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M42 Sauerland Helmet

Article about: During the month of July 2015 I helped my wife's family clean out a house, preparatory to sale, which had belonged to my wife's uncle and aunt, both now deceased. Uncle Jack had served in Eu

  1. #1

    Default M42 Sauerland Helmet

    During the month of July 2015 I helped my wife's family clean out a house, preparatory to sale,
    which had belonged to my wife's uncle and aunt, both now deceased.

    Uncle Jack had served in Europe in the U.S. Army in WW2. In a box of his old things, long stored
    in the house's garage, I found a German WW2 steel helmet. I am not a militaria expert, but I do
    have a strong interest in WW2 military history, and the helmet seemed quite unusual to me, due
    to the decal on its left side.

    I asked my wife's cousins, uncle Jack's children, if they knew the story of the helmet. They
    said that uncle Jack brought the helmet home from Europe as a souvenir, that he told them he
    took it from a captured German soldier.

    We also found a small pocket diary, in uncle Jack's handwriting, which he kept during his time
    in the service. It's a French diary, and the entry for "Avril 17, 1945" reads in part: "Slept
    in a Gestapo Hdq in Hagen & moved to the outskirts to set up the mortar by a farm house.
    Dug in & spent the night in the house. Slept in a single bed with Roselli. Pulled guard from
    1-3. Three bus' of Germans surrendered today."

    I told the family that I thought the helmet might be a rare item, and they asked me to do some
    research. A quick search around the web told me that the helmet appears to be an M42 Sauerland
    helmet, which I now understand to be quite rare. The family is interested in finding the value
    of the helmet, and may be interested in selling it.

    As for the diary entry, I discovered on the web that the last German troops fighting in the
    Ruhr pocket, including elements of the Sauerland Friekorps, surrendered to the Allies on or
    about April 18, 1945, with the last fights taking place in Hagen and Limburg.

    We'd appreciate any feedback/thoughts on this. I am attaching pics of the helmet (liner &
    chinstrap are still intact), as well as a jpeg scan of the entry from uncle Jack's war diary.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	Helmet - Right Side - 800x600.jpg 
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Name:	Helmet - Liner and Strap - 800x600.jpg 
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Name:	Uncle Jack's Diary - 17-04-45.jpg 
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Helmet - Sauerland Badge - 800x600.jpg 
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  3. #2
    MAP
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    Default

    Welcome to the forum.

    Not something I am familiar with so will refrain for commenting beyond that it is an M42 shell with a non combat liner.

    Others with much more knowledge will be coming along soon to help you.

    Regards

    Michael
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #3

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the forum!
    Although we would be happy to assist you as to determining the authenticity of this helmet, we are not a free appraisal service.
    I do not study helmets but I like what I see here and the provenance would increase your odds immensely. You should be able to find a stamp, possibly two. One would be on the inside skirt over the right ear and possibly another at the center of the rear of the skirt. The details of the decal and the wear are what I would expect to see on an original.
    I am sure other members will be along shortly to give their opinions as well.
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  5. #4
    M38
    M38 is online now
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    It is difficult to make a call, especially on a rare helmet, from photos alone. But I do like what I see. It is really unusual though to see one of these on a beaded shell. Can you see a maker mark on the shell? If it is made by NS, that would be a good thing.

    If it is real, you are correct, they are quite rare and pretty valuable although the buyer pool is limited somewhat by it not being a true combat helmet.

    Cheers,
    Terry

  6. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the quick replies. The helmet is being kept at Jack's daughter's house, I'll go there, perhaps not until Friday, to check for the marks & stamps you've mentioned.

  7. #6

    Default

    Hi, (and welcome to the forum) not a decal that I have studied due to it's rarity but it has "the look" of a period applied piece. A nice beaded M42 as well, so I hope the experts on these Sauerland decals will give it the thumbs up. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  8. #7

    Default

    These are rare in any case...the fact that it isn't a regular combat lid has little bearing on desirability, as Freikorps Sauerland was an Irregular Volkssturm Formation to begin with..
    cheers, Glenn

  9. #8

    Default

    If real, this will be the best condition Sauerland I've seen in 5 years on this forum! Fingers crossed this is a genuine 'sleeper'.

  10. #9

    Default

    Quote by rbminis View Post
    You should be able to find a stamp, possibly two. One would be on the inside skirt over the right ear and possibly another at the center of the rear of the skirt.
    Thanks Ralph. I now have pics of the stamp under the rear skirt of the helmet; there is no stamp visible to me inside the right ear, or indeed anywhere else on the helmet.

    There is, however, an inked stamp on the helmet liner. Pics of both are attached.

    Thanks to all for the input!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Helmet Stamp 01 800x600.jpg 
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ID:	869493   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Helmet Stamp 02 800x600.jpg 
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ID:	869494  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Liner Stamp 01.jpg 
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ID:	869495  

  11. #10
    MAP
    MAP is online now
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    Appears to be an NS sized 64 with lot # 6844 (or maybe 8844). The "N" in the "NS" (which is the maker) is just lightly stamped.

    Later in the war, most of the helmet manufacturers moved their maker stampings to the rear of the helmet as seen in on this example. The lot numbers were almost always in the rear.

    NS is the code for Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, Schwerte

    The ink stamp is the size of the liner (56)

    So as Terry says...being an "NS" is a good thing as I would assume from his comment that other know examples of Sauerland helmets were probably from the same maker.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

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