Maker: ET – Eisenhüttenwerke Thale
Product Description: A beautiful and field worn Tropical Camo German Paratrooper Helmet in overall excellent condition. This Tropical Camo German Paratrooper Helmet utilizes an M38 shell with early war style spanner bolts for the liner retention system. The exterior of the helmet has been sprayed with a tan tropical camo over the factory feldgrau paint. The tan camouflage paint exhibits nice honest wear from combat use throughout. The tan camouflage paint shows a nice patina from age, and light crazing in areas. Remnants of the factory applied luftwaffe decal can be seen on the wearers left side of the helmet under the camouflage paint. Three factory spanner bolts and one period replacement bolt hold the liner system in place. The three factory bolts and the replacement bolt all have at least a very small amount of the same tropical paint on them, indicating the replacement bolt was installed prior to the camouflage being applied. The interior of the helmet retains its original M38 aluminum banded liner system with chinstrap. One of the chinstrap’s neck straps has been period repaired and sewn back to the main strap as seen on the photos. The liners neoprene pads have slightly melted from heat exposure, possibly from the hot conditions of the area this helmet would have served, or an attic? It’s hard to say for certain now, but given the hot conditions of the tropical European theater it is very plausible these melted pads are from the time period. The leather liner is intact with remnants of liner manufacturers ink stamps. The leather remains soft and pliable, with evidence of extensive wear and sweat. A dark LBAB 38 stamp (Luftwaffe Bekleidungs Amt Berlin 1938) is very visible on the liner. The rim of the shell is stamped ET68 for the maker and the size of the helmet, as well as the lot number “4881”. A Tropical Camo German Paratrooper Helmet doesn’t come up for sale on the open market very often as most are usually sold through private deals amongst the collectors. This one will tick all the boxes for many collectors out there. Definitely a “been there” Tropical Camo German Paratrooper Helmet with a ton of character and eye appeal!
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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