Original WWII German Normandy Pattern Camouflage M-38 Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger Paratrooper Helmet - Complete with Liner and Chinstraps
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an stunning example of an absolutely untouched WWII German M-38 Fallschirmjäger Helmet with Normandy Pattern Textured Camouflage Paint Scheme! This helmet is offered in “as-found” condition, just as it came out from an estate just recently! Helmets like this do not come about very often, and this is certainly the first Normandy Pattern Camouflaged Fallschirmjäger Helmet we have ever had the pleasure of offering.
This is an early model M-38 with 2nd Pattern Liner and chinstrap fitted to the shell by the means of four vented spanner bolts. It should be noted that it is quite apparent that the liner, nor chinstrap, have ever been removed or modified in any way. This helmet in its entirety looks like it simply has not been touched since it was brought home by an American GI in 1945!
The side of the interior shell is stamped ET68 and the rear of the skirt is stamped with the steel lot number 4379. This lot number indicates (according to Ken Niewariarowicz work Germany’s Combat Helmets 1933-1934: A Modern Study) that it was manufactured between 1938 (mid-3,000 range)to 1940 (low 5,000 range). All paratrooper helmets were produced by Eisenhuttenwerke AG of Thale. This helmet is a size 68cm shell with a liner that is sized 58cm.
Being that this helmet was made between 1938-1940 means that this helmet could have quite possibly been present for some of the early engagements that the Fallschirmjägers were famous for; such as the successful raid on the fortress of Eben-Emael, or the Invasion of Crete. Being this early of a helmet indicates that this helmet was, undoubtedly, in double decal configuration at one time. Following the order to remove the Tricolor National Color in 1940, the decal was likely scrapped off, and repainted. The helmet was then repainted with a Normandy Pattern Camouflage Pattern.
The helmet currently exhibits the remains of a once vibrant Normandy Camouflage Pattern paint scheme consisting of tan and green in varying shades. The helmet was painted with what appears to be finely ground sawdust to make textured paint. There is a Luftwaffe eagle decal just slightly visible beneath the thick surface paint. Interestingly, this helmet has what appears to be tropical colored sand paint visible in areas BENEATH the Normandy Camo Scheme, which leads us to believe that this helmet had also seen service in the Mediterranean Campaigns (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Greece, etc) before reaching service in the Normandy Campaign. Needless to say, this helmet was used for several years, and could have changed hands, being reissued to one Fallschirmjäger or another, a few times.
The helmet has a great deal of character, and shows a rich patina that can only accumulate with time. The helmet has not been cleaned, modified, or had the spanners removed, or any of the nonsense that occurs over time when a piece such as this falls into the wrong hands. This is a completely righteous, and untouched, example.
The helmet liner is completely intact, although the leather is dry and shows signs of heavy use and storage wear. The chinstrap shows evidence that it appears to was stored hanging by it’s chinstrap, which eventually resulted in the leather becoming stretched, and the rear yoks torn from the main chinstrap body. However, the helmet is complete, as all components are still present.
A beautiful example! Ready for display!
Fallschirmjägerhelm M38 ( M38 Heisler / M38 ) - was a German steel paratrooper helmet intended for Fallschirmjäger airborne units from World War II. Originally, the German airborne troops used the standard Stahlhelm M35 helmets throughout the German Army . It soon turned out, however, that this helmet was not suitable for parachuting, as it caused significant air resistance during the jump. A too loosely fastened helmet could have been torn from the jumper's head, and if it was tightly fastened it could cause suffocation.
Therefore, from 1936, work was carried out at the Eisenhüttenwerke factory to create a helmet dedicated specifically to the airborne troops. Their effect was a parachute helmet designed by engineer Karl Heisler, which under the designation M38 was adopted by the army.
The M38 helmet was derived from the standard M35 helmet. However, it was smaller, more streamlined and with a significantly reduced hood. The front part of the hood was only marked, and the rear part was shortened to 1.8 cm. (in experimental versions - 2 cm). The rims of the bell were rolled up. The helmet bell was made in a series of operations from one piece of steel sheet 1.5 mm thick. It was produced in sizes marked as 66, 68 and 71.
The internal equipment of the experimental versions of the helmet was identical to that of the standard M35 helmet. In the version adopted for equipment, a new type of fascia was used, which better protected against possible injuries. For this purpose, the bell walls were additionally lined with a shock-absorbing micro-rubber insert cut into 7 "arms" with a thickness of 10 to 13 mm. The actual fit was in the form of a leather cap with round holes cut for ventilation. Both the micro-rubber insert and the leather cap were attached to an aluminum rim with a thickness of 1 mm. All interior fittings were bolted with four screws to the helmet bell.
A new type of lining was also used in the parachute helmet. The standard two-point suspension was replaced with a four-point "Y" -shaped suspension, which ensured better fit of the helmet on the head. In the model adopted as an accessory, the straps of the lining were widened to 20 mm and latches were introduced to protect the helmet against accidental unfastening.
The helmet's bell was initially painted gray-blue. A national-colored shield on the right side and a Luftwaffe eagle decal on the left side were put on. Later during the war, the bell was painted gray-green or sand colored. Various covers and masking nets were also used. In winter conditions, the helmet bell was painted white.
Polish tankers from the 2nd Corps of the Polish Armed Forces in the West would use captured M38 helmets. The reason for this was their small size and the fact that they fit very tightly to the head. However, they were strictly forbidden to use them, as it happened that their own infantry mistook the tankers leaving their vehicles as Germans and opened fire on them.
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