Original German WWII Army Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet with 1939 Dated Size 56cm Liner - SE64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible service worn condition all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, as issued to the Heer (Army) . This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 50% of its original paint, and definitely shows service wear. It is painted in a very nice mid war Feldgrau (field gray) paint, but looks to have originally been the lighter Apfel-grün (apple green), and was repainted during the war.
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 Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 85%, which is partially chipped away, but still has great colors. The right side of the helmet features a national colors decal, which is retained about 75%, but has quite a bit of wear from being cleaned off after it was repainted. Definitely lots of history here!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 3168 (somewhat unclear) and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE64 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, 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. At the back of the apron there also looks to be painted marking "O Kan", however this was painted over and can only be seen by holding the helmet in the light to see a reflection.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, and all still have most of the original paint present. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, with the original top tie. The leather is still quite soft, with no tearing, though it is now quite dark in color, almost looking like it was dyed. There is some wear and tearing around the edges, which is very common. 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. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 64 n.A / 56, indicating that it is a size 56 liner for a size 64 shell. It is also maker marked and dated on the other side:
SCHUBERTH - WERK K.-G.
Attached to the liner is an original chin strap, with the correct aluminum studs and buckle found on early issue chin straps. There is a faded marking on the long end, however we can no longer read it. The chin strap does show wear and stretching, but there is no tearing and it is still mostly soft.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Heer Army helmet with loads of history! It looks great, and all components are correct! 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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