Original German WWII Eastern Front Winter Medic KIA Shot Through Named M40 Helmet
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Acquired directly from a European estate this is an amazing "bring back" German Winter issue Medic KIA shot through helmet that is named to a soldier and field hospital that was outside Stalingrad.
The helmet itself is a M40 (model 1940), the shell is stamped ET64 indication it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz. Size 64 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 56cm to 58cm or US 7 to 7 1/4.
The unique aspects of this helmet are many; first there is a 7.62 caliber size bullet hole (Mosin Nagant) that passed through the back of the helmet and exited through the front. The exit hole is large. Close inspection of the paint, style and aging of the edges along with the provenance lead us to be very confident that this totally 100% genuine.
The helmet is also named with regimental info in classic German lettering an white paint on the underside of the shell as follows:
Armee-Feldlaz. 4/542 in Nowo-Tscherkassk which is a Russian city near Stalingrad.
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.
The M1935 design was slightly modified in 1940 to simplify its construction, the manufacturing process now incorporating more automated stamping methods. The principal change was to stamp the ventilator hole mounts directly onto the shell, rather than utilizing separate fittings. In other respects, the M1940 helmet was identical to the M1935. The Germans still referred to the M1940 as the M1935, while the M1940 designation were given by collectors.
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