Markings: “DRP Thale” stamp on rear of helmet skirt
Product Description: This is an absolutely killer example of a prewar German fireman’s helmet, in outstanding condition, and loaded with eye appeal. The comb was ordered to be removed from these helmets at some point around the start of the war, but the original aluminum comb on this example remains intact. The exterior of the helmet retains more than 95 percent of the original semi-gloss black paint, with just enough honest wear to show that this one saw service. The decals on this German fireman’s helmet are beautiful. The eagle decal rates over 90 percent intact, with a few chips that only barely affect the decal’s graphics. The Party shield decal is an incredible 98 percent intact! The interior of the helmet is complete, with a nice liner and integral chin strap. The leather is still supple and shows only minor wear, matching the well-preserved condition of the exterior. The liner is stamped with a size, “56.” The rear skirt of the helmet is stamped with a manufacturer logo, “DRP” (indicating Deutsches Reichs-Patent) and “Thale,” the city where this helmet was made in the 1930s. The nut is missing from the rearmost comb lug, this could be replaced but we have left this untouched and as found. If you are looking for an outstanding example of a prewar German fireman’s helmet, this one is certainly worthy of consideration.
Historical Description: The German steel helmet was introduced in WWI. After that war, most German paramilitary and civil uniformed organizations wore surplus WWI style helmets, sometimes repainted or with newly added organizational logos. With the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the size of the various German organizations was greatly increased, resulting in greater demand for helmets than could be filled with WWI surplus. As a result, a variety of new helmet types were created to fill this demand. Some of the new helmets were commercially available and could be individually purchased. Others were intended for issue by various organizations. Most of these helmets were copies of the WWI type helmets, including the SS-RZM helmet of the early 1930s. In 1934, a new helmet type was created for use by German police, fire protection crews, and other organizations. Known to collectors as the M34, it featured a liner with integral chinstrap, a lower profile than the WWI helmets, and “salt shaker” style air vents instead of the earlier “Frankenstein” lugs. Other helmets were produced that followed this same general pattern, and were used by the Luftschutz and other organizations. In military organizations, all earlier patterns were generally replaced in 1935 by the new M35 helmet. But earlier versions continued to be used as parade helmets, and civil organizations used variations of these early helmets until 1945 and in some cases, even later.
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