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Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

Article about: I have owned this helmet for around 18 months and post it now due to a nice request from a fellow forum member. First the history: This helmet was a ebay purchase and I must say I rarely per

  1. #1

    Default Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    I have owned this helmet for around 18 months and post it now due to a nice request from a fellow forum member.

    First the history: This helmet was a ebay purchase and I must say I rarely peruse ebay for helmets yet this one spoke to me of authenticity and a dig into the sellers history showed regular ebay transactions of this and that plus a few rusty relic pieces here and there. This convinced me the seller was not a hardened digger and unlikely to be flogging just one fake helmet.

    Sellers pics:
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    I was attracted to the sight of wire that had corroded into the shell itself, indicating to me that the wire had been in place for a long, long time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The seller claimed to have found the helmet near the town of Casalvieri which from memory is about 40km from Cassino and on the route to Rome.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The helmet when it arrived was indeed posted from the Cassino area, again lending authenticity to the sellers claims.

    (more pics to follow)

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Looks good so far

  4. #3

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    So the helmet arrived and I was surprised to see that what I thought was simply crusty dirt was a concrete-like, possibly limestone encrustation which was almost impossible to remove. I doubted it was an attempt at camoflage as the helmet was already wired and had evidence of netting around the brow area, leaving an imprint in the crusty surface.

    Photos after cleaning:

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    Remains of wire under the front. brim

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    While taking care cleaning around the remains of the decal I noted that the lower arm of the swastika was still in relatively good condition compared to the rest of the decal.

    Possibly protected by the wire when the decal was removed for camoflage purposes?

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Thats a great looking helmet, I have a few relic helmets and really like them. Never have seen a relic helmet with the wire though. Good find!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Another point I was happy to see was the corroded points where the wire once had been and disappeared over time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Why one side of the helmet had lost all its wire I can only guess was due to the shell lying on its side and moisture collecting or running down to the lowest point. The concrete crustation is mostly on the side missing the wire too so I doubt that is merely coincidence.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Thats a good sign indicating that the helmet may have lain on that side for some time. The liner seems pretty much there, and it's an added bonus that the decal or what's left of it has survived this long under ground or where ever. Quite a few of the helmets I've seen (Relics) have had so much crud on them the decal had no chance of ever being seen again. Great clean up!

  9. #8

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Here you go Datrus, this photo is for you

    Don't shoot me guys but with one side of the helmet having lost all its wire, the remaining wire would spring up in the air like a Rooster's comb so a dab of epoxy was need to hold the remaining wire in place. Sacrilege I know but what can you do?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Quote by MrMosel View Post
    Thats a good sign indicating that the helmet may have lain on that side for some time. The liner seems pretty much there, and it's an added bonus that the decal or what's left of it has survived this long under ground or where ever. Quite a few of the helmets I've seen (Relics) have had so much crud on them the decal had no chance of ever being seen again. Great clean up!
    Thanks!

    The liner was just sitting loose as the outer band was rusted solid to the shell and the inner band was just crumbly bits of rust, the leather was dry and brittle and theres no way to fit it back to the shell without alot of double sided tape or something which I won't do.

    Strangly enough I find the decals to survive amazingly well even after years underground. All 5 of my relic lids have some decals remaining, I intend to start a thread on relic decals when I get around to photographing them all.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Relic M40 wire from Cassino area

    Some other angles...

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