Original German WWII M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with Dome Stamp & Partial Liner - NS64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example Model 1942 German WWII helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 90% of the original lightly textured Luftwaffe Blue-Gray paint, and shows light service wear and scuffing. This was definitely a helmet that saw some use during the war, with a lovely patina of age. The decal is retained at around 80%, with some areas chipped away, and overall age degradation. If you were looking for a nice lightly worn helmet for your collection, this is it!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is lot number stamped D296 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size NS64, indicating that it was manufactured by Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, of Schwerte, Germany. Size 64 is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector. The top of the inside has a very nice ink "dome stamp", though it is somewhat unclear, and cannot be read.
All three liner retaining pins are intact and still retain almost all of their original paint. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, however it is definitely worn, and missing all or part of 4 of the 8 fingers. It looks to have gotten dry-rotted over the decades, and the remainder is relatively delicate. The late war issue galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left outer side with 64 n.A. / 56, indicating that the liner is a size 56, intended for a 64 shell. There is also a faint 56 stamped on the leather.
It is also maker marked and dated faintly on the other side:
Bln.- Ch'burg 5
This indicates production by the metal and leather working company Werner Zahn, based in Berlin - Charlottenburg, in the year 1943, which fits right into the late war period.
The chin strap is present and intact, and is still relatively soft, however it also has surface dry rot, and is a bit delicate, especially in the middle section where the holes for the buckle are. It is marked bdr 41 on the long end, for 1941 production by Richard Ehrhardt, located in Pößneck, Thuringia. They are known for making holsters and other leather goods during the war.
Overall a nice 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.
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