S016672 M34 DOUBLE DECAL 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 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. Further helmet developments resulted in the introduction of the short lived M33 vulcanfiber helmet and assorted, light weight, M34 civic style helmets. In June 1935 the M35 combat helmet was introduced for all armed forces personnel. In an effort to reduced construction time and labor costs minor modifications were introduced to the M35 helmet in March 1940 resulting in the M40 pattern helmet. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Early, light weight, M34 civic "duck bill" style, sheet steel construction parade helmet retains about 95% of its original smooth parade green paint. The right side of the helmet has a first pattern SS runic decal, as introduced on August 12TH 1935, with sharply angled black runes on a silver shield shaped base with narrow black outer border edging. The runic decal is retained about 98%. The left side of the helmet has the NSDAP party shield decal with a black canted swastika on a white circular field with a red shield shaped base with narrow black outer border edging. The party shield decal is also retained about 94%. The helmet has an embossed ventilation opening to each side of crown. All three flat head liner retaining rivets are intact. The interior of the helmet has a M31 civic style, tan leather liner with eight fingers, a pressed cardboard retaining band and the original tie string all intact. Several of the finger ends are torn where the size adjustment string goes through. Liner is dry. All four of the natural cork spacers between the liner and the shell are intact. The helmet comes complete with a blackened leather chinstrap with a pronged magnetic metal length adjustment buckle/clip and retaining studs. Superb, untouched helmet.

GRADE ****1/4                                                         PRICE $

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