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

    Luftschutzwarndienst Helmets

Helmet Description

Members of the Air Protection Warning Service (Luftschutzwarndienst) were required to purchase (from their own funds) a light-weight helmet that bore a distinct winged decal insignia on the front.  Retail outlets were available to volunteers where helmets could be obtained.  Most Luftschutzwarndienst helmets (particularly gladiator style helmets) also contained a small decal under the rear rim of the helmet that denoted head size and price.

Due to the limited number of helmets available to Luftschutzwarndienst (Luftschutz) volunteers, a large number of surplus helmets were employed by the Air Protection Warning Service to make up for the shortfall.  Surplus Luftschutz helmets often included outdated firemen's helmets, World War I model helmets, and captured Czech, Polish, Dutch, and Russian helmets.

However, the vast majority of Air Protection Warning Service helmets were German made one, two, and three-piece gladiator style helmets.  These helmets were made by a number of metal crafting firms in Germany and were very light in overall weight.  Their color ranged from a medium to dark black-blue paint.  Debate over which variation of the gladiator style helmet came first has long been an issue in helmet collecting circles.  By most accounts, it would seem that the stamped one-piece version was the last of the three to be manufactured rather than visa versa.

Heavier helmets were also available in the form of M1935, M1940, and M1942 pattern combat helmets that were marked with a pronounced bead along the midline of the shell.  Speculation holds that these beaded helmets were in fact reject helmets from various factories employed in the manufacture of combat helmets.  However, a number of advanced collectors maintain that beaded combat helmets were in fact made this way on purpose.  The reasoning for their hypothesis steams from the obvious need for a heavier and more protective helmet that would not be mistaken or employed as a combat helmet1.  In this case, these collectors suggest that the bead is in fact a natural element of the helmet's overall design similar to that observed in the gladiator models.

While regulations called for the placement of the Luftschutz decal to be positioned above the visor, it was not uncommon to have decals placed on one or two sides of a given helmet.  Luftschutzwarndienst helmets are the most numerous of all German helmets and are considered quite common by collecting standards.


1 Many metal smiths confirm that placement of the pronounced bead seen on these unique helmets is in fact a difficult prospect to undertake once a helmet has been fully stamped and formed.  Most metal workers suggest that these helmets were likely made this way on purpose rather than modified to incorporate the bead due to faulty workmanship.


The Three-Piece Luftschutz Gladiator Helmet

The M1942 Beaded Luftschutz Helmet



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 helmets of the Air Protection Warning Service from 1938-1945.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

    Primary Topics

LSW Main

Helmet Types

Helmet Insignia

Helmet Photos

Period Photos

    Auxiliary Organizations

Deutsches Rote Kreuz (DRK)

Hitler Jungend (HJ)

Luftschutzwarndienst (LSW)

NS Kraftfahr Korps (NSKK)

Organization Todt (OT)

Reichsarbeitsdients (RAD)

Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB)

Sicherheits-Hilfdienst (SHD)


The Luftschutz Two-Piece Gladiator Helmet.



The Luftschutz One-Piece Gladiator Helmet in Black.


The Beaded M1935 Luftschutz Helmet.  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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