Epic Artifacts


Early Helmet Chin Strap, 1938


Condition: Excellent

Manufacturer: E. Farben Berlin



Product Description: This is a great and very hard to find early helmet chin strap. This would be perfect for completing a nice pre war double decal helmet. This early helmet chin strap is textbook in all aspects. It’s made of leather that has been dyed black on the flesh side. The chin strap buckle is aluminum, as one would expect to see on a chin strap of this vintage. It’s maker marked, and though the manufacturer name is difficult to read, it appears to be “E. Farben, Berlin.” A 1938 date is clearly visible. This early helmet chin strap shows only light wear and use, and is in excellent condition overall. It’s still supple and is complete with both of the early aluminum studs that would be used to affix the strap to the bales on a helmet liner. Nice, complete original straps from this period are scarce. This is a one-look original.


Historical Description: The German military introduced a new pattern of helmet liner in 1931 and with it, a new pattern of chin strap. The earliest chin straps used a roller buckle. By the mid-1930s, a new and simplified buckle was in use. These buckles, which were being installed on German chinstraps at the outbreak of WWII, were made of aluminum, and featured a stamped rectangular body and single prong. In 1940, production of aluminum helmet chin strap buckles ceased, and buckles began to be made of steel. The steel buckles were coated with gray or field gray paint, to prevent rust. Originally, many chin straps were unmarked. Starting in 1937, all manufacturers were required to mark their chin straps to ensure quality. Originally, these were commercial type manufacture markings and dates. Late in 1942, the Germans introduced a numeric code for factories, to conceal the locations where equipment was being produced. This “RB number” code system remained in use until the end of the war. The chin strap used on WWII German military helmets was removable, held in place by two studs that affixed the strap to two bales on the helmet liner. There was no hard and fast rule about what chin strap variation would be used with what helmet. Early helmets that were reissued during the war could be found with late chin straps. Decades after the war, many original helmets are found missing the chin straps; the loose straps, when they can be found, are desirable replacement parts.


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