Assistance with M-35 Helmet Identification
I am new to this forum (so please forgive any inadvertent mistakes), but I wanted to ask for help in identifying a helmet that my uncle brought back from WWII (European Theatre). It has been in my possession since he passed, although I frequently took it out of his footlocker as a child (when visiting about 50 years ago) and would play with it (that accounts for the loss of paint on the top as it spent more time being dropped than worn).
Black paint is very crudely applied and swastika/wreath appears to have been stencil-painted. I know that swastikas are normally canted 45 degrees, but the off-white paint and overspray of the laurel wreath near the skirt seem to speak to age/authenticity as well as lack of care in application. It is usually dismissed as a fantasy piece at gun shows, but I know its origins and would doubt any motivation for my uncle's faking it. My guess would be some Volksturm or factory defense unit, but that's about it. He said it was taken near Regensburg along with a luger/holster that I also inherited.
Any thoughts? Your help would solve a half-century puzzle for me. Thanks!
02-23-2015 01:35 AM
Inside and out two different colors ?? " Decal " almost looks spray painted on by a crude template... ??? 60's biker stupidity ??? G
I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "
Most black painted SS parade and early helmets were template painted like this, so the interior would be painted the original color like this one. That said this is crudely painted and the stencilled insignia certainly appears postwar painted. Can you post a closeup of the insignia that is not blurry? It doesn't appear there are decals under the paint, and there should be as all M35 are decaled helmets. It appears from your photos this is a stripped and repainted helmet and then dressed up with the stencilled insignia.
Definitely repurposed and repainted, but as I said, I got this from my vet uncle and know he brought it back from WWII. Interior appears to be apple green, but many WWI and WWII German helmets were repainted. Not interested in selling and was hoping for more than dismissal. Decal appears to be spray painted stencil as indicated in description.
I'm in my 60's and I indicated I played with it in my youth (1950's); uncle didn't ride a motorcycle. Thanks for your help though.
I am sure he did, however that doesn't make it a repurposed helmet for use by German troops, but it may be a souvenir GI art helmet.
But it is not a period German use helmet I am afraid. The helmet is a model M35 therefore it dates to between 1935 and 1940. The Germans did not use black parade M35 after the war started as they were refurbished to green and feldgrau for combat use. That would then date it pre-war. No insignia of this type existed for German helmets pre-war or at any time that I have seen.
Again, there should be decals under the paint, which will be clear to see with the ridges under the paint. The stencil is not a decal.
DougB.. Glad to see you are still here... With best regards...Gwar
I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "
I can't imagine what the motivation to paint post-war would be, but you are correct, there should be decals under the black paint on an M-35. These pictures were taken some years ago and I am currently laid up with back problems, but will post some better pictures later in the week. However, the black paint is pretty thickly applied and same apple green is visible as an under-layer where black paint has been abraded. I would think that original paint would have been removed along with decals if refurbished and it should have either retained decals if original paint is present or never had decals.
Also, if a desire to sexy it up was the motive, I would think that they would have used the more common angled swastika, SS runes or something else. Who knows, but thanks and will provide more photos.
Although not visible in last photo, there is a last name (which escapes me at the moment except that it was German) painted inside the helmet skirt in white paint - I will provide better photos as soon as I can.
As your uncle would have been a young man himself at wars end - and wanting a trophy to bring back he may have had it embellished with the stencil himself to make it appealing & more German-like for others and himself.
More than dismissal? ...... We are just giving our opinion and while it may have been re-purposed by the Germans ( into a flak helmet possibly? ) it was not German stenciled during the years 1939-april 1945. It was probably done during the short time afterward as the stenciled swastika image didn't exist then.
I think it has good history - but also your uncle's history ...... and there is nothing wrong with that.
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
Thanks Danmark - you are correct - I welcome opinions which is why I asked for help - I was referring to the first post which didn't seem very serious or that the info in my post had been read.
I've vacillated between my own opinions for years, but my uncle didn't seem particularly interested in his bring-backs or service and I always believed that the period-type depiction of the wreath-shapes mirrored the art of the period. Seems like a lot of work to have gone to when regular helmets went for $10-$25 bucks in the post-war years.
Strum cool to see you on here! You always have nice german stuff on eBay. Also your avatar is the cod WAW iron fist?