Original German WWII USGI Decorated M35 Helmet with Liner & Chinstrap - Marked Q66
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a very nice 100% authentic German WWII Model 1935 Helmet, captured during the war and decorated by a USGI. The helmet looks most likely to originally have been the standard Feldgrau (field Gray) used by the German Army (Heer) during WWII. It may have been field repainted, and then was captured. The USGI who brought it back noticed it did not have the correct original decals, so they added a tri-color shield on the left, and a large NSDAP Reichsadler on the right. These are of course not original to the helmet, and not on the correct sides, but definitely add to the look of the helmet. This helmet definitely looks to have seen use during the war, with wear to the paint and liner. However even with the USGI added decorations, it still looks great!
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 8477 and the interior, left side, apron has the stamped manufacturer's code and size, Q66 indicating that it was manufactured by Quist in the German city of Esslingen. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size 66 shells are the hardest to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
All three liner retaining pins are intact and retain most of the original paint. The interior of the helmet still has the original M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers, though there definitely is some wear and splitting to the leather. The top tie is included, but has broken in several places, and is extremely delicate, and literally falling apart. The mid war galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left side with 66 n.A. / 58, indicating a size 58cm liner for a 66cm shell. It is also maker marked and dated on the other side, though it is partly obscured by dust, and the band is very tight to the shell. We can only make out a 1941 date.
The chin strap is fully intact, with the expected wear from age and use. It is almost torn through on the buckle side, and is quite delicate over all. It has the correct galvanized steel attachment studs, though surprisingly the buckle looks to be aluminum.
Overall a very nice USGI Decorated M35 Helmet offered in very good condition! 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.
In an effort to reduced construction time and labor costs minor modifications were introduced in March 1940 resulting in the M40 helmet. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet.
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