All of the Hitler Youth headwear styles were caps rather than hats. The Hitler Youth has had different styles of caps. There were was a military cap with a bill and a forage-style cap. The military cap with a bill appears to have been worn in the early ydars. The forage style cap was brown with red piping. There may have been other colors. It was worn with the Hitler Youth pin emblem at the front. Note the cap here (figure 1). For some reason it is a somewhat different color that the shirt, but we believe that both are brown. There was also a black ski-style cap worn with the Winter uniform. We have noted some other caps, but am unsure to what extent they were official uniform items.
Several different types of headwear were worn by Hitler Youth boys. The initial cap was a peaked cap. After the NAZIs seized power, the HJ went to less expensive headwear, a simple campaign cap like the one adopted for the Wehrmacht. They also adopted a winter ski cap called a Schirmmütze.
The Hitler Youth has had different styles of caps. There were was a military cap with a bill and a forage-style cap. The military cap with a bill appears to have been worn in the early years. Uniform items in the early years were not as standardized as they became later. This is the first standard headwear style we first notice the boys wearing, We are not sure when it was first adopted. We see boys wearing before the NAZIs seized power (1933). We also note it being worn in 1934. We believe the HJ changed to the capaign style cap in 1935, but we do not yet have full details. I'm not sure why the HJ discontinued the peaked cap. We suspect cost my have been a factor. It had more of a military look, but I don't think that would have bothered the HJ leadership. The cap was brown to match the shirt. We have seen black or dark blue caps. (It is difficult to tell the difference in black and white photographs.) These may have been for the Marine Division, but we are not sure. The HJ was a fairly small organization until a year or two after the NAZIs seized power. Then the HJ became a mass organization. As a result, only a small portion of HJ photographs show the boys wearing this type of cap.
This cap style has many different names. I am not sure how it was called in Germany. It is a military style, In America it is referred to as a garrison cap, forage cap, flight cap or overseas cap. It is essentially the same as the Scottish Glengarry. It is a soft, foldable cap with straight sides and a creased or cut in crown that spreads out when put on the head. The same style was worn by the German Wehrmacht and the U.S. Army during World War II. We have noted different colored HJ campaign caps. Some seem to black or very dark. There were also khaki caps, perhaps with red or other colored piping. There may have been several colors. I'm not sure if there was any significance to the cap colors. The campaign cap was often worn with the Hitler Youth pin emblem at the front. I'm not sure when the cap was introduced, we think about 1935 or 36.
The Hitler Youth also had a black ski-style cap worn with the Winter uniform. This appears to have been adopted at the samne time as the Winter uniform. We are not entirely sure when it was adopted, but believe it was about 1935. These caps were called a Schirmmütze. We don't notice many German boys wearing these caps before they were adopted by the HJ. They of course were not only worn for skiing, but were the standard uniform cap worn with the jacket during the winter. This was the one practical cap as it helped the boy stay warm in cold weather. Perhaps for this reason, the Schirmmütze continued to be worn after the War--of course without the HJ pin. We notice them being worn even after the demise of the NAZIs. We note Germany boys wearing them throughout the 1940s and 50s and even into the early 60s.
We have noted some other caps, but am unsure to what extent they were official uniform items. These may have been worn with the specialized units or there may be non-official uniform items. The HJ uniforms were purchased in the stores as individual items.
The various headwear types were part of the official Hitler Youth uniform. We note, however, that most snap shots show the boys not wearing their caps. Many individual portraits or photographs of the boys in parades and other formal activities do show the boys wearing their caps. But more informal snapshots of the boys in various activities more often thsan not show them without the caps. We are not sure if this was because headwear was declining in popularity and even in the HJ boys did not want to be bothered by caps. The caps were not very practical which may have been part of the reason. We do note that in cold weather we doi see the boys wearing their ski cap Schirmmütze. Often we do not note a mix of boys with and without caps which probably meansthat the boys wore their caps when ordered to do so by the unit leader.
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