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They did not always have the Luftschutz decal!

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Ok, here is a new one, looks like a M34 type Police helmet, maybe you all can help me ID it. War time, post war? No stampings that I can see inside the helmet, it does have a lot of rust and pitting though. The vents on the sides of the helmets have 7 holes, one in the center and 6 circling it. The vents are also curved outwards not flat. Sadly no liner though. 

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I would say this is a wartime example - see the square turndowns behind the peak. The helmet has a black finish, this would not be police, as they had greygreen, and also wore a proper steel helmet, this is a lightweight non-combat helmet, and is for the fire service - Feuerwehr or Feuerschutzpolizei, who wore a black helmet with their own insignia (same as police).  However, they did not always have insignia, as for instance the volunteer fire services - Freiwillige Feuerwehr.  At the end of WW2 the decals were always scratched out - all symbols of the Third Reich were illegal under the Allies, most helmets landed on the scrap heap, or were taken by Allied troops as souvenirs, a matter of luck if any original insignia was not de-nazified (entnazifiziert) or removed, posession was also illegal. The helmet could also be fitted with a (removable) nickel-plated comb.  Helmets were also fitted with a removable leather neck guard.  The fire services were needed again after the war, and continued to wear their stripped-down uniforms and helmets. Here are some examples:

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There are some original liners to be had, important to find the right size, which could be difficult, and the rare original studs for holding them. The leather rear neck apron would be harder to find, earlier post-war examples might turn up.

If you had a steel liner band, you might be able to make a leather liner to fit, finding the light tan soft natural leather might be difficult. This was fitted with 3 stiff T-shaped leather tabs, to which the apron could be attached.

Try measuring the inside! The inside will be smaller! Not inches, you will have to use centimetres to get a correct fitting! It must be an exact fit. The shell is always a good bit larger than the actual liner/head size.

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Fire brigade personnel and railway personnel were often indiscriminately shot by invading American and Russian troops because of their dark blue uniforms, thought to be SS.

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Measurement is a 66. I have used the inches to CM conversion charts in the past that is why I mentioned inches earlier. It was not easy, but used a CM cloth tape to measure the inside. So it is a relatively large size, and has 3 posts for liner attachment. 

I think those firefighters had it worse than some of the men at the front, dealing with all the air raids, fires, unexploded ordnance, etc. Must have been terrible.

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The head size would then be about 58/59 - roughly, this is only an estimate. Liner leathers were usually stamped with the head size underneath.

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Here is another M34 type helmet I just picked up. It has a nice blue grey paint job, that is consistent throughout, no signs it was another color, the liner and rivets all appear to be original as well. The liner is stamped "55" which is the size for a size "62" helmet, which was quite small. The helmet has the detachable leather skirt to protect the wearer's neck. The chinstrap is missing as well. No markings or stamps on the helmet itself. Question is, is this a wartime or post war helmet?

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It could be a wartime shell, or early post-war. The liner is the correct type, just looks very fresh, the neck shield is certainly older, but if WW2 period, hard to say, well preserved, if. The 55 size stamp could also be period. I would almost tend to think with the dark blue finish, it could be wartime. Also with the "square dip" behind the peak, I tend to think the shell is a period production. I believe the volunteer fire brigades wore no decals.

Leichtmetallhelm Deutsch 2. Weltkrieg, blauer Originallack

Leichtmetallhelm Deutsch 2. Weltkrieg, blauer Originallack

Feuerwehr light metal helmet with dark blue finish, never had any decals. Note tongues for attaching leather neck apron.

Luftschutz Stahlhelm 2. Weltkrieg, einteiliges Stück, original lackiert, ungereinigter Fundzustand

Luftschutz one piece shell, no decals, so-called "Gladiator" style

Feuerwehr III.Reich, Leichtmetallhelm originallack, hatte nie Abzeichen, ungereinigtes Stück

Feuerwehr light metal helmet with decorative nickel plated comb, never had any decals

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz III.Reich, original lackierter Stahlhelm, das Abzeichen oberflächlich berieben

Type as before for DRK Deutsches Rotes Kreuz

Feuerwehr Stahlhelm III.Reich. Originallack, guter Zustand, zusammengehörig

Feuerwehr with comb and decals

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From what I could find out, most of these types of helmet had no markings or stamps on the shell. I have seen some of the liners with stamps from the manufacturers as well as the size stamps. It is in very good condition, only missing the chinstrap. No evidence it had the comb on top either. I don't see any evidence it was painted again, color looks to be the original paint. The leather skirt is still pliable, although stiff. 

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  • 8 months later...

Great thread helmets a plenty. 20200729_165409.thumb.jpg.dc0bb46e9c5eb34e136557d6f6052c05.jpgLove chicken wire and such like and that sniper look with a hessian wrap perhaps. Apologies to those that have already seen my lid but as I'm a WW1 grenade hack I thought this would enhance my collection. M16 ET66, period textured camouflage, repro period gas mask. Ongoing project,gas mask needs ageing,repro chin strap needs work, looking to add a tunic collar.

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Edited by Achtung Spitfire!
unfinished
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Wow great looking helmets guys. Whished I had a M42, I like the design of the edge without the fold over. I have a M17 double decal with 1931/32 liner. Will post pics when I can find space to take picture. Wolf.

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More info/photos added on Feuerwehr/Luftschutz helmets

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Sorry guys M18. The 2nd decal denotes Teno (technical emergency core). This one is rusting as well, even sitting on a shelf in my man cave,but not going to apply grease to this one. "It can rust in peace".Here are a couple of pics.

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By letting the helmet rust, you are not gaining anything. A helmet like this can be several thousand pounds value, as a rusted relic, it will be practicly zero value. Under the wrong conditions, the decals will detiorate, then the paintwork and the steel itself, the leather liner and chinstrap also.
A well known militaria dealer and established auctioneer stated that when valuable pieces are stored in a loft for years, they can go through temperature differences of over 50° C between Winter and Summer, which will cause irreparable damage to most materials.  An original, intact paintwork and lining increases the value and the decals even much more.
Greasing them up will not help either, they need to be stored in a proper evironment free from dampness and other other harmfull factors. Would be a shame to let such rare pieces detiorate.

These examples in the photos are going from 1650 Euros (example on the right) to over 4200 Euros (example on left)

M 18 Ausschnitt Wehrmacht Einzel Abziehbild Helm ET 64FORUM HISTORICUM

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After years of neglect and decay, value 50-60Euros!

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Thanks for that Fritz. Down here in Victoria Australia we can go from 42 degrees celsious to 22 degrees in one day never mind a season. I will look for alternative storage.

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