Original German WWII M35 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with Partial Liner & Chinstrap - stamped SE64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example Model 1935 German WWII helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains almost all of the original lightly textured Luftwaffe Blue-Gray paint, with the expected wear from moderate service. The interior of the helmet shows a smooth paint job, and it looks like the exterior was given a field repaint during the war. There are areas where the original smooth paint is visible on the exterior as well, and overall it has a great lightly worn patina and look. The decal is still present and retained at about 75%, with areas worn through and chipped away, and a lovely beige color due to age and discoloration of the lacquer portion of the decal. Really a nice looking helmet here!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 6323 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE64 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany. Size 64 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 liner retaining pins are intact, though they are nickel plated, so the paint did not adhere well and is mostly missing. The paint is also smooth like the interior, so the liner pins were not present when the shell was repainted. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, though it is quite deteriorated, with a good portion of the leather completely missing, and the balance in delicate condition. The liner band is aluminum, with square aluminum chin strap loops attached to reinforced sides. This is the last pattern before the move to galvanized steel bands. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 64 n. A. / 56, indicating that it is a size 56 liner for a size 64 shell. The right side has the full maker information clearly stamped:
Bln.- Ch'burg 5
This indicates production by the metal and leather working company Werner Zahn, based in Berlin - Charlottenburg, in the year 1940, which fits right into the early war period. The chinstrap is mostly intact, just missing a few inches off of the long side. It has the correct aluminum buckle and securing studs for the early war period.
Overall a very nice condition genuine M35 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet, repainted during the war and showing a lovely service worn look. This is an item that will only continue to appreciate in value over time.
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.
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