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Original German WWII Army Heer M40 "No Decal" Steel Helmet with 1939 Dated 58cm Liner & Chinstrap - Stamped SE66

Regular price $850.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely service used all original example of a German Model 42 Steel helmet, as issued to the Wehrmacht Heer (army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet saw a lot of service during the war, and the original paint is worn and chipped, with the exposed metal showing a lovely oxidized patina. We do not see that any decal was ever applied to the helmet, but it is always possible that it completely wore away. It is also possible that the helmet was originally early war Apfel-grün (apple green), and then was repainted lightly textured panzergrau (armored gray) during the war, and saw additional wear after that. The helmet was most likely picked up later in the war, and shows no signs of having had any restoration. A lovely "untouched" example with a lovely "been there" patina!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 2197, and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE66. This indicates it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany in size 66. This is a nice large size that can accommodate size 58cm and 59cm liners, or 7 1/4 - 7 3/8 US. Shells of this large size are harder to find, and more valuable to a collector.

All three original liner retaining pins are present, with most of the original paint partly present on all of them. It looks like they are nickel plated, which definitely causes the paint to flake as the nickel oxidizes. The interior of the helmet still has an original M31 leather liner present, with all 8 1/2 fingers still present, showing overall discoloration from wear and age. The original top tie is still present, and it's in great shape considering the amount of use it saw during the war. 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 66 n.A / 58, indicating that it is a size 58 liner for a size 66 shell. It is also maker marked and dated on the other side:


The chinstrap is still present, and has the correct pre/early war aluminum buckle, and one of the two studs is aluminum, while the other is steel. It does show wear, and there but is still complete, and there is a faint maker mark on the longer strap, with a 1940 date.

Overall a very nice 100% genuine M40  Heer Army helmet that has seen long service, with a fantastic service used patina! M40 helmets of this quality are always hard 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.

The M1935 design was slightly modified in 1940 to simplify its construction, the manufacturing process now incorporating more automated stamping methods. The principal change was to stamp the ventilator hole mounts directly onto the shell, rather than utilizing separate fittings. In other respects, the M1940 helmet was identical to the M1935. The Germans still referred to the M1940 as the M1935, while the M1940 designation were given by collectors.

The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July 1942 at the request of the Army High Command. The rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production, and this was the model produced until late in the war, when most factories were captured or stood idle due to material shortages.

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