WWII German M40 Beaded Luftschutz Helmet & Liner Set (Q66)
This is an original WWII German manufactured M40 beaded Luftschutz helmet set. There are two schools of thought regarding beaded helmets; some collectors believe that when a helmet was rejected for combat use it underwent a process where a ridge or "bead" was pressed into the helmet's diameter in order to quickly differentiate it from combat-approved helmets. These beaded examples were then issued to civil defense units - in this situation, the Luftschutz. Others infer that these helmets were designed with the bead in mind prior to the pressing as they are of a lighter weight steel and metallurgical tests seem to indicate that the bead was pressed during the initial forming of the helmet and not at a later time upon finding a defect in the steel. Either way, the helmet's original Luftshutz decal and blue factory finish are in excellent condition. The inside brim is size stamped Q66 lot number DN310, denoting mid-1943 production by the Quist, Esslingen factory. The interior retains its original size 57 leather liner, drawstring, and chinstrap. Interestingly, the shell could accomodate a larger size 58 or 59 liner, however it was instead completed with a smaller liner and two layers of cork spacers. The cork spacers are square, denoting war-time installation. The helmet's split pins and washers are all original and show no signs of tampering.