Product description: This Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet is a wonderful example of this very desirable first pattern German Army helmet. It still has its original, smooth, pre-war “apple green” paint finish. The exterior paint shows only minor wear, with a few small scuffs; over 95 percent of the original paint finish is retained on the exterior. The original, early decals are likewise both very well preserved. The national colors tricolor is about 98 percent intact, and the Heer eagle is very close to that, with some light wear and one scratch to the eagle’s wing. This Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet is extremely clean inside and out, with only a very light age patina. The interior of this helmet features the correct original early unreinforced aluminum liner band. The liner leather is complete, with only minor discoloration from age and honest wear, and retains its original liner drawstring. The split pins that hold the liner in place have paint that perfectly matches the helmet. One of them has become a bit loose from wear (this is not unusual with these softer pre-war brass pins), this could be adjusted but we did not want to do anything to alter the originality of this pre-war time capsule in any way. The inside skirt of the helmet retains all of the original smooth paint, and is maker and size marked “NS 60” with a batch number that appears to be “F 82,” possibly suggesting a very early manufacture date for this M35 helmet shell. This Heer M35 Double Decal Helmet is complete with an original chin strap that matches the condition of the helmet, and is the correct early aluminum buckled type. These early helmets in this condition are not easy to find. This one is an outstanding example.
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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