Original German WWII M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with 55cm Liner & Broken Chinstrap - Stamped SE62

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 55cm liner, as well as a broken 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 a lot of scratches and overall wear from service. It is probably retained at about 80%, and has a great "been there" look, with no major dents or other issues. The interior paint is retained a bit better, however there is scattered oxidation on the interior surface near the rim. The original Luftwaffe eagle decal is still retained at about 75%, 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 1504 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE62 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany. Size 62 is a nice smaller size that can accommodate liners from 54cm to 55cm or US 6 3/4 to 6 5/8.

All three original liner retaining pins are intact and in good condition, all retaining the paint at about 50%, with the rest chipped away and the top covers oxidized. The interior of the helmet still has its original leather liner with all 8 fingers fully intact, and the original top tie string still in place. The leather shows light wear and staining from use, with some splitting around the rim, and overall the leather is still supple. The outer side of the galvanized steel liner band over the left ear is marked 62 n.A / 55, indicating that this is a size 55 liner for a size 62 shell. There is also a 55 in a circle stamped directly onto the liner. There are faint manufacture marks on the right side, but they are very faint, and look to be the early pattern used by Schuberth-Werke of Braunschweig. The markings are not in a circle, as usually seen, so the liner was probably made in 1939-1940.

The included chin strap is in delicate condition, and has broken in about the middle of the longer section, which also is missing the pointed end. The buckle is still present on the right side, however the stitching has rotted out as well.

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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