Product Description: This M35 DD Luftwaffe Helmet is a beautiful example of the quintessential prewar German Air Force helmet. The exterior of this top shelf helmet retains about 98 percent of the original factory applied smooth blue paint, with very slight wear and patina. Both decals rate 80-85 percent intact, with strong color, some minor chipping to the tricolor and a scuff on the eagle over the head. Inside, this M35 DD Luftwaffe Helmet retains its original liner. The liner is original to the helmet, as evidenced by the undisturbed dust ring in the shell as well as the retaining pins which show no sign of ever having been removed or tightened. The liner band is a correct prewar reinforced aluminum type with square chin strap bales. The leather is complete, and is marked in ink with the size “58.” The initials “S.n.” are marked in the rear of the liner with blue pen. The draw string is intact. The skirt bears the expected markings inside, with the lot number “1408” as well as “Q66” indicating manufacture by Quist in Esslingen, in a desirable large size 66. These DD M35 Luftwaffe helmets are really starting to get tough to find. This one is choice, and is in excellent plus condition.
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 edges. 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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