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WWII Nazi German Luftwaffe Tropical Camo M40 Single Decal Combat Helmet Stahlhelm M40
Item #: VF4504
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100% original WWII period brush applied camo paint. This example has never been on the collector market and is fresh out of the woodwork, having been donated by the family to the local Hospice Senior Care (Care Partners) located here in Western North Carolina. Darker "Salmon" color tropical finish lead based paint. Liner and chin strap are both still supple. The soldier wrote his name in white enamel paint on the rear flange and it shows age yellowing and crazing. The shell is maker/size stamped SE66 with a rear flange lot stamping of 22611 which falls into the M40 single decal Luftwaffe helmets from the SE indicating manufacture by Sächsische Emaillier-und Stanzwerke, AG Lauter, (Saxon Enamel and Die/Metal Stamp Works), size 66. If you only want one original example fresh out of the woodwork. This is it!
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, (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. 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.