Original German WWII Unit Marked Army Heer M35 Single Decal Overpaint Helmet with 1936 dated 53cm Liner - SE60
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible first year production, extra small size, all original example of a German WWII M35 helmet, as issued to the Heer (Army). It has loads of history and great markings, making it a true delight for any collector of German Helmets. It really "checks all the boxes" for someone looking for a truly remarkable example.
This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains about most of its original paint, showing only light wear and an interesting history. The helmet was originally painted with the Pre-WWII lighter Apfel-grün (apple green), and was overpainted Feldgrau (field gray) during the war, probably sometime after 1940. The interior still has the field gray on the underside of the skirt, while the inside of the dome is still apple green, the standard "field repaint" style.
The helmet still has a clear Wehrmacht Eagle decal at about 80%, but the field repaint covered the "National Colors" decal. 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. In this case it was painted over, but cracks in the paint job allow the colors to still be seen!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 2998 (somewhat unclear) and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE60 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany. Size 60 is the smallest shell size produced during the war, and can accommodate liners from 52cm to 53cm or US 6 1/2 to 6 5/8. Size 60 shells are VERY hard to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
The interior of the helmet still has the original "Dome Stamp" inspection mark, which is VERY faint but almost completely legible in the right light. It reads:
für Heer und Marine
This translates basically to "Accepted, 1936, Procurement Office for Army and Navy." This was the first year that these were being accepted into service. There is also a wonderful regimental marking next to the dome stamp of 1. J. R. 80, for the 1st Company of the 80th Infantry Regiment.
All three liner retaining pins are intact, with the exterior paint retained wonderfully The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers intact, with the original top tie. The leather is still quite soft, showing a bit of age and some wear around the edge. The liner band is aluminum, with the correct early war square aluminum chin strap loops attached without any side reinforcements. The liner band definitely shows bending, which is why later Pre-war examples would have a double layer of aluminum on the side to prevent bending. The left exterior of the liner band is marked 60 n.A / 53, indicating that it is a size 53 liner for a size 60 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
INH. MAX DENSOW
This liner was made by the rare firm of Max Densow, Berliner Kofferfabrik (Berlin suitcase factory), who only manufactured M-31 liners until 1938. They never adopted the reinforced pattern of aluminum liner band. The chin strap is unfortunately completely missing.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine first year production M35 Singe Decal Heer Army Overpaint helmet with loads of history and markings! It looks great, and all components are correct! 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.
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