Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Condor Legion

Sure, I have posted about berets used by the Nazi's before, but up till now, I had no idea that the infamous Condor Legion used "Spanish style" boinas for their uniform.
 From Jill Halcomb Smith and Wilhelm P.B.R. Saris, Headgear of Hitler’s Germany, vol. 2, Waffen-SS, Legion Condor, Air, Veterans’ & Patriotic Struggle Organizations, Free Corps (San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing, 1992):
"From 1936 to 1939 the German Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) committed air and ground forces to assist the Spanish Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. This beret was worn by soldiers attached to the German Panzergruppe "Drohne," which was primarily a training group that mentored their Spanish allies in tank warfare. The beret is made from black wool in the Spanish style. It features a metal totenkopf (death's head) and swastika badges on the front."

I don't think the skull and crossbones, or the swastika for that matter, were needed to identify what the wearer was and intended...
And for the record: wasn't it Condor Legion Luftwaffe pilot Horst who killed Antoine de Saint-Exupéry...?
Photographs ©WHRC


  1. Didier from FranceMarch 6, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    Hello Daan,the german pilot pretending(in 2008???)killed Saint Exupery is Horst Rippert.You can find more informations on Google,but in France we think that this man is a lyer (menteur).I have no trace of him in the Condor legion luftwaffe,i think he was too young(born in 1920 or 1922 selon sources)The mystere of Saint Exupery death continue.....

  2. I'm not sure if you've already addressed the argument (in that case, excuse me) but talking about military berets it's probably worth noting the large, apparently traditional (txapela) style berets used by the Swiss Guards. When he lived in Rome I noticed a lot of times these guys in what I thought was their "fatigue" uniform (renaissance style, but plain and blue), with nice berets on their heads.
    No badge, quite large (not as the ones of the Chasseur Alpines, but larger than many other berets in military use) and "flight" to the right.

  3. Being curious, I typed "swiss guard" and "guardi svizzera" and looke with attention at the images...
    well, their beret lacks the "txortena", is folded in quite peculiar way, and seems realized in two parts (one upper and a "circle" on the base), though I'm not sure of this;
    anyway, the official site of the Vatican says, in italian, that their beret is, well... a beret ("basco" in italian), and so beret it is.
    The guards sport rank insignia (those who have a rank above enlisted, at least) on their berets, in the place that other armies reserve for the specialty or regiment badge.
    Ciao again!

  4. Two years ago, Aug. 27, 2009, I posted some pictures on the Pope's berets:
    Quite amazing uniforms indeed...