Original German WWII M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with 59cm Liner - NS66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example Model 1942 German WW2 helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal, which is in really good condition. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains over 90% of the original lightly textured blue gray paint, with only light wear. There is no sign of it being repainted, and the original decal is retained wonderfully, probably over 95% with just a bit of wear. This really is a great example, in a lovely large size.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is lot number stamped D307 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size NS66, indicating that it was manufactured by Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, of Schwerte, Germany. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size 66 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector. The interior top of this helmet also still has a partial "dome stamp", something that we do not see very often at all. It is partly obscured by some dirt on the interior, which we have left in place to preserve the authenticity.
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 good M31 leather liner with all eight fingers, and an intact top tie. The leather is still quite soft, with no tearing and a lovely beige color. There is just a bit of staining around the edges, especially on the front side. The side of the galvanized steel liner band is marked 66 n.A. / 59, indicating that this is a size 58 liner for a size 66 shell. There is also an ink stamp 59 on one of the liner fingers. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
B. & C.
This liner was made by Biedermann & Czarnikow, a German company who moved operations to Łódź in occupied Poland to take advantage of the slave labor in the ghetto located there. NSDAP authorities renamed Łódź to Litzmannstadt in honor of the German General Karl Litzmann who had captured the city in the previous World War.
The helmet also has an original chinstrap, though it is in delicate condition. The last 5 inches of the longer portion has broken off, and is still held in the buckle on the other side. There are still 6 holes left on the longer side before the break. There is a faint maker mark on the broken off piece, which we cannot quite make out.
Overall a very good condition genuine M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet! 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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