Original WWII German Army Military Police M-41 Tropical Cap
- Period Correct, ID'd, Two Nice Original Insignia's -
THIS IS A VERY NICE TROPICAL CAP - In great period used condition
The Feldgendarmerie units were generally given occupation duties in territories directly under the control of the Wehrmacht. Their duties policing the areas behind the front lines ranged from straightforward traffic control and population control to suppression and execution of partisans and the apprehension of enemy stragglers.
When combat units moved forward out of a region, the Feldgendarmerie role would formally end as control was then transferred to occupation authorities under the control of the Nazi Party and SS. But Feldgendarmerie units are known to have assisted the SS in committing war crimes in occupied areas. Author Antony Beevor explores some well-documented cases of their participation in his book Stalingrad. Also, Felgendarmerie units took active part in Jews hunting operations, including in Western Europe.
But by 1943 as the tide of war changed for Nazi Germany, the Feldgendarmerie were given the task to maintain discipline in the Wehrmacht. Many ordinary soldiers deemed to be deserters were summarily executed by Feldgendarmerie units. This earned them the pejorative Kettenhunde (English: chained dogs) after the gorget they wore with their uniforms. The arbitrary and brutal policing of soldiers gave them the other nickname Heldenklauer (English: hero-snatcher) because they screened refugees and hospital transports for potential deserters with orders to kill suspected malingers. Rear-echelon personnel would also be checked for passes that permitted them to be away from the front.
The Feldgendarmerie also administered the Stafbattalion (English: Penal Battalion) which were Wehrmacht punishment units created for soldiers convicted by court martial and sentenced to a deferred execution. During the final days of the war, as the Third Reich crumbled, recruits or soldiers who committed even the slightest infraction were sent to Strafbatallionen.