- The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Helmet Books and References:  Combat Helmets of the Third Reich

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Combat Helmets of the Third Reich:  A Study in Photographs:  by Thomas Kibler

This recently published (2003) softbound book contains 96 pages of color photos depicting various German helmets ranging from the common to the rare.  The book is published by Reddick Enterprises, the same company who also printed the two volume softbound series on SS Helmets that has a similar format and feel. 

Combat Helmets of the Third Reich was written by a collector for collectors and features approximately 44 different helmets pictured in various side angles or profile shots.  The book includes detailed photos of different parts of each helmet including items such as decals, split pins, chinstrap markings, liner details, and name markings.  Scattered throughout the book are also a number of period photographs and uniform insignia that are added to enhance the overall viewing pleasure.  This softbound book is an excellent visual guide to the various helmets that most collectors consider "common" in condition or availability, with several rare helmets added throughout. 

Perhaps the book's biggest drawback is that there is virtually no text explaining the items depicted.  Rather, the reader is left with "Helmet interior," "Decal close-up," and "Grey painted steel buckle" as the typical commentary on the items shown.  Despite this aspect, readers should keep in mind that the book was not designed to explain the features or items illustrated, but rather only to depict them in photographs. 

Books that only show photographs of different helmet collections, without any commentary on their configuration, have been the trend in recently published helmet collecting books.  Most collectors seemingly prefer to view "full color photos" of different helmets rather than read text about them.  As a trend this is unfortunate, as many of the excellent details photographed in this book could be commented on further to aid the beginning collector with interpreting what they are seeing and how to best identify similar items for their collections. 

Some of the photos shown in the book appear small and slightly less detailed compared to those seen in hardbound books.  All of the helmets featured in the book appear to be original wartime examples, but no doubt some collectors will likely challenge the Holger Dansk (Danish Resistance) SS helmet featured on page 62.  Likewise, some will also challenge the only camouflaged SS helmet cover shown in the book because of its nonstandard rocker clips.  Even so, most collectors who simply love to look at other people's collections will enjoy this book.  The book sells for approximately $15 US and is printed only in English.  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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