Product Description: This extremely rare chicken wire camo helmet is a top shelf example with loads of character and incredible visual appeal. It is a prewar M35 Luftwaffe helmet that originally had a smooth blue paint finish and double decals. The outside of the helmet was later field camouflaged with a full wire basket, made of typical chicken wire, and further camouflaged with a light green camouflage paint, sprayed over the wire. This helmet shows heavy wear typical of prolonged field use, with the paint worn down to bare metal in places on the exterior. The chicken wire shows expected interaction with the paint and steel of the helmet shell, and there is no doubt it has been in place since before 1945. The entire helmet has gorgeous patina from age and use, with a real “combat” look. Presumably, this was a double decal helmet when originally issued. There is an area of bare metal on one side that may be where the tricolor decal was removed to comply with 1940 regulations. The eagle decal is likely still partially intact, though invisible under the camouflage paint and patina. The interior of this chicken wire camo helmet helmet shows expected heavy wear, matching the condition of the outside. The early reinforced aluminum liner is untouched, never messed with. The liner leather shows heavy toning from age and use, and is missing the tips of all the “fingers.” The original factory applied Luftwaffe paint is mostly intact in the dome and skirt, with some areas of heavy wear. The name “Weyland” is painted inside the skirt with white paint, typical for wartime named helmets. It is size and maker stamped ET64, with the lot number 3661, as well as the number 5 stamped over the lot number. The brown leather chinstrap is fully intact, full-length, and is a wartime example with a steel buckle. This gorgeous chicken wire camo helmet is a very impressive example of one of the most desirable of combat helmet camouflage styles.
Historical Description: The helmets used by WWII German soldiers were issued with a variety of solid paint colors applied at the factory. Different units deployed to combat zones had different methods to break up the iconic German helmet silhouette, for camouflage purposes. Some units issued fabric covers or camouflage nets. In other units, helmets were painted with camouflage colors. Among the most widely utilized camouflage paint finishes were solid tan for desert environments, solid white for winter use, and the tri-color camouflage scheme known to collectors as “Normandy” pattern camouflage. This camouflage style was certainly used in Normandy, famously by Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6, and also by many other units. But it was also used by various units in all the occupied countries along the German-fortified “Atlantic Wall.” The Normandy camouflage scheme is characterized by the use of red, green, and tan/brown/yellow paint. In some cases, the entire helmet would be oversprayed with the tan base color, and then areas would be further oversprayed with the red and green. Other helmet painters chose to simply spray areas with the various colors. These paints were, generally speaking, the same pigments supplied to units for the purposes of camouflaging vehicles. The paint was usually applied in unit work shops, using industrial type spray guns, rather than by the soldiers themselves. Every painter had his own style, and there were probably infinite variations in the way the helmets were camouflaged. Normandy camouflaged helmets were regarded by enemy GI soldiers as attractive souvenirs, and they remain very desirable collectibles today.
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