Original German WWII Named Army Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet with 1937 Dated Size 58cm Liner - SE66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible service worn condition all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, as issued to the Heer (Army) . This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about most of its original paint, but definitely shows wear and an interesting history. The helmet was originally painted with the Pre-WWII lighter Apfel-grün (apple green), and was repainted Feldgrau (field gray) during the war, probably sometime after 1940. It then experienced wear and flaking during the war, and it looks as is a collector during the post war years painstakingly removed most the field gray overcoat on the exterior of the shell. The interior still has the field gray on the underside of the skirt, while the inside of the dome is still apple green, the standard "field repaint" style.
The helmet still has both of the decals, which were under the field gray paint. The use of the second decal was discontinued in 1940, and in 1943 it was ordered that helmets with the national colors have them removed. The decal on this helmet however escaped that fate, so it still has both decals. Unfortunately they are now quite worn and faint, as removing the exterior paint definitely took a toll. Definitely lots of history here!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 3282 (somewhat unclear) and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE66 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, 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. At the back of the apron the helmet is named in white paint to an A. Schade, the soldier it was issued to.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, and are missing varying amounts of the original paint, with one missing it almost entirely. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, with the original top tie. The leather is still quite soft, though it is now somewhat darker in color, especially around the rim. There is some wear and tearing around the edges, which is very common. The liner band is aluminum, with square aluminum chin strap loops attached without any side reinforcements, which explains why the band is bent inward somewhat around the loops. Later Pre-war examples would have a double layer of aluminum on the side to prevent bending. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 66 n.A / 58, indicating that it is a size 58 liner for a size 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 later 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.
Attached to the liner is an original chin strap, with the correct aluminum studs and buckle found on early issue chin straps. There is a faded marking on the long end, however we can no longer read it. The chin strap does show wear and stretching, but there is no tearing and it is still mostly soft.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Heer Army helmet with loads of history! It looks great, and all components are correct! 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.
More than 1 million M1935 helmets were manufactured in the first two years after its introduction, and millions more were produced until 1940 when the basic design and production methods were changed.
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