Original German WWII Heer Tan & Green Camouflage M40 Helmet with 59cm Liner - Marked Q66
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is what we all look for and can never find! An incredible 100% authentic Heer Army Field Repaint Camouflage Model 1940 German Helmet! While iconic, the Feldgrau (field Gray) used by the German Army (Heer) during WWII was not always the best for concealment. Once the Allies started invading Europe, more effective camouflage was needed, as Germany was now on the defensive, and rapidly losing ground.
This helmet has a liner dated 1940, so it definitely could have been used in any number of theaters. From what we can see, the Tan was applied First, and then the green sprayed on. The question is whether it was originally a DAK camouflage used in Africa, later adjusted for use in the Italian Campaign, or was originally made up for Italy. The large amount of tan was not common to use in Europe, so we assume it was in Africa, Italy, or both. A more detailed examination would make a great research project.
This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains much of its original Camouflage paint, but shows expected wear and use. It has many areas where the paint has chipped off, and the original "feldgrau" paint can be seen underneath. Field repainted helmets were not stripped before the camouflage was added, and sometimes the oversprayed paint did not adhere well. The inside of the helmet still has the original paint as well, though it has light surface rusting in places.
The interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped, 7731 and the interior, left side, apron has a very faintly stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q66 indicating that indicating it was manufactured by Quist in Esslingen, Germany in size 66. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size 66 shells are much harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three liner retaining pins are intact and retain the camouflage paint to a varying degree. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact. The liner is a bit dry and worn in some areas but is in overall good solid condition and not stiff. The original top tie is present but has broken. The mid war galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left side with 66 n.A. / 59, indicating a size 59cm liner for a 66cm shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, which is lightly stamped, as well as a date:
SCHUBERTH WERK K.-G.
D. R. P.
The chin strap is fully intact, with the expected wear from age and use. It does not have any major cracks or other issues, and still has a faint maker marking on one end: G SINGE / KL TTA. It has the correct mid war steel buckles, so it is most likely original to the helmet. The chin strap and liner are absolutely correct for this type of helmet, and in lovely battle worn condition.
Overall a stunning Tan & Green Camouflage M40 Helmet offered in fantastic condition! Ready to research and display!
The first "modern" steel helmets were introduced by the French army in early 1915 and were shortly followed by the British army later that year. With plans on the drawing board, experimental helmets in the field, ("Gaede" helmet), and some captured French and British helmets the German army began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November, and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production began at Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, (Iron and Foundry Works), in the spring of 1916.
These first modern M16 helmets evolved into the M18 helmets by the end of WWI. The M16 and M18 helmets remained in usage through-out the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era and on into the early years of the Third Reich until the development of the smaller, lighter M35 style helmet in June 1935.
In an effort to reduced construction time and labor costs minor modifications were introduced in March 1940 resulting in the M40 helmet. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet.
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