Original German WWII M40 Steel Helmet with Original Normandy Style Field Camouflage - ET62
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German WWII M40 helmet, with original Normandy-style field-applied camouflage. Helmets such as these are extremely scarce on the market. It's a definitely USGI "bring back" from WWII. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains much of its paint but does show wear and use, particularly the liner. This definitely was a helmet that was worn extensively out in the field, probably preparing for the expected Allied invasion across the British Channel.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, and still retain all the camouflage paint. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, with portions of the chin strap, however it is in well-used condition. The amount of staining and wear is consistent with long service, and possibly even a head wound. The leather has become brittle and the liner fingers have broken off, though they are still included and bound by the original top tie string. The chin strap is still partly intact, though it is in similar condition. If you are looking for a helmet that was "really there", this is one.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped, 4832 and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET62 indicating that indicating it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz, Germany in size 62.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M40 Normandy Camouflage M40 helmet! German helmets with this type of camouflage are always the hardest to find on the market. 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.
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