German WW2 Helmets
Welcome to all visitors.
This website has been created by a Norwegian military historian who specializes in WW2 German helmets. Many of the artifacts shown on these pages have symbols such as swastikas and sigrunes that were used by an evil regime which terrorized the population of Europe almost for 6 years. I proclaim in no uncertain terms that this website does not support any political ideology including Nazism/Neo-nazism/fascism or any form for racism. Its sole purpose is to exhibit historical military artifacts used by the German troops during the occupation in Norway 1940-1945.
Approximately 95 % of the German helmets shown were found in Norway and reside in my collection.
This website is intended for both novice and advanced militaria collectors. I have concentrated on creating images of helmets and their details rather than written explanations as there are excellent books available covering that aspect.
I wish to thank the many contributors to this website: Lars Aasen, Anders Lehrman, Magnus Sjursen, Gisle Jøntvedt, Tony Schnurr and Roy Akins, who also edited the text.
In creating this website I have referred to the leading internet forum regarding German combat helmets, German Helmet Walhalla.
Books referenced in the creation of this website are:
1. Ken Niewiarowicz – Germany’s Combat Helmets 1933-1945, a Modern Study (2009)
2. Ken Niewiarowicz with Anders Lehrman – The Helmet Decals of the Third Reich (2016)
3. Brian C. Bell – Wehrmacht Combat Helmets 1933-45 (2004)
4. Jan M. Meland & Gisle Jøntvedt – German World War II Helmets & Headgear (2015)
5. Paul Martin - The Camouflage Helmets of the Wehrmacht Volume I (2015)
Jan M. Meland, Bærum, Norway 2017.
The German helmet is one of the most iconic symbols of the German soldier in World War II. Its distinctive shape evokes the terror and fear the German soldiers created during this difficult time, but also represents a technically advanced military design. The World War II German helmet was produced from 1935 to 1945 and it's estimated that approximately 25 million were made. During this time there were 5 manufacturers of these helmets:
ET - Eisenhüttenwerke, Thale (later ckl eller CKL). Manufactured models M35, M40 and M42.
Q - Quist, Esslingen. Manufactured models M35, M40 and M42.
SE - Sächsische Emailler - und Stanzewerke, Lauter (later hkp). Manufactured models M35, M40 and M42.
NS - Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke, Schwerte. Manufactured models M35, M40 and M42.
EF - Emaillerwerke A.G. Fulda. Manufactured models M35, M40 and M42.
As we see from the images, these helmets have vents on the right and the left side and 3 split rivets which secured the liner (metal band and leather) to the shell itself. The actual shape is designed to protect the head and neck against shrapnel and explosive debris. Additionally, the helmet has a visor that protects the soldier from direct sunlight and rain. The design is optimal and has been adopted by modern combatant forces today such as the American military's PASGT Kevlar helmet.
German combat helmet types, M35, M40 & M42
The World War II German steel combat helmet was manufactured in 3 different variations. The first model which appeared in 1935 (M35) was a sophisticated craftwork and the M40 was an improved version. The last model, the M42 was simplified to make it faster and easier to manufacture larger numbers of helmets to compensate the huge losses of helmets during the last years of the war.