Original German WWII M35 Helmet with Field Applied Textured Camouflage Paint & 56cm Liner - 64cm Shell
Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is definitely a helmet with history! This is a very nice all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, issued to the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht). It has had a long service life, and at some point was field repainted with a lovely textured camouflage paint, sure to eliminate any kind of reflection. The color is the standard one used by the Heer (Army), but could also be for Coastal Artillery, or any number of uses. Without any decals, the specific branch is unfortunately impossible to determine. It was applied in the field to the outside and inside, so it stops once it reaches the liner.
Due to this, the shell markings are completely obscured, and would require removing the excellent paint job to see. However we measured the helmet, and it is definitely a size 64 shell. This is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three original liner retaining pins are intact and still retain most of the textured camouflage paint. The interior of the helmet still has an original good M31 leather liner with all eight fingers, though the securing string is missing. The leather is somewhat soft, but shows staining from use, as shown. The side of the galvanized liner band is marked 64 n.A. / 56, indicating that this is a size 56 liner for a size 64 shell. The other side has the manufacturer and date, part of which is faintly stamped:
The date is unfortunately unclear, but the last two digits have horizontal lines as the top of the numbers. With the style numbers used on liners, this would mean dates of 35 or 37. The style of marking is also the early war pattern (later war used a circle). However, liners of this age would usually have aluminum bands, so this is definitely an interesting example. The chin strap is unfortunately completely missing.
Overall a nice condition genuine Field Repainted Textured Camouflage M35 Wehrmacht helmet! This is an item that will only continue to appreciate in value over time. Ready to research and 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.
In 1934 tests began on an improved Stahlhelm, whose design was a development of World War I models. The Eisenhüttenwerke company of Thale carried out prototype design and testing, with Dr. Friedrich Schwerd once again taking a hand.
The new helmet was pressed from sheets of molybdenum steel in several stages. The size of the flared visor and skirt was reduced, and the large projecting lugs for the obsolete armor shield were eliminated. The ventilator holes were retained, but were set in smaller hollow rivets mounted to the helmet's shell. The edges of the shell were rolled over, creating a smooth edge along the helmet. Finally, a completely new leather suspension, or liner, was incorporated that greatly improved the helmet's safety, adjustability, and comfort for each wearer. These improvements made the new M1935 helmet lighter, more compact, and more comfortable to wear than the previous designs.
The Army's Supreme Command officially accepted the new helmet on June 25, 1935 and it was intended to replace all other helmets in service.
The M1935 design was slightly modified in 1940 to simplify its construction, the manufacturing process now incorporating more automated stamping methods. The principal change was to stamp the ventilator hole mounts directly onto the shell, rather than utilizing separate fittings. In other respects, the M1940 helmet was identical to the M1935. The Germans still referred to the M1940 as the M1935, while the M1940 designation were given by collectors.
The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July 1942 at the request of the Army High Command. The rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production, and this was the model produced until late in the war, when most factories were captured or stood idle due to material shortages.
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