Friday, April 15, 2016
Nazi Germany m.42 combat helmet (part two)
The M.42, save for two modifications, is the same as the earlier M.35 and M.40 models that went before it. This is the helmet that greeted the nadir of the Third Reich.
The Nazi industrial base was becoming overtaxed by a multi-front war and impoverished by dwindling resources. As Hitler was sending boys and old men to the front lines steps were taken to manufacture a simpler, cheaper, helmet that was still as ballistically as sound as the M.35 and M.40 helmets that went before it. The M42 answered the production demands and available resources of the Reich as the war entered the home stretch.
The unrolled rim give a distinct flared aspect.
The rear split rivet, one of three, that secure the liner band to the shell.
Unlike both the M.35 and the M.40, the edge of the M.42 was not rolled or folded but left raw thus saving a step in production and saving time and money in a Reich which was running out of both.(m.42 top, m.40 bottom)
Unlike the ventilator of the M.35 which was a separate bushing, the M.42, like the M.40 before it, the ventilator was embossed into the shell.
The liner and chinstrap are complete and in very good condition.
The leather is spaced from the shell with steel leaf springs.
Despite late-war shortages, the ventilated pigskin leather remains nearly as high
a quality as earlier models.The original drawstring is in very fine condition. The ink stamp in the dome indicates that the helmet was inspected and accepted for army and navy use. The dome stamp appeared in one of every one hundred helmets in a production run.
The liner is abundantly marked with maker's mark and size.
Manufacturer's mark and date of manufacture are stamped into the liner band.
The liner band indicates the size of the shell as well as that of the liner.
The production number is stamped on the underside of the rear skirt.
Although illegible, the end of the chinstrap has a manufacturer's mark.
Coarse fabric buffers the leather from the steel liner band and a series of delicate split-pins affix the leather to the metal liner band.
The fingers of the liner are reinforced with leather grommets. Note the repair, I'm inclined that this was done in the factory.
Steel buckle on the chinstrap.
The chinstrap is fastened to the bail with a double-headed rivet...
and secured to a rectangular bail.
This late entry in the war came home with some GI, was acquired many years ago by a small, privately-owned, regional museum, and then through the generosity of the proprietor of that museum, came to my collection. Everybody should have such friends.
See you next time with another cool helmet from the collection.