The 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH or LAH) was formed 17 March 1933 as SS-Stabswache Berlin by Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, Hitler's bodyguard, on the order of Adolf Hitler who wanted a full-time armed force that was completely loyal to him.
Dietrich handpicked 120 men (some of whom had served in the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler that was formed in 1921) who were barracked at the Alexander Barracks in Berlin and later at Berlin-Lichterfelde.
It was soon redesignated SS-Sonderkommando Zossen and a new unit, SS-Sonderkommando Jüterbog, was raised. These units merged September 1933 as was designated SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). The members of LAH took an oath of loyalty to Hitler 9 November 1933 (the 10th anniversary of the failed Beer Hall Putsch). It was redesignated Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) in 1934.
It took part in the purge of Ernst Röhm and other enemies of Hitler (mainly leaders of the SA) during the Night of Long Knives together with Landespolizeigruppe General Göring. It was motorised and expanded October 1934 as a reward for its loyalty and services during the "Röhm-Putsch".
I came to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler on 1 May 1941. As a Berliner there was never any doubt in my mind that I would volunteer for this unit. I had often seen them on parades in the city, on guard at the Reichs Chancellery and so on. Good uniform, comradeship and above all they were all very tall men, at least 1,82m tall.
SS-Unterscharführer Erwin Bartmann
This is a complete restoration whereby I started out with a bikerized shell which actually saved the helmet from any rust over the years. Stripped down to bare metal the heat lot number on the bottom of the dome is clearly defined as is the gothic scripted ET64. M18 shells are not that easy to find as most are M16 and M17's and to find one in MINT condition was really quite extraordinary. So I went ahead and decided to turn it into a rare late 1930's Leibstandarte SS double decal helmet. The liner is 100% original and none of the tongues are missing. It's just come apart at some of the edges and so I left it alone and stabilized it with some old blank newsprint to hold it in place. The next owner may wish to purchase some leather glue and have a go at securing the leather more permanently.
Both decals are nicely aged and toned to give it that historically accurate overall appearance. The SS decal has a nice metallic white lustre to it just as an original would.
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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