H055781 M16 SINGLE DECAL TRANSITIONAL HELMET. (Stahlhelm M16)
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. At the end of WWI it is estimated that Germany had produced about 8,500,000 steel helmets. As a result of the restrictions placed on the German’s by the Treaty of Versailles, which dictated a standing army of only 100,000 personnel, there was an abundant surplus of these helmets, and though they saw widespread use by Freikorps personnel, there was still a stockpile controlled by the Reichswehr. These excess helmets underwent minor modifications in 1923 with the addition of provincial identifying shield decals and in 1931 with the development of a new chinstrap and liner system. Although helmet development was ongoing when Hitler came to power in 1933, the M16 and M18 helmets were still the main headgear worn by the Reichswehr. The helmets remained the same until March 14TH 1933 when the provincial shields were discontinued in favour of the national tri-color shield. On February 17TH 1934 the national eagle shield was introduced, and both the tri-color and eagle shields were applied to the helmets. After the development of the new M35 helmet, the WWI helmets were still issued to second line and training troops well into WWII.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped, sheet steel construction, M16 helmet retains a good portion of its original hand applied feldgrau overpaint paint. The left side of the helmet has a Wehrmacht eagle decal which is retained about 95%. The helmet has all three , liner retaining rivets and both of the extended ventilation side lugs intact. Interior of the helmet has a tan, M31 leather liner with all eight fingers. There is one hole to the leather. Interestingly the liner is installed backwards and looks to be one size to small for the helmet. No longer any visible markings.
GRADE *** 3/4 PRICE $895.00 (Or Best Offer)
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