German 1800’s Firefighter Helmet – Black leather body with a center piece which has been painted red. Metal insignia has been placed in the front.
WWII German Luftschutz Civil Defense Helmet – Metal construction. Mid-point has a bead. Sides have openings for the ear section.
WWII GERMAN ARMY HELMETS Under the Treaty of Versailles, the Reichswehr was only allowed 100,000 men split between the Army and the Navy. Following the 1932 German elections the Nazi Party came to power and began to abrogate the treaty. The Army was made part of the Wehrmacht in May 1935 with the passing of the “Law for the Reconstruction of the National Defence Forces”. The Wehrmacht included not just the Army and Navy but also a third branch known as the Luftwaffe. Initially, the Army was expanded to 21 divisional-sized units and smaller formations. Between 1935 and 1945 this force grew to consist of hundreds of divisions and thousands of smaller supporting units. Between 1939 and 1945 close to 16 million served in the Army. Over 3 million were killed and over 4.1 million were wounded. Of the 7,361 men awarded the initial grade of the highest German combat honor of World War II, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, 4,777 were from the Army, making up 65% of the total awarded. The Allies dissolved the German Army on 20 August 1946.
Looking to save money by purchasing a chintzy no-name helmet? Make sure that DOT sticker wasn’t just added after an online purchase, like these ones available through Amazon.
WWII German Army Tropical Helmet – Of cotton,stray and wire construction. Khaki color. Uses two metal shields. One with the Army eagle and the other the national colors.
The second theory is that you must purchase the helmet with the most rigorous safety testing available. The DOT standard is not enough for these buyers; they look for helmets that meet the latest Snell standard. Often, these helmets also tend to be more expensive.
Motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet in every Canadian province, unlike the US, where many states have made helmets optional under certain conditions.
WWII German Volunteer M-35 Helmet – Field gray color. Single army decal. Complete with the leather liner. Missing chin strap. Name of owner painted inside.
Late WWI German Felt Pickelhaube Helmet – Late war version made of felt because the leather was scarce. Not a good design as felt teard with relative ease.
As well, make sure the helmet doesn’t bump into your chin or nose when you push in gently from the front. You don’t want to get out on the highway, only to find wind pressure is pushing your helmet into your face.
WWII German M42 Single Decal Helmet – This is a German WWII Army helmet. Single decal. Complete with the likner and leather chin strap.
WWII GERMAN Luftschutz Firefighter Helmet – Black color. Multi-hole ventilation displayed on each side. Complete with the leather chin strap. Neck protection.
WWII Luftwaffe M-40 Single Decal Helmet – Luftwaffe gray color. Complete with the brown leather liner. One side of the chin strap is found. Single Luftwaffe decal.
WWII German M35 Wire Covered Helmet – Dark gray/black painted body. Covered with chicken wire. Common modification which allowed soldier to camouflage the helmet.
Finding a helmet that fits properly is arguably the most important part of the buying process. Internet trolls argue endlessly about safety standards and price points in the Interwebz forums and Facebook groups, but none of that matters if your head rattles around inside the helmet, or if your helmet pops off in a crash because it’s too big. Get yourself a helmet that fits.
Field gray color with a rough texture applied to the body. Single army decal. Complete with the brown leather liner.
We’re not going to get into the respective advantages of each rating system, because that would take an article in itself, or maybe even a series of articles. Suffice to say that if you plan on getting out on a track, you’re probably going to have to buy a Snell helmet. If you’re just riding on the street at legal speeds, a DOT-rated helmet from a reputable manufacturer might suffice, and an ECE 22.05-rated helmet should certainly be enough.
You’ll see three levels of safety ratings of helmets in North America: ECE (the European standard), DOT, and Snell. DOT is the minimum safety standard in North America. The latest ECE-rated helmets (ECE 22.05) have similar standards, but are more rigorously tested by the authorities; DOT helmets are rated by the manufacturer, not the testing body. Snell has the most rigorous helmet safety standards, and is typically required for any sort of track work.
WWII German Luftschutz Civil Defense Helmet – Two piece type helmet with a bead in the center. Partial liner remaining, Black leather chin strap is present. Marked RL2 in neck area.
A helmet’s fitment is at least as important as its safety rating, as a poorly-fitting helmet is by its nature unsafe anyway. Photo: Richard Seck
Even an expensive helmet like this Shoei Neotec might be a poor choice if it’s made for a different head shape.
M-42 Single Decal Luftwaffe Helmet – This is a combat helmet. Ventilation rivets on each side. Single Luftwaffe decal. The liner is present. Missing crown string.
WWII German Luftwaffe Double Decal Helmet – This is a M35 double decal helmet. Field gray color. Complete with the leather liner. Markings found inside the liner.
WWII German Luftwaffe Helmet – Field gray color. Original paint. One side has a single Luftwaffe decal. Retains most of the original brown leather liner.
Want to try a helmet you haven’t worn before? You can get a rough idea what size you’re looking for by measuring your head. Take a tape measure and run it around your head where it’s the largest (usually above your eyebrows somewhere). Then, take that measurement to the helmet manufacturer’s website to see what size you need (here’s an example from the HJC site). But you’re taking a chance on buying a helmet that doesn’t fit.
WWII GERMAN HELMETS OF INTEREST It appears that the Third Reich produced a helmet for every occassion. In addition to the helmets discussed in the above sections, other types of helmets were employed. This part of the website covers unusual headgear from WWII as well as pre and post-war helmets.
So the best way to figure out what you need for a helmet size is to go try on the helmet you want to buy. You want it to be snug, but not uncomfortably tight. You don’t want any space between your forehead and the inner front of the helmet; there should be no front-to-back movement if you nod your head while wearing the helmet.
WWII German NSKK Motorcycle Helmet – Of black letaher construction. Heavily padded in front. The aluminum eagle is missing. Complete with the RZM tag.
WWII German Army M-1942 Helmet – Field gray color body with a single army decal on one side. Retains the original dark brown leather liner.
WWII German Luftschutz Civil Defense Helmet – This is the gladiator version with the center bead. Large front decal with a large percentage remaining. Leather chin strap.
There is some conjecture as to whether Snell-rated helmets are ideal for slow-speed street crashes, due to their stiffer construction for high-speed accidents. Maybe there’s truth in that, maybe there isn’t, but at least if you buy a helmet that’s Snell-rated, it probably has quality workmanship and materials, which in itself is worth paying more for.
Remember, there’s more to helmet fit than just a sizing measurement. Some helmets are made to fit a round-shaped head, and some are made to fit a more oval-shaped skull. Without trying it on, it’s not easy to know if your helmet of choice will fit you, even if the sizing numbers might say it does.
Here’s Zac’s recently-crashed Bell Moto-3. You can get cheaper vintage helmets, but he appreciated the extra protection it offered when his front tire blew out. Safety second
WWII GERMAN HELMETS All armies of the world have used helmets to protect their troops during combat. There is a large variety of helmet shapes and designs. This fact has helped propelled the field of collecting helmets.
While the hobby has growing popularity the value of the items has increased. This section of the website provides a pictorial guide to the various helmets that were used by countries during the periods of WWI through today.
This is also an identification and price guide for collectible helmets around the world. GERMAN MILITARY AND CIVILIAN HELMETS This section of the page covers helmets from the WWI and WWII era. The German helmet has a very distinctive appearance.
The helmets worn in WWII had few differences from the helmets employed in WWI. The model 1916 was issued to members of the Imperial German Army as a replacement of the pickelhaube, which did not offer enough protection to the wearer.
The new style of helmets provided alot more protection to the neck section. The 1916 model was used at the begining of the Third Reich. The only change to it was the addition of the Swastika sticker. This helmet was replaced in 1935 by the M-35 helmet.
Although replaced, the M-1916 helmet continued in service with civilian and foreign units clear until the end of the war. The M-35 helmet was replaced by the M-1943 helmet. Due to cost and efficiency reasonf the M-43 helmet was stamped of a single sheet of metal without the rolling of the edges.
All German helmets were painted inside and out. This would prevent the formation of rust. The helmets were produced in 5 different sizes. This covered the entire population. Stickers were applied to the side to designate branch of service or special units.
Determining which type of German WWII helmet you have and how much it is worth is always an interesting exercise. The data provided here will help you do both. Identify the type of helmet you have and determine its value.
WWII German Police Helmet – This is a standard police helmet. Lighweight version with side ventilation holes. Leather chins strap and liner.
While helmet purchasing is an individual choice, we’ve put together some tips to make it easier. Read on:
WWII German Army M-1942 DAK Helmet – Desert camouflaged army helmet. Single decal design. Most of the leather liner is found. COmplete with the chin strap.
WWII GERMAN Army M-35 Double Decal Helmet – Apple green color with two decals. One of the Army eagle and the other of the national shield. Retains the leather liner.
WWII German Luftschutz Gladiator Helmet – Another example of the Gladiator type helmet. Brown leather liner with a black chin strap. Decal also found inside neck area.
If you must buy online, it pays to stick to helmets that you know will fit, because you’ve worn them previously. If you had an RPHA Max in M, and it fit, then you can safely buy a replacement helmet online. But please, don’t go to a dealer who has the model in stock, then order it online. This is a pretty chintzy move, considering you’re using their assets to send business to a competitor.
WWII German Rural Police SS M-35 Helmet – Apple green color. M-35 type. Double decal. One side has army eagle the other a red shield with swastika.
WWII GERMAN POLICE AND FIRE HELMETS The German police became a paramilitary force under the Third Reich. In addition to performing the normal duties’ of a law enforcement agency they were tasked with keeping an eye on the political opposition. They were also in charge of enforcing the very strict personal identification laws that were passed during this time period. The police helmets were manufactured in two main categories. Those created for combat and those for normal duties. The combat helmets were of stronger build. There were a large number of police organizations created during WWII. some examples are; water police, railway police, rural police, etc.
WWII German M-35 Double Decal SS Helmet Apple green color with some paint missing from the top. Double decal with one being the SS shield and the other a red shield with swastika.
German 1800’s Firefighter Leather Helmet – Of black leather construction. Large silver star placed in front. Aluminum comb on top. Flap protects the neck.
Open-faced 3/4 helmets are not as safe as full-faced helmets, but they’re a better choice than a bucket-style lid. You can decide for yourself if the added comfort or style of a 3/4 helmet is worth losing the safety of a full-faced helmet. At lower speeds, they’re probably more comfortable, but they certainly aren’t as safe in a crash.
There’s a lot of choice on the market, with a wide array of brands and styles. How’s a noob to choose which skid lid best suits their needs? Do you want an HJC? A Bell? Do you want DOT, Snell, or ECE rating? Open-faced? Full-faced?
WWII German M-42 Folk Art Helmet – This is an interesting helmet. Somebody took a shell and painted it in a camouflage mottiff with a large skull in the front.
WWII German M35 Helmet – This is a German WWII M-35 helmet. Complete with the liner and leather chin strap.
The third theory is that it does make sense to pay attention to safety standards, but that for many riders, a Snell certification is overkill. These riders might compromise by buying a full-face helmet that offers more protection than a DOT-rated bucket helmet, but not as much as a race-spec Snell-rated helmet. This is probably the approach taken by most riders.
In theory, helmet sizing should be standard, but if you try on a few different helmets, you’ll find otherwise; a size L for one brand might fit like an XL from another brand. You might even find variance within one manufacturer’s offerings, due to manufacturing tolerances or materials used, or just poor quality control.
WWII German M-1942 RAD Helmet – Black colored body. single RAD decal placed on the side. Consisting of a wreath with a red center and a black swastika. RAD logo in middle.
There are three different theories to helmet safety standards. The first is that anything that’s street-legal with a DOT sticker is good enough, even if it resembles a blackened chamberpot or a World War II Nazi stormtrooper’s headgear. If that’s your jam, then go ahead, knock yourself out, probably literally — the majority of this article is probably not for you.
1935 WWII German NSKK Motorcycle Helmet – Of black letaher construction. Heavily padded in front. Early aluminum eagle with high quality strike. Complete with the RZM tag.
WWII German Police Helmet – This is a lightweight police helmet. Double decal with a police emblem on one side and the swastika on the other. Complete with the leather liner.
Post War German Tanker Helmet – A tanker helmet largely based on the American WWII design. Leather construction with ear flaps. Several holes cut for ventilation.
WWI German Army M-16 Helmet – Metal construction with Frankenstein bolts to each side. The liner and ring are missing. Liner bolts are in place.
WWII GERMAN CIVIL DEFENSE The German civil defense was composed of a series of organizations. Their purpose was to keep the citizens safe and the city functioning. Their members were in charge of activities such as assisting civilians to bomb shelters during allied air attacks, fighting fires caused by the bombing, keeping the trains operational after an attack, etc. One of the most common civil defense organizations was the Luftschutz.
WWII German Double Decal Luftwaffe Helmet – Dark blue color. Double decal where one side shows the Luftwaffe eagle and the other displays the national colors shield.
WWII German Army Winter M-1940 Camo Helmet – As used in the Eastern front. The helmet is painted in a combination of white and gray. The shape of the sticker is visible. No liner.
The same goes for the sides: the cheek pads should touch your face, and you want the helmet to stay in place when you move your head side-to-side, but you don’t want the helmet to be uncomfortably tight in the sides either.