Original German WWII Lacquered Camouflage M40 Helmet with 57cm Liner & Chinstrap - Marked NS64
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 1942 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.
The liner on this helmet is dated 1940, so it definitely was issued in time for the defense of Normandy during the D-Day Invasion. This camouflage is very similar to the "Normandy Pattern", except that it was not done at arsenal apparently, and only is brown and green, without the usual tan. It also looks to have been done with glossy lacquer paint, which unfortunately did not hold up well over the years.
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 top layer of paint did not adhere well. The inside of the helmet still has the original paint, which is the correct Field Gray.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is lot number stamped D129 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size NS64, indicating that it was manufactured by Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, of Schwerte, Germany. Size 64 is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
The front two liner retaining pins are intact and retain the camouflage paint to a varying degree. The rear pin is unfortunately missing. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact. The liner definitely has some tears and splitting, as shown. The original top tie is present but broken. The late war galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left side with 64 n.A. / 57, indicating a size 57cm liner for a 64cm shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date, though it is faintly stamped:
SCHUBERTH - WERK K.-G.
The chin strap is fully intact, and may be an arsenal replacement. It is marked on one end with R. LARSEN / BERLIN / 1939, and it is in good shape, with the expected wear from age and use. It has aluminum fittings, as opposed to galvanized or painted steel, but that is consistent with the 1939 date.
Overall a stunning Brown & Green Lacquer Camouflage M40 Helmet offered in very nice 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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