A Wehrmacht Fur Cap for Cossacks
Exterior sidewall of the cap in curls of black fleece, the top in Army green wool with two gray wool bands sewn in place, one running from front to back, the other running side to side, the two bands forming a cross. There is a well-detailed silvered aluminum eagle insignia on the front and a silvered open-ended aluminum wreath surrounding a tri-colour cockade immediately below, the centre of the cockade in red felt. The inside is lined in a heavily stitched black nylon, the threading emanating in a series of rays away from the centre of the dome, the sidewall threading in a series of vertical rows, additional warmth added with the use of padding on the underside of the liner, measuring 170 mm in diameter x 120 mm in height. Extremely fine Footnote: Cossacks were among the vast numbers of Soviet Soldiers who deserted to the Axis during 1941-1942. In August 1942, a whole Soviet Cossack Regiment complete with officers deserted to the Germans and put themselves at their service. This unit, commanded by Major Kononow, became known as Kosacken Abtielung 102, but they were re-designated Ostlegion Kosacken Abteilung 600, finally becoming the 5th Don Cossack Regiment. As well as a few big units, smaller Cossack formations were semi-officially organized by local Axis units, both behind the lines for anti-partisan work or in the front lines for mobile scouting. The Italians were also keen to make use of Cossacks on the Eastern Front. In September 1942, they recruited a Sotnya of Cossacks to serve with the Italian 8th Army. They eventual were attached to the ‘Novaria’ Cavalry Regiment. Both Italian and German Cossacks retained much of their Soviet dress and equipment, usually with the addition of Italian or German tunics and bits of more traditional Cossack wear, such as long coats and tall fleece hats. German Cossacks, like the other Ostlegions, were issued arm patches of various designs depending on the Cossack Host. They also used the Ostlegion rank patches rather than German forms. Arm Shield Patches were on a black background; the shield was diagonally quartered into four triangles. The upper and lower triangles sharing one colour, while the left and right triangles shared another, with a cyrillic letter positioned on the black background above the shield. The designations as follows: Don Cossack: BA over red upper/lower, blue left/right; Siberian Cossack: nCB over yellow upper/lower, blue left/right; Kuban Cossack: KB over red upper/lower, black left/right; and Terek Cossack: TB over blue upper/lower, black left/right. Headdress also depended on the CossackHost, the Don and Siberian Cossacks wore the tall traditional Tsarist papasha fleece cap, Don Cossacks in black with a red top, Siberian Cossacks in white with a yellow top. The Kuban and Terek Cossacks wore the shorter Soviet kubanka as worn by the Soviet Cossacks. Both were in black with the white cross on top, blue top for the Kuban and red top for the Terek Cossacks.