Original German WWII M42 Single Decal Army Heer Helmet with Possible Period Winter Camouflage & 57cm Liner - Shell Size 64

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a late war German Model 42 Steel helmet, which looks to have had quite the interesting history. The liner was removed at some point, and a textured winter "snow" type camouflage paint job was applied to the entire shell, inside and out. This has now worn off in places, showing the original lightly textured panzergrau (armored gray) paint, however there are also signs of an earlier green and yellow camouflage paint scheme.

Both times, the Wehrmacht Heer Eagle decal was cleaned off, so it is still retained about 80%, with light overall wear from cleaning and service. Unfortunately we have no way to determine when the camouflage was applied to the helmet, however it is definitely a high quality application. It really does look fantastic, and would make a great addition to any collection.

Due to the textured paint, we cannot see any of the original shell stampings, however measuring the exterior of the helmet indicates that it is a size 64 shell, a nice medium size, that can accommodate size 56 and 57 liners. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.

All three liner retaining pins are intact, and still some of the original paint present. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, which still has all eight fingers and the original top tie strong. The leather does show wear, with some splitting around the edge, but is still supple with no major tears or other damage. The galvanized steel liner band is marked 64 n.A / 57, indicating a size 57 liner for a 64 shell. It is also maker marked and dated on the other side, which is partly obscured:

D. R. P.

This liner most likely pre-dates the helmet, and was used to replace the original when it was repainted.

Overall a very interesting late-war M42 Single Decal Heer Army helmet, with what could be a period applied textured snow camouflage paint job. M42 helmets of this quality 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.

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.

The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July 1942 at the request of the Army High Command. The rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production, and this was the model produced until late in the war, when most factories were captured or stood idle due to material shortages.

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