Helmet – M35 – Q66 – Waffen-SS Battledamaged helmet of SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel
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: Factory applied Waffen-SS decals. National decal is periodically removed as per regulations.
Paint: Smooth green paint with factory applied Waffen-SS decals.
Markings: Q66 and 4500
Maker: Quist, Esslingen.
Size: Shellsize 66, headsize 58 cm
Batch number: 4500
Notes: This helmet was worn by SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Arthur Harmel. The helmet is a standard early double decal M35 Waffen-SS helmet made by Quist in size 66, with a size 58 liner. The helmet retains its original liner but lacks the chinstrap which was damaged due to the blast ( a damage can be seen on the aluminium hinge ). The helmet had two decals originally but the national decal was removed per regulation. The helmet retains the Waffen-SS runic decal. The helmet was worn by Heinz Harmel in march 1943 around Losowaja and Bereka whilst in command of SS-Infanterie Regiment Deutschland when a bullet or piece of shrapnel hit the right flank of his helmet. This took a piece of his ear which can be seen covered by a bandage on the photo where he receives his Knights Cross or Ritterkreuz by Hitler. The helmet was kept by Harmel as a souvenir after the war together with some other items pictured below. Including are his POW papers and one picture on which he wears the helmet, prior to the damage. The helmet was known to the Airborne museum in Oosterbeek and was gifted by Harmels relatives after his death for exposition purposes. Heinz Harmel was a famous front line officer who commanded a few famous Waffen-SS units such as SS-Infanterie Regiment Deutschland and during the battle for arnhem he was commander of the 10. SS Panzerdivision Frundsberg.
This helmet is a part of the collection of the Airborne Museum “Hartenstein” in Oosterbeek, the Netherlands.