This is a very nice World War II German Kriegsmarine white “Donald Duck” hat with “Kruzer Emden tally that is in very good condition. It is constructed of white cotton duck material. The insignia at the front is two separate pieces with the eagle having a straight pin assembly and the national cockade with two ears that are bent over to hold it in place. Around the headband is a black rayon cap talley with the Gothic inscription, “KRUZER EMDEN” in gold cellulon threads. It is held in place by two sewn side loops and secured to the cap by diagonal stitching at the back. The talley is with long, extended, “tails” having diagonally cut ends that create the swallow tail. The interior is unlined and has a brown leather sweatband firmly sewn in place. The white cotton duck material has some light sweat stains at part of the top and at one side. These are not too distracting but are evidence of actual use at sea. Overall, the hat is a very presentable example that displays nicely.
Emden was a light cruiser built by the Reichsmarine in the early 1920s. She was the only ship of her class and was the first large warship built in Germany after the end of World War I. She was built at the Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven; her keel was laid in December 1921 and her completed hull was launched in January 1925. Emden was commissioned into the German fleet in October 1925. Her design was heavily informed by the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles and the dictates of the Allied disarmament commission. She was armed with a main battery of surplus 15 cm (5.9 in) guns left over from World War I, mounted in single gun turrets, as mandated by the Allied powers. She had a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph).
At the outbreak of war, she laid minefields off the German coast and was damaged by a British bomber that crashed into her. She participated in the invasion of Norway in April 1940, and then resumed training duties in the Baltic Sea. These lasted with minor interruptions until September 1944, when she was deployed to Norway to serve as the flagship of the minelaying forces there. In January 1945, she carried the disinterred remains of Paul von Hindenburg from East Prussia to Pillau, to prevent his remains from falling into the hands of the advancing Soviet Army. While undergoing repairs in Kiel, Emden was badly damaged by British bombers and later run aground outside the harbor and was blown up. The wreck was ultimately broken up in 1949.