Why don't I want any more invitations to militaria related message boards? It's fairly simple. As I write this, I have 19 years of experience in collecting Third Reich militaria, specializing in Third Reich cloth headgear. Does that make me an expert? That's for others to decide. But I've bought, sold, and traded enough headgear over the years that I have learned some things. So when I go on a message board to identify a particular police branch for a hat I acquired, that's all I'm asking for. I didn't ask if the hat is legit, I already gave it a hands on inspection and have verified it. I simply wasn't familiar with the cap band/waffenfarbe combination. Posts about it's authenticity are pointless, since I already know what I have is good.

Also, if someone wants to question the authenticity of a piece, that's fine, but you should give a reason for your concern. Is there a problem with the construction, insignia, maker mark, etc.? Empty posts stating that "you have a repro" don't do much to convince me if there is no reason stated for the concern. I'm further puzzled when the same item has been examined in person by two people, (whom I won't name to protect their privacy) who each have 30+ years of collecting experience, who have said it's good, yet from a picture, with NO explanation given, the internet experts weigh in with a thumbs down.

I've dealt with the same mindset at local auctions I've attended, where some sage states that an item "is fake". But often, that same "expert" is hiding in a corner bidding on the suspect item. In person, I usually ignore these morons, and I realize that the same thing must be done online. It basically comes down to a jealousy factor. If they don't own the item, it simply can't be any good. I have a few genuine collectors whom I share my new finds with. The rest of them can go scratch.