The M40 German helmet was the helmet of choice for the German army during WWII. It was responsible for protecting the the brains rattling around in the skulls of the furor-loving Nazi soldiers that were firing on our soldiers all across Europe. These helmets are sometimes referred to by the German word for steel helmet, “Stahlhelm.”
Prior to WWI the German army didn’t supply troops with any head protection other than flimsy caps made of cloth and leather. However, the introduction of trench warfare caused a massive increase of fatalities caused by head injuries. The first models being called the M1916 and M1917, sometimes referred to simply as the M16 or M17, to denote the years they were developed.
The M40 was the result of more than 20 years of technological improvements. German soldiers found out the hard way that these “technological improvements” mostly reduced the costs of the helmets and did little to improve their ballistic qualities.
One WWII collector has decided to but these helmets to the ultimate ballistics test by firing a series of increasingly high caliber bullets at the Nazi brain buckets. Watch the video to see how “German engineering” stands up to American steel!