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M16 w/Stirnpanzer - ET 66

Article about: I haven't posted here in a while and when I pulled this one out of storage today I decided to post it. This is one of 2 M16/Stirnpanzer combos that I have been fortunate to have acquired ove

  1. #1

    Default M16 w/Stirnpanzer - ET 66

    I haven't posted here in a while and when I pulled this one out of storage today I decided to post it. This is one of 2 M16/Stirnpanzer combos that I have been fortunate to have acquired over the years. I have had this one for over 20 years. It came from Bill Shea back in the day of paper catalogues, without pictures! The whole set was about $550, alot of money back then. The patina on each piece matches, but obviously we will never know whether they were worn together 98 years ago in the trenches or married 40 years ago by a collector. I am a romantic and would like to believe that these 2 were wartime joined, but enough of a realist to know that they probably were not. Anyway, the ET 66 shell has the original liner (treated, unfortunately, prior to my acquisition) complete with period drawstring. The chinstrap has been lost to time. The strap on the browplate clearly is not original, but adds some "curb appeal", so I have left it on. There are the deep forge stamps on the left side of the plate, which are on all originals that I have seen, and when suspended by the strap and stuck lightly with a wooden dowel the plate rings like a bell, also an essential characteristic of an original. Not many were made and very few survived the War. In fact, when it became known that they were not being put to their intended use, but instead were being put to "off label" uses, such as shoring up the trenches, etc., most were recalled to be melted down to make helmets. The plate it self weighs about 6 lbs. (the helmet only about 3!) so it is quite understandable that a soldier couldn't wear one for an extended period of time. Anyway, it is what it is. Hope you like it. Jim G.
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    Last edited by helmet2id; 04-13-2014 at 02:16 AM.

  2. #2

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    A superb example of an M1916 Stahlhelm mit Stirnpanzer ! not only outstanding, but now very rare..........I see what you mean when you state the same patina ! they have the same look as if purposely made for each other !
    Thanks for showing Jim.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  3. #3

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    Excellent, Jim, I love it!

  4. #4

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    STORAGE!!STORAGE!!! What a great helmet! that is one of the most honest and meaningful pieces I have seen for a long while . I know the rarity may not be quite the same but I PERSONALLY would love this every bit as much as a reverse rune SS!! Thank you for posting this one . It is SUPERB!!!! Leon
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5

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    I would love a set like this one day, very nice Jim.

  6. #6

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    That is a very nice piece, wearing one of those for a while would build up your neck muscles!..
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  7. #7

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    What a great looking set
    and you are correct, the strap really does add
    a bit of "curb appeal" .
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  8. #8

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    Amazing!!...now I know what those helmet bolts were used for...but since I am not a Helmet collector.....for myself and the other readers..what is the use of the extra frontal armor for.....or in what situation was it used? A great find!! Nice . Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  9. #9
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    Very cool set Jim, for what it's worth I am a romantic of sorts myself and find the match and likelihood of them having been together quite possible.

  10. #10

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    Quote by Larry C View Post
    Amazing!!...now I know what those helmet bolts were used for...but since I am not a Helmet collector.....for myself and the other readers..what is the use of the extra frontal armor for.....or in what situation was it used? A great find!! Nice . Regards Larry
    Hi Larry, Yes, the lugs had a dual purpose, ventilation and to serve as anchor points for the stirnpanzer. You may have noticed that the lugs on the smaller sized WWI German helmets (sizes 60, 62 and 64) were "stepped", with the wider (inner) parts of the lugs getting smaller as the size of the shell increased. The step in the lug was to keep the plate from moving from side to side as much as possible. The lugs on the larger size shells (66 and 68) did not need to be stepped as the dome of the shell itself was wide enough to achieve the same result.

    The purpose of the browplate, which was only made for about 1 year, was, as I understand it, to stop bullets, not just shrapnel and metal fragments that were what the stahlhelm was supposed to protect against. They were intended to be used by front line sentries and machine gunners who had to look straight out into no man's land and necessarily expose their foreheads to enemy fire. I have seen period pictures of soldiers with chest armour (I forget the name of that piece of equipment) and brow plates on their helmets that were described as sentries, and if I recall correctly, moving pictures of an MG crew in action with brow plates on their helmets. Apparently the plate would stop a 30.06 round fired at it from point blank range, but the problem was that the plates were so heavy a soldier could not wear one for very long.

    Anyway, it is a fairly rare piece. I will have to check the Baer book, but I think he said that only about 50,000 were ever made. That seems like a large number, but in fact, over 13,000,000 steel helmets were made between 1916 and 1945, so in comparison these were certainly a "limited run".

    Thanks to all for the kind reviews. I am glad that you all seem to like it. I will try to post the other one next weekend. Cheers, Jim G.

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