Original German WWII Named Worn Subtle Snow Camouflage M35 Steel Helmet with Liner & Chinstrap - ET66

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible all original service worn example of an early WWII Model 1935 German helmet, which has definitely had an interesting history! This looks to be a Heer (Army) issued helmet, though it does not have any decals we can see. It looks to have had the original Panzergrau paint on the outside stripped during the war, and then was repainted white for use during the winter. It saw much service, and then was repainted with Panzergrau over the white. It then saw more service after that, wearing through to the white in places, and giving it a lovely impossible to duplicate subtle camouflage paint job. It is retained at about 50%, with oxidation, wear, and loads of patina!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 4782, and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, E.T.66 indicating that it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG of Thale, located in the Harz district in Saxony, 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. It also is named to Spünemann with white paint under the rear skir.

All three liner retaining pins are intact, with much of the original paint still retained. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, though it is now somewhat dark and worn from age and use. The original top tie is still present, and in good shape. The liner band is aluminum, with square aluminum chin strap loops attached to reinforced sides. This is the last pattern before the move to galvanized steel bands. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 66 n.A / 59, indicating that it is a size 58 liner for a size 66 shell. It is also maker marked and dated on the other side:

Metall-Lederverarbeitung W.Z.
Bln.- Ch'burg 5

This indicates production by the metal and leather working company Werner Zahn, based in Berlin - Charlottenburg, in the year 1940, which fits right into the early war period. Attached to the liner is a totally correct chin strap with all aluminum hardware. The leather is somewhat dry, and there is some missing leather on the end of the longer strap, which now only has 7 adjustment holes. The inside of the loops going around the chinstrap show that the aluminum has worn off onto the leather, so this chin strap has been on this helmet while in service for a long time.

Overall a very nice 100% genuine Heer winter camouflage helmet with loads of history! We do not get helmets like these very often at all. Ready to display!

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, replacing the multi-piece riveted vent with one stamped directly into the steel. Later, in 1942 the rolled steel rim was removed from the pattern to further expedite production.

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