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S002164 EARLY, M34 FEUERSCHUTZPOLIZEI HELMET. (Stahlhelm M34)

BACKGROUND: The first "modern" steel helmets were introduced by the French army in early 1915 and were shortly followed by the British army later that year. With plans on the drawing board, experimental helmets in the field, ("Gaede" helmet), and some captured French and British helmets the German Army Forces began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production began at Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, (Iron and Foundry Works), in the spring of 1916. These first modern M16 helmets evolved into the M18 helmets by the end of WWI. The M16 and M18 helmets remained in usage through-out the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era and on into the early years of the Third Reich until the development of the smaller, lighter M35 style helmet in June 1935. In an effort to reduced construction time and labor costs minor modifications were introduced in March 1940 resulting in the M40 helmet. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet. Beside the basic army style helmets the Germans also produced a wide variety of civic style helmets with no fewer then nine assorted variants of the model M34. These civic style helmets were utilized by assorted civilian and para-military organizations including the police. Shortly after Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power on January 30TH 1933 the independent Prussian state police introduced new helmet insignia in an attempt at creating uniformity in dress. The new helmet insignia consisted of a small, canted, white, swastika positioned on the right side and the Prussia state shield in black and white positioned diagonally on the left side. This insignia was utilized until April 23RD 1934 when new insignia for all of German police agencies was introduced that consisted of a small, canted, white, swastika positioned on the right side and the German national tri-color shield in black, white and red positioned diagonally on the left side. This second pattern insignia was only utilized until July 11TH 1934 when a third pattern insignia was introduced that consisted of a larger, canted, white, swastika positioned on the right side and a slightly modified German national tri-color shield in black, white and red positioned diagonally on the left side. This third pattern was utilized until a fourth and final pattern was introduced on July 28TH 1936. With Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s appointment to Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), on June 17TH 1936, he effectively had full control of all the police agencies within Germany. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. The new dress regulations included an attempt to standardize the helmets of the police and on July 28TH 1936 regulations once again altered the insignia on the police helmets with the new wreathed police eagle emblem to be applied to the left side of the helmet and the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), shield applied to the right side. The July 1936 police helmet insignia was utilized for the duration of the war. Of Note: Although the police did utilize the helmet decals until the end of the war, most helmets produced for the police after November 1943 were issued without decals. Also Of Note: The Police were divided into eight assorted branches of service consisting of the, Schutzpolizei des Reiches, (National Protection Police), the Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), the Wasserschutzpolizei, (Water Police), the Polizei Medizinal Beamte, (Police Medical Officials), the Polizei Verwaltungs Beamte, (Police Administration Officials), the Polizei Veterinar Beamte, (Police Veterinarian Officials), the Schutzpolizei des Gemeinden (Municipal Protection Police), and the Feuerschutzpolizei, (Fire Protection Police). The colors utilized on the assorted police helmets included light green, field-grey, grey-green, police green and black, with the black helmets most commonly used by the Feuerschutzpolizei, although other police organizations also used the black finished helmets, primarily during the earlier time period.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped aluminum construction, civic M34 style helmet retains 85% of its original black satin finish paint. The helmet did have the third pattern insignia, (Circa July 11TH 1934-July 28TH 1936), consisting of a large, canted, black bordered, white, swastika positioned on the right side and a diagonally angled, German national tri-color shield in black, white and red positioned on the left side. The swastika has been scraped off and then the area painted over in black. Of Note: This third pattern was only utilized for a short time, (roughly two years), until a fourth and final pattern was introduced on July 28TH 1936. The national tri-color shield decal is retained about 70%. The helmet has two separate, groups of seven, "salt & pepper" ventilation holes positioned on each side of the crown. All four of the flat headed liner retaining rivets are intact. The top crown of the helmet has the aluminum, "comb", removed and the typical plugs installed. The interior of the helmet has a tan, M31 civic style, leather liner with nine fingers. Liner is in very nice condition with its original tie string. Original owners name is hand written to the liner. The liner has all five of the original, "T" shaped, leather tabs for attaching the protective leather neck guard remaining and the leather neck guard is also present. The interior crown has the addition of tan leather crown lining panel with internal padding. The helmet comes complete with a blackened leather chinstrap with dual steel, sliding length adjustment buckles. Helmet is roughly a size 60.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $250.00

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