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Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

Article about: because i like them

  1. #21

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    I've told this story before, but I thought I would share it one more time. What got me into collecting German helmets was one of my college history professors from about two years ago. We had been discussing in class the rise of the Third Reich, and my teacher wanted to give us a visual. He brought into class an original NSDAP pennant, an M40 Luftwaffe helmet, an EK2, and various other small things in order to show the class. He wouldn't let us touch the pennant since it was fragile, but he passed around the other items. When the helmet got passed to me I suddenly felt some weird feeling pass over me. I had an unnatural connection to it that I can't explain. It felt and smelled like something from another world. I remember thinking back to all the old war movies. I recognized the style, and the shape of it. I was really surprised that the interior was just leather. The leather seemed somewhat primitive to me. At the same time, I felt intimidated by the helmet. I am not sure why, maybe it was the shape or maybe it was just the fact that it was connected to the Nazis. I pulled out my phone and took a quick photo of it before passing it along.

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    When I got home I couldn't stop thinking about that helmet. I really wanted one for myself. But the problem was that I had no income, so my dream slowly slipped away...

    Fast forward 8 months later...

    I was at Myrtle Beach, SC on vacation looking for some old books in an antique store. As I walked around the store I happened to stumble upon a glass case housing hundreds of pieces of militaria. I spotted a German helmet on the top shelf in the glass case. I had just turned 19, so I had a good amount of birthday money on me. I asked the owner if I could take it out to examine it. As I picked it up that same weird feeling of connection swept over me again. Completely disregarding the ridiculous price tag of $450, I walked out of that store with that helmet in one hand, and an empty wallet in the other.

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    It wasn't until sometime later that I joined this forum and found out how crappy my helmet really was. I ended up selling it, and instead I bought a Q M40 Luftwaffe SD from LakeSideTrader. It was my first combat helmet and it matched the original one that my professor had brought into class so many months before. I have been collecting helmets ever since...

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    I contacted my old professor last August and asked him if he was interested in selling his M40 SD Luft. He told me that he would meet with me in his office and we could discuss it. The day I went in to talk to him, he had with him that M40 SD plus a really nice minty M42 SD Heer. We talked for a while, and he told me that he has about 4 or 5 other helmets, mostly no decals. He wasn't quite ready to sell, but he said that he will let me know when the time came. I haven't heard from him since then, but I'll try to get back in touch this summer when I go back home. I would love to have that helmet he brought into class, not only because of the fantastic condition, but because it was the helmet responsible for getting me into this hobby.

    Corey

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  3. #22

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    Quote by DougB View Post
    Because its fun and beats making beaded wristbands.
    Yours was good Doug, but I am anxiously awaiting Big Ned's response...
    .

    Fellow collectors are NOT adversaries to be bested...

    ☭ "Ричик, я не понимаю, почему, почему ты тратишь деньги на эти вещи!" ☭

  4. #23

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    I really only wanted the ONE ........ then something in me just snapped ......... aaarrrghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  5. #24
    ?

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    Quote by Danmark View Post
    I really only wanted the ONE ........ then something in me just snapped ......... aaarrrghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dan
    I don't think I could say it any better

    Brad.

  6. #25

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    Quote by kilomikesierra1960 View Post
    They are by far far one of the most iconic and sinister looking remnants of the Third Reich, instantly recognizable... I'd have one, if they weren't so ridiculously expensive, often faked, in bad condition and not just around every corner either...

    Back during one of my periods of collecting, a friend of a friend (1st friend was a WWII vet who's now gone) offered me a paratrooper helmet in trade for a Luger or something, I can't remember. I got the helmet (he said "it's worth an easy $1000" and I was pretty dubious...") and soon took it to a gun show, and sold it probably immediately, can't remember exactly. Anyway, it went bye bye just about as fast as I got it.

    For some reason even then, I never bothered with helmets usually so I've never had "the" German helmet. Fooled around with this and that, always seemed to get burned, or people trying to buy yr stuff would tell you it was no good. Decided to stick with guns, more fun and better investments.

    They're all gone now too, the Lugers, Waffen proofed PPK's, etc...

    Half the fun is looking...
    I think the question is 'why do you collect German helmets' and not 'why don't you collect German helmets'.

    They are expensive yes but for a true collector they are fun to collect just because there are so many variants. From decals to makers to field repaint and camo's and so many different models. One could spend his money just collecting one branch and still have 20 odd helmets.
    Fakes don't come into play if you study them well , seek advice and buy from safe sources. People get often burned looking for bargains on ebay and other auction sites.

    So why do I collect German helmets ? I visited an old school friend who had a couple of helmets and was blown away by his Luftwaffe helmet.
    I was selling my dad's collection at that time (mostly wireless sets and stuff like that) and I kept the money to start up my own collection.
    I have always been interested in military history and collecting is the link from book to reality.

  7. #26
    ?

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    Why so serious Frank LOL? A nice response. Seriously other than not liking making beaded wristbands for me the very first helmet was my first piece of militaria. I was given when I was a young kid, like 12-14 yrs old and 35 years ago was a WW1 camo by my uncle who was given it to make some art out of. He knew I was interested in history and WW1 and 2, and I had just read Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front and so he gave it to me. As Frank says it is a connection from book to reality. For me it's a portal to be able to touch history.
    Last edited by DougB; 02-07-2013 at 01:29 AM.

  8. #27

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    Quote by DougB View Post
    Why so serious Frank LOL? A nice response. Seriously other than not liking making beaded wristbands for me the very first helmet was my first piece of militaria. I was given when I was a young kid, like 12-14 yrs old and 35 years ago was a WW1 camo by my uncle who was given it to make some art out of. He knew I was interested in history and WW1 and 2, and had just read Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front and so he gave it to me. As Frank says it is a connection from book to reality. For me it's a portal to be able to touch history.
    My words may seem serious Doug but I'm sure you can imagine me writing them with a smile on my face ;-)

  9. #28

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    I have a general interest in ww2 and nazi Germany especially.

    And because in my opinion:

    The german helmet is a Third Reich icon right after the swastika.

    The design looks good (a form of propaganda?)

    Many different branches with their own helmet types.

    I hesitated to start collecting these helmets at first, but I guess if you don't have sympathy for nazism and know your history there's no harm, right?

  10. #29

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    I think the question is 'why do you collect German helmets' and not 'why don't you collect German helmets'.
    1st off all, I am a collector. Maybe even a "true collector"... I was only reaffirming the reasons why one would want one, what they mean.

    As far a getting a helmet, or collecting helmets (as in more than one) is not an easy proposition. Only way to get a helmet that I am aware of (and I am in the market for one, just not very interested in what I am seeing) is online, which is a great way to get burned... It was bad enough trying to stay away from fakes before the internet, to me the internet means Caveat Emptor, times 1000.

    I think at this point in time, it is extremely difficult to find a nice helmet.

    And if that moment finally arrives, I don't think it will qualify me as a "helmet collector", one will be enough, I'd much rather have a diverse collection of period items.

    I guess maybe I had no right to speak on the subject...

  11. #30

    Default Re: Why do you collect WW2 German helmets?

    There are many ways to find a helmet other than online. You can find them at shows and auctions, you can trade or buy one from another collector, you could find them through newspaper ads, or you can find them at garage sales and estate sales. I've seen helmets and bought helmets through many means. I will admit that the internet is the easiest method of finding helmets, but that certainly does not mean it is the ONLY way.

    Fake helmets are not at all a problem if one is willing to invest the time in studying original helmets and open to learning from the veteran collectors. Do I need to also mention that we have very knowledgeable members that are more than willing to provide their opinions? On top of all of this, you can be safe buying from sellers who provide money back guarantees and examination periods.

    Not all helmets are expensive. The relic shells you can get for as low as $50, I spend more than that just filling up my car! Some civilian helmets you can get for $100, No decal helmets $300-400. You can even find a descent single decal for around $600 if you're patient. The point is, helmets are an easy proposition as long as you are not waiting to find some double decal Camo on eBay for 100 bucks.

    Also, collecting helmets does not mean that you can only collect helmets. You can still have a diverse collection of period items as well as a few helmets; pretty much every helmet collector I know collects more than helmets.

    And I completely disagree that it is extremely difficult to find a nice helmet. I don't even know what to say to that. Maybe you should define what is in your opinion a "nice helmet".

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