H003889 M31 HELMET LINER, LEATHER. (Leder für Stahlhelm Futterrohr M31)
BACKGROUND: The first "modern" steel helmets were introduced by the French army in early 1915 and were shortly followed by the British army later that year. With plans on the drawing board, experimental helmets in the field, ("Gaede" helmet), and some captured French and British helmets the German army began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November, and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production began at Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, in the spring of 1916. These first modern M16 helmets evolved into the M18 helmets by the end of WWI. The M16 and M18 helmets remained in usage through-out the Weimar Reichswehr era and on into the early years of the Third Reich until the development of the smaller, lighter M35 style helmet in June 1935. In an effort to reduced construction time and labor costs minor modifications were introduced in March 1940 resulting in the M40 helmet. Further construction modifications were undertaken in August 1942 resulting in the M42 helmet. The M31 helmet liner was introduced in 1931 to replace the earlier M16 and M18 liners that had been utilized during WWI. Originally the M31 liner was utilized in the remaining M16 and M18 helmets until the development and introduction of the new M35 helmet in June 1935. The basic design of the M31 liner remained in use through-out WWII with the M35, M40 and M42 helmets with minor variants in the materials used. The early M31 liners utilized aluminum bands that eventually began to be replaced, (circa late 1940), with low grade steel and alloy bands due to the shortage of aluminum. The early pattern M31 liners also had "squared" chinstrap securing loops which were altered to rounded chinstrap securing loops also in late 1940. This example consists of only the leather portion of the liner without the liner bands.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Tan leather construction helmet liner. Seven of the eight extended fingers intact. Each finger has five, punched, ventilation holes with an additional punched hole at the tip of each to insert the fit adjustment drawstring. Mark "B 59".
GRADE ****1/4 PRICE $125.00
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