Original German WWII M40 Eastern Front Battlefield Dug Shot Through Helmet Shell - Size 64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is definitely a German helmet shell that has some stories to tell! It is offered in "battlefield dug" condition, with significant damage, having been dug up from the Russian front area some years after the war. There are some pictures included of the helmet, which look to have been printed out from the website where it was once sold from. It looks like someone with a metal detector located these while out in the snow, and found these helmets, as well as other items. It also also looks to be "shot-through", with a dented in hole about 1/2" in diameter on the upper left front area. The metal is bent inwards, and the size and shape are definitely consistent with small arms fire.
Condition of the helmet definitely shows significant rust degradation and scaling. the interior does still have spots of the original Feldgrau (Field Gray) paint visible, while the exterior has practically none. At some point the helmet exterior was hit with a light overspray of white paint, to fit into the Winter Eastern Front theme. There are still two of the original split pins in the shell, though they are definitely rusted, like the rest of the helmet. The helmet measures about 65cm around, so it is a 64cm shell. The original maker and size markings have been completely obliterated by rust. Please consult the pictures for the fine details of the current state of the helmet shell.
Overall a very interesting genuine "Battlefield Dug Up" M40 Eastern Front helmet Shell! A fantastic display piece!
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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