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Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

Article about: Hi all, I posted this one a few years ago, but took some more pictures of it this morning and decided to re-present it to you. This is what Ludwig Baer designated as a Model 3 Vulkanfiber pr

  1. #1

    Default Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Hi all, I posted this one a few years ago, but took some more pictures of it this morning and decided to re-present it to you. This is what Ludwig Baer designated as a Model 3 Vulkanfiber prototype helmet that was considered and rejected by the Wehrmacht in 1932. Very few were made and for obvious reasons not many have survived. It is made of a very light weight fiber material - this one weighs less than one pound - that didn't hold up well against the elements, and had essentially zero ballistic integrity. These helmets were field tested by the Army in March 1932 and soon thereafter rejected in favor of helmets made of nickel chromium steel. This one is unit marked, and may indeed have been used in those field tests! It is complete, with the expected perforated Robert Lubstein stamped leather liner, size 56, attached to the shell with 5 rivets, and a green leather carbine clip style chinstrap, broken, but all there. The metal rim is affixed to the shell with three small rivets, one on each side over the break between the visor and the square dips, and one in the rear. There are screen vents, and the shell has the slots in the apron characteristic of the Model 3 prototype style. There are also 2 grommets on the left side that were intended to be used to affix metal devises to the shell, but these insignia were replaced by the decals. Not mint, and definitely FUGLY, but fairly representative of a rarely seen helmet. Hope you like it. Jim G.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Thats seen some hard times but its a unique piece Jim!

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Jeez, that is one rare helmet Jim, you do seem to pull them out of the bag

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Very rare, thanks fro showing.
    Do you really mean to say, that Vulkanfiber helmets were seriously considered as replacement helmets for the steel lids?
    I always thought these were rear echelon parade helmets.
    Im not disputing but merely asking.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Me too, I think to a parade helmet, for officer.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Great helmet !
    Btw early post war East German firefighter helmets were made of vulcanized fiber.
    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,

    Polish Militaria 1914-1945 - https://www.facebook.com/groups/124584324789966/
    GTA Militaria - Discussions and Sales - https://www.facebook.com/groups/890720157646923/

  8. #7

    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Actually, according to Ludwig Baer, these helmets were field tested twice by the Reichswehr, in March 1932 and on a more widespread basis in May 1933. Baer gave 3 reasons why the fiber helmets were being considered to replace the steel helmet - 1. The steel helmets previously worn were too heavy; 2. the larger steel helmets hindered the soldier's hearing and sight; and 3. the steel helmets were thought to cause heat stroke and "premature exhaustion" due to their weight and extreme heat retention during warmer months. The field tests were conducted by infantry and artillery units. On page 95 of "The History of the German Steel Helmet, 1916-1945", Baer writes that after the poor performance of the helmets in the field "this vulcanized fibre helmet was rejected [by the Reichswehr Ministry] in favor of the Model 35 steel helmet."
    After the failed field tests those fiber helmets that were already made were then issued to desk jockeys and paramilitary units rather than being destroyed. Later model fiber helmets were used as parade helmets, but the prototypes like this one were definitely designed and intended to be used by combat soldiers in place of the steel helmet. Having had the opportunity to hold this one in hand, all I can say is "What the h--- were they thinking?"

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    No kidding!
    Thanks for swift response.
    As you said; What were they thinking!
    Actually, one now better under stand the difference between the WWI large coal scuttle helmets and the somewhat smaller (and presumably) lighter M35.
    The WWII helmet doesnt have the 'horse blinders' effect of the WWI helmet either thus maybe making the soldier more aware of his surroundings in light of your post.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    I like this a lot.

    Super find.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Prototype Vulkanfiber Double Decal Heer Helmet - Model 3

    Nice rare helmet! Congratulations on the find!

    all the best,
    Stefan

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