Original German WWII Named Army Heer M40 Single Decal Steel Helmet with 58cm Liner & Chinstrap - SE66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, issued to the Heer (Army). It looks to have seen long service, and been refitted at arsenal at least once. The helmet is named to Rossmann under the rear skirt, but it looks like previously it was issued to another soldier, whose name has been mostly cleaned away.
This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains much of its original field gray paint but does show some chipping, scratches, and rust, typical of a helmet that was used in the field. However, it still retains more than 80% of the paint, with some dirt and staining. The color is more of the mid war style, so we believe it was completely refinished at arsenal at some point during the war, probably around 1942. The left side of the helmet features a Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 75%, with damage from wear and use. It still has a great metallic sheen to it. We checked the right side, and we do not see any signs of an overpainted decal, so it may have not ever had one, or it was completely removed at some point.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 7730, and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE66. This indicates it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany in size 66. This 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.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, with most of their original paint still present. The helmet still has its correct very good condition M31 liner with all of the 8 fingers present and supple. The liner also still has its original size adjustment string, and overall the leather shows moderate wear, and a lovely aged color. The left exterior of the galvanized steel liner band is marked 66 n.A. / 58, indicating that it is a size 58 liner for a size 66 shell. There is also a 58 in a circle ink stamped onto the leather of the liner. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
This indicates 1942 production by F.W. Müller Jr. in Berlin, which fits right into the period. The original chinstrap is still present, and in good shape. The longer section has has been shortened by an inch or so, a common field modification if it is too long and gets in the way.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Single Decal Heer Army helmet that has seen long service, named to a German soldier! M40 helmets of this quality are always hard 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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