Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Discussions on all aspects of WW1, WW2 and Inter-War Era reenactment.
User avatar
admiral007
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Oct 2008 05:29
Location: Wichita, KS

Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by admiral007 » 18 Sep 2009 08:58

Hello everyone,

I just recently bought an NCO Infantry Crusher Cap. I've been wanting one of these for a long time and am excited to finally have one. I got this one from All Era Militaria. I like it, and from what I've researched and seen, I think it looks good.
P1050225.JPG
When I received it, it had a wire in the inside to keep the shape of the hat. Was it common to have this wire in the hat?

I've taken the wire out, and tried to work the hat in (by hand). I've also tried using a wide rubber band around the hat for a few days to make it have that "sagging" look around the edge, but have so far been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on how to get this done? Is this type of visor supposed to look like that, or does it look okay, as is?

Thanks!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Dr Rare
Member
Posts: 58
Joined: 22 Aug 2008 05:32

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Dr Rare » 18 Sep 2009 10:26

admiral007 wrote: I've taken the wire out, and tried to work the hat in (by hand). I've also tried using a wide rubber band around the hat for a few days to make it have that "sagging" look around the edge, but have so far been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on how to get this done?
I am no expert and i would not want you to ruin your hat and i am sure there are plenty of experts here that will give you better info & advice,but with New Berets we used to make them wet and then shape them still damp on our heads.

I think the sagging look you are after is caused by natural wear and tear and wearing of the hat in wet conditions,i think the more often you wear it the more it will shape to your own head,maybe you should just wear it as often as possible,you might get a few weird looks from the neighbours though;)
But the thing is you are trying to accelerate a natural process its a bit like buying new jeans and trying to make them look old ,sometimes you mess them up ,really they only look cool when you actually have worn them for a couple of years.If you do reenactment type things then perhaps the joy is when you have worn your stuff so much that it actually looks like you have been on campaign.

Dr

User avatar
Drew Maynard
Member
Posts: 2618
Joined: 07 Dec 2002 02:10
Location: Vinland, Canada

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Drew Maynard » 18 Sep 2009 12:37

there are a few threads here on this:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0&t=100598
Member of Kampfgruppe Haase, reenacting WW2 History for over 30 years: http://www.soldaten.ca

User avatar
Fern
Member
Posts: 333
Joined: 21 Jul 2007 13:46
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Fern » 18 Sep 2009 14:52

A nice cap, but unfortunately there were no "NCO crusher caps" in the Heer. It was an officer cap (Offizier Feldmütze alter Art) which was not worn by NCO's. OTOH officials were allowed to wear it no matter they had officer rank or NCO one (officials with NCO rank had a wreath made in cotton rather than aluminum thread). From Oct. 30th, 1935 the insignia was of the machine woven version only.

In short, a Heer NCO should not wear a crusher cap.
Last edited by Fern on 18 Sep 2009 17:55, edited 1 time in total.

dog green 1
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 03 May 2008 22:26

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by dog green 1 » 18 Sep 2009 15:02

To give it that aged and combat vetran look first take out the wire band. Next un-pick the stitching inside the hat in the same place the metal band sat. Remove as much of the stuffing as you can or you feel you need to. This instantly gives the cap a softer look. Stitch the liner back and soak the cap in hot water. Take it out and either sit with a towel round your shoulders and shape it while watching your favorite WWII film or tie a belt tightly around it while it is wet (around the middle squashing it together) Thats what a lot of people here in the UK do but it can be a bit daunting ripping your lovely new hat to bits.

User avatar
admiral007
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Oct 2008 05:29
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by admiral007 » 18 Sep 2009 21:53

Drew Maynard wrote:there are a few threads here on this:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0&t=100598
Thanks, Drew! This thread is very helpful.

But now that Fern and a few others have mentioned that Heer EM/NCOs didn't have crushers :( , I might just leave mine as is for now for a walk-about uniform. I could have sworn I'd seen pictures of Heer NCOs with crushers (in the field), but I guess that was just SS.

Thanks everyone!

cpittman
Member
Posts: 639
Joined: 15 Aug 2002 05:49
Location: New England

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by cpittman » 21 Sep 2009 19:34

This cap is wrong for a walking out uniform as well, this was only for officers in the Heer, period. The insignia is wrong as well in any case as woven insignia were used on this item, as mentioned previously.

User avatar
Schnert
Member
Posts: 1060
Joined: 26 May 2004 18:39
Location: The Mid-State

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Schnert » 22 Sep 2009 01:48

The "crusher" is actually a Feldmutze (field cap); and, as mentioned above, it was only authorized for commissioned officers.

These types of Feldmutzen featured BeVo woven cockades and Heer eagles. However, it is not uncommon to find originals that have been modified by having a stamped metal cockade affixed to center of the BeVo wreath.

I suspect that you are confusing the Schirmmutze with the Feldmutze. The Schirmmutze, complete with Vulkanfiber visor and chin cords, was frequently worn without the stiffening spring in the crown in order to effect a "crushed" look. Schirmmutzen were authorized for NCOs and EMs when wearing walking their out uniforms.

If you want to break it in and give it the classic crushed look, just wear it in the shower, wring it out, pull the crown back over your head and place it on head-like object to dry. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

User avatar
admiral007
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Oct 2008 05:29
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by admiral007 » 08 Oct 2009 18:20

Schnert wrote:I suspect that you are confusing the Schirmmutze with the Feldmutze. The Schirmmutze, complete with Vulkanfiber visor and chin cords, was frequently worn without the stiffening spring in the crown in order to effect a "crushed" look. Schirmmutzen were authorized for NCOs and EMs when wearing walking their out uniforms.
so schnert - from what you can see, is my cap usable for a walking out uniform? it has no chinstrap or cords, and no connection point for them either. i was under the impression that these caps were the EM/NCO versions, but it's looking like i've been proven wrong. if i got bevo insignia and a cockade, would it be more correct? or did i just get an officer's hat, plain and simple?

from the little research i've done, there's a lot of conflicting answers, and most are directed towards SS. it seems the that as a whole, SS NCOs kind of took the schirmmmutze and wore it regularly without "proper" authorization, but no one cared to enforce that regulation. i know that the heer was more strict, and that this didn't happen.

well, maybe i'm getting terms confused. you said that the feldmutze is also a visor cap? i thought feldmutzen were overseas caps (M34 and M40) and the billed M43 caps. so the term feldmutze also covers all visor caps as well?

anyways, i can't find any heer regs about the wearing of the visor caps for EM/NCOs. does anyone have a link or info on that?

thanks for all the info and help.

cpittman
Member
Posts: 639
Joined: 15 Aug 2002 05:49
Location: New England

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by cpittman » 08 Oct 2009 18:57

This is a hat for a Heer officer that has the wrong insignia. It is in fact a Feldmuetze, intended for field wear by officers. This was replaced in 1938 with the new style officer field cap which was like the enlisted M34 cap with the addition of silver cord piping. Prior to 1938, an officer in the Heer would have had a standard Schirmmuetze with a rigid visor and silver chin cords, and a Feldmuetze like the one you bought. If you got the correct insignia for it it would be better but still only suitable for an officer impression. If you replaced the flexible leather visor with a rigid Vulkanfiber one, replaced the bullion insignia with the pronged metal type, and added a black leather chinstrap and black painted buttons, you could use it for an EM/NCO impression. This, of course, would be more trouble than it is worth.

Before the war and probably for some time into the first part of the war, all German soldiers of any rank were issued a Schirmmuetze. The issue type in the Wehrmacht-era Heer generally had an exterior of standard uniform cloth and had a rust-colored interior with a rigid visor and black metal chinstrap, and metal insignia. Soldiers with some money could purchase an officer-quality private purchase cap which could have been made from a variety of fine fabrics but still would have featured a rigid visor and black leather chinstrap. As no reproduction of the issue type visor exists, I wear a private purchase type for my impression. I bought mine from Hessen Antique and am very pleased with the quality, it compares very well to my original officer visor caps.

User avatar
admiral007
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Oct 2008 05:29
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by admiral007 » 08 Oct 2009 20:16

ok, so i think i've got it now. correct me if i'm wrong (again):

-the visor cap i have itself is an officer-only issued, field cap.
-the insignia on it should be on an officer's walking out cap.
-a walking out visor cap has the vulkanfiber (the shinny, hard plastic?) with a leather chin strap for EM/NCOs and cords or a chinstrap for officers.

when you say metal insignia, do you mean an all metal eagle? wasn't that just SS?

also, when you say wrong insignia, is that flat-out wrong for everything, or just for this type of visor cap?
________________________________________
Erik
Reenactor
916.Grenadier-Division / 352.Infanterie-Division
WWII History Center Reenacting Corps
www.wwiihistorycenter.org/reenactingcorps/main.html

User avatar
Schnert
Member
Posts: 1060
Joined: 26 May 2004 18:39
Location: The Mid-State

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Schnert » 09 Oct 2009 14:00

I just happened upon THE BEST manner of breaking in a crusher cap.

Simply leave for the day and leave the crusher on your kitchen counter.

I did that, and when I returned home I discovered that my two boxers spent the day aging and crushing my visor. It now has that old musty smell along with a natural crushed shape, battered visor and a super authentic rip in the crown.

No, seriously... it looks good! :D

I'll have to apply some "Faker's Secret" (i.e. Rub-A-Buff) to the insignia and it will be perfect!

User avatar
admiral007
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 28 Oct 2008 05:29
Location: Wichita, KS

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by admiral007 » 09 Oct 2009 14:06

holy crap! and you say it looks good? you've got to be kidding. could you post a pic?
________________________________________
Erik
Reenactor
916.Grenadier-Division / 352.Infanterie-Division
WWII History Center Reenacting Corps
www.wwiihistorycenter.org/reenactingcorps/main.html

cpittman
Member
Posts: 639
Joined: 15 Aug 2002 05:49
Location: New England

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by cpittman » 12 Oct 2009 01:48

admiral007 wrote:ok, so i think i've got it now. correct me if i'm wrong (again):

-the visor cap i have itself is an officer-only issued, field cap.
-the insignia on it should be on an officer's walking out cap.
-a walking out visor cap has the vulkanfiber (the shinny, hard plastic?) with a leather chin strap for EM/NCOs and cords or a chinstrap for officers.

when you say metal insignia, do you mean an all metal eagle? wasn't that just SS?

also, when you say wrong insignia, is that flat-out wrong for everything, or just for this type of visor cap?
This is correct. Vulkanfiber is the shiny hard plastic type material. All-metal eagles were used by all branches. Here is a picture of an issue visor cap for a Heer EM/NCO. The insignia is original and original to the cap. Bullion insignia was for officer caps.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Hessler64
Member
Posts: 457
Joined: 19 Jan 2005 04:20
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A

Re: Breaking in a Crusher Cap?

Post by Hessler64 » 12 Oct 2009 17:28

Here is pics of my orginal. I really haven't read this post, but thought I would share pics for refrence.


Hessler

Return to “Reenactment”