S003271 M40 SINGLE DECAL HELMET. (Stahlhelm M40)

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. The M35 had an inserted ventilation bushing positioned on each side of the helmet and a rolled bottom edge while the M40 eliminated the bushings and replaced them by stamping the ventilation eyelets directly into the helmet, although it still retained the rolled bottom edge. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet. The M42 retained the stamped ventilation eyelets as found on the M40 helmets but eliminated the bottom, rolled edge. Originally regulations dictated that helmets issued to the SS were to have a black painted finish that was usually applied at unit level, by over-painting the issued, parade green painted helmets. In May 1936 the first parade green painted helmets were issued to personnel serving with LSSAH, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, (Life Regiment Adolf Hitler). By mid-1939 the earlier, black painted helmets, primarily M16's, were recalled and grey/black painted helmets were issued for wear with the black uniform while the factory, painted, parade green helmets were issued for use in the field. Eventually all SS field units were issue with the same types of helmets as the rest of the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), with SS decals, as mentioned above. Besides the black and black/grey painted helmets all early M35 helmets and some early M40 helmets, were originally issued with a factory applied parade green painted finish although most were later repainted using a matte field-grey paint. Regulations of January 27TH 1940 dictated that all issue helmets were to have a factory applied matte field-grey painted finish. Further regulations of March 21ST 1940 dictated that all issue helmets were to have a factory applied, rough textured, matte, slate/field-grey painted finish which remained in use for the remainder of the war with minor variations in shade/tone. Quantities of the darker, rough textured, matte, slate/field-grey paint and application instructions were also issued to personnel in the field. The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), the SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), the SS-TV, SS-Totenkopfverbände, (SS-Death’s Head Units) and eventually the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), were also allocated quantities of the assorted models of helmets through-out the war. Originally SS personnel didn’t utilized any helmet insignia until the first pattern runic SS helmet decals with silver runes on a black field were introduced on February 23RD 1934, but were only worn for a short time by SS-VT personnel. On August 12TH 1935 the black runic SS helmet decal on a silver shield shaped base and the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), party shield decal were both introduced for wear by all SS personnel. Regulations of March 21ST 1940 dictated that the NSDAP party shield decal was to be removed from all helmets and further regulations of November 1ST 1943 abolished the SS runic decal and dictated that it was also to be removed from all helmets although the directives were not completely adhered to. Of Note: The SS runic decal underwent a minor modification sometime early in the war with the runes being somewhat less angular.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped, sheet steel construction M40 helmet retains about 85% of its original feldgrau paint. The right side of the helmet has an "SS" runic decal with black, angular runes on a silvery/white shield shaped base with a wide black bordered edging. The runic decal is retained about 80%. All three liner retaining rivets are intact. M31 liner is present, but the leather is now missing. The interior, reverse, neck guard apron has a stamped serial number "906", and the left side apron is stamped with the faint, manufacturer’s code and size "ET 64" indicating manufacture by Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, size 68. Complete with original chinstrap. Great untouched original SS M40!

GRADE ****                             PRICE $3,000.00

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