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Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

Article about: Good afternoon, I recently purchased this helmet. I am a complete beginner at collecting WW2 items but have always found it interesting. I believe this is a Wehrmacht M40 helmet but would li

  1. #1

    Default Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

    Good afternoon,

    I recently purchased this helmet. I am a complete beginner at collecting WW2 items but have always found it interesting.

    I believe this is a Wehrmacht M40 helmet but would like some advice off the experts on here please if at all possible. I haven't yet been able to find the same decal on pictures that I've been looking up. Any info please? If you look at the front facing photo - you can just make out a Swastika that used to be there - either worn or scratched off.

    Thank you.


    Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

    Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

    Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

    Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

    Wehrmacht M40 helmet - unfamiliar Decal

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  3. #2

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    Thats a M42 helmet not a M40 as you can see by the rolled edge. The decal looks hand painted? I've never seen a full hand painted decal before and you would think if it was a German soldier painting it he would atleast make the bird face the right way! I presume maybe some sort of post war painted decal on a M42. The chinstrap also looks different?

  4. #3

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    Thank you for your reply - this is what confused me, the eagle facing the wrong way. I purchased it off a man that claims it was his father's who retrieved it from a German solider on D Day in Normandy. I know that sounds somewhat outlandish but I have no reason to distrust his explanation. Perhaps his father painted it on after.

    After you've mentioned it perhaps being painted - i've just zoomed in on the decal and it does appear that the lines making the V shape seems to have been drawn on for sure.

  5. #4

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    An honest M42 with additions, the decal is not a decal but hand painted as noted. The chinstrap looks like a post war addition - far too broad to be an original for this helmet. The story is just that, if you got it for very little then it's ok.

  6. #5

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    If the lot # of the helmet ( which I cant see and depending on maker, may have been lightly stamped anyway ) it could be early in 1942 before the decal drop date and so may have had a decal there initially.

    If so - and going by what I see of the area scratched / worn off where the eagles head would normally be, it looks to be a painted 'touch up' attempt of the worn or damaged decal by someone unfamiliar with the eagles head direction.

    Same goes for the strap - something from another piece of kit 'cobbled together' to replace a broken original is certainly a possibility.

    When all that happened is the question .... and one that can't be answered!!

  7. #6

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    Thank you all for your input and knowledge on the matter. I for one am simply happy that it is an original helmet.

  8. #7

    Default

    All that matters is that you are happy with it! It is still a nice helmet and there is a chance the decal is an original that was 'touched up' as Danmark said. Still a better starter helmet than I got! Hope to see you post more in the future. The chinstrap almost looks like it was made from a belt? I wonder if there are any examples of scrap leather being used on German Helmet liners/chinstraps late war similar to the scrap leather/Bread bag K98k bayonet frogs seen?
    Cpuld be post war but It is interesting how the leather tapers when it connects to the liner then folded and secured by a split rivet. Hope to see you collect more stuff. Cheers!
    Last edited by Mordecai; 10-13-2023 at 07:25 AM. Reason: Additional Notes

  9. #8

    Default

    Looks like some Vet Art to me -especially with the Swastika on the Front. The chinstrap is likely a field replacement. Nice helmet, congrats!

  10. #9

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    A real, original M42 with some curious modifications. I agree it had some post war touch ups and a sharp eye caught the Swastika remnants on the front. It reminds me of my LW M42 that had a national shield (red background with Swastika) painted on one side. I carefully removed the painted shield. I think you have some remnants of a single decal and I would leave it alone. The chin strap is a pretty clever addition made from some kind of leather scrap - probably post war. My guess is this example was used by kids playing WW2. I did the same with a police helmet from WW2. It fits in with other souvenirs used as play toys post war and that is part of the history. Nice find.

  11. #10
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    I like the post war alteration to the decal.
    Rear facing and a drooped head which looks more dove than eagle.

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