WW2 German Helmets Guide

WW2 German Helmets

One of the ranges we are most proud of are our WW2 German Helmets. We have spent a good amount of time developing them with the manufacturers, and we are really happy with the outcome. Here’s what you need to know about the different helmets we make.

The WW2 German Helmets were based largely on their WW1 counterparts. This began with the M16 Stahlhelm, which was introduced when the Pickelhaube was found to provide insufficient protection for trench warfare. By WW2, the Helmets had lost their large lugs from the sides as well as a few other minor design changes.

WW2 German Helmet Manufacturer Stamp
WW2 German Helmet Manufacturer Stamp

Our M35s, M40s and M42s all benefit from a very similar manufacture. All 3 designs are made from a tough steel, 1.6mm thick like the originals, and have a slightly different field grey as was common at the time. On the inside of the helmet we have included a manufacturer mark as well, just like the originals. The letters at the beginning of the code refers to the factory in which the Helmet was made in. For our Helmets we have printed ‘ET’, which denotes the Eisenhutte Plant in Thale. The Factory had also made Helmets for the German Military in WW1, and was based in Central Germany. It was also here that the prototypes for the M35 were made. Other markings included ‘Q’ for F.W. Quist in Esslingen, ‘EF’ for Emaillierwerke A.G. in Fulda and ‘NS’ for Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke in Schwerte. The later two digits relate to the pot size of the Helmet, which will vary depending on the size of the Helmet ordered. The helmets also come with a leather liner, with a leather drawstring and chin strap already attached.

The earliest WW2 era design we sell is the M35. The colour of these Helmets is a slightly more green version of Field Grey. The colour has often been described as ‘Apple Green’, and although our’s are not as bright as some originals we’ve seen, they are definitely less ‘grey’ than their later war counterparts. At this point in the war, the Helmets all have both a rolled edge and external rivets, which were both economised later in the war.

WW2 German Helmet Liner
WW2 German Helmet Liner

Once into the war, the Wehrmacht introduced the M40. These were very similar to the M35s, which only a couple of economisations made. The most notable difference is that the ventilation hole mounts were stamped into the sides of the helmet, rather than with external pieces like on their predecessor. This helped to simplify production. The colour is slightly less green, and is as close to a ‘standard’ Field Grey possible.

As the war drew on, the Stahlhelm was economised even further. The M42 had the same stamped in vents as the M40, but they had also gotten rid of the rolled edge you will find on its predecessor. For these we have gone for a very grey Field Grey. This was a very common feature in late WW2 Helmets. By the end of the war they stopped putting decals on them, but for a good year or so M42s would have had decals applied.

We really enjoyed working on creating some great reproductions of these 3 WW2 German Helmets, and are really happy with the result. We’ve also started adding different spray paint coats to them to create a series of different Stahlhelms for sale. We now offer helmets in Black, Dunkelgelb and Luftwaffe Blue, as well as 2 and 3 colour camos with either a smooth or sandy finish. We will be looking to increase this range in the future, so watch this space!

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