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Swiss M18/43

Article about: Here's a helmet I have acquired a couple of years ago, yet somehow managed to forget to upload it here. My Swiss M18 with the 1943 saw dust repaint. As you can see, the outer layer saw dust

  1. #1

    Default Swiss M18/43

    Here's a helmet I have acquired a couple of years ago, yet somehow managed to forget to upload it here.
    My Swiss M18 with the 1943 saw dust repaint.
    Swiss M18/43
    Swiss M18/43
    Swiss M18/43
    Swiss M18/43
    Swiss M18/43
    As you can see, the outer layer saw dust paint has flaked away in some parts, revealing what I believe is the original green paint.
    Here inside the helmet, the dome has not been repainted. These were apparently repainted during training courses without removing the liner. Helmets in storage had their liners removed to completely repaint the shell.
    Swiss M18/43
    On the rear of the skirt, we have what may be one of the owners' initials. Also seen in this picture is the remnants of the red numbers inked onto the shell. All that is left is an 8.
    Note: the green on the inside dome is the same green on the outside, I believe. The reason for the difference is due to the outside's paint exposure as the edges of the flaked parts appear to be more inline with the internal dome paint color.
    Swiss M18/43
    On the chinstrap is another set of initials, possibly denoting that this helmet had at least two owners?
    Note: this green is definitely a completely different shade than the green on the helmet shell itself.
    Swiss M18/43

    Lastly, a photo getting a look at the clips retaining the liner band. Unfortunately, any markings that were on the backside of the liner bands have disappeared due to time.
    Swiss M18/43

    All information was gathered from: World War Helmets - Suisse

    Final thought's: I've spent a lot of time looking over this helmet and nowhere can I see anything resembling maker's marks in the shell. All in all, I am pretty happy with this helmet.

  2. #2

    Default

    I have seen a surprising number of these where the shadow-black coat has been flaking off the original green. Usually with the inside dome still green, as yours, so there may be a connection regarding paint used or method of application.

    I have one where about 50percent of the black has come off, showing several different shades of green underneath (I guess it came off over time and the green faded at different rates). I have tried a few 'recommended' techniques for removing the rest of the black, all mechanical, like picking off with a small blade, or hammering with a round-head hammer. It does work, sort of, but actually makes more of an irritating noise than anything else. And gritty dust gets everywhere so if you try it wear an already dirty shirt! To be honest I don't think I've revealed more than about 10percent more green - it all seems a bit futile really.

    (One thought - I'm not convinced about calling this an M18/43 - I think it would be better to keep that for the true /43 with the new liner. I tend to think of these repainted helmets as modified M18. But did original M18 shells ever get liner replacements...gosh, I suddently realise I don't know!)

  3. #3

    Default

    I always have had a hard time trying to keep the names straight. From my understanding, there's the original M18, then in 1940, new shells were made called the M18/40 and did not have the full liner. These ones would also have been first painted in the green paint. Then in 1943, the order was made for them all to be repainted in black. This is the understanding I got from World War Helmets.

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes Yes! You're right of course. I somehow hypnotised myself into seeing /40 and /43 as the same thing (thinking of hammering too much, perhaps...). Of course WWH has it right - they are the absolute best reference on Swiss helmets, nothing else comes close. It really is just M18, M18/40, and M18/63, no M18/43 at all, that's just the repaint date and should not, I believe, be used as a different mark.

    M18/40 in original green are really rare - I have only seen one for sale and realised too late what I had been looking at.

  5. #5

    Default

    That is always the worst. Losing out on something truly special because you did not realize how special it really was. Really the story of life in itself.

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