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German helmet passed down by Grandfather

Article about: Hello all- I have been trying to find somebody that could tell me a little info about a helmet that was passed down to me by my grandfather, and I wound up here. Seems that message boards li

  1. #1
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    Default German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Hello all-

    I have been trying to find somebody that could tell me a little info about a helmet that was passed down to me by my grandfather, and I wound up here. Seems that message boards like this often contain a wealth of information, so perhaps somebody could help me learn a little about what I have.

    So-- here's the story.

    First of all, I do not have any sort of relic collection. I fish and run fishing charters, and that is enough of a full time pursuit! I AM very interested in history, but have never had a good reason to delve too much into war relics.

    The reason this comes up now is that during Christmas at my parents house, my mother said she had found an old box of mine. Inside of that old box was a steel helmet that I had been given in middle school by my grandfather- 1983. I had the helmet on my shelf until high school, then boxed it up when I left for college in 1988. For the last 22 years it has sat in a box in a storage area at my parents.

    My grandfather was in WWII in Europe, but at this time I haven't tracked down where. I believe it was towards the end of the European campaign as he also was in the South Pacific. Growing up I remember a number of items, such as a waist high onyx carved Buddha, some Asian artwork, and cat statues, etc. He never spoke about the war until the day he passed on the helmet to me. He gave me the helmet with great gravity, telling me how horrible the war was.

    Anyway, as I said, he gave me the helmet in 1983 at the age of 13. I never thought anything about it other than Grandpa had fought in the war and he brought this back.

    So..... what can anyone tell me about it? Is this something that matters to authenticate? I don't have any intention of selling it, but is it something that should be insured, or is it just an interesting piece of history?

    Thanks in advance for any info you all can provide.

    Oh- Stamped on the underside of the helmet lip is ET62 on one side and 581 towards the back. Pulling up the leather liner inside I can see the reverse impact numbers of 59 on the metal holding the liner, but that is it.






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  3. #2

    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    I'm not sure whats up with the chinstrap. It looks like a period replacement from some other item, because it isn't original to the helmet. I will tell you this though:

    You have a FANTASTIC helmet that collectors would kill for. It is a single decal SS M40. It looks like it was made by the Quist firm, so it should have a Q stamped in the metal on the inside somewhere next to a number. That number is the size, and it looks like yours is a large size, maybe a 68?

    I'm sure you have heard of the SS. Basically, this is the helmet that someone in the SS would wear, circa 1940-42. These are heavily faked because they are so rare and worth so much, but I believe yours is original. Look around online for the prices these helmets are selling for just to get an idea of the value.

    To add to that, the liner appears to have some blood rot damage. This helmet was definately well-used. If I were you, I wouldn't let this helmet go ANYWHERE. Especially since it has a history within your family. This helmet is priceless. Seriously man, this isn't just any helmet, it could be centerpiece of any man's collection.

    Can you post some pictures though? If you can, please post a close up of the decal, as well as pictures of the stampings on the metal on the inside of the helmet. It can be evaluated much more easily that way.

    Damn, I get excited when I see threads like this...

  4. #3

    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Sorry for double posting, but nevermind the Quist thing. You have a pretty small Eisenhutten Thale made helmet. The lot number on yours puts it at about mid-1941.

    Good lord I love this helmet. You will probably get a ton of offers for it. Don't sell it for anything!

    P.S. Here's a good link for you. Have a good look around the site, there's a lot of good info.

    German-Helmets.com

  5. #4
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    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    I just went and took a bunch of pictures of the helmet. I'm uploading to my website gallery and then I'll post them here.

    No worries about not selling it, it's not for sale. I have a 2 year old son and I plan on giving it to him some day when I tell him about his great-grandfather.

    I guess it's funny to think that as a little boy I had this sitting on my shelf, and all I ever really thought about was grandpa in the war and how terrible he said it was.

  6. #5

    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    If he managed to bring back this kind of helmet with blood rot then he must have been in the thick of it, especially if he went to the Pacific as well. You don't happen to know which unit he served with and where he was in Europe do you?

  7. #6

    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Great helmet! Never sell it, it is Your family relic.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Ok, so here are some other pictures taken at a little higher resolution.

    Right side.





    Left Side- There is some lighter green paint as well as some white specks of paint on the helmet as well. I think you can see the blob of real light green on top.





    The Decal





    The ET62 mark- I can read it, but can't get a good great camera angle on it.



    The 581



    And the inside. Don't know anything about the chin strap, just that it is how it was given to me by my grandfather.




    OK- So the next question I have is.... What do I do with it other than sit it on a shelf? And I mean, I don't think it probably will deteriorate- it's made it this far after all, but is there something I SHOULD do with it?

    Thanks again for any input.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Quote by ObKrieger View Post
    If he managed to bring back this kind of helmet with blood rot then he must have been in the thick of it, especially if he went to the Pacific as well. You don't happen to know which unit he served with and where he was in Europe do you?
    I don't know, I'll ask my dad tomorrow. I believe we still have old albums. I don't know what blood rot is...is that perhaps where the leather has broken down?

    My grandfather said he was on land in Europe, but I think that he was actually in the Navy. I do remember that he had a big anchor tattoo on one forearm and a skull and crossbones on the other forearm.

    This makes me feel like a little kid again and I'm 40 and my dad is 71!

  10. #9

    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Blood rot is where actual blood stained the liner and was never cleaned out. As blood ages, it turns dark brown, and with time it will look exactly the way it does on your liner. Yours is a true combat veteran.

    I would love to see some pictures from the albums you have. If we can determine the unit he was with, it might give us a clue as to where he acquired the helmet.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: German helmet passed down by Grandfather

    Just because im curios, how much is a helmet like this worth?

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