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S004470 FIRST PATTERN, OAK-LEAF "A" CAMOUFLAGE HELMET COVER. (Stahlhelmbezüge) 

BACKGROUND: The development of SS, Schutz Staffel, (Protection Squad), camouflage items was initiated by Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader of the SS), Heinrich Himmler in 1935 when he tasked the Reichsführung-SS, (National Leadership of the SS), to begin research of new camouflage patterns and garments for use by the fledgling SS-VT, SS-Verfugüngstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops). In late 1936 and early 1937 the first SS camouflage garments were issued to personnel of the SS-VT Standarte Deutschland, (Regiment Germany), for field testing and evaluation. The first items evaluated were the Quarter shelters/ponchos, followed by steel helmet covers, face masks and smocks. As the war continued various other clothing items were produced in the assorted camouflage patterns. Originally the camouflage patterns were all produced in the time consuming, manual screen printing until the development of the machine roller printing in 1940. By the end of the war no fewer then ten, assorted, camouflage patterns had been developed and used by the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), including the Eichen-Blatt Muster A, (Oak-Leaf "A" pattern), and the Platanenmuster, (Plane Tree pattern). The machine rolled, screen printed, Oak-Leaf "A" camouflage pattern was originally developed in 1941 and was utilized through to 1945 for a wide variety of garments. Of Interest: It is alleged that the Oak-Leaf camouflage patterns, (Types "A" and "B", Circa 1941-1945), originated as a base underlay of the Blurred Edge camouflage pattern with the addition of a two toned, "shadow" over-print. The very earliest, first pattern, camouflage helmet covers had the securing rocker clips handstitched in place until modifications in 1937 when the hand-stitching was replaced with the more practical and less time consuming, rivet attachment. After the introduction of the rocker clip, rivet attachment, the camouflage helmet covers remained unmodified until regulations of mid-1942 when foliage loops were added to the covers. From field experience it was determined that natural foliage was one of the best, and generally the most easily accessible form of camouflage, which initiated the introduction of the foliage loops. The camouflage helmet covers were issued in three sizes with size "3" indicating large, size "2" indicating medium and size "1" indicating small. Of Note: The helmet shells were issued in six sizes with sizes 60 and 62, being small, sizes 64 and 66 being medium and sizes 68 and 70 being large. This example is produced in Oak-Leaf "A" pattern with one of the side panels being in the early, Plane Tree pattern. 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: First pattern, (circa 1941-1942), reversible, helmet cover with riveted on, aluminum rocker clips and no foliage loops. The triple panel, water resistant, cotton duck, construction helmet cover features the machine, screen printed, Oak-Leaf "A" camouflage pattern. The helmet cover is reversible with a repeating splotch pattern and has distinctly different colorations to the summer and autumn sides, with the summer side being in shades of browns, tans and greens and the autumn side in shades of browns and orangish/tan. The colors to both sides are still quite strong. The cover consists of three, machine sewn, panels with a vertical panel to each side and a large, central, rectangular panel to fit the contours of the helmet. The bottom edge of cover had three, evenly spaced, natural steel construction, securing rocker clips with small flat headed, steel retaining rivets to each. The rocker clips are situated with one to each side panel and one to the reverse center. Each of the rocker clips are also attached to a vertical, tunnel looped, steel spring.  The bottom edges of the springs were originally riveted to the rocker clips while the top edges of the springs are stitched directly to the cover. The cover itself is in overall good condition with minor age and usage toning. 

GRADE ****                                         PRICE $

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