Original German WWII M42 Unissued Helmet with Dome Stamp and 56cm Liner - hkp64
Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is something we don't see often! This is an excellent all original example of a late war German Model 42 Steel helmet, which as far as we can tell, was never officially issued. There are no decals or other markings, and we can find no evidence that this helmet ever had them. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains over 90% of its original textured "Feldgrau" paint. It even still has the original ink "dome stamp" on the top inside of the helmet, something we very rarely see! This really is a very nice example of the M42 helmet.
The rear interior of the apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size: hkp64, indicating it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, in Saxony, Germany. Towards the end of the war, the SE marking was discontinued in favor of three letter code hkp. It is also marked with lot number 3583 on the underside of the rear skirt. Size 64 shells are a nice medium size, which accommodate size 56 and 57 liners.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, and retain all of their original paint. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact. The leather liner shows little to no sign of use, with no staining, just wear from storage and age. The top tie string is fully intact, and in great shape. The galvanized steel liner band is marked on the side with 64 nA / 56, indicating a size of 56cm for a 64cm shell. There is also a very "56" in a circle on one of the fingers. The other side of the band is marked with the Reichsbetriebsnummer (National Business Number) and date:
The chin strap also is intact, and in great shape. There is some light storage wear, and some oxidation on the fittings, but the leather is solid with a nice finish. It even has a maker mark and date on the end:
Overall an excellent late-war M42 unissued helmet, complete with a dome stamp and very nice liner! 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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