Original German WWII M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with 1940 Dated 57cm Liner & Chinstrap - Stamped SE64

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a Model 1940 German WWII helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal and size 57cm liner, as well as an intact chinstrap. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet still retains most of the original lightly textured Luftwaffe Fliegerblau (flyer's blue) paint, which utilized aluminum oxide as a texturing agent. There is scuffing to the paint and some worked in dirt, as well as areas of complete paint loss, particularly on the top of the helmet, but there is no major damage out of line with wear from service. The interior paint is very well retained, with just a bit of oxidation in areas. The original Luftwaffe eagle decal is still retained at about 85%, showing a lovely aged toned color, with overall light chipping due to the textured surface. This is really a great looking decal, with a lovely patina!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 10029 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 original liner retaining pins are intact and in good condition, all retaining the paint at about 50%, with the rest chipped away. The interior of the helmet still has its original leather liner with all 8 fingers fully intact, with the original top tie string replaced by a shoelace. The leather shows wear and staining from use, with some splitting around the rim and a stitch repair at the very rear, but overall the leather is still supple. The outer side of the galvanized steel liner band over the left ear is marked 64 n.A / 57, indicating that this is a size 59 liner for a size 66 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date, though it was stamped faintly and can be hard to read:

D. R. P.

The included chinstrap is in fully intact, and looks to be an arsenal replacement, as it is definitely in much better condition than the liner leather. It is stamped on the longer end with Waldow - Launer / Prag / 1940, a known maker of WWII chinstraps. We have checked the buckle style and stitching pattern, and believe this chinstrap to be genuine.

Overall an very good condition genuine complete M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet, with a patina that is impossible to duplicate! 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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