Original German WWII Named Army Heer M35 Double Decal Named Steel Helmet with Textured Paint - ET66
Original Item: Only One Available. We've had a few Heer Double decal helmets before, but none emit "history" like this one does. It is a very nice all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, issued to the Heer (Army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains much of its original paint but does show honest wear and use. It was at some point field repainted with a textured Feldgrau paint, and the decals were covered during the process, so they are still fully visible. The textured paint is retained about 75%, which shows a good amount of the original paint underneath.
The left side of the helmet features a Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 90%, with just a bit of damage from wear and the field repaint. The right side of the helmet features a national colors decal, which did a bit worse, and is retained about 80%, with a lot of small flaked areas.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, with some of the original paint remaining. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, though the original top tie is missing. The liner leather is a nice worn dark brown color, and is still soft and supple. There is a faded ink stamped size 59 on one of the fingers. The liner has the correct early issue aluminum liner band, which is marked 66 nA / 59 over the left ear, indicating the correct size. The chinstrap is complete, though it is a bit worn from age and use. There is a faint maker stamp on the end, and a date of 1939.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped, 4003 / 6 and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET66 indicating that indicating it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz, Germany in size 66. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size 66 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector. There is also a hand-painted name Knoff right on the batch number, most likely the last name of the soldier who wore this helmet. However, there are also traces of another name, which was painted over before the current one was added.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Heer Army helmet with LOADS of history and patina! This was definitely not a wartime shelf queen. M35 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.
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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