Product Description: This sand textured camo Luftwaffe M40 Helmet is a top-shelf combat helmet, loaded with character and eye appeal. The exterior of this extremely desirable camouflage helmet is coated with a rough, sand textured base paint, which was oversprayed with tan and green camouflage paint. Approximately 90 percent of the original camouflage paint finish remains intact, with typical, honest wear from use. The exterior of the helmet liner pins shows some typical paint loss, but more than enough paint is present to see that these pins were in place when the helmet was painted. The paint has a light, uncleaned patina, with some dark colored drip marks on the front part of the helmet. On the wearer’s left side, a faint outline of the single Luftwaffe decal can be seen. The interior of this sand textured camo Luftwaffe M40 helmet retains its original, 1940 specification Luftwaffe blue-gray paint. There is a great inscription on the inside skirt from the US soldier who took this helmet as a soldier; it reads “Jim Delahunt – Germany – 1945.” The skirt is also maker and size marked ET64, and stamped with the lot number, 761. The leather liner is a nice, early quality example, showing only minor wear. It is still supple. This helmet retains its original drawstring and leather chinstrap. The chinstrap is dated 1940, and has a repair on the tip, possibly wartime done. This outstanding helmet could be the highlight of a collection of wartime German headgear. The condition is a very strong excellent.
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 over sprayed with the tan base color, and then areas would be further over sprayed 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 workshops, 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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