Camo: Spray Camo over the wire in the so-called “Normandy” Pattern
Chinstrap: Full Length
Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this Exceptional Single Decal Heer M40 Normandy Camo Chicken Wire Helmet! The helmet started off as a Single Decal M40 Heer (Army) Helmet produced by “Nickelwerke” (more commonly known as “NS”). The helmet was produced in a larger, and more desirable, size of 66. The helmets lot number is DN46.
This Normandy Camo Chicken Wire Helmet was then most likely issued to a soldier whose duties were associated with the frontlines. At some point, the helmet had the thin galvanized chicken wire applied over the exterior of the shell. Chicken wire application to helmets was common among the foremost German frontline troops, because it allowed the wearer to hastily apply natural camouflage resources, such as grass or branches, which greatly aided in breaking up the silhouette of the helmet and the wearer. The wire was wrapped around each of the exterior liner pins as well as the liners chinstrap bales to hold the wire firmly in place. Closer inspection of the wire shows remnants of green, red, and tan paint, indicating that the wire was applied prior to the sprayed camouflage.
The camouflage paint was applied using a spray technique. First, a base coat of tan was applied, the applier then hastily accented the helmet with red and green to break up the tan. The camouflage paint shows honest wear from daily use, as well as heavy interaction between the wire and the helmet indicating the wire has remained in its current position for decades. The outline of the Heer Decal can be seen just barely peaking out on the helmets left side.
The helmets liner is in excellent condition. Light wear from the wearer sweating can be observed on the forehead area of the leather. All of the leather fingers are present, as well as the liners drawstring. A name was imprinted in the leather of the liner, but is too illegible to fully make out. Heavy dust and debris are observed in between the liner band and the shell, indicating the liner has never been removed from the shell. Inspection of each of the three liner retaining pins also show they have not been tampered with. The liner has a full length chinstrap attached to each of the bales, and is slung over the helmets visor.
This truly is a Rare, One-Looker, & Entirely Untouched Original Normandy Camo Chicken Wire Helmet. Helmets of this caliber in an untouched state are not often seen on the open market, because most pass hands under tables or amongst the circles of collector groups.
Historical Description: The helmets used by WWII German soldiers were issued with a variety of solid paint colors applied at the factory. Different units deployed to combat zones had different methods to break up the iconic German helmet silhouette, for camouflage purposes. Some units issued fabric covers or camouflage nets. In other units, helmets were painted with camouflage colors. Among the most widely utilized camouflage paint finishes were solid tan for desert environments, solid white for winter use, and the tri-color camouflage scheme known to collectors as “Normandy” pattern camouflage. This camouflage style was certainly used in Normandy, famously by Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6, and also by many other units. But it was also used by various units in all the occupied countries along the German-fortified “Atlantic Wall.” The Normandy camouflage scheme is characterized by the use of red, green, and tan/brown/yellow paint. In some cases, the entire helmet would be oversprayed with the tan base color, and then areas would be further oversprayed with the red and green. Other helmet painters chose to simply spray areas with the various colors. These paints were, generally speaking, the same pigments supplied to units for the purposes of camouflaging vehicles. The paint was usually applied in unit work shops, using industrial type spray guns, rather than by the soldiers themselves. Every painter had his own style, and there were probably infinite variations in the way the helmets were camouflaged. Normandy camouflaged helmets were regarded by enemy GI soldiers as attractive souvenirs, and they remain very desirable collectibles today.
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