Original German WWII Possible Afrikakorps Camouflage M35 Helmet Shell with Post War Liner & Chinstrap - Stamped ET64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very interesting German Model 1935 Helmet shell, which possibly has a very nice original WWII DAK Afrikakorps camouflage paint job. It has definitely seen a lot of wear, and both the exterior and interior retain over 50% of the tropical Afrika campaign Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow) camouflage paint. We however also noticed a black layer of paint underneath in some areas, so unfortunately the history of the helmet is not entirely clear. It does not have any decals, and the original liner and chin strap were replaced post war. There is also the name FEND in paint under the rear skirt.
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped, 3884 and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET64 indicating that it was manufactured by Eisenhüttenwerk AG, Thale Harz, Germany in size 64. Size 64 is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three liner retaining pins are intact and still retain most of the DAK style paint. They have been used to attach the post war liner to the inside of the helmet, and unfortunately the securing washers are missing on the inside of all three. The replacement liner is German style, but uses cork washers as spacers, and is very much like a Finnish Stahlhelm liner. The chin strap is attached to the liner band, and is in very good condition.
A very interesting German WWII M35 helmet, possibly used during the North Africa Campaign during WWII. Ready to research and 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.
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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