Here's another beauty of a find right out of Georgsmariehutte, Germany recently discovered using some in situ collector friendships I've made over the years to source out otherwise socially taboo helmets right in the heart of the Vaderland (Fatherland). It also doesn't hurt that my brother lives in Charlottenburg, Berlin and is addicted to outdoor flea markets which dot the city occasionally finding me gold among the trash.
Droopbill helmets are unique among German helmets because they were issued sometime in 1931/32 for a very limited amount of time when the newly formed SS had major supply issues and couldn't find enough transitional Weimar or WW1 leftover helmets to furnish their budding units as these were being scooped up by the Wehrmacht. At this time some private company whose name I do not know was given a private contract to exclusively supply the SS with their helmets. This company was in such a rush that they didn't have time to copyright their design and so stamped inside the metal the abbreviation "DRP. Ang" which means Deutsch Reich Patent Anglemeldt - German Patent Pending. It is the only German helmet to have this stamping and features a sloping front elongated bill and no lug nuts like on the M16/17. These were only issued to SS which is why there is no photographic evidence of other services e.g. polizei, fire service using these helmets. The formation of the metal shell was also somewhat different than the regular pressed Wehrmacht helmets as these Droopbills have distinctive regularly spaced lines in the shell much like one would see upon looking at a vinyl record close up. This suggests that the shells were finished off in a lathe to even them out resulting in these residual grooves. They also have a unique 3 tongue liner system similar to WW1 helmets but with connecting leather in between them unlike anything else being produced in these pre-war years.
In the past 5 years I've had 3 Droopbills which means I've had a very lucky past 5 years as these things are as rare as hen's teeth and most of the ones that still exist have been turned into dark blue Luftschultz/Air Raid helmets or painted over in feld grau near the end of the war. This one is great because it retains its original pre-war smooth pea green paint on both the outside and inside.
Now the greatest part, fortunately for us the original soldaten wrote down in pencil on the inside back skirt exactly who he was and what he was doing while wearing this helmet. We even know that his full name was Halto Weil.
"Si Komp Panz. Abw. Abtlg 14"
Translates in English to:
H. Weil, 7th Panzer Anti-Tank Company (Panzerabwehrkanone)
Battalion (Abteilung) 14th
Halto (his first name)
So this guy was basically sent out as a tank killer most likely armed with a panzerfaust.
My best guest narrative on this particular specimen is that it was first issued to some member of the new Waffen-SS in dark pea green and adorned with both SS decals. Then just before the outbreak of WW2 that soldier was then issued a regular M35 SS helmet and this one was then shelved for future use. Then most likely a some point near the conclusion of the war the two SS decals were neatly rubbed off with diesel or some other cheap solvent and then a widely available ET eagle was applied to the wearer's left side. The helmet originally came with a de-nazified eagle was was a ghost image of itself and so I went ahead and added this ET eagle as I could tell that the former eagle was in fact an ET based on designs in it's head and residual talons. I basically just wanted to make this look exactly as it did while the wearer was still in battle. The decal is a metallic water slide version and can be neatly removed with a little soaking time with a warm soapy washcloth and so a reversible restoration in effect.
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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