Original German WWII M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet with Textured Paint, Dome Stamp, and 59cm Liner - NS66

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an very nice all original example Model 1942 German WWII helmet with a single Luftwaffe Eagle decal. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains over 95% of the original blue/grey lightly textured Luftwaffe paint, and is in excellent condition overall. There is definitely light wear and scuffs, but nothing out of line with standard wear that would happen during short service and years of storage. The decal is retained at over 95%, probably one of the best we have seen! This is definitely a great example of this type of helmet.

On the reverse of the shell's interior, the neck guard apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, NS66 indicating it was manufactured by Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, of Schwerte, Germany. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate size 58cm and 59cm liners, or 7 1/4 - 7 3/8 US. Shells of this large size are harder to find, and more valuable to a collector. It also is marked with heat lot number D342 under the maker mark. This is a late war produced helmet, and it does have a very minor stress crack 2 inches behind the decal as shown in the pictures, typical of the late war rushed production. These helmets are stamped from flat steel, and over time the remaining stress can cause small crack. There is no possibility of this being caused by impact damage and this crack does not detract from the appeal of this excellent helmet.

All three original liner retaining pins are intact and have almost all of the original textured paint on the ends. The interior of the helmet still has an original M31 leather liner with all eight fingers, with the original securing string. The leather is looks to be almost unissued, with no sweat staining. Just the usual degradation that happens on the edge due to the leather being bent, as shown. The side of the galvanized steel liner band is marked 66 n.A. / 59, indicating that this is a size 59 liner for a size 64 shell. The number 59 is also stamped on the leather of the liner.

The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:

Metall-Lederverarbeitung W.Z.
Bln. Ch'burg 5.

The helmet also has a complete original chin strap, which is in good condition, with the expected wear from age, though it does have a repaired split. It is marked YBIRAL / 1942 / WEIMISSLITZ, so it may be an arsenal replacement. The top of the shell is also marked with a very nice oval ink DOME STAMP, though unfortunately it is somewhat faint, so we are not able to read the German Textura black letter typface. These sometimes have a date, but this one does not.

Overall an excellent condition genuine M42 Single Decal Luftwaffe helmet in a nice large size with an original dome stamp! 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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