WW2 US HELMET 8th DIVISION
Unit History During WW2
During World War II, the 8th Infantry Division was sent to Europe to fight against the Axis. After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 4 July 1944, and entered combat on 7 July. Shortly after its arrival, the division captured the French cities of Rennes and Brest. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River, 26 July, pushed through Rennes, 8 August, and attacked Brest France in September.
Following these actions, the 8th turned eastward toward the German border, taking part in the heavy fighting in the Hürtgen Forest in November 1944. The Crozon Peninsula was cleared on 19 September, and the division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved again to the Hurtgen forrest, 20 November, cleared Hurtgen on the 28th and Brandenberg, 3 December, and pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on 23 February 1945, Duren taken on the 25th and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th. The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, 7 March, and maintained positions along the river near Koln. In early March 1945, the 8th had advanced into the Rhineland. It fought its way into the Ruhr region the following month.
On 6 April the division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by the 17th had completed its mission. After security duty, the division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe, 1 May, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.
On 2 May 1945, as it advanced into northern Germany, the 8th Infantry Division encountered the Nuengamme Concentration Camp Wobbelin Sub Camp, near the city of Ludwiglust The SS had established Wöbbelin in early February 1945 to house concentration camp prisoners who had been evacuated from other Nazi camps to prevent their liberation by the Allies. Wöbbelin held some 5,000 inmates, many of whom suffered from starvation and disease. The sanitary conditions at the camp when the 8th Infantry Division and the 82nd Airborne Division arrived were deplorable. There was little food or water, and some prisoners had resorted to cannibalism. In the first week after liberation, more than 200 inmates died. In the aftermath, the United States Army ordered the townspeople in Ludwigslust to visit the camp and bury the dead.
This helmet is fresh on the market from a recently purchased helmet collection. The shell has signs of heavy use and wear with a couple of dings and paint loss, Lieutenants bar painted to rear with the 8 Division emblem to the front (original period painted). Split seam to the front with the typical manufacturers stamping crack fault. Fixed bales for the chinstrap. Liner in good condition.
WW2 US helmets in original condition like this example have been rising in price over the last few years and are regarded as a good investment for the future, especially examples from combat units such as the 8 Division.