Helmet – M35 – ET62 – Battle damaged, named and KIA
Arguably the helmet was the most recognizable part of the individual German soldiers appearance. With a design that derived from the type used in world war one, the German helmet offered more protection then ones used by it’s enemies. The quality field gray painted steel helmet with two decals and rolled steel rim and leather liner was a labor intensive product and simplified as the war progressed. The earliest model helmet used in world war two was the model 35 or M35 Stahlhelm. During the war the helmet was simplified in 2 stages. In 1940 the airvents changed from separate rivets affixed to the helmet shell to stamped in the main body of the shell. In 1942 a new model was introduced where the rim of the shell was left sharp and not rolled over as previous models. These models are known in the collector community as M40 and M42. The low sides that protect the neck and ears, the tell tale design that the Germans introduced in 1935 can still be seen in modern day army helmets.
Decal: Double decal
1. Factory applied smooth apple green gray paint with one Heer and one national insignia decal.
2. Brush applied textured reissue paint.
Chinstrap: Dated 1937
Markings: ET62 – 4077
Maker: Eisenhüttenwerke, Thale.
Size: Shellsize 62, headsize 54 cm
Batch number: 4077
Notes: This helmet surfaced on a so called yard-sale many moons ago. It was a souvenir from Normandy for a unidentified G.I.
The helmet is named to O. Stemmer which refers to Obergefreiter Otto Stemmer born on 21.09.1909 and killed in action on 25.06.1944. Obergefreiter Stemmer either served in the coastal artillery or took part in the defense of Cherbourg. The helmet has a rather large hole on the top indicating major trauma to the skull. Obergefreiter Otto Stemmer is buried in the German military gravesite in Orglandes, block 6 and grave number 289.
Rob PB collection