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 most of its hand painted, camouflage paint in dark green, ochre yellow, and rust brown, in a random patch and circle pattern. Hand painted Garde insignia to the helmets left side. The number "5" is painted in black to the back of the helmet. One of the three original liner band rivets remains. The interior of the helmet has the post-May 1917 pattern, three pad leather liner with a metal retaining band intact. Pads have broken off and fallen out, but are included. Helmet is nicely named on both the shell and pads. Faint size with a maker mark of "K" is J. & H. Kerkmann, Ahlen/Westf.. It looks to me like it might be steel which would make it an M17. Scarce original Garde example.

GRADE *** 1/2                             PRICE $1,489.00

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