Original Rare Czech WWII Named Vz32 / M32 "Egg-Shell" Steel Helmet Converted for Luftschutz Use - Dated 1938
Original Item: Only One Available. This is something that is rarely seen! This is a very rare Pre-WWII Czechoslovakian Vz32 Steel helmet, sometimes known as the M32, M34, Vz32/34, and other designations. After the Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia was virtually handed over to Germany, and occupied. Their helmets and technology were then put in the service of NSDAP Germany, including many of their helmets. This particular Vz32 helmet was pressed into service with the German Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB) (National Air Raid Protection League). It was painted the standard blue color of Luftschutz helmets, and had the large Luftschutz decal applied to the front. These are very rare, we have only had a few examples previously.
The Vz32 was the last of many Czech helmet designs, and were issued in the 1930's and saw service right through to the German Invasion. These helmets would be continued to be worn well after with the German Luftschutz and the German Allied Slovak Army on the Eastern Front. After the war these helmets would be adopted by the Civil Defense and Fire Brigade units.
The Vz32 shell is "egg-shell" shaped, unlike many helmets of the day, which had pronounced contouring, front brims, etc. It has a unique 5 pad liner system, which utilizes 5 discrete pads that are riveted to the shell, along with a standard heavy leather split chinstrap attached on bales that are riveted directly to the shell.
This helmet is set up in Luftschutz configuration, with blue paint and a decal on the outside. However the inside still features the original olive paint and the original liner, while the chinstrap is missing. The shell has ink-stamped markings on the inside of the shell: Bratři G&B Brno, which denotes manufacture by Brüder Gottlieb und Brauchbar in Brno, in Czechoslovakia. Below that is the insignia of a Lion, which is the acceptance stamp of the Czech Army. The two digit number to the right is the date of issue, in this case 1938. There is also the name S. Keppel. marked in red paint under the date.
All five flaps of the liner are still present, though they do show wear, and 2 have had he padding pouches on the back deteriorate. Another is still intact, while the remaining two have been "overstuffed" and now have quite a large amount of horse hair, which is sticking out of the pouches.
Most Vz32 helmets were refurbished post war, making this a rare find. The exterior shell retains about 75% of the Luftschutz blue gray paint, with scuffs, scratches, and chips. The decal is retained at almost 90%, with just a few small chips. Really a very nice example of a rare helmet, ready to display!
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