SS-Steel: Parade and Combat Helmets of Germany's Third Reich Elite by: Kelly Hicks
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Table of Contents
Collector Bookstore Notes:
This reference helps correctly identify authentic or fake German WWII parade and combat helmets via paint, decals and other details.
The central issue regarding collecting SS helmets is the huge amount of fakes now on the market. SS-Steel is intended to assist the collector in determining the fakes from the real thing. It provides information specific to their paint, decals and general characteristics.
This analysis is conducted within the framework of history; illustrating how the forces of politics and war influenced the equipping of Germany's elite guard. During full-scale production of the M-35 series of helmets, each of the five German helmet makers installed their own pattern of SS decal on helmets at the factory. Fine examples of dozens of helmets show clear evidence of this maker-to-decal correlation. In addition to the decal analysis, SS-Steel explores the high degree of re-use and re-issue of helmets, compared to the other services. Variations, unusual and rare helmets, and "foreign volunteer" SS helmets are also explored. Since the first edition of "SS Steel," a lot has taken place. Numerous superb original examples of helmets have surfaced that not only reinforce the decal to maker correlation, but also to give authoritative context for exceptions to this correlation. Both the reinforcement aspects and the exception aspects will be illuminated further in this update.
Some of the information that has surfaced deals with more accurate dating of helmets via anecdotal use of batch or lot numbers, which loosely give a helmet a production period that in combination with the decal it displays from the factory can lead to determination of when certain patterns of decals were used and perhaps why. An example of this is the ET M-35 SS helmet with factory issue C.A. Pocher decals. In the first edition of "SS Steel," this happenstance was characterized as an early characteristic, based on several examples of 1937 or earlier dated M-35s, plus some period photos showing early use of Pocher decals. In the intervening period since the first edition, it has been definitively determined that C.A. Pocher decals were also used on factory issue ET M-35 helmets, alongside and even intermingled with standard ET decals, during a large portion of 1939. This is due to their correlation to the 4,000 series lot numbers, which loosely equate to 1939 production overall. So this very significant point has been identified and helps refine and advance collector knowledge on M-35s.
Other useful information has been incorporated into this update, with the intent of creating greater clarity on production and use of all helmets across the wartime spectrum of the SS. It is my greatest hope that this information will help solidify and strengthen the body of knowledge surrounding these magnificent trophies of the Second World War.
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- Width: 6.25 inches
- Height: 9.25 inches
- Depth: 0 inch
- Weight: 2.38 pounds
- Hard Cover