Product Description: This phenomenal early double decal M35 Kriegsmarine helmet is one of the best offered on the market anywhere at this time. The level of preservation of this prewar Kriegsmarine helmet is incredible. The helmet was made by Eisenhüttenwerk Thale (ET), the only manufacturer of M35 Kriegsmarine helmets. The exterior retains approximately 97 percent of the original, smooth, apple-green paint finish. The paint shows only minor handling wear and a light, even age patina. The eagle decal is the correct multi-layered Kriegsmarine version, in gold foil. It’s absolutely stunning, and 98 percent intact. The national tri-color decal is likewise nearly perfect, 99 percent intact. The interior of this helmet is also incredibly clean. The pristine chinstrap and liner are in nearly unworn condition. The mint early chinstrap is manufacturer marked by the firm of Gustav Schiele in Loburg, and dated 1939. The liner retains its original drawstring and is size stamped “55.” The inside skirt is manufacturer and size stamped “ET62” and bears the lot number 4036, which is in the correct lot number range for Kriegsmarine helmets. This top shelf early double decal Kriegsmarine helmet is an extremely rare find, much rarer than any double decal SS helmet on the market. It would be extremely hard to find one better.
Historical Description: When the German Army first marched into war in 1914 it went to the front lines wearing the traditional “Picklehaube” helmets. The war soon developed to necessitate the need for an improved headgear to protect the wearer. The German Army developed the M16 helmet in 1915 and began issuing it in mass quantity to its fighting troops in 1916. The M16 underwent changes to bring about the next model, the M18. Both the M16 and M18 saw use by the German Army during WW1, as well as the interwar years by the Reichswehr and Freikorps. In 1931, a new liner system was developed. The M16 and M18 helmets were in mass supply right up to the time the Nazi Party took control of the German government. During Adolf Hitler’s rearming of the German military in the early 1930’s, the M16 and M18 helmets saw extensive refitting with the newer liner system, fresh paint, and the addition of a centralized decal system for the newly formed Wehrmacht’s respective branches. Decals were generally placed on each side of the helmet, one side being the branch and the other the national colors shield or party shield. In 1935, the M35 helmet was introduced. This new design was lighter and more streamlined than the older style helmets and is what the world now recognizes as the iconic helmet of the German Military. M35 helmets can most easily be identified from the separate rivet ventholes and rolled eadges. With the outbreak of war, some changes were made to bring in a new model, the M40. The changes made to this new model was the use of a more matte field grey finish and the vent holes were now integral to the helmets shell. In 1940, the national colors decals and party shields were ordered to be removed. It should be noted that many M35 helmets were brought up to date by repainting them with the matte field grey finish and/or other modifications if necessary. These refitted helmets are what collectors now term “reissue helmets”. The next model helmet to evolve was the M42. The model M42 has the same features of the M40 with the exception of the edges of the helmet not being rolled and remain flared. This was to speed up production and lower cost as the war dragged on and the German economy began changing to a total war economy. In 1943 all decals were ordered to be removed from combat helmets.
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