Peter Nash’s book deconstructed in 1 2 3

10 Days ago the most insulting and useless publication ever made was released. Peter Nash’s German combat helmets. The book was universally rejected on all collector communities where dedicated helmet collectors roam.

It’s not difficult to understand why the book was dismissed , apart from the many high amount of fake helmets (paint , decals and horrible liners) the author also attacks many well established facts about German WW2 helmets in order to support his collection of fakes.

I will explain here what any collector that wants to get into German helmet collecting can take as fact.


What is it ? To put it short. We found out which decal types were applied to which helmet makers. Hold on while it may look simple it really isn’t. Some companies used FACT.jpgseveral decals , some just on M35’s etc… All decals have been mapped now and it helped collectors worldwide a great deal.


Anyone who has not read the books released in the last 15 years about German helmets has missed a great deal. On top of that a lot of that knowledge comes from collectors that interacted via forums.  People like Nash tend to be dismissive about what they call internet collectors. You can be conservative and anti internet but that doesn’t mean the world stops turning. There are just as many generations of collectors interacting via the internet than there are off line collectors. It’s not just the new kids on the block. Online you can find Ron R’s fabulous collection of over a 1000 helmets. That one collection in itself blows all false intent of Nash’s book right out of the water. Pick up 5 , 10 or 20 ET/ckl factory ET helmets from Ron and they will all have the what we call ET-style decal. Ron’s collection all by itself makes the decal vs shell correlation fact. But we didn’t stop there. People that have a passion for research know that before theories become fact that they have to be tested repeatedly and helmet after helmet it all fell into place. This has never been a one man’s project but a group effort by passionate collectors. 

Jan Meland is a very well known Norwegian collector who build his collection almost purely by sourcing helmets via ads out of the Norwegian woodwork. His book German combat helmets a Norwegian collection showcases his finds with super high definition photos. Just scroll through that book and look at the factory helmets. You will see time and time again the decals we mapped out on the shells they should be on.

Already in 2003 Tom Kibler mentioned the relation between decals and helmet makers in his book German combat helmets of the Third Reich – a study in photographs.

Kelly Hicks’s SS steel did the same in 2005 but specifically on SS decals.

In 2006 collectors of the German Helmet Walhalla forum started reference sections where decals posted on the forum were grouped by decal style for making the mapping easy and accurate.

In 2009 Ken Niewiarowicz’s study Germany’s combat helmets appeared with again confirming the finds within the community. This book was followed up in 2016 with a study purely on decals. The helmet decals of the Third Reich. (made with help from Anders Lehrman).

And in 2015 another great work from a passionate collector was released , Frederik Suppo’s Le casque Allemand. tome 1.

That’s 15 years of knowledge right there which covers data from many thousands of helmets , probably far over 5000 helmets (not 300 as Peter Nash falsely claims in his book). Helmets found today in veteran’s footlockers , attics or basements all fall into the same patterns.

Below M35 helmet was recently found in an attic in Holland , the ET style decal while a most common decal is not even featured in Peter Nash’s decals gallery. Photos courtesy of

CKL is ET and HKP is SE

For some strange reason Peter Nash does not believe the ET factory changed over to CKL/ckl mid war and he does not believe SE became HKP/hkp.

FACTSo did the Thale plant stop producing mid war ? Of course not ! It changed to CKL/ckl.

There are so many indicators that confirm the change over : CKL/ckl continues to have Thale dome stamps , they still used the same decals already mapped out which are the ET style Heer decal , the unbordered Polizei eagle (unique to that factory I might add) , the very well known ET style SS decal , the same Luftwaffe adler and so on.

ET is also the only company that made Fallschirmjäger helmets which also changed to the CKL stamp mid war.

On top of that the font of the stamps is identical. Recently even a QVL helmet was discovered with a crystal clear Thale dome stamp.

For SE we can make the exact same case ,  SE started later with the M42 so they started marking their M40’s mid war with HKP/hkp.

Also SE did not stop making helmets mid war. They continued as HKP/hkp.

Same decals , same font used in their markings and same typical bulgy vents are found SE and HKP/hkp shells.

It does not take a rocket scientist to add this all up. 


If your read Peter Nash’s ramblings about lot numbers you would think it’s some kind of Voodoo pseudo science. The problem is that he doesn’t understand what it is about. Like with everything he is afraid of what people in the enlightened 21st century have learned.

Simply put a lot number database is a list of helmets.

Data we collect in such a database is :

  • Lot number
  • Maker
  • Size
  • Helmet model
  • Branch/decal type
  • Liner type
  • Liner date

When enough data is gathered one can derive conclusions from it. The list does not authenticate other helmets with similar lot numbers as that would be silly , it exists to get a bigger view on decal applications , how long liners were used , basically to see patterns emerging from it (or not). And we do see patterns. tools-cross-settings-symbol-for-interface_318-48264kopie

Certain decals correspond to certain makers , you see also the lot number list seals the discussion on that matter.

We can see decal drops in the database (late 1943) corresponding to lot numbers

We can even see which makers produced KM helmets and which did not. Which produced SS helmets and which did not.

It’s a fantastic tool that has helped further the hobby in conjunction with many other projects started by passionate collectors. Like there are collectors that have taken it upon themselves to study liners and liner stampings , dome stamps and using the USB microscope to get 200x zoom signature close-ups.


The book is a gallery of Big foot fakes. A decal that’s known to have been reproduced since the eighties in various forms. While Peter Nash himself talks about variations he shows in fact the same fake decal over and over again.

Nowhere does the book have any connections with reality , it is completely disconnected from all previous book releases which have great support from the collecting community.

An original Big foot decal is only found on Quist shells.

Original Big foot decal on a Q M35

This one is from the book page 166 , on an ET shell.

Fake Big foot adler on an ET shell

We know thanks to the lot numbers list that tricolors were not added by the factories on M40’s anymore. Only a handful of M40 helmets with tricolors are known to exist. The idea being that these must have been added for reasons unknown after the helmet left the factory.

In Peter’s book are 3 ET M40 DD Kriegsmarine helmets again all with a Big foot fake decal and fake tricolors.

ET only used the ET style Kriegsmarine decal and on M40’s never with a tricolor.

Again a fake big foot on an ET , I added the 5 euro fake example for effect

For comparison a real ET Kriegsmarine decal with ridge as universally accepted by collectors worldwide.

Original ET style KM decal

Some USB close-ups. All authentic decals have the same look under high magnification. Polizei eagles , Heer , SS , etc…

Original Big foot chest at 200x

FAKES under high magnification. Flat , lacking depth and the metallic content looks like cheap plastic which they often are.

Fake Big foot chest at 200x
Another fake Big foot chest at 200x

If you think filling a book with a sub standard fake Heer eagle is a feat than the low quality fake Luftwaffe decals in the book will blow you away.

I actually got HQ photos of a helmet that’s been used in the book because it was already discussed in a topic on German Helmet Walhalla in 2017. Click here for the topic.

Fake DD LW helmet with some cheap fake decals added for effect.
The fake from the book
An original example of the Drooptail/straightleg eagle

The second type eagles fakes on the helmets in the book are even more disturbing.

Coined Easy fake by collectors because it is so graphically incorrect
Original eagle for comparison


While I could further break down the SS decals and the reproduction liners , I have I think with this article covered the many aspects of what is wrong with Peter Nash’s book.  Why this book was released with its many errors and attacks on known facts we might never know but I am sure time will tell.

In any case it put our noses on the fact that anyone these days can write a book , the days are long gone when the collector only had a book to guide him and was at the mercy of information he did not have control of. Today the German helmet collector is probably the best informed collector of Third Reich militaria. Forums have inspired collectors to study for themselves and share knowledge and information. Now we can say without a doubt , writer your book is full of mistakes.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Book of Fakes : A German helmet book review

Dear reader,

Got me a book to review via a friend today , he said “Frank you have to see this book” and sent me pictures and video via Whatsapp. The book in question is a self published book by author Peter Nash on German Combat helmets 1933 – 1945.

The photos and video preview I received prompted me to jump in my car and drive to my friend to get it. You will understand when you read the review.

REVIEW German Combat Helmets 1933 – 1945 by Peter J Nash

Warning : This review may contain traces of sarcasm

So there it is a hardcover book with 360 pages.

But what’s that on the front cover ? Not a very convincing example of a period German WW2 helmet but I guess it’s just my suspicious nature. Right ? We will see…

Page 1 and another suspicious looking German helmet with a fake tricolor ? There must be an explanation , let’s skip to the introduction.

The introduction tells us that the helmets are from the author’s 30 years collection , counting back this means he started collecting in 1988. Dangerous times. No internet , no color books to help you. Dealers reigned in those days as did fakers.

Other helmets come from his sons 25 year old collection and the icing on the cake Weitze and Oakleaf militaria also provided images in return for some advertising. Just what the community needs , another helmet book with dealer involvement.

So let us assess what is in the book , the disappointing cover aside.


Oh Boy


Page 6 and 7 again 2 fake helmets. I know it is hard to tell from the photos but the right helmet is quoted as being an ET and carries a Big foot adler. Don’t get me started on the Kriegsmarine one , just too crazy for words.

Peter do please educate us on helmets because we are obviously missing something ? Skipping the fakes from page 8 to 11 we find on page 12 Peter his take on decals.

Peter says that the decal vs shell correlation is false. In his words “This false theory has resulted in de-valuing many collections and the smearing of well intentioned dealers.”

Dealer protection again…

Ok so I’m now on page 12 having read the most inane drivel from someone that has seemed to make a living from collecting fakes and then imagining them as authentic. What treasure is there still to gain from this book Frank I hear you all wondering ?

Hold your horses , check out this gallery of authentic decals. Sorry for the poor photos but you will see that in Peter Nash’s world the Big foot fake fits on all helmets.


The authentic Kriegsmarine decal gallery does not have a single authentic decal either. It shows again all Big foot fakes.

The Luftwaffe adlers he shows are all fake. The easy kind !

The books has 90 helmets in it , generously counting I came out at 68 easy identifiable fakes of which 9 out of 10 had fake big foot decals. Even M42’s. The liners are all cheap Eastern Euro crap.


ET camo with Big foot fake and fake liner and strap , the book is full with similar helmets


Oh yes there is also SS stuff in there but we have already proven Peter is in above his head here. The gallery of crap continues.


Even the most novice collector can tell this a re-enactor quality helmet


Then come the even more insane pages in the book. Peter tutors us on what’s the difference between a fake and a fake. What !?

Steady guys , in Peter’s world he is showing the difference between a fake and an authentic decal. Look he’s written it above the decals.

In our world however I am looking at a person that has lost his marbles comparing 2 identical fakes.


CONCLUSION : Why was this book written ?

One would think that it makes no sense that anyone would write a book filled with fake helmets BUT in the world of Third Reich Militaria collecting it does make sense. It is not the first time fakes were inserted in books to make them authentic. The subtleness of previous cases is missing here altogether.

I can only speculate but the book challenges several generally accepted facts on German helmets. I say facts because testing theories based on observation is an accepted scientific process. By such observations we have made huge leaps forward in decal and helmet knowledge in general. To refute these findings made by collectors worldwide is utterly stupid.

The only party that really benefits from undermining collector communities are shady dealers.

Another reason why this book has seen the light may have to do with the fact that the collection would be put up for sale soon. Maybe or not the author only recently discovered he’s been collecting fakes for 30 years.

“Look it’s in a book” has made many victims. If he knows the helmets are fakes and I can’t imagine that no-one told him the book is made with fraudulent intent pure and simple.

But that’s the world we live in.

Good night everyone,