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Late War Helmets

Article about: An odd looking Luftschutz helmet, maybe an 'economy gladiator'. Maker's mark looks like Thale.

  1. #21
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    Quote by Brian View Post
    That odd, thrown-together look I believe is indicative of the Reich's late war struggle to produce.
    After hostilities ended, there were helmets everywhere but with no one to where them. The numbers were so great that companies resorted to converting many to farm and kitchen implements.
    There were so many good quality helmets available post war that there would have been no reason to produce junk like this.

    It just doesn't make any sense. My two cents, anyway.
    It makes perfect sense actually. These helmets have zero combat protection. They are clearly for civic use. There is no proof they are wartime production, no source documentation, no production dates on any of them.

    They already had the dies and processes in place to make what they made, why change that in the last, what, 3 months of the war? Converting dies takes time, which they did not have. Converting meant retraining their slave labour which takes time which they did not have.

    However when the collapse of Germany happened in March- May and the immediate occupation, Germany was stripped of much of her machinery, equipment, dies and tooling by the Soviets, and to a lesser extent by a Western countries. Thus the need to make "junk" however they could, junk exactly like this.

    Through improvisation and new dies hence these improvised helmets.

    As well, Germany was not empty at the end of WW2. They required policing, mining, firefighting, etc. The occupying powers did not do these functions, the Germans did. These Germans would require helmets, and much of the military helmets were recycled as you point out.

    I believe you might be making these items fit a theory and are categorizing something that is not clear, like the M"45" helmets. (Read my signature line)

    I also want to point out many who collect don't know the actual real history about the country itself. Germany was not a total desolate bombed out wasteland using whatever scraps of material they could find to defend the Reich to the last bullet. The country functioned well right to the end and evidence of this is production of war materiel soared from late 1943 until very late 1944 and even in January and Feb war materiel was being cranked out. The Reich's struggle to produce was not as problematic as you think.

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  3. #22

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    The OP helmet and the one in post #18 look fire brigade in shape!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



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

  4. #23
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    ---It makes perfect sense actually. These helmets have zero combat protection. They are clearly for civic use. There is no proof they are wartime production, no source documentation, no production dates on any of them.


    Certainly they are civic helmets. As a researcher of late war helmets, I find that I cannot demand so-called 'proof ' before I consider a helmet as authentic. If I required that my helmets first be seen in publications, have factory documentation, be seen in period photos or by eye witnesses, have vet provenance, or have previously been in well known collections, I would have turned down 99% of the helmets in my late war collection. If these helmets were produced in smaller metal shops across Germany to aid in the late war effort, it would make perfect sense why there is no source documentation or production dates on them.

    Think of a cutting-edge Egyptologist demanding to see an artifact first published in a book before he would accept it as authentic.



    ---They already had the dies and processes in place to make what they made, why change that in the last, what, 3 months of the war? Converting dies takes time, which they did not have. Converting meant retraining their slave labour which takes time which they did not have.

    However when the collapse of Germany happened in March- May and the immediate occupation, Germany was stripped of much of her machinery, equipment, dies and tooling by the Soviets, and to a lesser extent by a Western countries. Thus the need to make "junk" however they could, junk exactly like this.

    Through improvisation and new dies hence these improvised helmets.




    If these helmets were produced in small metal shops across Germany, there would have been no 'changing of the factory helmet dies' as you suggest. The shops would have used their own dies to draw the steel into bowl shapes, and then finished them as best they could, the result being these crudely formed examples.
    The metal shops certainly had metal working experience, but probably not helmet manufacturing experience per se. Hence their ability to draw the steel, but their limited ability to finish the rims like a helmet factory would.



    ---As well, Germany was not empty at the end of WW2. They required policing, mining, firefighting, etc. The occupying powers did not do these functions, the Germans did. These Germans would require helmets, and much of the military helmets were recycled as you point out.



    I was once a collector of postwar German helmets (East/West) so I am familiar with what was being used then. Many examples of M35/M40/M42 helmets were refurbished. Unfinished war stock Quist M40/M42 shells were finally completed during the postwar years as BGS (border guards) or civic police/fire (prior to Quist reproducing their M40 sans lot#) Also, what appeared to be old wartime stock of beaded, gladiator and M34 civic helmets repainted and re-fitted with new production liners.



    ---I believe you might be making these items fit a theory and are categorizing something that is not clear, like the M"45" helmets. (Read my signature line)



    I see nothing at all wrong with theory, especially when it is not out of thin air but there is a very real helmet setting in front of you. (That 'M45' topic seems to pop up at the strangest times!)



    ---I also want to point out many who collect don't know the actual real history about the country itself. Germany was not a total desolate bombed out wasteland using whatever scraps of material they could find to defend the Reich to the last bullet. The country functioned well right to the end and evidence of this is production of war materiel soared from late 1943 until very late 1944 and even in January and Feb war materiel was being cranked out. The Reich's struggle to produce was not as problematic as you think.



    I'm not questioning the Reich's ability to function to the end. These crude helmets are part of that functioning as such, IMO. There is certainly other late war German equipment that was produced differently, not just helmets. Phosphate coating on weapons and bayonets in lieu of bluing, packs pouches and straps made of canvas instead of leather, uniforms shortened, some made without buttons or even button holes, and so on.

    No one appears to be questioning any of that other late war equipment as being authentic despite the fact that is was made differently than earlier examples.

  5. #24
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    This is an interesting piece. A turned steel bowl with stepped top was welded to the front and rear visors from the M38 gladiator 3-piece project. Note weld bead along base. This helmet is heavy, weighing nearly as much as a Quist M40 (66cm).




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  6. #25
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    The strangest of the strange. What appears to be a leftover dome from the gladiator 3-piece project, given liner/strap and cape.





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  7. #26
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    Brian I lose count on how many times you use the word "if".

    "If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle" is a saying that defines such a word and how valuable it is in the research field.

    I can make any theory stand up to scrutiny when I use the word "if" multiple times.

    I'm sorry but I don't buy the small metal shop theory Germany in ruins theory no more than the small decal shop theory used by collectors and dealers to describe variant (ie fake) decals without supporting channels of evidence.

    I never asked for your helmets to be in books or Eygptologists. Don't twist things Brian, I know how you like to turn a discussion on its ear when your theories come under scrutiny and as usual several tangents are used in an attempt to break down the question than a straight up response.

    These could be civic postwar pre-industrial pre-recovery helmets as or more likely than a desperate Germany looking to small metal shops to save them. Please tell us why exactly they are classified as "wartime late-war".

    Or is it just a theory and not fact?

  8. #27
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    Maybe I use the word 'if' alot, because - - I wasn't there ?

    You're a guy who wants to see "proof", everything spelled out in black and white, all of the factory documentation and all of the period photos and all of the vet testimonies.

    Well, that is not often the way this hobby runs. It is sorely lacking in documentation. Not every helmet produced during the TR period was textbook. And those that weren't are not any less authentic than the "published" ones.

    I research helmets for history's sake. I'm not concerned about their re-sale value, whether my friends like them or whether I can prove authenticity beyond someone's every doubt.

  9. #28
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    And here we go again as you so often do, attack the person who has a simple question that puts your posts to a question of fact. You don't like your self asserted theories questioned and now that you are a self published hero anyone who dares question you, you choose to attack. Typical Brian, I've seen this song and dance many times now across many forums.

    So let me rephrase: you are the one saying these are "late war". I am the one asking "how do you know"?

    So, I ask again, how do you know or are these your own theories? If they are your theories then please provide some supporting facts.

    That is all. And I don't think that it's not too much to ask as your the one making the blanket statements not me.

    And last time I checked in this hobby "how things work" some form of proof is needed before a declaration is made would you not agree?

    A theory is ok, just back it up before making your theory declarations of fact.

  10. #29
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    I have no dog in this fight, but as an aside find it refreshing and interesting to see these out of the ordinary helmets.

  11. #30

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    No chinstrap bales I notice..is it supposed to just balance on your head?

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