Men at arms

Feathered hat of generals

The two emperors Karl and Fanz Joseph can be seen on some cap badges in interesting hats with ancient feather decoration. If we visit Vienna, in the places preserving the memory of Franz Joseph, we can often see portraits, especially paintings, in which the ruler can be seen in a military uniform, with this feathered hat. He is most often depicted in white-red uniforms. Another frequently seen memory is a photo of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, as he gets into his car in front of the fatal road to Sarajevo. He also wears a uniform with feathered hat.

This uniform is a general’s uniform. It comes with a feathered hat, the “Stulphut”. Browsing through the images of earlier ages, I found representations that show generals in a similar headgear in 1848 as well. True, in the pictures of that time the feather decoration is somewhat smaller, it does not cover the whole hat like a leaf tent. So it’s a very old item of wear that I think has survived in a somewhat anachronistic way until the 20th century. In the opening picture, Emperor Charles no longer wears the complete parade uniform, only the feathered hat. I have to add to this that I found this single picture of Charles in this special headgear, and it is only depicted in the cap badge shown here in the same.

I also managed to learn about the general hat that it was applied equally to different uniforms of different weapons and to the staff. So the infantry general’s uniform, which was different from the cavalry general or the staff, got this special green feathered hat in the same way. These variations are well illustrated in the images attached to the post. It can also be seen that some hats had a gray/black feather decoration instead of a green one. I don’t know the reason for the discrepancy.

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