Original German WWII Army Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet Shell with 1938 Dated 57cm Liner & Partial Chinstrap - Stamped Q64

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good service used condition all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet shell, as issued to the Heer (Army), with very desirable "Double Decals". This stamped sheet steel construction helmet still retains the early war Apfel-grün (apple green) paint, and it does look like it was field repainted at some point, as we can see "brush strokes" on the interior. The repaint is retained at about 70%, making it a really great example of a Pre-War produced helmet. There is overall wear and oxidation, and the top of the helmet is missing a lot of the paint, allowing the steel shell to oxidize a bit. There is a square area on top nearly devoid of paint, possibly where something was attached in the past. This is definitely an old campaigner!

The use of the second decal was discontinued in 1940, and in 1943 it was ordered that helmets with the national colors have them removed. The decal on this helmet however escaped that fate, so it still has both decals. The left side of the helmet features a lovely Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 80%, showing overall wear with a fantastic yellowed look due to aging of the lacquer top coat. The right side of the helmet features a national colors decal, which is retained about 75%, showing overall wear and some cracking to the decal. Definitely lots of history here!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 333 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q64 indicating that it was manufactured by F.W. Quist G.m.b.H. in the German city of Esslingen. Size 64 is a nice smaller 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 of the original liner split pins are present, however they have nickel alloy heads, which has caused most of the original paint to wear off. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, though the top securing strap is missing. The leather is still relatively supple, but definitely shows that the helmet saw much service. It is stained overall, now showing a lovely chestnut brown color. The liner band is aluminum, with square aluminum chin strap loops attached to reinforced sides. This is the last pattern before the move to galvanized steel bands, as aluminum was scarce. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 64 n.A / 57, indicating that it is a size 57 liner for a size 64 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:

B. & C.

This liner was made by Biedermann & Czarnikow, a German company who later moved operations to Łódź in occupied Poland to take advantage of the slave labor in the ghetto located there. NSDAP authorities renamed Łódź to Litzmannstadt in honor of the German General Karl Litzmann who had captured the city in the previous World War. This is exactly the right period and type of liner for this very early helmet.

The helmet still has a chinstrap attached, but it is definitely in well used condition. The longer section has lost some length, and only has 3 of the original 13 size adjustment holes. It also has a steel attachment stud, so it may have been replaced during the war. The other side is full length, with a correct early war aluminum buckle and retaining stud. The leather on both side is cracked and in delicate condition.

Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Heer Army helmet shell with loads of history and a complete liner with partial 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.

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