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    Helmet Books and References:  German Helmets - Volume I

Volume One

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German Helmets of the Second World War Volume I:  by Branislav Radovic

Published in January 2002, the Volume I of this two volume series features an extensive array of detailed full color photographs of German helmets.  Photographs depict helmets ranging from the earliest transitional models to combat varieties including camouflaged versions and battlefield relics.  The book contains a number of helmets from the private collections of the author and a handful of US and European collectors.  The author is a well regarded collector and historian living in the UK who has been an avid helmet enthusiast since childhood.

Both volumes are large hardback editions that average a price of about $80 US per volume.  These are expensive books, but perhaps the best in a series of up and coming titles designed to give the reader a close-up look at various details of the original helmets.  Volume I features a brief introduction of each helmet model, while Volume II provides photographs of paratrooper helmets and a variety of battlefield recovered helmets from Eastern Europe and Russia. 

However neither volume provides much text or historical information on the helmets.  This is a bit of a drawback in the sense that some information published in other books on this subject could be refreshed and updated with the latest information known to collectors.  This series is clearly intended to be simply a large photographic index of helmets in private collections. Readers looking for clear photographs will be very pleased with either book.  However those seeking additional information on the history of these helmets will find little information other than the brief introductory comments found in Volume I.

A number of helmets and related components pictured in the book have already come under suspicion as being high end fakes due to their rarity and also their appearance.  These include SS helmets as well as camouflaged variations of standard service and battlefield recovered helmets. At least one chinstrap shown in the book has been positively identified as a postwar West German model chinstrap used on Border Guard (BGS) helmets. Also of note is the fact that some of the Waffen-SS helmet covers depicted in the book are thought to be high end modern reproductions.  At least one contributor to the book has stated that his name has been associated with photographs that are not his artifacts.  This is distressing in the sense that it is clear the publisher made some critical errors when putting the book together. 

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