Note about article: there was a version of this article uploaded on 23/12/21, however, it was deemed to have too many mistakes, and as such was updated on 24/12/21
By Joshua Boyle
In this article we will outline the types of headwear commonly seen within photographs of the Romanian Army in WW2.
The Md.1934 Capella was the most widely issued piece of military headwear. Coming in 1934, the Md.1934 is a garrison cap style piece featuring the iconic two-points and ear flaps. It is based largely on the French mod1918 calot cap. It was a departure from the classic visored capella like that worn in WW1. The Md.1934 was instigated alongside a wave of other modernising reforms to the military. It received further update along with the Md.1939 Uniform (Images Two & Three), and again in 1941, when it was finally dropped for the Md.1941 Boneta. There was additionally an Officers’ version, featuring rank on the front. The Md.1934 and its variants were still sent for frontline use throughout the war, however it ceased production in 1941.
Md.1924 Sapca Officer Cap
The Md.1924 uniform differed from the enlisted Md.1941 uniform in a number of ways. Firstly, Officers’ wore a much higher quality wool uniform with a necktie and Sam Browne style crossbelt. As part of the uniform, they wore a Sapca, which was ubiquitous across Europe at the time. Each branch would feature a coloured band round the centre to denote the wearers service, with Higher Officers (Major to Colonel) featuring one row of gold oak leaves, whilst General Ranks featured two rows of gold oak leaves. The Sapca was only used primarily for parade and barracks duty, as Officers’ were issued the Md.1934 Capela for field use, as seen in Image One, with both the Sapca & Boneta side by side.
The Md.1941 Boneta was almost identical to the previous Md.1934, except with the addition of a visor. It was very similar to the First World War style capella, except in green as opposed to the grey of the First World War capella. It is possibly the most iconic piece of headwear of the Romanian Army.
Berets were issued to Vânători de Munte troops as well as Tank Troops. Again, the beret was inspired by the French berets, but also partially by the German Panzertruppen. The Vânători de Munte varied by having a beret in the same wool as the uniform, with a tree type insignia. Tank Troops would either have a plain black beret or a plain black beret with a grey-backed tank insignia.
The caciula is by far the most common winter piece seen. It is a style of traditional hat worn throughout Romania by the peasant and agricultural class during winter. The style and height vary region to region, however they generally follow the form of a conical/cylindrical piece of sheepskin. These were issued by the Army, despite being manufactured by local artisans rather than factory produced. Initially, issued caciula were grey, but often ones brought from a soldier’s home, or donated by civilians, hence the wide variety of colours; these ranged from white, cream, grey, black and brown. In 1942, there was a caciula that began issue which more closely resembled the Soviet-style Ushanka.
The Gluga is a traditional piece of headwear hailing from the Caucuses, and is worn in Iran, Turkey and by some Cossacks in Ukraine. It is wool or felt hood style bonnet, with lappets tied around the neck or head to secure. It saw very limited use within Romania, although some documented images of troops wearing them in winter as windbreaks are seen. The images below are the only three images that I have been able to find thus far of the gluga in use. One is from WW1, and the other two are from Stalingrad.