Original German WWII M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet Size 58cm Liner by Quist - Shell Size 66 - Q66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example Model 1940 German WW2 helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 80% of the original paint and is in good condition overall. The decal is retained at around 98%, with some scratches on the outside of the wings.
On the reverse of the shell's interior, the neck guard apron is lot number stamped, T1482 and has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q66. Q is the maker code for the Quist in the German city of Esslingen. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 60cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 1/2. Size 66 shells are always hard to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three liner retaining pins are intact. The interior of the helmet still has an original steel band M31 leather liner with 3 of the 8 fingers intact. The leather liner has degraded and is missing the top string. The mid war issue galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left outer side with 66 nA / 58, indicating that the liner is a size 58, intended for a 66 shell, and there is also a 58 ink stamped on the liner inside a circle. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
B. & C.
This liner was made by Biedermann & Czarnikow, a German company who moved operations to Łódź in occupied Poland to take advantage of the slave labor in the ghetto located there. NSDAP authorities renamed Łódź to Litzmannstadt in honor of the German General Karl Litzmann who had captured the city in the previous World War.
Unfortunately, no chinstrap is present, but replicas are readily available on the market. Overall a honest nice genuine M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet! 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.
More than 1 million M1935 helmets were manufactured in the first two years after its introduction, and millions more were produced until 1940 when the basic design and production methods were changed. This mainly involved adding the vent hole to the stamping process, as opposed to adding the rivet later.
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