This weekend's posting is on a great helmet that I picked up off of eBay last week. The helmet is a West German Fire Helmet!
This is the "old style", civilian model, aluminum "stahlhelm" style helmet that was used from before WW2 until the 1990's. This particular helmet is marked with "DIN 14940 DD, which indicates that is is constructed to comply with the "Deutsche Industrie Norm", DIN, or in English, the German Industry Standard, of 14940 DD. This standard was instituted around 1964 and was rendered obsolete in 1997 with the introduction of the new Euro-standard requiring all fire helmets to be non-conductive. The helmet is stamped with the shell size of H2. this shell size is designed to fit head sizes 53-61. The manufacturer is JUNGER and this is also stamped on the shell. There is a letter "B" stamped as well, but I am unsure of what this indicates.
This helmet is painted in "phoshoreszierende", or phosphorescent paint that glows a green-yellow in the dark. It has a single band of reflective tape circling the top of the skirt shell. The shell has the distinctive "salt shaker" vents that are on all of the civilian model helmets (dating all the way back to the 1934 originals).
Here is a "night shot" that gives you an idea about how it glows in the dark........ very cool, but it is nearly impossible to capture the full effect with my camera.
The liner that is in this helmet is EXTREMELY high quality and complex. It has a metal band with a thick felt material over that, with the leather liner attached over that. The liner is adjustable from size 56 - 59, by means of a knurled clamping bolt that slides in a long slot in the metal liner band. This allows the liner to fit every size between 56 and 59 by allowing the wearer to adjust it while the helmet is being worn, and clamping it to their exact head size. Above the leather liner, is a web of nylon suspension straps, just like the "construction hard hats" found here in the US. Around the perimeter of the liner, in the back, is a series of "T" tabs made out of leather. these tabs allow the attachment of a leather neck guard, called a "Nackenshutz" in German. You can see examples of this neck guard in the "action-archive" shots at the end of the posting. The leather liner is marked with the initials "CBM" inside a "leather hide" shape. I believe this is the manufacturer of the liner, but I am not sure.
The liner is marked with the stamped date of "5 92", or May of 1992, on the backside of the leather. This would make this one of the very last of the old style aluminum helmets made and would explain it's nearly new condition. The liner is also stamped with the maker's ID, DIN number and helmet type. The liner has the usual post-war style perforation in the sweat-brow area of the liner.
The helmet is equipped with a strap system reminiscent of the old WW2 Fallschirmjager helmets (paratrooper helmets). The straps are leather with a quick release tightener, and two strap end keepers that have snaps to quickly and securely take care of the long end of the chin strap once it is on and tightened. The harness is attached to the shell at 4 points, crossing over in the back. They are attached with bolts.
Here are a couple of shots comparing this fire helmet to my post-war Bundesgrenzschutz helmet. The inner leather liners are similar, but the metal bands, attachments and size adjusters are completely different. The BGS helmet liner is very basic. You can see the distinct look of the civilian model helmet when it is next to the military version: The front edge angles of the skirt on the fire helmet are very angular and it has the salt shaker vents on the sides. The fire helmet also has a longer skirt and visor.
And now for some action-archive shots! Here are some German Firefighters in action, wearing this version of the fire helmet:
Here are a few German fire engines and a German Fire Department bicycle thrown in for good measure: