During WW2 many German soldiers were free to camouflage their equipment using whatever materials they had available. The resulting camouflage could vary massively depending on the region they were currently in. The basic helmet would be sent out of the factory in a plain blue colour for the Luftwaffe, or field grey for Army and SS units. After that, any other camouflage paints, covers or materials could potentially be applied on top.
Adding sawdust, sand and other additives found locally were popular choices and they gave each helmet a completely different look. Three-tone “Normandy Camo” helmets were also quite popular, and the white-washed finish was used in snow in Eastern Europe. Other soldiers cut up camouflage material or used an issue cloth cover and disguised their helmets that way.
Whatever the colour scheme, camouflaged German helmets are among the most collected and sought-after items of WW2 militaria, with good examples fetching many thousands of pounds. Today we explore some WW2 German Camouflage helmets for sale across our partner’s websites.
M42 German Army Helmet with Normandy Camouflage
First up we have a stunning example of a “Normandy Camouflage” M42 helmet. Using the typical greens and tan colours mixed with wood chip and applied over the originally issued field grey colour. This colour scheme was typically used in Western Europe and was preferred by the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment. They fought against the US Army Airborne units in Normandy.
This example is nicely combat worn and retains much of the original liner and chinstrap, as well as having a name written on the inside. It appears to say “SHAY”. A single army decal is still visible under the spray colour on the left-hand side. This is overall a good original example of a hard-to-find helmet.
Available from CS Militaria in the UK for £2,350.
Another way to quickly camouflage a helmet was by covering it with a cloth cover.
Covers were rarely issued to troops, so most were made by hand, and the colour depended on the region or terrain being encountered. The colour could also be different depending on the season. Typically this meant white for winter for example. They often matched camouflage uniforms as they were made from the same material, and the soldiers themselves frequently cut up their zeltbahns (ponchos) to create their own camouflaged covers. These are also known as ‘theatre-made’ covers and are very difficult to authenticate.
This example is a three-panel plain canvas cover used to break up the outline of the helmet at a distance, most likely on the eastern front. It shows clear evidence of having been on the helmet for a long time and the helmet is included in the sale as well. It is visible on the rim where the helmet has slowly cut a slit through the material. Elsewhere you can see rust patches on the helmet that have also marked the cover.
This is a fantastic battlefield relic, and given the relatively fragile nature of cloth, the fact it has survived so long and in such good condition is a miracle. This type of WW2 German army camouflage cover can be seen in many period photographs from WW2.
Available for sale by Regimentals in the UK £3,600.
Luftwaffe Blue Helmet – Overpainted in Normandy Camouflage
Here we have another textbook WW2 Normandy camouflaged helmet. The paintwork is crisp and seemingly deep on the surface, which is a great indicator on German helmets. This helmet is stamped ET 64 which tells us it was manufactured by company of Eisenhuttenwerke and it is size 64. The rear of the interior skirt is marked with a manufacturer’s lot number of 2573. To complete this stunning helmet, you can see the original liner and chinstrap still intact.
This is a good original example for sale from The Ruptured Duck in the USA for $3,200.
WW2 German Kriegsmarine Deck Gunner’s Helmet
Finally today we have another complete M40 helmet. Although this strictly speaking isn’t a camouflaged helmet, the paintwork made it too good not to put in. This helmet has been field overpainted in “battleship grey” for use on deck of a ship or submarine (arguably camouflaged against the sea and sky). Internally the liner remains intact and in overall good condition. Helmets such as this are rare to find because the battleship grey colour wasn’t heavily used. It is now highly collectable for anyone interested in the Kriegsmarine.
A rare helmet to find. This example is available from Malcolm Wagner Militaria in the UK for £950.
Interested in more WW2 items? To see our WW2 page CLICK HERE
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