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A M1916 Helmet Shell

Article about: This is my first posting here. I have what appears to be a M1916 German helmet shell. It has no liner, but the little pointed things for the chin strap are present. There is nothing that loo

  1. #1
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    Default A M1916 Helmet Shell

    This is my first posting here. I have what appears to be a M1916 German helmet shell. It has no liner, but the little pointed things for the chin strap are present. There is nothing that looks like battle damage. I have looked carefully for stamped markings, inside and out, and found none. A couple of questions - 1. Is it authentic? I'd say that it is, at least the metal age patination appears authentic. 2. There is a painted black cross on the front. Could that mean anything? I have understood that such hand markings are not that unusual, and also it could have been a Freikorps marking. About what would the value be on the US market at present? I bought this at an estate sale about 20 years ago, and am about ready to let it go via eBay, etc., if it has any significant value. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    The iron cross in front of the helmet is post war also look like someone painted the helmet red some time ago or is the picture.The shell is original.

    chris
    Last edited by cricketchris1944; 03-18-2011 at 05:19 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    It appears that you have a size 66 or 68 helmet (one of the larger sizes) if you look at the inside, about where your left ear would be, there should be a manufactor and size stamp. A great looking shell, by the way. As far as value anymore on ebay? That's a good guess. $135.00-$225.00?

    Anton

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    I took another look at the area on the left side you suggested. There is definitely a stamping there, but it's fairly faint and small. It looks to be E.T.6 or it maybe E T 6. Using a magnifying glass did not help me much. Does that marking make sense?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    It appears that you have a size 66 or 68 helmet (one of the larger sizes) if you look at the inside, about where your left ear would be, there should be a manufactor and size stamp. A great looking shell, by the way. As far as value anymore on ebay? That's a good guess. $135.00-$225.00?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    I took another look at the area on the left side you suggested. There is definitely a stamping there, but it's fairly faint and small. It looks to be E.T.6 or it maybe E T 6. Using a magnifying glass did not help me much. Does that marking make sense?

  7. #7

    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    Dwalt, the marking will be ET (maker mark) 66 or 68 (size) size can be determined by a visual check of the size of the vent lugs, yours are not stepped, so it is either a size 66 or 68 (a large size), the maker mark ET is for the maker "Eisenhuettenwerke Thale A.G." of Thale in the Harz, a common maker of both M16 & M17 steel helmets, they made all sizes from 60 to 68, There will be another number stamped in the inside of the top of the helmet, which I.D.'s the steel mill from which the steel was sourced, called a heating lot number, usually on an ET marked helmet it starts with an R (for the rolling mills at "Stahlwerk Röchling", in Volkingen), for example "R 456" see if it is there......
    Hope that helps,
    Prost ! Steve.
    "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)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    Thanks for the information. I was aware of the steel mill marking, but if it's there, I can't see it. There is some corrosion at the inside top surface, and it may have obscured the marking. Likewise, I can't see another 6 or an 8. As sizes went from 60 to 68, could not the ET 6 mean 66 (i.e. only the last digit) What's the reason for having different vent lug shapes? I know the machine gunners had some sort of armor plate that attached to the lugs, so was the lug shape different to allow the same armor piece to fit all helmet sizes? Any ideas about the hand-painted black Tatzenkreuz?

  9. #9

    Default Re: A M1916 Helmet Shell

    Dwalt, the reason for the difference in the vent lugs, is as you say.....the "Stirnpanzer" the armoured plate that could be affixed to the front of the helmet, fitted all sizes of helmet, as the plate was only made in one size ! so to make up the extra size distance the smaller helmet lugs were "built up" (stepped) so that the plate fitted snugley ! The Stirnpanzer was issued in proportionally smaller numbers than helmets, and were generally worn by snipers and sentries in exposed positions, and usually together with body armour (see attached photo). As to the cross, it has no significance as to WW1 markings on the M16/17 or 18 helmets and could of been applied at any time after the war...."Freikorps" ? who knows.
    Prost ! Steve.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by oradour; 03-19-2011 at 01:46 AM.
    "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)

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