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Original German WWII Early Single Decal M-38 Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger Paratrooper Helmet with Complete 59cm Liner and Chinstraps - ET71

Regular price $11,995.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a phenomenal untouched example of an early "Single Decal" WWII German M-38 Fallschirmjäger Helmet, complete with its liner and chinstraps! We almost always see these missing some components, but this example is complete, and comes in a very nice large 59cm size! Helmets like this do not come about very often, and it has been quite some time since we have had an M38 paratrooper of this quality. This is an early model M-38 with 2nd Pattern Liner and chinstrap fitted to the shell by the means of four vented spanner bolts. We do not see any evidence the liner or chinstraps have ever been removed or modified in any way. It displays a lovely service used patina, which makes it a true combat-worn FJ helmet, likely brought home by an American GI after the end of the war.

The exterior shell retains the majority of its original Feldgrau (field gray) combat finish, about 80% overall with the most paint loss being at the top, where the helmet would have sat for several years. It has a great lightly used look to it that is impossible to duplicate. The eagle decal is in great shape with age concurrent to the rest of the helmet. This is 100% the real deal!

The side of the skirt is stamped ET 71, with the back being stamped with the lot number 1531. All paratrooper helmets were produced by Eisenhüttenwerk AG of Thale, located in the Harz district in Saxony, Germany. They had used the abbreviation "ET" until about 1942, after which they moved to the three letter code "ckl". This example is a shell size 71 and was produced very early in the war, likely from 1938-1940. The helmet shells were produced in two sizes, 68 and 71, and this is the larger size 71cm shell with a liner that is sized 59cm.

The liner in the helmet is complete, and has the correct early war aluminum liner band with foam rubber spacers between the band and the leather of the liner. The rubber is intact, though now has become somewhat stiff with age. The leather liner is complete with NO tears, and now has a dark russet brown color due to age and use. However, we can still make out the original markings! On the rear side of the liner are the correct size markings, inside a box:

Kopfweite: Gr. 59
Stahlhelm: Nr. 71

Towards the front of the helmet the supplier information is stamped, which is a bit faded and hard to read, but comparison with another liner shows that it definitely reads as follows:

Karl Heisler

The original chinstrap is in very good shape, and still supple. From what we can see it is complete, with all components present, working snaps, and a functional buckle. One of the rear straps does appear weak in one spot, as to be expected on a helmet that was actually used in service. Given that many of these helmets are completely missing their internal rigging, this is a real treat!

Being that this helmet was made between 1938-1940 means that this helmet could have quite possibly been present for some of the early engagements that the Fallschirmjägers were famous for; such as the successful raid on the fortress of Eben-Emael, or the Invasion of Crete. Being this early of a helmet indicates that this helmet was almost certainly issued in double decal configuration, which later had the National Colors removed, either before or during the wartime refinish. Needless to say, this helmet was used for several years, and could have changed hands, being reissued to one Fallschirmjäger or another, a few times.

A great service used example with a fantastic patina! We are unlikely to have another paratrooper helmet of this quality anytime soon! Ready to add to your collection and display!

Fallschirmjägerhelm M38

Fallschirmjägerhelm M38 ( M38 Heisler / M38 ) - was a German steel paratrooper helmet intended for Fallschirmjäger airborne units from World War II. Originally, the German airborne troops used the standard Stahlhelm M35 helmets throughout the German Army . It soon turned out, however, that this helmet was not suitable for parachuting, as it caused significant air resistance during the jump. A too loosely fastened helmet could have been torn from the jumper's head, and if it was tightly fastened it could cause suffocation.

Therefore, from 1936, work was carried out at the Eisenhüttenwerke factory to create a helmet dedicated specifically to the airborne troops. Their effect was a parachute helmet designed by engineer Karl Heisler, which under the designation M38 was adopted by the army.

The M38 helmet was derived from the standard M35 helmet. However, it was smaller, more streamlined and with a significantly reduced hood. The front part of the hood was only marked, and the rear part was shortened to 1.8 cm. (in experimental versions - 2 cm). The rims of the bell were rolled up. The helmet bell was made in a series of operations from one piece of steel sheet 1.5 mm thick. It was produced in sizes marked as 66, 68 and 71.

The internal equipment of the experimental versions of the helmet was identical to that of the standard M35 helmet. In the version adopted for equipment, a new type of fascia was used, which better protected against possible injuries. For this purpose, the bell walls were additionally lined with a shock-absorbing micro-rubber insert cut into 7 "arms" with a thickness of 10 to 13 mm. The actual fit was in the form of a leather cap with round holes cut for ventilation. Both the micro-rubber insert and the leather cap were attached to an aluminum rim with a thickness of 1 mm. All interior fittings were bolted with four screws to the helmet bell.

A new type of lining was also used in the parachute helmet. The standard two-point suspension was replaced with a four-point "Y" -shaped suspension, which ensured better fit of the helmet on the head. In the model adopted as an accessory, the straps of the lining were widened to 20 mm and latches were introduced to protect the helmet against accidental unfastening.

The helmet's bell was initially painted gray-blue. A national-colored shield on the right side and a Luftwaffe eagle decal on the left side were put on. Later during the war, the bell was painted gray-green or sand colored. Various covers and masking nets were also used. In winter conditions, the helmet bell was painted white.

Polish tankers from the 2nd Corps of the Polish Armed Forces in the West would use captured M38 helmets. The reason for this was their small size and the fact that they fit very tightly to the head. However, they were strictly forbidden to use them, as it happened that their own infantry mistook the tankers leaving their vehicles as Germans and opened fire on them.

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