Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this original M35 Double Decal SS Helmet which is complete with the camouflage helmet cover it was found with. We believe this helmet and cover have always been together. The helmet itself shows heavy combat use and has “the look.” The helmet retains traces of what appears to be a white winter camouflage finish, as well as multiple layers of green overpaint, as one might expect of a helmet that saw many seasons of the war. Both decals remain present, but are heavily worn and partially obscured by traces of the green overpaint. The patina on the exterior of the helmet is moderate, presumably a result of having been protected by the cover for decades. The outstanding original camouflage cover is made from SS pattern “Oak B” reversible fabric. The cover shows wear and tear from combat use, with small tears and holes, but remains sound. The printed camouflage pattern shows expected fading from exposure to the elements. All of the the correct “gun metal” anodized rocker clips are intact. Inside, this M35 double decal SS helmet is complete with its original liner. The liner features a correct prewar reinforced aluminum band. The leather has darkened from age and heavy use, and shows wear, but is intact, with no tears or missing pieces. The draw string is still present, as is the short side of the chin strap, with a wartime steel buckle; the long side of the chin strap is gone. The inside of the shell is marked with an illegible lot number, as well as “Q66” indicating manufacture by Quist in Esslingen, in a nice and desirable large size 66. The name “Wendland” is painted in the skirt with white paint, in an attractive, ornate Gothic letter style. To find a double decal M35 SS helmet with its original combat cover is very rare. This outstanding, top shelf helmet is in excellent 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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