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S007976 M42 SINGLE DECAL HELMET.(Stahlhelm M42)
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, (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. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet. 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 helmet retains about 94% of its original field-grey paint. The right side of the helmet has a second pattern, "SS" runic decal with black runes on a silver shield shaped base with black bordered edging. The decal is retained about 97%. All three liner retaining rivets are intact. The interior of the helmet has a M31 liner in place. Leather is still fully intact with all the fingers. The reverse, interior, neck guard apron has a faint, stamped serial number that appears to be, "2815", and the stamped manufacturer’s code "ckl 64" indicating manufacture by Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, size 64. Of Note: The placement of the manufacturer’s code and size on the reverse, interior, neck guard apron indicates manufacture after mid-1943. Partial chinstrap remains. Nice, untouched, SS M42.
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