British commandos wearing cap comforters in 1942
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|In service||19th Century–Present|
|Used by||United Kingdom|
|Wars||First World War|
Second World War
It is a cylinder of knitted wool, similar to a short scarf, that is typically fitted over the head and fashioned into a hat. It can be worn comfortably underneath a Brodie helmet, and is often sewn shut at one or both ends. The cap comforter bears no insignia, and can be easily stowed without being creased.
Cap comforters were introduced in the late 19th century as informal working headdress for British soldiers performing manual labour at camp, and as a comfortable undress cap on active service.
First World War
Cap comforters were worn during the First World War as a warm alternative to the service dress cap, as the fabric could be pulled low over the ears in the cold winter trenches. Their casual and non-rigid silhouette made them an ideal item for night time trench raids.
Second World War
The British commandos were an international force recruited from across various Allied units, many with distinctive hats. As a solution to this lack of uniformity, commando units adopted their own practical headgear. No. 1 Commando chose the green beret in imitation of the Royal Armoured Corps, whereas No. 2 and No. 9 adopted the Scottish tam o' shanter. Other units, including No. 4 Commando (and US Army Rangers attached during the Dieppe Raid), adopted the cap comforter as their headdress, because it had no prior affiliation with a nation or regiment.
The British Army has stopped issuing cap comforters, replacing them instead with warmers - similar items based on Wehrmacht toques. Warmers are not sewn at the ends, and so can be worn like balaclavas. However, cap comforters are still used by units with links to the original commandos; British Royal Marines and the Dutch Korps Commandotroepen wear the headgear until they pass a commando course, after which they are qualified to wear the prestigious green beret.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to cap comforter.|
- "Cap comforter, 1942 (c)". National Army Museum.
- "Americas First European Raiders". Foxhole Fashion. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- Konstam, Angus (17 Nov 2016). British Commando 1940–45. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 23.
- "Cap Comforter: British Army". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Cap Comforter". Hat Guide. p. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
- Leo van Westerhoven (27 January 2003). "Earning the Green Beret". Dutch Defence Press. Retrieved 10 August 2019.