Original German WWII Complete 1939 dated Luftwaffe M35 Double Decal Steel Helmet with 57cm Liner - marked SE64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original Model 1935 German WWII "double decal" helmet, showing some fantastic period wear! It features a Luftwaffe Eagle decal on the left side, and a "National Colors" decal on the right. 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, so finding a helmet with both still intact is a real treat!
This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 65% of the original correct smooth blue-gray Luftwaffe fliegerblau (flyer's blue) used on early helmets, which would later become textured, and is in good condition overall. There are scrapes and scuffs through the paint, and overall wear consistent with long service, but no major damage.
There is scattered light rust on the exterior, as well as the interior. The National Colors decal is retained at about 85%, with checking from age and some wear, as well as some chips and scrapes. The Luftwaffe decal is retained at about 65%, with wear and flaking, and some scrapes, which have removed part of the eagle's left wing. They have a lovely service worn look.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 4268, and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE64. This indicates it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, 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.
All three liner split pins are still intact, however they appear to be replacements. The helmet still has its correct M31 liner with all of the 8 fingers present, however there is a repair on one of the fingers. The rest of the leather definitely shows wear. 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 even with the reinforced sides, the aluminum could bend, as it did on this example. 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 has the full maker information clearly stamped:
B. & C.
This liner was made by Biedermann & Czarnikow of Berlin in the year 1939, which fits right into the early war period. This German company 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. The chin strap is present but in rather delicate condition.
Additionally, the rear skirt appears to have a name and service number while the leather liner has 3 stylized letters, most likely initials.
Overall a very nice totally correct 100% genuine double decal Luftwaffe helmet, ready to display! We do not get helmets like these very often at all. This is sure to appreciate in value in the years to come.
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.
The Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was originally introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV, Deutscher Luftsportsverband, (German Air Sports Association), the clandestine, civilian, forerunner of the Luftwaffe on August 18TH 1934, and adopted for wear by the Luftwaffe on March 1ST 1935 along with the national tri-color shield for wear on the helmet.
The first pattern national eagle was utilized until a modified second pattern eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations of June 12TH 1940 discontinued the use of the national tri-color decal and further regulations of August 28TH 1943 abolished the national eagle decal and dictated that it was also to be removed from all helmets although the directives were not completely adhered to.
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