Product Description: This Early Double Decal M35 Police Helmet is an extremely attractive, top shelf example of a scarce and desirable helmet type. The exterior retains nearly all of the original, factory applied, smooth prewar paint, with a light patina and some small losses from honest wear and use. The decals are very well preserved. The early, borderless type Polizei eagle decal shows normal age toning, and some small scratches, and is about 98 percent intact. The national emblem shield shows matching toning and is virtually 100 percent intact, with only small marks. Inside, this Double Decal M35 Police Helmet is complete with the original liner. The leather is complete, with some very small cracks or slices in a couple of places around the edge, as well as a few small stitches, perhaps where something was affixed at one point. The liner is size stamped “56” and retains the original drawestring. The liner band is a correct prewar reinforced aluminum example. The typical square bales on the band retain the original full-length leather chinstrap. It’s a correct early strap, with aluminum fittings. The inside of the skirt has what looks to be a few initials, presumably those of the original wearer. It’s also stamped with a lot number, as well as “NS64” indicating manufacture by Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke, Schwerte, in size 64. This is a very nice and absolutely choice example of an M35 DD Police Helmet. The condition rates as excellent.
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 edges. 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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