Product Description: An extremely rare and desirable Double Decal M38 German Paratrooper Helmet. Double Decal German Paratrooper Helmets aren’t found on the open collectors often, as usually they are sold in private. This is an extremely fine example of a pre war German Paratrooper Helmet. The helmet is in very good condition. The helmet retains roughly 90% of it’s early smooth apple-green exterior paint with light scattered marks throughout. The decals on the helmet consist of the German National Colors Shield, as well as the German Luftwaffe Second Pattern Eagle. The National Shield is in excellent condition, with approximately 98% of the decal remaining and scattered light marks throughout. The Second Pattern Luftwaffe Eagle Decal is in very good condition, with approximately 85% of the decal remaining and with some scattered light marks throughout. The interior aluminum banded leather liner is in excellent condition. The original size and manufacturer ink stamps are bright and clearly legible. The neoprene pads are intact, but like all others of this age, have dried hard over time. The chinstrap is intact and undamaged. Please note, it is in our experience and findings that we believe the liner has been replaced at some point in its life. Whoever did the liner swap did a very good job at extracting the old one and reinstalling this one, as the liner displays perfectly with this shell. The shell size is a larger and more desirable size 71, with a larger size 59 leather liner. This is a seldom encountered opportunity to own one of the scarcest German Helmets to find, in any condition. This Double Decal M38 German Paratrooper Helmet would make an excellent “top shelf” addition.
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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