Product Description: This M35 Double Decal Normandy Helmet is a top shelf, complete combat helmet with great eye appeal. This started off life as a prewar issue Heer helmet, with a shell by ET in a large and desirable size 68. The exterior of the helmet left the factory with smooth paint and two decals. This factory finish was later field camouflaged with a typical “Normandy” style scheme using green and tan paint. The Heer eagle and swastika decal was only lightly sprayed over and is still readily visible. The national tricolor decal on the other side was painted over completely but the outline is easily discerned through the paint. The paint shows moderate wear on the exterior from honest use, with most of the wear on the top of the dome as is often seen, but it remains mostly intact with bright, attractive colors and only a slight patina. Inside, this M35 Double Decal Normandy Helmet retains the original liner. The liner retaining split pins appear to be original to the helmet and never removed. The liner band is a correct prewar aluminum type. The leather liner is complete, but instead of being affixed to the inner liner band with pins, it has been roughly hand stitched to the inner band with brown thread. The inside of the dome appears to have been treated with lacquer or some other liquid that dried glossy. The bales on the liner band retain an original wartime steel buckle chin strap, which has been shortened. The typical Eisenhüttenwerke stamps are in the skirt, with the lot number 4613. This is a very attractive helmet that makes a wonderful display. The condition is excellent.
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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