Original German WWII Luftwaffe M35 Droop Tail Double Decal Steel Helmet with 1938 dated Partial Liner - ET66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a Model 1935 German early WWII "double decal" helmet, complete with a partial 1938 dated original liner. It has an early "Droop-Tail" Luftwaffe Eagle decal on the left side, and a "National Colors" decal on the right. The national colors decals were later discontinued and removed from most helmets, so finding one with both decals intact is a real treat! Both decals are still retained at about 80%, with some areas missing due to wear and oxidation.
The paint is the correct smooth blue-gray Luftwaffe fliegerblau used on early helmets, which would later become textured. The paint is however missing on a significant portion of the helmet, and is probably at most 60% complete on the inside and outside. This helmet looks to have seen long service, and probably was left in the field for some time before it was picked up by a USGI to bring back home. This explains the rust and the condition of the liner.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 3776, and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, E.T.66 indicating that it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG of Thale, located in the Harz district in Saxony, Germany. Size 66 is a nice larger size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 5/8. Size 66 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three of the original liner split pins are present, with some of their original paint. The interior of the helmet still has a partial original M31 liner, which has had all of the leather rot out, with just a bit still around the inner band. The felt padding is however still almost totally intact. The early war issue aluminum liner band is marked on the left outer side with 66 n.A. / 59, indicating that the liner is a size 59, intended for a 66 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
D. R. P.
The band is the correct reinforced pattern, with an extra layer of aluminum around the sides to support the chin strap. Soon after this, manufacturers moved to the galvanized steel band. Attached to the liner are the ends of the original chin strap, now almost completely missing. The two ends are secured by the correct aluminum rivets.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine double decal Luftwaffe helmet with a great worn look! We do not get helmets like these very often at all. Ready to display!
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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