Camo Helmets

Collectors all over the world have a big interest in camouflaged helmets. When we look at period photos we see that the Germans used a lot of techniques to camouflage their helmets. The most common way was to paint their helmet in 2 or more colors. Sand or wood chips were often mixed in the paint to create a less reflective surface. In winter white paint or a chalky substance called whitewash was used. Whitewash was easier to remove , a white painted helmet would need to be repainted in spring.

A winter camo helmet , probably whitewash

The second method was putting wire around the helmet so that leaves , grass and twigs could be fitted in there as camouflage. The type of wire used came from everywhere. From fences to electrical wire. We see single wire camo’s , wire that goes from front to back and from side to side and very often chicken wire was used.

Photo shows 2 different styles of wire camouflage

One other instance where the Germans repainted a helmet was when it was used for field medics or stretcher bearers  , in collector terminology they are called Red cross helmets.


The Appeal of collecting camo helmets

No two camo’s helmets are alike , while there is proof that sometimes camo’s were painted in batch there rarely are two identical examples. In color and scheme yes but actually identically the same no. Camo stands for combat and the paint scheme often has the soldier’s personal input. Was he an artist or did he just slap some paint on there when he had a 5 minute break ? Endless variants and possibilities. It makes the heart of a collector beat faster.

Below you’ll find the following examples of different original camouflaged helmets.

DAK camo , 2 tone camo , Luftwaffe field division camo , Normandy camo , single wire camo , chicken wire camo , net camo , red cross.

Emaillierwerke A.G.Fulda (EF) size 64 M35

  • Lot number 13103
  • 1938 dated liner band
  • This is a typical Afrika / Southern Italy camouflage color , collectors refer to this camouflage as DAK camo.
  • The helmet is a double decal Luftwaffe helmet , both decals can be seen under te paint.

Vereinigte Deutsche Nickelwerke (NS) size 62 – M40

  • Lot number has the D prefix and 3 digits but hard to read
  • This is a DAK/Southern Italy type camouflage
  • Carries the Pocher decal which is nicely painted around

Pictures courtesy of M38

Sächsische emaillier und stanzwerke (SE) size 64 – M40

  • Lot number 22537
  • Liner band date not visible
  • This is a Luftwaffe field division camo. You can see the eagle sitting nicely under the paint with a USB microscope.
  • Sand and woodchips are mixed into the paint.

Sächsische emaillier und stanzwerke (SE) size 64 – M40

  • Lot number not fully readable , 8×2
  • Liner band date not visible
  • This camo seems to be applied with small yellow/green brushstrokes

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (ET) size 64 – M40

  • Lot number 877
  • Judging by the interior paint this is a Luftwaffe helmet
  • Collectors call this a “chunky” camo helmet due to the way the paint has been applied.
  • This is a 2 color camo scheme and on top of that the helmet once had a wire.

Quist (Q) size 64 – M40

  • Lot number DN143
  • 1940 Dated liner band
  • 1941 Dated chinstrap
  • 3 Color Normandy camo scheme

Quist (Q) size 60 – M40

  • Lot number 101
  • This is a three color camo which collectors often call a Normandy camo. It consists of yellow , green and brown paint.

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (ET) size 64 – M35

  • Lot number unreadable
  • This is a worn three color ‘Normandy’ type camo
  • The helmet before the camo was applied was probably a single decal or no decal reissue. The decals or decal being painted over.
  • Steel liner band , date unreadable

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (ET) size 64 – M42

  • Lot number 2445
  • Classic three color ‘Normandy’ camouflage
  • You see the eagle sitting under the paint

Photos courtesy of RoyA

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (ET) size 64 – M35

  • Lot number 4265
  • 2 color swirl pattern camo
  • As can often happen with camo’s is that the paint and the decal react to each other , the paint cracks and takes the decal off.
  • This particular helmet has some severe battle damage

Emaillierwerke A.G.Fulda (EF) size 64 M40

  • Lot Number – 5193
  • Liner band B&C Berlin dated 1941
  • One of the better examples of an authentic winter camouflaged helmet.
  • Note the paint cracks over the decal

Photos courtesy of Wolfpack17 

Quist (Q) size 64 – M40

  • Lot  number hard to read , see photo.
  • Ultra rare Red cross helmet with visible decal which can be identified as the ET type which Quist also used on their M40’s.

Photos courtesy of RonR

Sächsische emaillier und stanzwerke (SE) size 64 – M35

  • This is an uncovential German medic helmet as it does not have the standard white paint but has rough sand mixed into the green paint. The chinstrap is stuck to the front of visor so it’s been placed like that for quite a while. Under the microscope the paint shows subtle cracks. I have had many collectors view this one in hand even before I added it to the collection in 2011. At that time medic helmets only very rarely came up for sale. You can find my old topic (with bad photos) on the German Helmet Walhalla forum here.
  • Lot number 4839
  • 1940 dated steel liner band with the square cornered D rings you find on the aluminium reinforced liners.
  • 1940 Dated G Schiele Loburg strap
  • Under the unconvential red cross paint is a reissued M35 , brush strokes can clearly be seen on the inside. The overpaint has left marks on the leather (that’s always a good thing to see)
  • The soldier both wrote his name on the leather and painted it on the shell

USB photos of the Medic helmet above

Quist (Q) size 66

  • Lot number not fully readable , xx 408
  • Helmets that still have their original net are extremely hard to find often only the hooks are left , this one is one of the best examples I can present.

Photos courtesy of RoyA

Quist (Q) size 64 M40

  • Lot number T1603
  • US veteran bring back , acquired from the deceased’s uncle

Photos courtesy of RonR

Emaillierwerke A.G.Fulda (EF) size 64 M40

  • Lot number 5129
  • This is a rare basket chicken wire camo with a pristine ET style eagle on an EF shell.

Photos courtesy of RonR

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (E.T.) – M35

  • A rare full reissue repaint of a DD Luftwaffe helmet with drooptail (probably snakeleg eagle)
  • It’s an early production ET helmet , lotnumber starting with a 2.
  • Early 1931 dated liner band with the thicker leather retaing studs and the size stamp embossed into the leather
  • It has a typical bailing wire set up for camouflage purposes.

Eisenhüttenwerke Thale (ckl) size 64 – M42

  • This helmet was found in 2005 in Norway by Jan Meland , an avid helmet hunter , collector and subject expert.
  • Lot number 2989.
  • ET style decal
  • Liner band date not readable.
  • Wire assembly for camouflage purposes
  • Period paper tucked under the leather for comfort