The stamped, sheet steel construction M40 helmet retains about a good portion of its Luftwaffe blue/gray paint. The left side of the helmet has a second pattern, (circa 1936/1937-1945), Luftwaffe eagle decal which is retained about 98%. All three of the liner retaining rivets are intact. The interior of the helmet has a complete M31 leather liner with all eight fingers that is size marked 57. The reverse, interior, neck guard apron has a faint, stamped is serial/lot number that appears to be, "31452", and the interior, left side apron is stamped with the manufacturer’s code and size "EF 64" indicating manufacture by Emaillierwerk, AG Fulda, size 64. According to Brian Ice's rear lot data book "31452" would place the factory production date of this specific helmet somewhere in the vicinity of June 1942. Just a few months before the model M42 was introduced.
The Luftwaffe eagle is interesting because the first decal was misapplied at the factory and so another one was added over top and can be barely made out as the overlap is rather slight. I myself have applied hundreds of post war made LW eagles and they are very delicate and difficult to work with. Many times the swastika will fold over onto itself or shift out of place. This eagle is 100% original from the factory however and was just applied twice to cover the first defective eagle. Notice the characteristic yellowing of the EF eagle which is most prevalent of EF Luftwaffe decals. This is not that the eagle itself was ever yellow but rather that the tropical protective resin used to protect the decal tends to yellow through oxidation over time much more so than the 4 other helmet factories.
A very nice untouched mid-war example of an every day fighting man's Luftwaffe single decal helmet.
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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