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

    Collector Topics: Camouflage - Wire Configurations

Wire Configurations

Different grades of wire were used to provide the framework for which foliage could be attached to helmets.  In many cases, the wire itself served as a means of camouflage without the aid of leaves or branches.  A variety of methods were used to attach wire to a helmet.  Both strait bailing wire as well as fencing wire (often called Chicken wire) was also used in various gages.  So many varieties of potential application methods existed that it would be difficult to document them all1.  However a basic under-standing of the most common wire configurations can be established.

The wire types and grades applied to helmets often differed depending on the theater of combat where the helmet was being used.  Helmets that used wire for camouflage were typically found in the Italian and French theaters in 1943 and 1944.  However as a whole, continental Europe with its strong agrarian base was an abundant source of farm yard and fencing wire. 

Helmets used in Russia however were not commonly camouflaged with wire.  This is verified by the relatively few photographs showing men in the East with wire camouflage helmets.  The premise being that in many parts of the desolate Russian steppe (and often isolated village settings) wire was a scarce commodity. 

When applied, wire was often attached by means of small collar hooks, bent wire hooks, or simply crimped over the edges of the helmet.  In most cases it appears as though each individual soldier hand crafted his own wire configuration.  Although it is possible that it was also done on more of a small unit level.


Notes:

1 Wire helmets have been extensively faked over the years with good quality.  The debate over wire types and twists has lead to controversy over the nature of original vs. reproduction helmets.  Collectors are best advised to study the various aspects of wartime fencing wire to establish a better understanding of this issue.

Overview

Each section of German-Helmets.com is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides historical facts pertaining to camouflage wire configurations.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Camouflage Main Topics

Camouflage Paint

Helmet Netting

Camouflaged Helmets Gallery

Wire Configurations

Cloth Helmet Covers

 
   
   

An M1935 Heer helmet with camouflage paint and wire.  This helmet was captured in Italy by a US Army veteran.

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