Original German WWII Double Decal NSDAP Civic Police M40 Steel Combat Helmet - marked Q64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German WWII M40 helmet, complete with original paint and decals. Most interesting however is that this helmet is outfitted for the NSDAP Civic Police! The weight and markings definitely indicate it is a combat helmet, not a civic helmet, so this was most likely issued to police units that functioned in military areas, where combat was much more likely.
This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains much of its original paint but does show wear and use. It is painted in a very nice lightly textured Feldgrau (field gray) paint, which is retained at around 90%. Textured paint is much harder to find on these helmets, and we usually see it only on very early issue helmets. There is also a small piece of a newspaper or other printed material stuck to the front, not from paint, but from years of storage. We have left it to preserve the authentic look. The helmet features genuine double decals of the NSDAP civic eagle on the left side and the swastika on a red shield on the right. Both decals are retained at about 80%, and are intact with the expected wear from use.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, with exterior paint retained well on all three. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, which is in great condition, showing only light use. All 8 fingers are intact, with an original top tie string, and an in stamped 57 on one of the fingers. The mid war issue galvanized steel 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. There is also a manufacturer mark on the other side over the right ear, however the liner band is very tight to the shell, so we cannot read it.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped S070C, and above this it has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q64. This indicates it was manufactured by Quist in Esslingen, Germany in size 64. Size 64 is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 58cm or US 7 to 7 1/4. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine rare M40 Double Decal NSDAP Civic Police Combat helmet! M40 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, replacing the multi-piece riveted vent with one stamped directly into the steel. Later, in 1942 the rolled steel rim was removed from the pattern to further expedite production.
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