Product Description: An unbelievable M40 German Medic Helmet. The German Medic Helmet is one of the scarcest, as well as one of the most scrutinized of the “Camo” German Helmets. The German Army Medics, for the most part, did not identify themselves as Medics on the battlefield like that of the U.S. Medics during the War. The War in the East was of such ferocity that the battlefield medic would not identfy themselves due to being deliberatly targeted by the Soviets. Due to the true rarity of the German Medic Helmet, most seen on the market today are usually viewed with skepticism by seasoned collectors. This is what makes this helmet a truly special piece, a true “One-Looker” German Medic Helmet at first glance. The helmet is “Q66” with a lot number of “524”. The exterior of the helmet exhibits several layers of the white paint, with the top layer remaining a brighter white than the bottom layer. The Red Cross symbols, I believe, may have been executed on two separate occasions. The top cross shows what appears to be two layers of red paint, while the front cross, which is in better condition, appears to have been applied only once. The still very visible, raised white paint line on the border of the front cross indicates that the red cross was painted to the helmet, prior to the application of the white paint. The cross was masked off with tape, then the helmet was covered in the white paint. Once the tape was removed, it left the raised area on the border. There is also some light bleed through of the white, on the red, which can be easily seen in the photos. The exterior paint of the helmet exhibits a very pleasant crazing throughout. Drips and smudges from the last paint application can also be seen in areas around the helmet. The helmet’s interior exhibits signs of extensive daily wear. The inner fingers of the leather liner have deteriorated over the years, however, the drawstring and tips of the leather’s fingers was found inside the helmet near the liner band. The steel liner band has a generous build-up of dust and debris between it and the helmet’s shell, indicating that the liner has not been tampered with. This is an absolutely fantastic example of a German Medic Helmet. A collector would be very hard pressed to find another in his/her lifetime, which checks all the boxes like this one does.
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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