BACKGROUND: As a result of observations of the Russian experimentation with the newly developing paratroop personnel in 1928 the Germans began serious consideration of also developing paratroop units and plans were drawn up for formation of such units in late 1935. Both the Luftwaffe and Army eventually established paratrooper units, consisting of voluntary personnel, on January 29TH 1936 and March 31ST 1937 respectively and a paratrooper training school was established at Stendal in early 1937. Originally development of special clothing and equipment was undertaken by both branches of service to provide the paratroopers with functional items specifically designed with parachute jumps in mind until January 1ST 1939 when all the paratrooper units were transferred to control of the Luftwaffe. One of the items developed for the paratroopers was a specially designed helmet first introduced in 1935. This first pattern helmet was found unsuitable and a second pattern was introduced on June 16TH 1938, and remained in use until the end of the war with minor variations.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a fantastic example of a late war M38 paratrooper helmet with original factory applied (slightly rough textured) feld-blau (blue/grey) paint paint nearly 99% still in tact. At this stage of the war late 1943 the Luftwaffe decal was no longer being applied for speed of production. All four of the late war aluminum slotted liner retention bolts are intact. Liner and band are complete, but the liner and chinstrap harness are both suspected as being high level aged reproductions the kind out of Italy that fool a lot of collectors. The reverse interior apron is well marked with stamped lot 4233 has the stamped manufacturers code and size, "ckl 68", indicating manufacture by Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, size 68.
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$3250 (Currently in My Personal Collection)