Original German WWII Army Heer M35 Single Decal KIA Shot Through Steel Helmet - E.F.64
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a genuine USGI bring back Trophy of War, picked up off the battlefield some time after the fighting was done. The unique aspect of this particular "Shot Through" helmet is what looks to be a .30 caliber bullet hole in the top of the helmet, which has bent the steel inwards. It also has a crack running from the front to the back of the top, as well as a crack running from the side. This could be related to the hold, or possibly from after it was shot through. The crown of the helmet is definitely pushed in. Just a fascinating damage pattern.
Otherwise, this is also an all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, as issued to the Heer (Army), in "battlefield pickup" condition. It still does have some of the original Feldgrau (Field Gray) paint on the exterior, however most has worn or flaked away. The interior is also missing almost all of the paint and is rusted, so it may have been sitting upside down for some time, suffering exposure from the elements.
The left side of the helmet features a Heer eagle decal, which is retained well, though it is discolored overall, with some flaking that exposes the underlying silver layer. Looking at the right side of the helmet, we can see that it looks to originally have had a National Colors decal as well. 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, which is why this helmet no longer has one.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 2077, and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, E.F. 64 indicating that indicating it was manufactured by Emaillierwerke AG, of Fulda Germany in size 64. This 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.
Two of the three liner split pins are intact, however they are completely missing their paint. The interior also only has the original outer liner band still present, with the inner band and all other components missing. The early issue aluminum liner band is marked on the left outer side with 64 nA / 57, indicating that the liner is a size 57, intended for a 64 shell.
The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
D. R. P.
The liner band has the correct earliest pattern square aluminum chin strap lugs, though unfortunately the chin strap is completely missing.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 KIA Shot Through Heer Army Single Decal helmet! M35 helmets of this quality are always the hardest to find on the market. 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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