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

    Factory Production:  Location of Helmet Manufacturing Firms

Helmet Factories

More than 25 Million German combat helmets were manufactured during the Second World War.  This massive effort was accomplished by five independently owned metal fabrication plants with experience in steel production.  The largest producer of steel helmets (Stahlhelme) was the firm of Eisenhüttenwerke located in the city of Thale.  This firm was situated in the Hartz mountain region of north central Germany.  Eisenhüttenwerke-Thale was also a manufacturer of steel helmets during the First World War and thus had the most experience in mass production.  The Thale firm and its engineers played a major role in the initial design and prototyping of the M1935 steel combat helmet.  Production records indicate that nearly 20 Million helmets were manufactured between early 1939 and May 1944.  Between June 1944 and February 1945 another 2.5 Million helmets were produced for the German Armed Forces (Deutsche Wehrmacht).  Pre-war statistics indicate that 1.3 Million helmets had been produced between 1935 and July 1937, with the remaining 1.2 Million produced between July 1937 and January 1939.  Production efforts were accomplished by German laborers employed by each of the factories.  This included both men and women.  A thorough search of wartime records filed in 1996 by the U.S. Courts on behalf of victims of the Holocaust indicated that none of the helmet factories used slave labor in the production of steel helmets.  However in 1999 a report was found in Germany that provided information linking factories and privately held companies to the use of slave labor.  Two factories shown below are known to have used forced labor in the production of German helmets.  This also comes from the testimony of survivors who claim they worked on German helmets as well as ammunition and military equipment production.  The firm in Schwerte employed French prisoners captured during the invasion of France and well as Russian women captured in Eastern territories.  These prisoners were held in slave labor camps close to the production facilities or within their confines.  The firm of Emaillierwerke A.G. Fulda also used slave labor most likely in the form of Russian men and women.  None of the other firms noted below are known to have used slave labor.

Maker Manufacturer City
ET (or ckl) Eisenhüttenwerke Thale
FS (or EF) Emaillierwerke A.G. Fulda
NS Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke Schwerte
Q Quist Esslingen
SE (or hkp) Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke Lauter
     

The Thale Plant in the Hartz Mountains.

 

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 helmet production 1935-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

Primary Topics

Construction Stages

Helmet Shell Sizing

Helmet Shell Markings

Factory Locations and Photos

 

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

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