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Interesting M42 helmet

Article about: A very recent acquisition, a battle-damaged M42 helmet. Both hits are entry holes, the lower one having taken away a small portion of the liner. There is also an oblong gouge to the top and

  1. #1

    Default Interesting M42 helmet

    A very recent acquisition, a battle-damaged M42 helmet. Both hits are entry holes, the lower one having taken away a small portion of the liner. There is also an oblong gouge to the top and a few minor dents to the sides. The liner is nice and tight - although the impact to the shell seems to have loosened the pins somewhat, but there is certainly no signs of it being tampered with. Tip of chinstrap is missing, but the helmet has that 'been there' look about it. The black on the liner is nothing more than dirt - possibly soot. There is no evidence of a decal, but the colour underneath the lighter application indicates this to be army. Can't find any stamps to the shell either. Whether this was worn when hit is debatable. But if it was worn - the injuries would have been non-survivable. As always, opinions on authenticity are welcome.

    Cheers,
    Steve

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    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

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  3. #2

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    Sorry Harry old chum, but someone has fritzed you on this one. Sure, its a genuine shell and liner but been "restored". The scuff / sanding marks are a giveaway as is that ghastly paint! The insides of the dome should never be painted with the same shade and the liner seems to have had some treatment too ( like boot polish or water colours ) when out and the whole lot reassembled.
    Note how the paint stops nicely at the liner band..... its not slopped on it.... a sign that the painting was done sans liner.
    I would be returning it myself - you dont want to be lumbered with this dog.
    Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  4. #3

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    Those repetitive tool marks are a good indicator that someone has been busy making a fake cammo.

    Steve

  5. #4

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    Hi, there is nothing I like about this helmet although the shell might be original, I agree with all the above and will add that I don't like the liner also (looks like it's trying to be a m35 liner, reinforced, square D rings) on a m42. Sorry.

  6. #5

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    Well spotted blackdog.... I missed that.
    Cheers Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  7. #6

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    Sorry Steve, but the fella's are "bang on" about this one. That is one messed around with M42 relic shell with a replacement M35 liner. Get your money back asap. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  8. #7

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    I was intending to let this post roll on a bit longer before I answered, but seeing as there has been 196 'looks' and just one like and five replies, I thought maybe it was time I answered some of the criticisms. Boot-polish to the liner... I did say in the description that what was on the liner was possibly soot, it certainly smells like soot anyway! The scratches are not the usual 'repetitive tool-marks' as is normally the case. Where they are visible on the paint they also continue onto the metal - but are not easy to see without a good magnifying glass. The darker patches on the helmet are a mixture of both the original green and aged bare metal.

    The colour of the helmet is very unusual. In daylight it is most definitely 'Dunkelgelb' (RAL7028), but at night it looks green. I cannot think of any other helmet I have owned where the colour seems so different under darker lighting conditions. It is also obvious that the liner has been removed to paint the inside of the helmet as someone pointed out. The long gouge on top of the helmet... when viewed from the inside of the helmet there is a slightly prominent 'ridge' or crease to the metal. The paint along this has cracked, this is barely visible to the naked eye, this would be extremely difficult to fake. The two holes to the helmet... again there is slight traces of the yellow paint being present on the metal which has been pushed inwards by the force of the projectile.

    The liner system... There is evidence that at least one manufacturer continued making aluminium liners until at least 1943, so it follows that some M42 helmets would have them... But this helmet is not one of them - because the liner is dated 1938. Leon commented that it was relic shell with a liner put in... Now I have the advantage of actually being able to examine the helmet closely. The build-up of dirt/dust on the outer side of the band - along with the lack of ripples the pins - and the undisturbed corrosion, would suggest that the liner has been in there for a considerable length of time. The damage to the liner matches up exactly with the lower entry hole - again an indication that the liner belongs to the helmet. For those with a more morbid fascination with damaged helmets, there is evidence of a few liquid stains - but non of the fabled 'blood-rot.' I do wish someone would provide documented evidence of this.

    All that said about the helmet, it still doesn't prove if it is genuine or a good fake. But what I want to know is... why would a Royal Artillery officer bring a helmet home from the war, store it in his house - along with his uniform and other bits, remove the liner and put in a 'wrong' one, and then leave it there to be discovered when he died earlier this year?

    A few more pictures, but try as I might, I cannot get the colour in the pictures to match the true colour of the helmet.

    Cheers,
    Steve.

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    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #8

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    A soldier in the field would not remove the liner to paint the insides ( german helmet liners are difficult not like brodies ) and the "soot" is to me an odd thing to do to leather... often it is oiled making it go dark but this finish does not sit well with me.
    But we are just looking at photos, you have it in hand... just my opinion, I'm no oracle on the subject.
    Regards, Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  10. #9

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    A field refurbed lid could explain the earlier liner and the painted inner. Just being devils advocate!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  11. #10

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    This is what I was referring to as repetitive tool marks. There are several other areas that could be pointed up. On another note it would not be the first helmet that someone put a bullet hole through thinking that would add something to it. If anyone was wearing that lid and took that shot I would think there would be some serious body matter spattered all over the inside. Just my opinion but it seems contrived to me.

    Steve
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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