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 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, 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 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. Originally the Third Reich national tri-color helmet decal was introduced on March 14TH 1933 for wear on the left side of the helmet to replace the Reichswehr era state shield insignia. Regulations of February 17TH 1934 introduced the Wehrmacht eagle decal and the national tri-color decal was shifted to the right side of the helmet with the Wehrmacht eagle decal positioned on the left hand side. Regulations of March 21ST 1940 dictated that the national tri-color decal was to be removed from all helmets and further regulations of August 28TH 1943 abolished the Wehrmacht eagle decal and dictated that it was also to be removed from all helmets although the directives were not completely adhered to.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped, sheet steel construction helmet retains about 75% of its slightly rough textured, heavy, brush applied, field-grey camouflage over-paint with spots of wear to the underlying parade green paint and the base metal with light to moderate surface spotting. The left side of the helmet has a black lined, Wehrmacht eagle shield decal. The right side of the helmet has the faint outline of an over-painted national tri-color shield decal.All three liner retaining rivets and both inserted ventilation bushings are intact. The interior of the helmet has an age and usage darkened, M31 tan leather liner with all eight fingers and the original tie string intact. The liner is in overall very good condition showing light chafe wear to the edges and light age and usage toning and the leather is still quite supple. The liner is well marked with a faint, purple size inkstamp, "56". The interior crown of the helmet has a faint, illegible, black oval, "Beschaffungsamt" (Procurement Office), inkstamp. The interior, reverse, neck guard apron is serial number stamped, "3527", with a faint, handwritten name. The interior left side apron is stamped with the manufacturer’s code and size, "ET64", indicating manufacture by Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, size 64. The helmet comes complete with a blackened leather chinstrap with a pronged, natural aluminum, length adjustment buckle and retaining studs intact. The chinstrap shows light chafe wear and some surface cracking through-out but the leather is still fairly supple. The reverse of the chinstrap is well marked with the stamped manufacturers name, location and date that appears to be, "R. Ehrhardt Pössneck 1938". Nice untouched helmet!

GRADE ****                                                         PRICE $1,695.00

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