Original German WWII Luftschutz Civil Air Defense Beaded M40 Helmet - marked Q68
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice and somewhat rare genuine steel construction M40 "Beaded" Third Reich helmet, outfitted for German WWII Luftschutz Civil Air Defense use. These helmets were essentially like the Military issue, however the steel was not as thick or as high quality. They were given a "bead" around the edge, to avoid mixing them up with the military version.
The exterior of this German helmet retains about 95% of the original dark blue paint, with light wear, and only a few tiny dents. The helmet retains the original split pin rivets, with most of their original paint. The Luftschutz decal is clean and 99% complete with only a few scuffs and minor degradation. On the left side of the helmet is a circa 1960s era reproduction Army helmet decal, which was added for some reason. We have left it intact to preserve the history of the helmet.
Comes with a complete cloth liner and leather chinstrap (tip of the chinstrap is broken off as pictured). The cork washers are still intact and tight with all split pins. The liner does have some wear around the edge.
On the reverse of the shell's interior, the neck guard apron is lot number stamped, 31457 and has a stamped manufacturer's code over the left ear and size, Q68 indicating it was manufactured by Quist in the German city of Esslingen. Size 68 is a nice extra large size that can accommodate liners from 60cm to 61cm or US 7 1/2 to 7 5/8. Size 68 shells are much harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
M40 Beaded Luftschutz helmets are one of the rarer varieties of the Luftschutz style and hard to find. This is a very good example, and sure to appreciate in value over the years.
Formed in late 1932 the Deutsches Luftschutzverband, (German Air Protection League), was a voluntary organization designed to provide civil air raid protection in large civilian centers. Shortly after AH ascension to power the Deutsches Luftschutzverband was restructured and placed under the supervision of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, (National Air Ministry), under the control of Hermann Göring. On April 29TH 1933 the Deutsches Luftschutzverband was renamed RLB, Reichs Luftschutz Bund, (National Air Raid Protection League) and was given status as an official national organization tasked with all aspects of civil air raid defence. The RLB remained a voluntary organization with a small cadre of paid, full-time uniformed officials to oversee the organizations functions until June 1935 when obligatory service was introduced. Only the most basic uniform and equipment items were supplied to the cadre personnel, with the rest having to be bought personally by members. On September 26TH 1938 a specific helmet for RLB personnel was introduced that incorporated a raised horizontal "bead" between the visors and crown. These helmets commonly called the "Gladiator" style were supplemented with M35, M40 and M42 helmets that also incorporated a raised horizontal "bead" between the visors and crown. The Luftschutz also utilized a variety of captured helmets.
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