Original German WWII Army Heer M35 Double Decal Overpaint Camouflage Helmet with 56cm Liner & Chinstrap - Q64
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). The helmet looks to have originally been the lighter Apfel-grün (apple green) color, and had the "Double Decals" of the Heer Eagle and National colors. However it later had a darker green textured camouflage paint job applied over this, often done because the decals were actually somewhat of a liability in terms of visibility. Both detals can still clearly be seen under the overpaint, which itself has a lot of wear from service. Definitely lots of history here!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is heat lot number stamped 4502 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q64 indicating that it was manufactured by Quist 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 liner retaining pins are intact, and all still have most of the original paint present. The helmet still has its correct M31 liner with all 8 of its fingers intact. While somewhat dry, the leather portion of the liner does not have any large tears or other damage, though the top tie is missing. It has a nice chestnut brown aged color, with a name written on it, and has a lovely delicate, yet complete chin strap. The left exterior of the galvanized steel liner band is marked 64 n. A. / 56, indicating that it is a size 56 liner for a size 64 shell, and the right side has the full maker information lightly stamped:
Bln.- Ch'burg 5
This indicates production by the metal and leather working company Werner Zahn, based in Berlin - Charlottenburg, in the year 1944, so the liner was most likely replaced at some point, along with the chin strap, both of which now show significant wear.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Camouflage Overpainted 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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