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Mid-1930s Berndorfer Schutzpolizei Transitional Helmet

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  1. #1

    Default Mid-1930s Berndorfer Schutzpolizei Transitional Helmet

    I picked up this Austrian M-16 shell converted for use by the Polizei during the mid to later 1930s, a confirmed original example. The helmet is in very good condition with a complete liner and chinstrap sytem. The paint is a medium grey polizei color which is brush applied. The decals feature an early party shield found on some Polizei M-35 helmets. The helmet is made by Berndorfer Metal-Warenfabrik with the walking bear. It also has the bear logo on the underside of the headliner. Thought I would post here for viewing enjoyment.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2


    That is a fantastic example. My compliments. Jim G.

  4. #3


    Was this bought from the collection of transitionals that was being sold off recently? The deceased collectors name escapes me right now.

  5. #4


    It came out of a local auction with a number of other helmets and various militaria. I wasn't sure about the decals but took my chance on it regardless because of the maker...and the liner that goes with it is remarkable as well.

    Thank you Jim.

  6. #5


    Superb helmet well done.

  7. #6


    I have concerns this might have originated from the Phil Miller transitional helmet collection and/or a place called The Steel Helmet. Most of his "mint" helmets were postwar reconstructions. A guy named Bill Maertz created the helmets for Phil, using shells and refitting new liners, repainting them, and then adding real or very high end fake decals (Bill had/has an extensive real decal collection he used).

    When Phil passed away I was offered all his SS helmets as "real" helmets. None were real and they were absolutely pristine. (I had several sent to me for inspection). After some digging I found out the truth behind them, and returned them.

    Later a fellow started a website to sell them and it was called The Steel Helmet. The real ones were sold as real however it appeared many "real" ones were repro's, and the other reproductions were sold as repro's but they wanted stupid money for them and most didn't sell from my recollection.

    They will fool most collectors who do not study these and they now surface on dealer sites, in auctions, etc most times now as real helmets in mint condition, which I knew they would over time.

    You can tell his helmets by the absolute perfect paint, perfect unworn liners (re-made postwar to the exact specs as a real ones) and perfect decals. But, small details like scratches under the decals (like yours has going under the top of the party shield and left side of the police decal), mismatching decals (the party decal I'd expect to be a Pocher on yours, it is not and in fact I'd want to see it in hand to be sure it's even real), lack of 70 year old patina (which I don't really see in your photos but your photos with due respect aren't very good) are the calling cards. The distinct lack of wear anywhere is concerning, not even a storage knock or ding or surface scrape of paint, plus it came from auction where these now surface. Plus the edges of both decals have the same sort of unusual wear like postwar applied decals can have but again your pics are hard to see it clearly.

    So I am sorry to be highly suspicious, but I think this might be an ex-Miller Bill Maertz creation. It has all the hallmarks of one.

  8. #7


    I totally and wholeheartedly disagree, this is not a Bill Maertz creation. I had Kelly Hicks check it out for me and he likes it. In fact, he has one almost identical to in on his site in the sold section. You are entitled to your opinion.

  9. #8


    I would not spend the money or trust any examples shown on the site you reference.

  10. #9


    Very interesting helmet and info.
    Looking for following WWII German items:
    - anything dealing with Allenstein (Olsztyn) and Wehrkreis I in East Prussia,
    - entrenching tool carrier (straight and folding),
    - forestry and hunting items,
    Join my Facebook group -

  11. #10


    Hi Randall,

    I am just telling you what I know and what I have seen and what my suspicions were, that is all. Remember I am only going by the photos you provided which as I said are not very good, and I have had the SS helmets in hand and know what to look for. Dead mint transitional helmets like this it pays to be cautious. Bill Maertz creations have fooled many an advanced collector and author alike.

    I always get amused when people throw up Kelly Hicks name as their means to discuss a helmet they know little about. Remember, he has a fake helmet in his book. Nobody is perfect and we all learn everyday. And not everyone publishes what they know in a book. I know many a collector that could write volumes, but haven't. It doesn't make them any less knowledgable.

    Cheers, and I hope the helmet is a good one too.


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