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

    Collector Topics:  Helmet Paint


Photo:  Textured Paint on and M1935 Field Repainted Helmet.


Helmet Paint

Like other design enhancements, the paint used on German helmets was modified as a result of practical experience.  These modifications were based on the observations of men who used the helmets in field situations or simulated combat maneuvers.  Furthermore, the evolution in paint finish and the ability to standardize color was complicated by several factors.  The fact that many helmets underwent factory or supply depot refurbishment prior to being reissued meant that many helmets would receive different paint schemes.  Likewise, when paint was available in the field many helmets were repainted by the men who wore them.

The advent of "reproduction" helmets that have been repainted in an effort to depict an original wartime example has complicated the subject of paint color and texture for some collectors.  Even so, the fact is there are some simple and easy methods to determine whether or not the paint finish on a German helmet is original or not.  Numerous inquires have been generated over the years with regards to the actual paint colors, manufacturing codes, the mixture formulas, sources of original paint, and any number of topics associated with the need to learn more about German helmet paint.

Suffice to say that German helmet paint changed greatly in both color and texture from the mid-1930's through 1943 and ultimately to the end of the Second World War.  Early paint colors of the Reichswehr Army were typically not of the same color range found on World War I model helmets that never received a camouflage pattern.  Reichswehr colors were re-established in the the 1920's and continuously used until the advent of the M1935 helmet.  Similar colors were applied to transitional model helmets used from 1934 through 1937.  It is safe to say with certainty that no two German helmets were ever identical in color.  The variety is one of the unique factors regarding World War II German military equipment.


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 paint used in German helmets from 1933-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Paint Main Topics

Color Standardization

Paint History

Paint Finishes

RAL Codes

    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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