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. Of Note: The colors of this camouflage are the most commonly encountered as a result of a directive issued by Chief of the General Staff of the Field Army, Erich Ludendorff in July 1918, in which the paint colors and pattern were clearly laid out. The directive also included the amounts of paint that 1,000 helmets would require as five kilograms, (11Lbs), each of, green, ochre yellow and rust brown, and two kilograms, (4.4 Lbs), of black paint.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The stamped, sheet steel construction, helmet retains about 75% of its hand painted, camouflage and original, factory applied field-grey paints with the camouflage paint in red brown, blue/green in a random patch pattern with the colors being separated by black stripes. There is no ochre/yellow that would normally be found in the camo scheme (hence, this example is most probably GI artwork). There is some sort of insignia painted to the top of the helmet that is now mostly worn off. The interior of the helmet has the pre-May 1917 pattern, three pad leather liner with a leather retaining band intact. All three of the age and usage darkened leather pads feature two fingers with drawstring holes to each, and padding pockets to the reverse. Two of the three reverse pockets retain ersatz padding. The interior left side apron has deeply stamped manufactures code and size, "G.B.N. 64", indicating manufacturer by Gebrüder Bing Nuremberg, size 64 helmet shell. Both of the original M91 chinstrap attachment lugs are intact but the chinstrap is absent. Bing is one of my favorite makers. Of note, these helmets where camouflaged post November 11th 1918 to returning troops heading back to the states.

GRADE *** 3/4                                                 PRICE $895.00

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