Original German WWII M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with Size 58cm Liner - ET66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example Model 1942 German WWII helmet shell with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal and size 58cm liner. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 75% of the original lightly textured Luftwaffe Blue-Gray paint, and shows wear and spots of oxidation where the paint has flaked away. This was definitely a helmet that saw use during the war, with a lovely patina of age. The decal is retained at around the same amount, with some areas chipped away, and overall age degradation. If you were looking for a nice service worn helmet for your collection, this is it!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 2032 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET66 indicating that it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG of Thale, located in the Harz district in Saxony, Germany. Size 66 is a nice larger size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 5/8. Size 66 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, with most of the original paint intact. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, with all 8 fingers still intact, secured at the ends by the original tie string. The leather is mostly soft and supple, though there is definitely some wear around the rim. The mid war issue galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left outer side with 66 nA / 58, indicating that the liner band is a size 58, intended for a 66 shell. 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 chinstrap is unfortunately almost completely missing.
Overall a nice condition genuine Service Worn 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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