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Peter U
07-16-2010, 09:52 AM
Hello,

This is the newest addition to my WW2 collection, a M42 made by EF (the impressed size and batch number aren't very clear, but it is a larger size helmet).
The helmet is really nothing very special, just a late war helmet, that has no decals and is factory painted with rough green paint. The large majority of German soldiers would have worn a helmet similar to this one.
What makes this one special, is that it is a real battlefield relic piece, helmets with battle damage and a bloodstained liner aren't that common.

The soldier that wore this helmet in combat was hit by at least two pieces of shrapnel, one entered his head on his right cheek and flew straight through his helmet, the athor piece also would have entered somewhere around his right cheek but this piece of shrapnel lost its power and only cut through the aluminium liner band and the D ring of the chinstrap.
Most likely the chinstrap was cut off to remove the helmet of the head of the KIA soldier; that the person that took this helmet as a rather gruesom war souvenir kept the stained liner in it, often when a helmet like this was taken as a souvenir the stained liner would be removed for hygienical reasons.
I have used the images of the seller to illustrate this thread, in natural day light the bloodstains on the liner are much darker.
Authentic bloodstains have a brownish black colour.


Cheers,
Peter

Lancer-86
07-16-2010, 11:05 AM
Great piece Peter! Really tells a deeper story than the pristine examples can..

Peter U
07-16-2010, 11:47 AM
I forgot to mention that the little piece of shrapnel that didn't penetrate the helmet is still with the helmet;
It is a piece of soft metal that usually can be found around an artillery shell.
It isn't often that one can find the actual object that killed the soldier.

mauser202
07-17-2010, 06:57 PM
Wow! As usual an excellent artifact Peter. On the shrapnel is that the KIA's hair?

Hambone
07-18-2010, 03:51 PM
Had Peter not bought this I would have ;) That piece of copper, IMHO, is the driving band off an artillery projectile. The projectile was most all steel and the copper driving band is what the rifling grabbed to spin it. Being softer than steel it penetrated the soldier's skull and lacked sufficient energy/mass to get out of the hardened steel helmet, instead lodging in the helmet band up against the shell. The steel fragment, likely attached to the driving band, had enough weight and hardness to exit the helmet. While a bit morbid, it's reality and this is an excellent piece.
Regards,
HB

Peter U
07-19-2010, 01:28 PM
Wow! As usual an excellent artifact Peter. On the shrapnel is that the KIA's hair?

Hi Mauser202,

I think it are hairs of the felt liner.

Cheers,
Peter

Peter U
07-19-2010, 01:30 PM
Had Peter not bought this I would have ;) That piece of copper, IMHO, is the driving band off an artillery projectile. The projectile was most all steel and the copper driving band is what the rifling grabbed to spin it. Being softer than steel it penetrated the soldier's skull and lacked sufficient energy/mass to get out of the hardened steel helmet, instead lodging in the helmet band up against the shell. The steel fragment, likely attached to the driving band, had enough weight and hardness to exit the helmet. While a bit morbid, it's reality and this is an excellent piece.
Regards,
HB

Thanks for the tip Hambone!

P