Original German WWII First Model DAK Afrikakorps Sun Helmet with Badges and Eye Shields - Size 57
Original Item: Only One Set Available. On first deployment to North Africa in 1941, Afrikakorps infantry were issued with the traditional European sun helmet known as Tropische Kopfbedeckung (Tropical headgear), of the type known to the British forces as the solar topi (or topee). In the German case, these were made of pith, had prominent ventilation holes in the crown, were khaki in color and bore two metal shields; on the right the national colors and on the left the German eagle. There were several models made, with the first model like this having cotton outer covering made of fabric panels sewn together.
The pith an fabric construction was lightweight, and permitted ventilation while warding off the sun. Also, it was common for them to be doused in water, as the evaporation effect would cool off the helmet, and therefor the air inside. This however eventually resulted in the helmet becoming soft overall.
This example is in very good service used condition. All of the components are present including the often missing the chinstrap, though it has been repaired with glue. The original khaki cloth covering is intact and retains its original color, with some water staining and a few small tears. The helmet band is great condition, and still hides the liner split pins. The leather trim is in good condition, with the expected wear from age and use. It is worn through or missing in some places, which shows the pith construction.
The interior of the helmet still has the original red cotton covering intact, with staining from water and wera. The liner itself is in good condition, with the leather a bit stiff but complete. The sweatband is stamped with maker's initials WPB, seen on other examples of both 1st and 2nd model helmets. On the underside of the sweat band it is ink stamped with size 57.
The metal badges are totally genuine and are in excellent condition with a nice finish and patina. They appear to be made of die cast zinc, and do show oxidation and flaking. The National Colors badge only has one brass clip remaining on the back, so it is loose, and the Wehrmacht eagle is also missing the bottom clip.
The included eye shields are in great shape, and really complete the look of the helmet. They still are quite clear, though the elastic on the back has unfortunately been stretched out by the helmet, and no longer will fit on a person's head.
A wonderful example that will make a great addition to any German WWII Afrikakorps collection.
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