Original German WWII Named M42 Army Heer Helmet - Complete with 56cm Liner & Chinstrap - stamped hkp64

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice original example of a named and complete German Model 42 Steel helmet, as issued to the Wehrmacht Heer (army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about 85% of its original paint, with overall wear consistent with use in service. There are some areas where the paint was scuffed or scraped down to the steel, and this helmet also never had a decal applied. This is not uncommon with late war helmets, as sometimes there were no decals available, and the factories needed to make helmets as fast as they could.

The shell is stamped with hkp64 on the rear skirt above heat lot number 4367, indicating that Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany manufactured it. Towards the end of the war, the SE marking was discontinued in favor of the three letter code hkp. Size 64 is a nice medium large size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8 . Size 64 shells are much harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.

All three liner retaining pins are intact, with the exterior paint well retained on all. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner, complete with all 8 fingers with top adjustment string in great condition. There is the expected discoloration of age, but it still has the original 56 marked on it indicating the size. The late war issue galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left outer side with 64 n.A. / 56, indicating that the liner is a size 56, intended for a 64 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date, though it is very faintly stamped:

D. R. P.

Additionally, the liner was personalized by the soldier who wore it. It is marked:

A. Seifert Feldw.

Feldwebel is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in several countries. The rank originated in Germany, and is also used in Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. The rank has also been used in Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria.

The chinstrap is intact, with the correct buckle and steel securing studs. We were not able to see any maker markings on the leather, which is still in excellent condition.

Overall a very nice and untouched M42 named Heer Army helmet, with loads of patina! 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 TR 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 was given by collectors.

In 1942, Due to wartime demands, the M-42 design was put into production because it was significantly quicker to manufacture. The rolled edge of the M-35 shell was eliminated, creating an unfinished edge along the rim. This edge flared out slightly, along the base of the skirt. The elimination of the rolled edge expedited the manufacturing process and reduced the amount of metal used in each helmet, without sacrificing protection.

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