The Bergmutze - The origin of the M43 and it's variants

 1915 Austrian WW1  Feltkappe with leather brim
 Civilian style bergmutze
Bermutze similar in style as M36

A lot of speculation exists in the idea of the origins of the M43 field hat. The style is said to have it's origin in the civilian bergmutze (mountain cap/hat) of the 1800's. The design with the ear and neck flap part that can be loosened with a button or two has practical applications for mountaineering. A warm hat is needed, and a brim to shade eyes from the blistering sun, and due to rapid weather changes in mountain areas, such as sudden storms and blizzards the "emergency" throat/ear flap feature can be deployed. The M43 has 2 practical loops under the flaps which enable rapid conversion into this weather protective design. Why Axis countries took to this Austrian mountain design can be discussed. I personally think it's more a question of style than the original practical applications. The general introduction of the M43 in the German Wehrmacht has probably to do with the Austrian origin of it's leader, but several other Axis countries used Bergmutze designs since WW1. Anyway this design is great  and it has the built in practical emergency mountaineering application as well.  If you know more please pass on the information and photos of early bergmutzen