BACKGROUND: The development of SS camouflage items was initiated by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler in 1935 when he tasked the Reichsführung-SS, (National Leadership of the SS), to begin research of new camouflage patterns and garments for use by the fledgling SS-VT, SS-Verfugüngstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops). In late 1936 and early 1937 the first SS camouflage garments were issued to personnel of the SS-VT Standarte Deutschland for field testing and evaluation. The first items evaluated were the Quarter shelters/ponchos, followed by steel helmet covers, face masks and smocks. As the war continued various other clothing items were produced in the assorted camouflage patterns. Originally the camouflage patterns were all produced in the time consuming manual screen printing until the development of the machine roller printing in 1940. By the end of the war no fewer then ten assorted camouflage patterns had been developed and used by the SS including the Plane Tree camouflage patterns as developed in 1936, and utilized up until 1940. Of Note: The Plane Tree camouflage patterns were slightly modified in 1940 and the modified patterns were utilized up until 1944. The very earliest, first pattern camouflage helmet covers had the securing rocker clips handstitched in place until modifications in 1937 when the hand stitching was replaced with the more practical and less time consuming rivet attachment. After the introduction of the rocker clip rivet attachment the camouflage helmet covers remained unmodified until regulations of mid-1942 when foliage loops were added to the covers. The camouflage helmet covers were issued in three sizes with size "3" indicating large, size "2" indicating medium and size "1" indicating small. Of Note: The helmet shells were issued in six sizes with sizes 60 and 62, being small, sizes 64 and 66 being medium and sizes 68 and 70 being large.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: First pattern, (circa 1937-1940), reversible, helmet cover with riveted on, brown anodized, aluminum rocker clips and no foliage loops. The triple panel, water resistant, cotton duck, construction helmet cover features the machine, screen printed, Plane Tree camouflage pattern. The helmet cover is reversible with a repeating splotch pattern and has distinctly different colorations to the summer and autumn sides, with the summer side being in shades of browns, tans and greens and the autumn side in shades of browns and orange/tan. The cover consists of three, machine sewn, panels with a vertical panel to each side and a large, central, rectangular panel to fit the contours of the helmet. The bottom edge of cover has three, evenly spaced, brown anodized, aluminum construction, securing rocker clips with small flat headed, natural aluminum retaining rivets to each. The rocker clips are situated with one to each side panel and one to the reverse center. Each of the rocker clips are also attached to a vertical, tunnel looped, steel spring. The bottom edges of the springs are riveted to the rocker clips while the top edges of the springs are stitched directly to the cover. The vertical, tunnel looped, springs provided the necessary tension to secure the cover to the helmet and all three are still quite taunt. The rocker clip to the reverse center is bent and broken. The forward edge of the cover has a triple-ply, overlapping lip, with four rows of reinforcement stitching to the forward edge designed to fit snugly over the helmets forward visor. Cover is nicely size marked "2". Scarce, first pattern camouflage helmet cover.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $9,250.00

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