Lot Number: 439
Product Description: This is an absolutely beautiful, top-shelf example of a Luftwaffe camo helmet. It’s a wonderful “time capsule” wartime M40 that just exudes originality. Between the factory paint and the camouflage finish, the exterior paint is over 95 percent intact. The original “Feldblau” Luftwaffe blue paint was wartime field oversprayed with a really nice two-tone pattern of red and green. The helmet shows honest wear and use and has a light, even patina, leaving the camouflage paint immediately visible. The original decal on this Luftwaffe camo helmet is 90 percent intact, with some minor camouflage overspray. The interior of this helmet is a good match to the exterior, with some patina buildup in the skirt and dome. All of the leather remains intact and pliable. The liner system is totally untouched, the split pins have never been disturbed. The leather liner shows nice, even wear, with some age toning, and retains its original drawstring cord. The helmet is complete with a full length, black leather chinstrap, which shows typical age, and is maker stamped by the firm of Otto Reichel. The inside of the skirt is size and maker stamped “SE64”. The lot number “439” is stamped in the rear of the skirt. This Luftwaffe camo helmet is typical of the camouflage helmets worn by Luftwaffe ground combat troops such as Flak units and the Luftwaffe field divisions. It is loaded with character and displays wonderfully.
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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