Original German WWII Service Worn Army Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet with 60cm Liner - SE68

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice service worn, all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, issued to the Heer (Army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet definitely shows signs of long service, including the original paint. There are no sign of the shell being repainted, which is a rarity for these early war helmets.

As an early war helmet, it was painted with a very nice early Apfelgrün (apple green) paint, which is the early war color with more green in the mix. There are areas where the paint is worn away showing bare metal, without any sign of being repainted.

The use of the second decal was discontinued in 1940, and in 1943 it was ordered that helmets with the national colors have them removed. The decal on this helmet however escaped that fate, so it still has both decals. The left side of the helmet features a Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 60%, still bright and reflective, but also with a lot of overall wear and a bit of chipping. The right side of the helmet features a national colors decal, which is also retained about 40%, with a bit more chipped out, but also better overall color retention. This is a really nice example of a service worn helmet with lots of patina!

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 3552 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE68 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany. Size 68 is a rare extra large size that can accommodate liners from 60cm to 61cm or US 7 1/2 to 7 5/8. Size 68 shells are the hardest to find and are therefore the most valuable to a collector.

All three liner retaining pins are intact, with exterior paint retained to a varying extent. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with six of the eight of its fingers intact, with the original top tie. The liner leather is in fair condition and still supple, showing serviced wear. The pre-war band is marked on the left side with 68 n.A. / 60, indicating a size of 60cm for a shell sized 68. The right side is stamped with B & C / BERLIN / 1937.

This liner was made by Biedermann & Czarnikow, a German company who later moved operations to Łódź in occupied Poland to take advantage of the slave labor in the ghetto located there. NSDAP authorities renamed Łódź to Litzmannstadt in honor of the German General Karl Litzmann who had captured the city in the previous World War.

Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Double Decal Heer Army helmet! The period service wear on this gives it an absolutely unique look! 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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