Last Updated 03 OCT 2013 / 03.10.2013
* Books written, co-authored/Edited, or translated by Gary Wilkins, including the German Cloth Headgear Reference:



Front and Back Covers

by Gary Wilkins

With a Foreward by Bill Shea

Hardcover with dust jacket, large format; 416 pg., incl. Appendices and Index;
ISBN: 0-7643-1428-9
Publisher: Schiffer Publications Ltd., May 2002 (weight: approx. 6 lbs.).
Retail (List) price: $79.95

NOTE: This Webpage is hosted by the Author;

For the CURRENT STATUS of the new Addendum volume to "The Collector's Guide", please click HERE.

Click here to jump directly to book links (AFRIKAKORPS: Rommel's Tropical Army in Original Color; and BAYERLEIN: After Action Reports Reports of the Panzer Lehr Division Commander From D-Day to the Ruhr...) NEW!

Click to view my artwork

* Are you interested in starting or expanding a headgear collection, but are concerned about the proliferation of fakes, and altered caps passed off as original? Have you been waiting for a reference book that will help you improve your knowledge and skill at discerning between authentic headgear, and aged reproductions or modifications?

* Or, perhaps you are an advanced headgear collector with a large cap collection, many of which have intriguing maker marks that you have always wanted to know more about - but could never find a source for that kind of information?

Well, the wait is over! After years of research, the book that German cloth headgear collectors of all levels have wanted, is finally here! The Collector's Guide offers everything a cloth headgear collector needs or wants to know, in an easy-to-use, practical format.

Reader Comments:

"I thought it would probably be another "coffee table" book with nothing but pictures, but instead, it's just the kind of book I've been waiting for!"

"...this is not 'A' book on headgear, it is 'THE' book on the subject! It is just superb! Congratulations, and, as a collector, many thanks!"

"I have all the fine books out there about German headgear including Baer's fine book on helmets and Shutt's early 80s book, however, as attractive as the big picture books of recent years are, and I really enjoy them, it is super that a large void concerning materials used and bios on the hatmakers is being closed. I've often wondered about these makers and had little knowledge outside of what I read from the moisture shields and sweatbands."

[from a book dealer] "...I hope he was pleased with your book, as were so many others among my clientele. It is a credit to you that the finished product is as voluminous and thorough as it turned out to be. The second "half" of the book, as I refer to it, where you deal with the manufacturers and their histories, etcetera, is really impressive and breaks new ground, to be sure. Congratulations!"

" I received my copy of Gary's book Monday...I am thoroughly enjoying it and am fascinated with all the detail. Gary writes well and has produced the book I have been looking for. I look forward to seeing a companion book someday about the non-military Third Reich hats! Gary has done our collecting community a great service."

"I really, really love this book!"

From Germany, for German Readers:

"Für den fulminanten Umfang und die mit Akribie betriebene Bearbeitung der Thematik sowie für den fundiert dargelegten Inhalt spreche ich Ihnen meine Hochachtung aus. Die hervorragende Ausstattung des Buches mit qualitätvollem Bildmaterial und auch die ganze Gestaltung sind als vorbildlich zu bezeichnen. Bestechend sind die vielen Detailaufnahmen und die erläuternden Kommentare dazu. Ich beglückwünsche Sie und freue mich für Sie. Es ist Ihnen und dem Verlag gelungen ein wahres Kompendium zu erarbeiten und herauszugeben, dass der Fach- und Sammlerwelt von hohem Nutzen sein wird."
(NOTE: This comment was made by Dr. Klaus Peter Merta, Director of the Militaria Collection of the German Historical Museum in Berlin, himself author of several excellent books on the development of 18th Century Prussian / Brandenburg military uniforms, and a very great help in digging up many period articles on the German cap industry and period advertisements that appear in my book, and it is with great sadness that I report his unexpected passing. He is sorely missed.)

" 1) sorry that the German soccer team won this match .
2) received [the book]
3) Fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a nice weekend! Sorry not time any more for now, I have to read and view THE BOOK!

The "Collector's Guide" is conveniently organized into two main parts. The first provides a background of the German cap-making industry, and technical details about the caps themselves, while the second half provides information on many of the actual cap manufacturers and their products, including interior colors, patent and D.R.G.M. numbers, different forms of maker marks, and for many companies - detailed company histories as well. In this section, for the first time ever in print, the history and fate of the Robert Lubstein company - maker of the EREL-Sonderklasse caps - is also revealed. In fact, I met personally with the grandson of Robert Lubstein to present him with his requested copy of The Collector's Guide.... There is a definite satisfaction in knowing that the book has a place on the shelf of a Lubstein family member. A superb studio photograph of Robert Lubstein (kindly provided by his Grandson) will appear in an Addendum to The Collector's Guide due out sometime in the future.

  1. Brief History of German Cap-making
  2. Cap Construction, Weaves [Trikot wool]
  3. Materials and Equipment; The Mützenmachermeister [Kappenmachermeister] - The Master Cap Maker
  4. Wool Surface Finishes: Doeskin / Eskimo
Services covered
Cap Models Covered
Schirmmützen [visor caps] Heer (Army), Waffen-SS /Polizei



Continental/Panzer/Tropical models; Cap details, comparisons with Bundeswehr and East German headgear, modified originals.
die Feldmütze für Offiziere
(the Officer's old-style field cap)
Feldmützen [field caps] - Army M34 and M42, Waffen-SS
/Polizei (Schiffchen), Luftwaffe (Fliegermütze) and the Kriegsmarine (Bordmütze)
[standard field caps - M43] and the Bergmütze
also covered:

  • Chapter 14: Reproductions
  • Chapter 15: Industry Issues: Contract Caps [Lieferungsmützen] (Government Issue) vs. the "Extramütze" (Private Purchase cap); Non-regulation colors, Piping Thickness and other issues; quality questions
  • The Army Offizier Kleiderkasse system
  • Generic Lining Marks: "Meisterklasse", "Sonderklasse"; "Deutsche Wertarbeit"; "Erstklassig"
  • German tademark names and logos - the German penchant for anagrams and The composites like "BAMÜFA" and others.
The second half of the book provides individual company histories for nearly all of the major manufacturers, and many of the smaller makers, as well. For each company, the firm's products are identified; the armed services for which headgear made by that company has been identified; fabrics and interior colors commonly used by that manufacturer; when available, a photograph of the company's maker mark, and the company's history based on recoverable records. Some of the firms detailed in this part of the book:

- Heinrich Balcke
- Bayerische Mützenfabrik (Bamüfa)
- G.A Hoffmann
- Albert Kempf (Alkero)
- Peter Küpper (Peküro)
- Robert Lubstein (EREL)
- August Müller
- August Schellenberg
- Clemens Wagner
- Ludwig Vögele

...and many more. For a sample of how companies are covered in the book, click on the Robert Lubstein link above. For an interesting Lubstein trivia tidbit, click HERE.

To order your copy of "The Collector's Guide to Cloth Third Reich Military Headgear" through Schiffer Publishing, please use the following link:


You can also order through Bill Shea at: "The Ruptured Duck". After you link to the site, you can scroll down to BK-19 and then enter this number on the order page.

Another option is to order from Remy Spezzano's "RZM Imports" at: " RZM ".

Use this link to contact me directly: GW
- if your mail system is not MS OUTLOOK, you can put your cursor over the "GW" mail link above and right click on your mouse; from the file menu that appears, select "Properties" from the menu list; the mail address will show in the "properties" window that appears. You can hilight this address with your cursor (skip the "mailto:" part) and then copy the address and paste it into your favorite mail program.

* * * * *

Book No. 2

Schiffer Publishing has released AFRIKAKORPS, which presents nearly 200 color photographs taken in Africa during the war using the - at that time "revolutionary" - color slide film ("Dias" in German). Most of these pictures have never been seen or published before as they came from privately held sources! The book is offered in a bilingual format (English / German).

Written by Bernd Peitz (son of a living AK vet), I was honored to translate the text and write the descriptive notes and glossary for this impressive book. The jacket expose follows:

The soldiers fighting in the deserts of North Africa did not fight on a black & white canvas – the war was in color! This book, for the first time ever in print, presents a pictorial chronology of the campaign in Africa and the Deutschen Afrikakorps (DAK) – the German Afrikakorps – the way the soldiers themselves experienced it—the way they lived it: in color. It offers more than 150 photographs derived from what at that time, was revolutionary original color slide film. These pictures portray the leaders, men and equipment of the Afrikakorps from the arrival of its first units in Tripoli, Libya, its astounding advance across the Libyan Desert to Egypt and its eventual withdrawal back to Tunisia after the bitter, lost struggle with the British at El Alamein. Heavy artillery in position, antitank guns firing missions, cooks making dumplings; Panzers on the move, aircraft, weapons and equipment – glimpses into the everyday existence of the Afrikakorps soldier in the wastes of the Libyan Desert and the rugged terrain of Tunisia – all of these are here in the original quality color – with many detailed captions. This book offers an entirely new view of the war in Africa that will prove a useful reference for veterans, historians, military modelers, re-enactors and militaria collectors alike. As an added bonus, the final section includes color photos of the subsequent events in Sicily and Southern Italy. A brief glossary is also included. This is how the war in Africa was really fought: in color!

Hardcover, approx. 192 pgs., over 200 color and B&W photographs.
Author: Bernd Peitz with Gary Wilkins (Translator)
Available from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Follow this link to the book:


Images Courtesy of RZM Imports

* * * * *

NOTE: New Book Release!

After Action Reports of the Panzer Lehr Division Commander From D-Day to the Ruhr"

Schiffer Publishing has just released the newest book edited by P.A. Spayd (author of the definitive Bayerlein biography), and myself, which presents--in his own words (translated)--Bayerlein's written tactical assessments and observations on the conduct of many of the major combat actions which he and his command took part in during the period from D-Day, 6 June 1944 (while Commander of the Panzer Lehr Division) until he surrendered his Army Corps command (LIII Armeekorps) to the U.S. 9th Armored Division in April of 1945. [Note: Bayerlein was good friends with Feldmardschall Erwin Rommel, and served under Rommel in Africa for a time as Chief of Staff of the Afrkakorps prior to its surrender.] From the jacket flap:

"Generalleutnant Fritz Bayerlein, Commander of the Panzer Lehr Division, wrote twenty manuscripts while interred as a U.S. Army prisoner of war from April 1945 until his release from captivity two years later. The entire series of manuscripts, commonly referred to as “Foreign Military Studies”, was prepared post-war by hundreds of senior German officers at the direction of the U.S. Army’s Historical Division. Bayerlein cooperated whole-heartedly and honestly with the U.S. Army, telling his own version of events as they unfolded, starting with the creation of the famous Panzer Lehr Division. Bayerlein recounts his experiences through the horrors of D-Day, his retreat to the Rhine, the failed Ardennes Offensive, and on to his final days of fighting with his LIII Armeekorps in the Ruhr Pocket. All of General Bayerlein’s manuscripts are presented here, compiled into a chronological narrative of his experiences with his Panzer Lehr Division from the Allied Invasion of Normandy to his surrender of the LIII Armeekorps in the Ruhr pocket in the last days of World War II. Bayerlein also wrote several comparisons of his Panzers – Tigers and Panthers – with other armored vehicles, including Russian and American armor. This in-depth analysis, long hidden in boxes in the National Archives and Records Administration, is presented. This is the third book in a series on Bayerlein’s life and military career and contains 140 black and white photos, of which thirty are from his family’s private collection and have not been previously published, as well as thirty maps hand-drawn by Bayerlein while a prisoner of war."

Hardcover, approx. 272 pgs., w/more than 170 B&W photographs, and 30 maps.
Coeditors: P.A. Spayd (principal), and Gary Wilkins
ISBN: 0-7643-2342-3 Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Available NOW from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. Follow this link to the book:

BAYERLEIN After Action Reports

This Webpage is hosted by the Author

All material on this page © Gary Wilkins 2002-2010, unless specifically noted otherwise