Factory Paint Types and Variations
Factory paint on WW2 German helmets differs from reissue paint applied at the depot level or in the field by the individual units/soldiers. There were certain rules or directives that Wehrmacht followed in terms of color and texture. The German helmet industry was mandated by the government to use standard color schemes defined as RAL colors (Reichs Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung), but the different manufacturers adopted various approaches resulting in different shades of the same RAL paint. Early M35 helmets used by all branches had a smooth paint finish and the Heer along with the KM, Polizei and SS used a paint color which was designated "feldgrau" (field grey). Early Luftwaffe helmets were also produced with a smooth paint finish but in a color designated "blaugrau" (blue-grey).
From the outbreak of the war until its end, helmets were painted in a matte textured paint as the smooth paint was unsuitable in combat conditions. Beginning mid-war, helmets were often camouflaged in various colors to provide better concealment.
In these chapters I will show the progression of paint application throughout the war. All pictures provided are from helmets found in Norway which was the Northern part of the Atlantic Wall defence system (1940-1945).