We can divide the civic style helmets into 2 categories :
- Commercially produced lightweight helmets
- Combat helmets (M35 , M40 and M42’s) that received a bead that runs horizontally around the helmet.
Civic style helmets were used throughout the Reich by various institutions for a variety of non combat duties although some will for sure have seen or been in combat during the last stages of the war.
These helmet were predominantly used by :
- Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB) , later Luftschutz
- Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK)
- Factory guards and safety personnel
An endless variety to suit your collector needs
The most commonly found types are the M34 “salt shaker” and the Gladiator style helmets but many other variants exist. As you will see in the gallery below many different liner systems were fitted.
From left to right : Early M34 , M34 Square dip , M34
From left to right : Gladiator 2 piece , Gladiator 1 piece , Flat rim Gladiator style
From left to right : M34 Feuerwehr “Early” model , M34 Feuerwehr later model , Commercial M18 “droopbill”
From left to right : M34 prototype single air vents , M34 single air vents
Often these helmets are found without any size or maker stamp in the steel. Paint colors range from black (usually for Polizei , feuerwehr , Luftschutz and factory units) to green (Polizei , RLB and DRK) and grey (DRK).
The beaded shells always have a maker stamp and a lot number just like their combat counterparts.
Example of a beaded M35
USA patent chinstraps
The USA patent 1590400 chinstrap found on different models of Third Reich lightweight helmets , mostly defined as Fireman’s helmets or Polizei helmets.
This patent dates back to 1926 and the inventor is Alphonse, Widmer Harry.
These straps were in use well before WW2.
Here’s an outtake from the Baer book on German helmets that shows a period advertisement which features this style of strap.