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Unusual M35 Helmet

Article about: I have within my possession, as the title suggests, a very unusual M35 Luftwaffe reissue helmet. It's marked 'ET66' and '3596' on the inside. It also appears to have been reissued at one poi

  1. #1

    Default Unusual M35 Helmet

    I have within my possession, as the title suggests, a very unusual M35 Luftwaffe reissue helmet. It's marked 'ET66' and '3596' on the inside. It also appears to have been reissued at one point or another in its life.

    My unusual helmet began life as a double decal Army helmet, complete with the shiny green early-war paint. But somewhere around 1940 or 1941, it was reissued - not to serve in the Heer, like many others, but to serve in the Luftwaffe. This seems unusual to me, as I have never before encountered a helmet that went from the Heer to the Luftwaffe, or vice-versa. Henceforth it became a single decal Luftwaffe helmet and received an overcoat of textured Luftwaffe blue-gray paint. The liner is now a very dark brown from age.

    In one of the pictures above, the Luftwaffe decal and paint are exposed enough to reveal a section of the wing and a talon of the Heer decal underneath. And if you look very closely, there is a very faint outline of the underlying, shield-shaped Heer decal.

    I personally think that this helmet might have once belonged to a member of one of the Luftwaffe units present during the Warsaw Uprising, like the 1. Fallschirm-Panzer Division "Hermann Goering". This Polish site claims that the guerrillas defeated the supply unit of the "Hermann Goering" (Pcice) during the Warsaw Uprising, of which this helmet might have once belonged. And if this helmet did not come from that particular supply unit, then the "Hermann Goering" was reported to have fought in the Wola District of Warsaw. It might have come from there. Anyway, a Polish fighter must have taken much effort to scratch and file off the Luftwaffe decal with its swastika (if you look closely, there are lines indicative of knife slices) and hastily paint his own emblem on the right side of the helmet (instead of the German black-white-red tricolor, there is a Polish white-red shield flag). Again, Polish insurgents utilized captured German helmets in the fighting, and photos abound of them doing so.

    Maybe it was issued to a Heer tank man early on in the war, and reissued when he transferred to the 'Hermann Goering' before being captured by a Polish guerrilla. I acquired it last year in a local antique shop for a comparatively low price.

    What became of the Luftwaffe soldat who once possessed this helmet, or the Polish fighter that captured it from him, I do not know. However, much of the Luftwaffe paint on the top has since been lost to time. This helmet seems to have had a rough life!

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a nice day!
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    Can anyone please help me identify this helmet's history? It would be of great help to me.

  4. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    I'm not an expert, but wow, you make a great case for this helmet being what you say it is. I hope it is what you think it is. Can I ask how you came across it?

  5. #4

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    Thanks for replying. I got it at a local antique shop, and all the dealer knew was that it was Luftwaffe at one time and Polish at another.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    Post some sharp close-ups of the adler and Polish shield perhaps that will get you more comments.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    that red and white shield looks too new to me to be WW II applied...

  8. #7

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    I don't think you can really make that determination with the pictures that are available now. As Frank says, clear closeup pictures taken in the macro mode will make it easier to evaluate the shield. I look forward to seeing them. Jim G.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    Here are some better-quality pictures of the decals that you guys have been so craving. Note the shield-shaped outline of the Heer decal below the Luftwaffe one.

    Notwithstanding the decals, do you think that the liner is authentic? Although it has probably darkened from age, it looks to be a little too dark. Some clarification would greatly help.

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  10. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    i will leave the authenticity of the decals to others, what has me slightly worried is the liner, from what i can see, there appears to be a double felt band, one in the liner , the other covering the outer metal band, this is not something ive come across before, but one can assume it was done to give extra comfort, but certainly unusual, the actual liner looks period but looks can be deceiving, especially with this strange double felt set up

  11. #10

    Default Re: Unusual M35 Helmet

    I would expect the colors to be hand painted and not a decal. In 1959, I purchased a Luftwaffe helmet with a hand painted Beluruse national color shield. I found it in a junk shop along with a genuine Saqurland helmet. The shop owner had obtained both from the same veteran. I bought the the Luftwaffe helmet and came back the following week to buy the Saurland piece. Unfortunatley it had already been sold. At the time, I had no idea what either helmet was as reference material was very basic.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

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