The Always Alluring Model 1935 Double Decal SS Helmet (Stahlhelm)

The Always Alluring Model 1935 Double Decal SS Helmet (Stahlhelm)

The Model 1935 Double Decal SS helmet, also known as the Stahlhelm, is one of the most desirable of all the production helmets of the Third Reich.

Many books have attempted to cover this topic, but no one book has all the answers and no single book is 100% accurate. However, good, solid reference material combined with technical assistance available through some forums, websites, collectors and dealers is helpful. It wasn’t until about 20 years ago that there was ever a reference that dealt exclusively with SS helmets. That book was entitled “SS HELMETS, A Collector’s Guide” by Kelly Hicks. It was a good start and a primer of what was to become available to collectors since then but more on reference guides and resources later. Here is some of the basic information you need to make an informed decision regarding an expensive investment like this.

The M-35 (Model 1935) was the first production helmet of the Third Reich. The German armed forces were expanding and they had run out of left over helmets from WWI (Please view my eight part YouTube series entitled “The Need for the Stahlhelm” for more information on these helmets).

Much had been learned from the earlier steel pot designs and the new model was very distinctive. Weighing in at a little under three pounds with liner and chinstrap, this was a revolutionary way to protect the soldiers in the field. The smooth green painted steel pot had nicely finished edges which rolled under the rim. The ventilation holes on the two sides of the helmet had a separate “donut” shaped configuration. It's important to note that this was a complex feature which was eliminated with the introduction of the M-40 helmet. These are the ways to distinguish a M-35 helmet. Everything I’ve told you thus far was the same for the army (heer), navy (kreigsmarine), police (polizei) and the SS (schutzstaffel). The body of the Luftwaffe helmet was the same except for the paint finish being blue. The only difference was the decals the factory applied for the various service branches.

So why are M-35 SS helmets in such high demand? Part of that is because the Waffen-SS did not even exist in 1935/6 when the model was first introduced. Secondly, the SS had a harder time procuring contracts with the helmet manufacturers because the army and the navy had them all locked up! The first M-35 SS helmets to appear on the scene were black Allgemeine-SS examples and most of these were reissued from other branches such as army, navy and police. The SS guys would beg, borrow and literally steal the helmets from the other branches because the shortage and lack of access to the new production pieces. I have owned more than a few black A-SS helmets where the SS runic decal and party shield were simply applied over the army, navy or police decals and a coat of black paint was sprayed or hand painted over the green paint.

Shortly after this with the emergence of the SS-VT and the Waffen-SS (armed-SS), the supply sources opened up and the Green M-35 SS helmet was produced in sufficient numbers to satisfy the growing need. In today’s market however, the demand far exceeds the supply because many thousands of SS troops went with their helmets to the Eastern Front. They, and their equipment, never got back home. Desirability because of the elite nature of the M-35 DD SS helmets also drives up the value. The third and perhaps most pressing reason for the spike in prices is that this helmet is often faked so buyers need to be sufficiently armed with access to knowledge and research! 

The following companies produced the M-35 helmet and their markings are present on the interior of the left side of the shell (if you were wearing the helmet):

- Eisenhüttenwerk Thale/Harz(ET)
- F.W. Quist (Q)
- Sachische Emaillier u. Stanzerke, Lauter (SE)
- Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke Schwrte/Westphalen (NS)
- Emaillier-Werke A.G. Fulda (EF)

So, now you have the tip of the iceberg, but many more important details are available to you online and from books. Here are more reference books I recommend as sound sources of valuable information and photography:

- GERMANY’S COMBAT HELMETS 1933-1945 A Modern Study by Ken Niewiarowicz

Remember my philosophy Always ask questions up front and require a written lifetime money back guarantee regarding originality with all of your purchases!