Original German Pre-WWII Early Pattern M34 Square Dip Fire Police Helmet with Leather Neck Shield - Feuerwehr
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible example of an M34 "Square Dip" Third Reich helmet, outfitted for German WWII Fire Department (Feuerwehr) issue. During WWII the official name of this group was the Feuerschutzpolizei (Fire Protection Police), and they were handled as part of the police. This helmet has the standard steel shell, with an aluminum comb on top, and is in excellent condition. However, it also has the rear leather neck protector, which is have only had a few times before!
The exterior of this German helmet retains virtually all of the original black paint, with just a bit of scuffing and wear. The helmet features early pattern genuine double decals of of a Swas (hook cross) on the right, and a tilted national colors decal on the left. These are both retained at about 95%, and have yellowed a bit due to deterioration of the lacquer used when applying the decals. The top mounted aluminum comb is in excellent condition, with no major dents or damage.
There is also a clear (Lion logo) / D.R.P. / Thale stamp next to a letter K at the rear of the helmet. This indicates production by the Eisenhüttenwerke, Thale factory, which also developed the M-35 lineage of helmets.
The leather liner on the interior is in very good condition, and is marked with size 55 on one of the fingers over D.R.G.M.. The top securing string is still installed, and it has all 5 leather tabs to attach to the neck shield, though some of them will fall out as the neck shield eyelets have stretched. The black leather chinstrap is unfortunately mostly missing.
Overall a great opportunity to pick up a very good condition Pre-WWII Early Pattern Civic Police Fire helmet, complete with the neck shield. Ready to display!
More on the Fire Protection Police:
On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies within Germany including the Feuerschutzpolizei, (Fire Protection Police). As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted on June 25TH 1936 to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. The Police were divided into eight assorted branches of service with each branch being assigned a specific identifying, Truppenfarbe, (branch of service color), with the Feuerschutzpolizei being allocated carmine truppenfarbe. The Feuerschutzpolizei were further distinguished from the other police branches of service with blue uniforms and headgear instead of the typical police green uniforms.
Types of Helmets Used:
Prior to 1929 many fire-fighting units used leather helmets in various styles with most appearing similar to the leather spiked helmet (Pickelhaube) of World War I. These helmets bore a stamped metal crest on the front depicting the province or township to which the fire-fighting unit belonged.
In 1929 a light-weight plastic fiber (Vulkanfiber) helmet was prototyped for general use by all fire-fighting units. The first models were issued in 1932 and proved unworthy of further consideration. As a result a second prototype was explored using light-weight steel alloy known as "Edelstahl." During this time leather fire-fighting helmets were slowly replaced with a combination of surplus World War I model steel helmets and privately manufactured versions in the “Austrian” pattern shell. These early helmets were generally painted black although some were left in their original field-gray World War I color.
In 1934 the light-weight steel alloy prototype helmet was approved for general use by all fire-fighting units. This helmet is designated the “M1934” by modern collectors because of the year of its introduction. Several different versions of the M1934 helmet exist with many variations resulting from subtle differences in the air vents or visors. The M1934 helmet was painted semi-gloss black inside and out with two insignia placed one on each side.
Fire Protection Police helmets were manufactured with and without an aluminum metal comb. In some cases the metal comb was also painted black. As a result of a large surplus, M1934 helmets without combs were issued in 1940 for general wear by all fire-fighting personnel. The helmets used typical civilian style liner systems and chinstraps. The liners were made so that they could accommodate a removable black leather neck shield.
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