Original German WWII Luftwaffe M35 Droop Tail "Snake Leg" Double Decal Steel Helmet with 1935 dated Liner - ET66

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible all original example of a very early Model 1935 German early WWII "double decal" helmet, complete with original liner and chinstrap! It has an early "Droop-Tail" Luftwaffe Eagle decal on the left side, which has a very desirable curved "Snake Left Leg", 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 over 80%, and both have a lovely aged yellow look from the lacquer coating used on German decals. The paint is the correct smooth blue-gray Luftwaffe fliegerblau used on early helmets, which would later become textured. Just a great example of an early WWII period helmet!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 2820, 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 most of the original paint intact. The interior of the helmet still has still has its correct good condition EARLY M31 liner, with all 8 fingers intact and flexible. The leather is still somewhat soft, and does not show major wear, with an intact top tie. The liner band is the early war aluminum, correct for a helmet of this vintage, and is marked on the left side with 66, indicating the shell size it fits. In this case, the size information is stamped into the leather itself, with the full manufacturer information:


The right outer side of the liner band also has the full manufacturer and date, which is clearly stamped:


This liner does not have additional aluminum layer around the chin strap bales for reinforcement, which is correct. This is one of the earliest liners that we have seen, and we believe it to be completely original to the helmet, dating both to the pre-war mid 1930s. Attached to the liner is a totally correct chin strap with all aluminum hardware. The leather is somewhat dry, but it has no major damage or tears.

Overall a very nice 100% genuine early double decal Luftwaffe helmet with great decals and fully intact rigging! 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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