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L001158 M35 CAMOUFLAGED HELMET.(Stahlhelm M35)
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. The Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was originally introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV, Deutscher Luftsportsverband, (German Air Sports Association), the clandestine, civilian, forerunner of the Luftwaffe on August 18TH 1934, and adopted for wear by the Luftwaffe on March 1ST 1935 along with the national tri-color shield for wear on the helmet. The first pattern national eagle was utilized until a modified second pattern eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations of June 12TH 1940 discontinued the use of the national tri-color decal and further regulations of August 28TH 1943 abolished the national 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 70% of its slightly rough textured, field-grey over-paint with a few scrapes and scuffs to the original, underlying Luftwaffe blue/grey paint and the base steel with minor surface spotting. The left side of the helmet has remnants of a Luftwaffe eagle decal which has been scratched off down to the original, underlying Luftwaffe blue/grey paint. The right side of the helmet has the over-painted outline of a national tri-color shield decal. All three liner retaining rivets and both inset ventilation bushings are all intact. The interior of the helmet has an age and usage darkened tan, M31 leather liner with all eight of its fingers and the original tie string intact. The liner shows light chafe wear to the edges, light age and usage toning and some minor moisture spotting. Interestingly the reverse seam of the liner has a brushed, grey leather panel machine stitched in place that appears to have been period applied. The liner has a faint, illegible, black size inkstamp. The interior crown of the helmet has a faint, mostly illegible, black, oval, Beschaffungsamt, (Procurement Office), inkstamp with the date visible as "1937". The interior crown also has a black inkstamped unit designation that has been blotted over with black ink. The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped, "738" and the interior left side apron has the stamped manufacturer’s code and size, "Q64" indicating manufacture by F.W. Quist, G.m.b.H. Esslingen, size 64. The helmet comes complete with a shortened, chocolate brown leather chinstrap with a natural aluminum, pronged length adjustment buckle and retaining studs intact. The chinstrap shows light chafe wear and some minor surface cracking. Although shortened the chinstrap is still long enough to flip up over the forward visor. The reverse of the chinstrap is well marked with the impressed marking, "LBA", indicating, Luftwaffenbekleidungsamt, (Air-Force Clothing Depot).
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