Original German Pre-WWII Army Heer M35 Single Decal Steel Helmet with 1937 dated Liner - Size 64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German Pre-WWII M35 helmet, as issued for the German Heer (Army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet shows long use during the war, as it was originally the lighter green "Feldgrau" used during the pre-war period, before being repainted with a darker lightly textured mix with more blue and black. This is worn through in spots, so the original paint can still be seen, and gives it an excellent worn-in patina. Unfortunately the interior of the shell was painted too, which has made the shell markings very hard to read. The left side of the helmet features an original Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 80%, with wear and checking, and still has a lovely color.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped, however all we can make out is what looks to be 17. Over the left ear, we can see where the maker mark and size would be, but all we can make out is the number 4, which would be for shell size 64. 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.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, and retain part of of their original lightly textured paint. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of it's fingers intact. The liner does show significant use, with leather worn around the edge, and a dark color. The leather is still soft, but delicate, and the original top tie strap is present, but worn as well. The correct early aluminum liner band is marked 66 a.A. / 56, indicating that it originally was a size 56cm liner for a 66cm shell. However the liner band was cut long ago, so that it would fit a smaller shell. That is also not one of the standard liner sizes, so most likely it was modified to fit. The other side of the liner band has a clear manufacturer's mark and date:
SCHUBERTH - WERK
Attached to the liner is a correct Pre/Early WWII chin strap, with aluminum hardware. It is unfortunately in delicate condition, and part of it has already broken off. It definitely shows extensive wear.
This was a helmet that saw long use during the war. Who knows how many battlefields it saw? The patina and age on this helmet are something that makes it unique, unlike any other helmet out there.
Overall a very nice M35 Single Decal Heer Army helmet, complete with liner and intact chinstrap. This is an item that will only continue to appreciate in value over time.
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.
More than 1 million M1935 helmets were manufactured in the first two years after its introduction, and millions more were produced until 1940 when the basic design and production methods were changed to reduce production time. This mainly included having the vent hole being stamped directly into the shell, as opposed to being riveted on later.
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