Original German WWII M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe Textured Paint Helmet with 58cm Liner and Dome Stamp - ET66

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent all original example Model 1940 German WWII helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains over 90% of the original blue/grey textured Luftwaffe paint and is in very good condition overall. There is definitely some wear, but nothing out of line with standard wear that would happen during wartime service. The decal is retained at about 95%, with just wear through due to the texture. This is definitely a great example of this type of helmet.

On the reverse of the shell's interior, the neck guard apron is lot number stamped, 4995 and has a stamped manufacturer's code over the left ear and size, ET66 indicating it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/2 to 7 1/8.  Shells of this large size are harder to find, and more valuable to a collector.

All three original liner retaining pins are intact and have most of the original paint on the ends. The interior of the helmet still has an original very good M31 leather liner with all eight fingers present and still supple, with a nice size 58 marked. The liner is a transitional model, with an aluminum outer band, with galvanized steel chin strap fittings. Later versions would be entirely made of galvanized steel. The top tie is intact and in great shape. The side of the liner band is marked 66 n.A. / 58, indicating that this is a size 58 liner for a size 66 shell. 

The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:

Metall-Lederverarbeitung W.Z.
Bln. Ch'burg 5.

The helmet also has a complete original chin strap, which is in very good condition, with just some finish wear due to age. It is attached firmly to the loops on the liner, and the end of the long side of the strap is maker marked and dated: G. SCHIELE / LOBURG / 1940The top of the shell is also faintly marked with a very nice oval ink DOME STAMP, though unfortunately it is somewhat faint, so we are not able to read the German Textura black letter typeface. These sometimes have a date, but this one does not.

Overall a very nice condition genuine M40 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet, totally correct in every way! 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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