The development of SS camouflage items was initiated by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler in 1935 when he tasked the Reichsführung-SS, (National Leadership of the SS), to begin research of new camouflage patterns and garments for use by the fledgling SS-VT, SS-Verfugüngstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops). In late 1936 and early 1937 the first SS camouflage garments were issued to personnel of the SS-VT Standarte Deutschland for field testing and evaluation. The first items evaluated were the Quarter shelters/ponchos, followed by steel helmet covers, face masks and smocks. As the war continued various other clothing items were produced in the assorted camouflage patterns. Originally the camouflage patterns were all produced in the time consuming manual screen printing until the development of the machine roller printing in 1940. By the end of the war no fewer than ten assorted camouflage patterns had been developed and used by the SS including the, Oak-leaf "B" camouflage pattern as developed in 1943, and based on the Oak- leaf "A" camouflage pattern. The Oak-leaf "B" pattern was reworked and utilized through to 1945. The very earliest, first pattern camouflage helmet covers had the securing rocker clips hand stitched in place until modifications in 1937 when the hand stitching was replaced with the more practical and less time consuming rivet attachment. After the introduction of the rocker clip rivet attachment the camouflage helmet covers remained unmodified until regulations of mid-1942 when foliage loops were added to the covers. The camouflage helmet covers were issued in three sizes with size "3" indicating large, size "2" indicating medium and size "1" indicating small.
Very nice Waffen-SS helmet cover in oak leaf camouflage. A really nice example retaining strong a vivid colors. The entire cover is printed on a cotton linen fabric in the pattern of oak leaf pattern B.
This roller-printed design appeared in two distinct styles which are today known as Oak Leaf A and Oak Leaf B. The basic Oak Leaf pattern was also used as a base design for later Plane Tree designs. Oak Leaf type A was introduced in 1941; dated examples indicate that the B design was certainly in use by 1943. It has less distinct edges than the A type and features thin ringed outlined designs. Both patterns continued in use until 1945.
All hooks and rockers are intact and functional. All three springs remain tight and still attached. Slight wear and use can be seen in the close-up photographs of the rockers. The helmet is photographed on a size 66 M40 helmet shell but also fits on a 68 shell as well. Overall condition of the cloth cover is near mint to mint however the rocker clips are a bit strange as they appear to be made from anodized brass and not your standard anodized steel or aluminum. An excellent late-war cover in basically unissued condition but without foliage loops. So a bit of a head scratcher here. The cover could have been made early in the war when they weren't sewing in foliage loops and possibly had access to better quality metals for their rocker clips such as brass. Another theory is that someone in the 1970's to 2000's took an original SS camo zeltbahn or rolls of original fabric and had a professional seamstress follow a pattern made from an original. But why the brass rocker clips? No one I know has even come across brass rocker clips at any of the military shows and no one online is making these in brass or ever has from my knowledge. From the standpoint of yours truly these observations only add credibility to the theory that this cover was made early enough during the war when rocker clips were not yet completely standardized and so smaller firms and producers were free to experiment using different metals.
For right now I am only comfortable selling this as a possible post war creation using original SS camo fabric as the rocker clips are still just a bit off for me however I have been told that these can be changed and so perhaps this would be a great restoration project.
$1500 or Best Offer
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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