschaft or EB. My friend served in BEPO briefly in 1965 & returned to police service in 1974. Other photos show EB training at Parks Range in 1970s & 80s. In late 1967, West Berlin Police replaced Allied WW II weapons with Bundeswehr 7.62mm NATO arms (MRA3 light machine guns & G3 rifles). Following reunification, Berlin Police Department released its stocks of strictly military weaponry, keeping only pistols, submachine guns, & special sniper rifles. Hopefully, this information is helpful.

My regards,

John a/k/a Long Thrust VI

John,

Thanks for the info from your friend. What you have said above matches my knowledge of this time frame. The one picture that clearly shows the MP-L and the P6 in use is fairly easy to date. You can just see the end of the barrel of what appears to be a G3 on one side of the picture. The other one, with the MG and the MG crew carrying the MP-L is more difficult to pin down time wise. I suspect that is earlier than the one I talked about above. There is lots to research in these photos.

Regards,

Gordon

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