The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )
1st July 1916
Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader
House Carles at the Battle of Hastings
Don't feel guilty too much navyman, all inexperienced helmets collectors have tried at least once to take a Stahlhelm apart in order to clean it...If you learnt the lesson, that's OK.
I have made the same mistake when i was young. I once found a german helmet with full liner/chinstrap in a huge stack of white sheets that my mother was checking to find embroidered ones at a fleamarket. It was apparently postwar black painted on the outside and the leather was stiff. My mother finally bought the helmet for me after a negociation with the seller. At home, i took out the liner and treated the leather with some oil, i broke the chinstrap while trying to remove it (which was quite used) and last but not least, the shell fell down on the floor while i was cleaning the inside, some small fragments on the black paint came off and i saw a sand colour underneath...so why not remove all the black paint ?
that's what i did....with sandpaper...with the result that anyone can expect here...it was entirely ruined...at this moment it was not very important, i still had my german helmet displayed on my shelf and was quite happy with it.....many years later, when i found the shell again in some of my packed stuff in the attic, i realized my mistake, i had ruined an original, complete and almost untouched three tone camo (tan, green, red) M42 helmet that had been postwar painted with a black paint that could be removed with a sponge and hot water.
I should have been 25 years old to deal properly with this nice helmet, not 11 years old as i was when i found it.
"I didn't use any weapon in combat during the war, but i killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of men...they're now at the bottom of the sea"
Walter Borg (ex-MI6) Agent and radio operator in Malta, Tunisia and Italy between 1941 and 1945. Arrested twice, tortured twice, escaped twice, survived the war...
"The future torments us, the past holds us, that is why the present escapes us."
In Memoriam :
Laurent Huart (1964-2008)
Well , you have three options,no 1... put it down to experience and have some fun and restore it using repro parts but dont try to fake these for future generations, no2... sell it and get another as found untouched , I will buy it from you as i love refurbing rusty ones which i have done currently , no 3 keep it and assembly it as is, dont konck yourself up or alllow others to upset you as these helmets are not as rare as a ming vase yet lol
We all make mistakes at the begining...as the lid is yours..do with it as you think best....but as has been mentioned, if you intend to trade or sell this..and you use repro parts to "restore" it..you would probably get less for it.
As a rule..if I pick up something I intend to sell or trade..I NEVER do anything to it.....not even clean it..I always think that is better left to who ever buys it...however if something is for my own collection..I may do a little repair.
Just my thoughts
I know ebay is a taboo word around here but you can find original split pins and liner pins there really reasonable but you really haft to put the time in and wait for the right parts, thats just one option, I remember one time my father in-law came over to visit and I left him alone for one minute and found him trying on one of my german lids breaking the chinstrap in the process. lesson learned!
One thing about parts.....as I collect Grenades, I buy up all the parts I can that are of a good price..even if I do not need them at the time..so I now have a bin full of "spares" of all differant types..this way I find I can buy some bits for my collection with parts missing..and I get them much cheaper that way..and when I recieve them, I can usually complete them with original parts I already have....my point is....
If you are a German Helmet collector..intending to buy more lids..I would start picking up a few "spares"...my concept is..."get them when you can" because "parts" are going up in value..and you may have to wait years for the part you need if you have not already bought them and put them aside..
Just My Thoughts
I'm sure some do and sell a parts helmet as unmessed with but that's just unacceptable.
For some items it maybe not so important but I'd like my helmets as untouched as possible.
Havent seen you in a while mate, Hope you are ok is there any way you can re-attach the leather to the band at all. The way it came off it is worth a go, nothing to lose, Many have made the same mistake doing what they thought was right but dont beat yourself up over it, It is done now
and lesson learned. I wouldnt put a repro liner in it i would leave it as is, but it,s your choice.
I hope you didnt pay to much for the helmet take care.
I have a set of spair liner rivets if you want them. give me a shout.