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Thread: M.40 Helmet w/net Normandy ID'd

  1. #1
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Default M.40 Helmet w/net Normandy ID'd

    I bought this helmet back in 1992 or so for $400. It came out of a collection of a deceased collector. When I bought the helmet I was told that it was "picked up at Normandy". Uh, yes, of course (buy the helmet, not the story). It is a Q.64 , batch 337. Chinstrap is "C.Korn / Alzey / 1941". Not relined, in nice shape. Issue net with ring and hooks is wired into the liner band at the front, back, and sides. Net is cut through in some places at the rim. Galvanized wire shows wear where it is supposed to. When I got it, the front face piece portion of the net was shoved up into the liner front between the liner and helmet. It is, as you see, discolored and stained from sweat and the liner as it was that way a long time. The helmet rim has "Kisselmann" in white paint, and the liner was inked "F.K."
    Several years later I sent a letter to the Deutsche Dienstelle (WASt) requesting information of several named helmets. The letter you see below was the reply I finally got on Feb. 1, 1995. The only "F.Kisselmann" they could find was Friedrich Kisselmann, born on June 24, 1902 in Pforzheim. He served with the Heereskustenartillerieabteilung 315 as an Unteroffizier and was captured on June 9, 1944 in Maisy, France. He was transported to Canadian POW Camp Nr.136 in Medicine Hat (Canada). Repatriated in 1947, he died on June 14, 1974.
    I had no information on Maisy France and how it connected with Normandy until this last year! A very significant find was made recently of the batteries at Maisy that shelled Omaha and were hotly contested. The garrison at Maisy surrendered on June 9, 1944 (same date as shown by my 1995 letter). This is a fascinating link and great detective work:
    "On the morning of the 9th of June 1944 Maisy Battery was attacked by halftracks of the US 2nd and 5th Rangers, soldiers from the 116 Regiment of the 29th Div. (Maryland, Virgina National Guard) and 81st Chemical Weapons Battalion (Heavy Mortars) and was supported by a barrage from a US field gun battery. It was eventually captured by the 5th Rangers. In another of Ryan's interviews with Staff Sgt. Donald Chance of A company 5th Rangers, Chance wrote that “we were the lead company in the behind the lines action to attack the complex at Maisy”. The firefight lasted all morning until the Germans eventually surrendered. The scars of the battle can be seen so vividly at the site today - in the tunnel walls and building fronts and are a testament to the ferrocity of the encounter."

    http://www.maisybattery.com

    After this, after more than 10 years, I was finally able to find a connection with Maisy to the 315th Heer Coastal Artillery Abt. The 315th became attached to Artillery Regt. 1716 with the 716th Inf. Div. This is translated from the German text:
    Artillery regiment 1716
    List:
    January 1944 from that i./artillery regiment 656 (716. ID), the IIITH department with the Fp.Nummer that Army coastal battery 315; after employment in normandy in Southern France and in the Elsass reorganized: III. became IVTH department, new IIITH from fortress artillery department 1525; with Colmar smash 1945 in January. Relist 14.4.1945 from the old staff with Ith department of, II. Department from the artillery training department 260 Ludwigsburg.
    2. Arrangement:
    1944 Ith 1-4, IITH 5-7, IIITH 8-10
    1944 Ith 1-3, IITH 4-6, IIITH 7-9, IVTH 10-12
    3. Assumption:
    716. Infantry division: France, normandy, September1944 Southern France, Elsass, 1945 Upper Rhine
    4. Replacement:
    6. Osnabrück, WK VI
    716th ID
    Artillerie-Regiment 1716 : Kommandeur : Oberstleutnant Helmut Knüppe
    Gefechtsstand : La Folie/Beuville (?)
    I./1716 : Kdr :
    Gefechtsstand : Colomby-sur-Thaon
    1./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - Merville ; Leutnant Raimund Steiner
    2./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - Colleville-sur-Orne (Wn16)
    3./1716 : 4x 7,5cm FK16 n.A. - Bréville ; Hauptmann Schimpf
    4./1716 : 4x 15,5cm sFH 414 (f) - Ouistreham (Château d'Eau/Wn12)
    II./1716 : Kdr :
    Gefechtsstand : Crépon (Wn35b)
    5./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - Wn36a ; Oberleutnant Theimer
    6./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - La Mare-Fontaine (Wn32)
    7./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - Bény-sur-Mer ; Hauptmann Wilhelm Franke
    III./1716 : Kdr :
    Gefechtsstand : La Cambe
    8./1716 : 4x 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) - Maisy La Martiniere (Wn84)
    9./1716 : 4x 15,5cm sFH 414 (f) - Maisy Les Perruques (Wn83) 10./1716 : 4x 15,5cm sFH 414 (f) - N.E. Bayeux ; Oberleutnant Rudolf Schaaf
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    Last edited by Hambone; 11-05-2017 at 12:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member George R.'s Avatar
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    Ham how do you do it ( I mean get the info ) everytime I send a letter over there I never get response just 30$ out of my pocket. Outstanding.

  3. #3
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Thanks George. That letter was sent back in 1993 or 1994, so perhaps the response time is different. It was hit or miss back then. You can see I inquired about several helmets, including the Hans Horak Luftwaffe KIA helmet in the other thread. The only info they provided was on this one.

  4. #4
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Hello Hambone,

    It seems that I missed this thread


    Great helmet and great research!
    Thanks for posting.

    Cheers,
    Peter

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  6. #6
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George R. View Post
    Ham how do you do it ( I mean get the info ) everytime I send a letter over there I never get response just 30$ out of my pocket. Outstanding.

    Hi George,

    Perhaps a late repley, but the WASt archive doesn't give any information anymore to private collectors, not even if you pay there fee.
    The letter Hambone got most likely was one of the last sent to a private collector.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  7. #7
    Senior Member jack944's Avatar
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    Default Missed this too

    Must have been on vacation or something...I hope your kids go to an expensive college some day......


    Great research...more than a lid now..

  8. #8
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    Ham,
    That is an outstanding helmet and research.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Senior Member BerlinerLuebecker's Avatar
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    Great helmet, detective work and story! Incidentally, been to Pforzheim many times. Must have been awful to return to your hometown in 1947 looking the way Pforzheim did.

  10. #10
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Friedrich Kisselmann's gravestone.
    http://grabsteine.genealogy.net/tomb...9&tomb=311&b=K
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    Last edited by Hambone; 12-19-2014 at 10:38 AM.

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