WW2 GERMAN LUFTWAFFE DOUBLE DECAL TRANSITIONAL HELMET
Beginning in 1934 many World War I model helmets were refurbished for use by the German Army and Luftwaffe. Helmets were gathered from surplus sources as well as from those in active use with Reichswehr troops. The process of upgrading the helmets generally involved repainting the helmet both inside and out. Painting of the helmets copuld be done either by hand brush or spray. The newly introduced Army or Luftwaffe Eagle was then applied to the left side of the helmet and the National tricolored shield to the right. Refurbished helmets included the M1916, M1917, M1918, M1918 Ear Cut-Out, and the Austrian World War I model helmet. Preferred helmets often included the M1918 and Austrian models because they were void of the large interior chinstrap lugs. The lack of large lugs allowed the helmets to better accommodate the newer M1931 liner and chinstrap. In some cases M1916 and M1917 helmets can be found where the large chinstrap lugs have been removed or ground off before repainting. Helmets configured in this fashion were issued from 1934 through 1940. Many helmets remained in service well after 1940 and saw combat with reserve troops until 1943. Wartime photos clearly depict helmets of this configuration still in service as late as 1943. Some helmets can also be found having the M1927 liner system and chinstrap as well as the World War I style three pad liners.
This helmet has to be one of the best helmets I have on my website and the first Double Decal Luftwaffe Transitional helmet I have had in this original condition. Finished in early Luftwaffe Blue/Grey colour inside and out showing only minimal use and rates an 8 out of 10. One side of the helmet has the First Pattern Luftwaffe Eagle (with the drooping tail) decal which rates 9 out of 10 and is exactly correct for a transitional helmet of this period. The other side of the helmet has the National Tr-colour Shield which also rates 9 out of 10. The inside has the original leather liner and chinstrap.
This helmet would be very hard to replace in this condition and is a rare find.