Original German WWII USGI Decorated M35 Steel Helmet Shell - EF64
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very interesting USGI decorated bring-back German WWII M35 helmet shell. From what we can see, this helmet saw a lot of use during the war, and then was probably left on the battlefield for some time. We can see traces of rust pitting on the interior, and the exterior also shows some dents, scrapes, and other damage to the original feldgrau paint.
To make it more presentable as a "bring-back" item, the USGI who picked it up repainted that exterior a with Olive Drab paint, and then painted replicated Wehrmacht Heer decals on the sides, with a "Jolly Roger" on the front with a Skull and Crossed bones. This is very nicely executed
The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is batch number stamped 21603, and the interior, left side, apron has a stamped manufacturer's code and size, EF64 indicating that indicating it was manufactured by Emaillierwerke AG, of Fulda Germany in size 64. Size 64 is a nice medium size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 57cm or US 7 to 7 1/8. Size 64 shells are harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
The liner and all split pins are missing, as they probably rusted or rotted away while the helmet was presumably resting in a field. Overall a very interesting USGI item, 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 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 to reduce production time. This mainly included having the vent hole being stamped directly into the shell, as opposed to being riveted on later.
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