For those of you fellow collectors old enough to remember back in the mid 1970's where in military magazines and on the backs of comics there was a company offering up original German helmets with your choice of decals for $24.95. These helmets were original shells with their original liner systems re-worked post war by the Norwegian army. Later once the Norwegians went over to the American style of helmet they had these are as left over surplus. Some enterprising US based company called Unique Imports Inc. went ahead and bought up scores of these helmets to be repainted and given new post war decals to be re-sold to the burgeoning WW2 collector community and comic reading kids. The cartoonish decals are so bad on these that they are actually kind of good much like how the longer to stare at a wrinkly faced pug the cuter they become.
One advantage to helmets like these besides the instant nostalgia they bring us is that the condition of the shell under the paint is always mint mint mint since they were so quickly scooped up and repainted after the war and then repainted again in the mid 1970's.
This particular helmet illustrates the haphazard way of reissuing captured German helmets by the Norwegians as the liner is actually dated 1939 and is aluminum square bale but the shell itself is a late war 1944 produced large M42 EF66 shell.
As you can see from the photos the shell is in stone cold mint condition with no cracks, dents or rust of any kind.
We all remember these as kids growing up but how many survived in their 100% original mid 1970's configuration. This one wasn't bikerized, chromed, stripped down and repainted or shot at by pellet gun. Very cool little piece of post war American history mixed in with German WW2 history. The last image is interesting as I didn't realize that people were actually willing to pay SS vets for their stories back then.
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GERMAN HELMET FACTORY PRODUCTION CODES
(Every original German helmet produced from 1935 to 45 had two factory stampings punched into the side and rear or both in the rear. The alpha numeric number refers to the factory location and the inside metric circumference in centimeters. The rear lot number refers to the production run and was used as a quality control measure. The font styles used at each factory were slightly different but highly consistent throughout the war and so fakes or reproductions will either not have these numbers at all or they will use the wrong font style or letter spacing and so are easily identified as post war made.)
(FS or EF)-Emaillierwerke AG, Fulda, Germany
(ET or ckl)-Eisenhuttenwerke, Thale, Germany
(Q)-Quist, Esslingen, Germany
(NS)-Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, Schwerte, Germany
(SE or hkp)-Sachsische Emaillier u. Stanzwerke, Lauter, Germany