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

    Helmet Shell Markings

Photo:  A 62 cm marked shell made by the Thale firm.

Helmet Shell Markings

Wartime manufactured German combat helmets were stamped with an alpha-numeric code under the flared rim of the helmet (often referred to as the skirt).  This was done in order to help identify the shell size and maker.  These markings were always placed in one of two places; the center of the left underside rim or the center rear of the skirt.  This alpha-numeric code contained both the maker's initials and the metric shell size of the helmet in a single line.  These markings were placed on all helmets made during World War II.

The numbers denoting the maker's mark and shell size were was placed on the left side of the helmet under the flared skirt.  In cases where a given manufacturer chose to place their factory code markings on the rear skirt, the production code number always fell below the alpha-numeric factory code.  The firm of Quist moved their maker's marks to the rear of the helmet sometime during 1942 or 1943.  These marks remained in that location for the duration of the war.

In addition to the factory maker code markings, a second set of stamps were placed into the shell to denote which production run (or lot number) the helmet had come from.  Virtually all wartime manufactured helmets have the production run number stamped into the shell.  Only a handful of helmets do not and the reason for this remains unknown.  Combat helmets show the markings at the rear of the helmet as do civic model helmets used by non-combat related organizations.

The production run number generally took the form of three or four digits representing the production run that a given helmet came from.  The production run number is sometimes referred to as a "lot number" or more specifically a "serial number."  Occasionally helmets were also stamped with a "DN" above the production code at the back of the skirt.  The "DN" was a patent mark that indicated that the helmet was manufactured in Germany.  German wartime era helmets did not receive any shell stamping marks other than those described here.


Each section of 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 shell markings of the World War II German helmet.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Main Topics

Civic Model Markings

Combat Model Markings

Factory Code Chart

Year of Manufacture

    Factory Production 

Construction Stages

Helmet Shell Sizing

Helmet Shell Markings

Factory Locations and Photos

Production Statistics

    Collector Topics




Dome Stamps

Factory Production

Foreign Use

Helmet History

Liner Systems


Fakes and Reproductions

Rare and Unusual

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

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