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SS Double Runic Rarity

Article about: have been stoked to see this one hit the Wall o' Helmets! It arrived earlier this week and I was just floored taking this one out of the box. The condition of this helmet is a perfect cross

  1. #1

    Default SS Double Runic Rarity

    have been stoked to see this one hit the Wall o' Helmets! It arrived earlier this week and I was just floored taking this one out of the box. The condition of this helmet is a perfect cross between fine condition and been there combat salt. I dare say it is the nicest combat non camo SS helmet (ie. not minty) I have had the pleasure to have in my collection to date.

    It is an M35, maker EF in size 64 with late lot number run of 21328. I believe this to be a 1940 dated helmet and to support this the untouched linerband is dated 1940 as is the Carl Tesch Berlin strap which also appears to be VA SS marked. I can see a ..940 embossed in the strap but any VA SS markings are long gone. This would make this one of the late last runs of EF M35 helmets before they switched production to the M40 which is an even rarer lid in SS helmet parlance. This helmet has that typical darker patina that EF helmets get which to me adds to the desirability of the EF M35.

    Of note Carl Tesch is the strap maker found typically on Q SS helmets in the 38 and 39 date ranges and seeing this strap on this helmet that appears to be VA SS marked lends credence to a theory that these Carl Tesch straps may have been contracted separately by the SS and then added to the helmets prior to distribution to the field, a practice that while would have fit with SS procurement policies would not have been practical and dropped. I own 2 Q SS helmets with Carl Tesch Berlin VA SS marked and dated straps and I think GIsle also owns a couple of these and I know Kelly has a couple as well, all on Q helmets till now that I can recall. Anyway it is an interesting sidebar to this fine helmet that adds some depth to the genre's minutiae.

    Factory EF SS M35 combat helmets are almost unheard of. I know of 3 or 4 off the top of my head including this one and another I picked up from Kelly this summer. The fact that this one is a double runic puts this one among the rarest of SS helmets. The regular runic decal is factory applied CA Pocher which makes sense as EF did not produce SS decals until the M40 model (that have been seen yet) and exhibits nice toning (not that present in my quick photos) and the party decal presumably also a Pocher. Neatly applied overtop of the party decal is what you would exactly expect to see on a double runic or reverse decal and that is a CA Pocher runic decal.

    The helmet is named as well, I have not spent the time to decipher it but it appears to be Apel or something like that. Not common and worthy of investigating further in the NARA archives to see what can be unearthed. SS Double Runic helmets were known to be issued to a company among the LAH and among SS soldiers of Regiment Germania and later to foreign (Eastern) volunteers of the SS seen on M42 SS.

    Here also is an unpublished period photo I have from an ex-LAH veteran who after the war moved to Canada. I own his entire photograph collection which are to be published in an upcoming book on the history of the Waffen SS. This shows what appears to be an M35 or perhaps an M40 combat helmet, not sure on the maker, of an LAH soldier wearing a double runic helmet. The decal is a CA Pocher.

    Note on my helmet the vent grommets are also two different sizes which is also quite interesting.

    Anyway hopefully further research of the name will indicate if this was an LAH veterans helmet, Germania or other unit. It is not 100% known why double runic helmets were used, a theory that the language barrier of foreign soldiers meant they needed to be quickly identified on the battlefield and so non German speaking volunteers were to wear the double runes. But then why was a company of LAH soldiers wearing them? And why was this not consistently applied? Germania is well known for double runic SS helmets and was made up of many Scandinavian and west European volunteers. Some Eastern SS units I have seen photographic evidence but with the many foreign SS units after 1942 that came onstream you dont see much of the double runics, if at all. Any theories or insight would be great to hear!

    Thanks for looking gents.


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  3. #2

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    That is one of the best helmets I have ever seen. Absolutely fantastic item. I can understand how you feel, that is a great item worthy of any museum piece. Congratulations!



  4. #3

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    What a Beauty Doug I bet youre over the moon with this one,Well Done

    Last edited by Studly; 09-05-2011 at 06:53 AM.

  5. #4

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    That is an amazing helmet! I never realized they made helmets with both sides the same decal. All the extra info on it is great. If I had this helmet I would move my TV aside and just sit and stare at the helmet all day!


  6. #5

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    Making me drool here Doug, thats one of the best helmets ive ever seen, no wonder your so stoked, its a strange thing with SS helmets, with me its not the fact of what it represented its the asthetics of the decals and the varied history of the pieces and the associated divisions that were mostly in the forefront of major battles and campaigns, if only that lid could talk

  7. #6

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    What a beautiful helmet,you probably spent your week-end just looking at it.

  8. #7

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    "Thou shalt not covet another mans property"........well that commandment's out the window! Greatest helmet EVER!
    Thanks for sharing this holy grail.

  9. #8

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    EF decal? check

    Complete? check

    Double Runic? check

    Jesus, Doug... I would love to be the son of yours that inherits this helmet, let alone your entire collection!
    Looking for WWII U.S. dog tags

  10. #9

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    Thanks for the kind words gents. You know the cool thing with this hobby is every time you think you've seen it all something like this pops from the woodwork or buried in an oooold collection like this one was and you just have to have it. This one will stay on the shelf a very long time.

    This is classic Pocher decals not EF. EF didn't produce a known SS decal till the M40 and Hicks has the only one known, and he won't sell! :-(

    Still, the only 4 EF double decal factory applied SS decals known are all CA Pochers which look very similar to EF, and Pochers were the non factory decal of choice for the SS during this time frame.

  11. #10

    Default Re: SS Double Runic Rarity

    Fantastic! I love the Swastika decal peeking out from under the runic decal. I shudder to think what this might be worth...

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