History of the German Steel Helmet: 1916-1945 by Ludwig Baer
Published in the 1980's this book is considered by many collectors as
the definitive work (or classic "bible") for all information on the
subject of German steel helmets. Printed by Bender Publishing, the
book's text and photographs cover the entire history of the German
helmet from inception to the last version prototyped in 1944. The
author is a noted German historian who has researched more than 80% of
what is known about German helmets.
First Edition (cover printed at left) has long been out of print and not
easy to locate. However, Bender Publishing recently reprinted the
book with a new cover. Prior to the reprint release, this older
book commanded values of $125 to $150 for second hand editions.
Most of these books were sold on internet auctions. Following the
reprint, the demand for the First Edition dropped off considerably as
well as the book's overall market value. Copies can now be
purchased for around $50 US.
Although the Second Edition was released in 2001, much to the surprise
of the collecting community the publisher reprinted the book without
changing or updating the text or photographs.
Although many collectors consider this book the "ultimate authority" on
German steel helmets, the book actually features a handful of historical
comments that are incorrect based on more recent work in this area.
In addition, several helmets photographed in the book have surfaced as
reported "fakes" that had not been previously detected by their owners.
Many of the helmets in the book are now in the collections of modern
collectors having been sold at high prices as a result of having been
pictured in this book.
possibly the best overall book on the subject, collectors should be
careful to consider any publication the absolute authority on any
subject matter. The errors in this book, although few, clearly
make this point true.
book is also found in a German language edition which includes better
descriptions, more photographs, and additional information not found in
the English version. The book is only published in hardback edition.