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Original German Pre-WWII Army Heer Child's Stahlhelm Style Steel Helmet - Kinderhelm

Regular price $595.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German Pre-WWII Heer Army Kinderhelm (Child's Helmet), made during the 1930s as a toy for young children. Based on the German Army "Transitional" style reissued WWI M18 Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet), these were made from relatively thin steel with simulated vent holes. As originally issued they were painted with an pre / early war Apfelgrün (apple green) paint job, and had the "Double Decals" of a NSDAP Party shield on the right and the Heer Eagle on the left. They were fitted with a simple cloth liner and leather chin strap, which was mostly for display. It measures about 58cm around the exterior, so it probably fits around a size 56-57.

This example, like many we have seen, has the decals almost completely removed, either done on purpose or due to wear. This helmet looks to have seen a lot of use, based on the amount of denting on the exterior. There is also wear to the paint, and a hole drilled in the center of the crown. We have heard that spikes were sometimes installed on the tops of these, but we have not been able to confirm this. As with many "toy" items in NSDAP ruled Germany, these were intended to help instill a sense of national unity under the party.

A very interesting piece of Pre-WWII German Militaria, ready to 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 1934 tests began on an improved Stahlhelm, whose design was a development of World War I models. The Eisenhüttenwerke company of Thale carried out prototype design and testing, with Dr. Friedrich Schwerd once again taking a hand.

The new helmet was pressed from sheets of molybdenum steel in several stages. The size of the flared visor and skirt was reduced, and the large projecting lugs for the obsolete armor shield were eliminated. The ventilator holes were retained, but were set in smaller hollow rivets mounted to the helmet's shell. The edges of the shell were rolled over, creating a smooth edge along the helmet. Finally, a completely new leather suspension, or liner, was incorporated that greatly improved the helmet's safety, adjustability, and comfort for each wearer. These improvements made the new M1935 helmet lighter, more compact, and more comfortable to wear than the previous designs.

The Army's Supreme Command officially accepted the new helmet on June 25, 1935 and it was intended to replace all other helmets in service.

The M1935 design was slightly modified in 1940 to simplify its construction, the manufacturing process now incorporating more automated stamping methods. The principal change was to stamp the ventilator hole mounts directly onto the shell, rather than utilizing separate fittings. In other respects, the M1940 helmet was identical to the M1935. The Germans still referred to the M1940 as the M1935, while the M1940 designation were given by collectors.

The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July 1942 at the request of the Army High Command. The rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production, and this was the model produced until late in the war, when most factories were captured or stood idle due to material shortages.

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