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    Helmet Books and References:  History of the German Helmet Second Edition

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The History of the German Steel Helmet: 1916-1945 by Ludwig Baer (Second Edition)

Reprinted and released in 2001, this book is considered by many collectors as the definitive work (or classic "bible") for all information on the subject of German steel helmets.  The book's text and photographs cover the entire history of the German helmet from inception to the last version prototyped in 1944.  The author is a noted German historian who has researched more than 80% of what is known about German helmets.

Prior to the reprint, the First Edition of this book commanded values of $125 to $150 for second hand editions.  Most of these books were sold on internet auctions.  Following the reprint, the demand for the First Edition dropped off considerably as well as the book's overall market value.  Older copies can now be purchased for around $50 US which is the about the same price asked for the reprinted Second Edition.

Although the Second Edition was released in 2001, much to the surprise of the collecting community the publisher reprinted the book without changing or updating the text or photographs.  Some confusion resulted in the collecting community in 2000 when it was first thought that Bender Publishing was releasing Volume II of this series.  However collectors quickly realized that the Second Edition was simply identical to the First Edition with a new cover.

Although many collectors consider this book the "ultimate authority" on German steel helmets, the book actually features a handful of historical comments that are incorrect based on more recent work in this area.  In addition, several helmets photographed in the book have surfaced as reported "fakes" that had not been previously detected by their owners.  Many of the helmets in the book are now in the collections of modern collectors having been sold at high prices as a result of having been pictured in this book. 

While possibly the best overall book on the subject, collectors should be careful to consider any publication the absolute authority on any subject matter.  The errors in this book, although few, clearly make this point true.  Copies can be purchased online and directly through the publisher who is one of the largest printers of World War II subjects pertaining to collectables and their history.

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