Original German WWII M40 Single Decal SS by Eisenhuttenwerk AG - Size 66 Shell
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible ultra rare all original example Model 1940 German WW2 helmet with a single SS decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains its field grey, smooth finish with about 90% of the original paint intact. The SS decal is very nice and 90% intact.
All three original liner retaining pins are present and tight. The interior of the helmet has an original steel liner band, supple brown leather M31 liner with all 8 of its fingers and the original liner tie string. The complete original chinstrap is still intact maker marked and dated 1937. The liner is original to the helmet and not a replacement. Liner is approximately a size 58cm (US 7 1/4).
On the reverse of the shell's interior, the neck guard apron is lot number stamped 201 and has a stamped manufacturer's code and size; ET66. ET indicates that it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz, of Germany in size 66.
Overall an outstandingly rare 100% genuine M40 Single Decal SS helmet in excellent condition. 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 to save machine time. The main difference is that the vent holes were stamped into the helmet directly, instead of being drilled and having a rivet inserted.
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