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My first steel helmet, 12.Sept.1964


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German M.16 Steel Helmet
This nice old helmet I acquired from a second hand shop in London on 12th September 1964 and it cost the princely sum of 40 shillings or 2 pounds. The dealer wanted originally "our price 45 bob", as they said in those days. I bargained a little, agreed on 2 pounds and left a deposit of ten shillings, and then started saving my pocket money like mad, and about one month later I paid the rest and was the pround young owner of a German Steel Helmet. At first I wondered a little at the curious shape and with the horns, but then after looking at many pictures, tv-documentaries about the Great War and WWII, I realised it was a WWI piece. Was still very proud of this old piece. The helmet in is very good condition, as fresh from the, possibly, Somme battlefields, just as brought back. Paintwork is astonishingly intact, just minor wear, the leather liner complete and fresh, just slighly wear stained. The original brass strap holders were still in place, no strap. Later learned that these straps were taken from the pickelhaube when the steel helmet was worn. The first steel helmets were left in the trenches when the troops were relieved, and these handed over to the newcomers. This helmet bears a stamp ET64 shell size 64, and produced by the Eisenhüttenwerk in Thale/Harz, one of the first manufacturers. Inside the shell is a small stamp: R/18, presumably Infanterie-Regt.18, which was based in Posen. The first steel helmets were issued for the assault on Verdun, but only in very small numbers, until gradually production capacities increased, so that most infantry had helmets by August-September 1916.
The first steel helmet appeared in February 1916 in small numbers on the Verdun Front - 100 years ago



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Helmet manufacturers:

 F.C. Bellinger, Fulda 
Bär-Symbol bzw. „B“
auf Helmglockendach
 Berndorf, Österreich 
 Eisenhüttenwerk Thale A.G., Thale a/Harz 
Gebrüder Gnüchtel A.G., Lauter i/Sa  
 Gebrüder Bing A.G., Nürnberg
„Glockensymbol“ L.
 R. Lindenberg A.G., Remscheid-Hasten
K J. & H. Kerkmann in Ahlen/westfalen
K & M Körting & Mathissen, Leutsch bei Leipzig
kleines Dreieck + K
Körting & Mathissen, Stuttgart 
Ni. bzw. NJ
Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke, Schwerte i/Westf.
Eisenhütte Silesia, Paruschowitz Oberschlesien 
verschlungenes Symbol
S und H
Siemens & Halske A.G., Siemenstadt bei Berlin 
C. Thiel & Söhne, Lübeck
Q Quist, Esslingen
Herm. Weissenburger & Co., Stuttgart-Cannstatt 
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