Original German WWII Service Worn Army Heer M35 Single Decal Helmet Shell - ET62
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice service worn all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet shell, issued to the Heer (Army). This stamped sheet steel construction helmet definitely shows signs of long service, including at least one repaint, if not more. Due to wear over the war, the various finishes can be seen, making this a great historical piece!
As an early war helmet, it was originally painted with a very nice early Apfelgrün (apple green) paint, which is the early war color with more green in the mix. However it was then repainted with the darker mid war lightly textured Panzergrau (armor gray), possibly over both decals, or after they were removed. The interior of the helmet was not repainted, and the crown of the helmet has worn, showing the original paint color.
The left side of the helmet features a Heer eagle decal, which was added after the helmet was repainted, indicated by the textured paint being under the decal. It is retained about 60%, still bright and reflective, but also with overall wear and a bit of chipping. The right side of the helmet has had a national tri-color shield painted in place of the original decal, though we suspect this was done by a collector long after the war was over. This is a really interesting example of an service worn helmet shell with lots of patina!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 2983, and above this it has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET62. This indicates it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG of Thale, located in the Harz district in Saxony, Germany in size 62. Size 62 is a nice smaller size that can accommodate liners from 54cm to 55cm or US 6 3/4 to 6 7/8.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine M35 Single Decal Heer Army helmet shell with a replicated second decal! 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.
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. This mainly involved adding the vent hole to the stamping process, as opposed to adding the rivet later.
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