Original German WWII USGI Bring Back Barn Find Luftwaffe M35 Droop Tail Double Decal Steel Helmet - ET66
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great "Barn Fresh" original example of a Model 1935 German early WWII "double decal" helmet, complete with a liner and chin strap. The helmet was brought back by a USGI after the war, and there is a label on the inside of the rear skirt that reads:
Helmet brought back from Germany-1945 by
The helmet is overall dusty and dirty, with light oxidation. It looks to have been sitting in a barn or attic for some time before the label was added. It has an early "Droop-Tail" Luftwaffe Eagle decal on the left side, and a "National Colors" decal on the right. The national colors decals were later discontinued and removed from most helmets, so finding one with both decals intact is a real treat! Both decals are still retained at about 80%, however they are also hard to see, as over the years dirt and dust settled on them, and we did not make any attempts to remove the lovely aged patina.
The paint is the correct lightly textured blue-gray Luftwaffe fliegerblau used on their helmets. There are areas of wear and paint loss due to oxidation, particularly around the rim of the helmet. Again it has been left entirely "as found."
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 4175, and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, ET66 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.
All three of the original liner split pins are present, with almost all of the original paint retained. The interior of the helmet still has a complete original M31 liner, with all eight fingers intact, as well as the top tie string. The leather is still supple, though like the rest of the helmet, is dusty and stained. The early war issue aluminum liner band is marked on the left outer side with 66 n.A. / 59, indicating that the liner is a size 59, intended for a 66 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:
D. R. P.
The band is the correct reinforced pattern, with an extra layer of aluminum around the sides to support the chin strap. Soon after this, manufacturers moved to the galvanized steel band. The liner still has a complete chin strap attached to it, with the correct aluminum studs and buckle. It is somewhat dried out and dusty, like the liner. It has markings on one end, but we are not able to read them without cleaning the leather, which would disturb the patina.
Overall a very nice 100% genuine USGI Bring back double decal Luftwaffe helmet with a great "barn fresh" look! 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.
The Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was originally introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV, Deutscher Luftsportsverband, (German Air Sports Association), the clandestine, civilian, forerunner of the Luftwaffe on August 18TH 1934, and adopted for wear by the Luftwaffe on March 1ST 1935 along with the national tri-color shield for wear on the helmet.
The first pattern national eagle was utilized until a modified second pattern eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations of June 12TH 1940 discontinued the use of the national tri-color decal and further regulations of August 28TH 1943 abolished the national eagle decal and dictated that it was also to be removed from all helmets although the directives were not completely adhered to.
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