Here is a 3-piece Gladiator style Luftschutz Helmet from later in the war in Germany. It is in very good condition with the original late-war paper liner and chinstrap (note: chinstrap is broken on one end as shown in the photos). It's a pretty sad relic when you see the paper liner and what little comforts were available towards the end of the war for the Germans. This is the perfect helmet for a new collector on a budget!
Here is an excerpt from http://www.German-Helmets.com regarding the Luftschutz Helmet:
Members of the Air Protection Warning Service (Luftschutzwarndienst) were required to purchase (from their own funds) a light-weight helmet that bore a distinct winged decal insignia on the front. Retail outlets were available to volunteers where helmets could be obtained. Most Luftschutzwarndienst helmets (particularly gladiator style helmets) also contained a small decal under the rear rim of the helmet that denoted head size and price.
Due to the limited number of helmets available to Luftschutzwarndienst (Luftschutz) volunteers, a large number of surplus helmets were employed by the Air Protection Warning Service to make up for the shortfall. Surplus Luftschutz helmets often included outdated firemen's helmets, World War I model helmets, and captured Czech, Polish, Dutch, and Russian helmets.
However, the vast majority of Air Protection Warning Service helmets were German made one, two, and three-piece gladiator style helmets. These helmets were made by a number of metal crafting firms in Germany and were very light in overall weight. Their color ranged from a medium to dark black-blue paint. Debate over which variation of the gladiator style helmet came first has long been an issue in helmet collecting circles. By most accounts, it would seem that the stamped one-piece version was the last of the three to be manufactured rather than visa versa.
Heavier helmets were also available in the form of M1935, M1940, and M1942 pattern combat helmets that were marked with a pronounced bead along the midline of the shell. Speculation holds that these beaded helmets were in fact reject helmets from various factories employed in the manufacture of combat helmets. However, a number of advanced collectors maintain that beaded combat helmets were in fact made this way on purpose. The reasoning for their hypothesis steams from the obvious need for a heavier and more protective helmet that would not be mistaken or employed as a combat helmet1. In this case, these collectors suggest that the bead is in fact a natural element of the helmet's overall design similar to that observed in the gladiator models.
While regulations called for the placement of the Luftschutz decal to be positioned above the visor, it was not uncommon to have decals placed on one or two sides of a given helmet. Luftschutzwarndienst helmets are the most numerous of all German helmets and are considered quite common by collecting standards.
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