Original German WWII First Model DAK Afrikakorps Sun Helmet with Badges and Maker Marking - Size 57
Original Item: On first deployment to North Africa in 1941, Afrikakorps infantry were issued with the traditional European sun helmet known as Tropische Kopfbedeckung, 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.
This example is in good used condition, with all components present, including the often missing chin strap and badges. It does however have significant damage to the leather trim around the brim. The original khaki cloth covering is intact and retains its original color well, though it does show staining from dirt and age. The helmet band, is in very good condition, and still completely hides the liner split pins. The Leather Chin strap is completely intact, but looks like it may be an arsenal replacement from a second model helmet. The leather rim is mostly worn away, with about 35% remaining, so that the original layered cork construction of the brim can be seen.
The interior of the helmet still has the original red cotton covering intact, though it has faded and is a bit dirty. The liner itself is in very good condition, with the leather still supple, and just a bit of wear. The felt padding and fiber band are still in great condition, with almost no signs of wear. The sweatband is marked on the outer surface MADE IN GERMANY, which was applied when many of these were exported after the war, as required by law in many countries. On the inner side of the sweatband, there is size marking 57 as well as the maker mark of Keller & Co. / Oberleutensdorf, a company located in the Sudetenland, which is today Litvínov in the Czech Republic. The securing plate for the top vent is also marked by this HELMFABRIK (Helmet Factory), as well as with D.R.G.M., indicating that it is a trademark design.
The metal badges are totally genuine and are in very good condition with a great finish, and very little wear. They appear to be made of aluminum, and are retained by bent pins on the back.
This will make a great addition to any German WWII Afrikakorps collection.
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