Waffen-SS helmets that can truly be called
"transitional" in nature are those that were first issued to
SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) units.
These special units were the first to begin using field gray painted
World War I model helmets of the M1916, M1917, M1918, and Austrian
patterns. Many of these transitional helmets received a second
coat of hand painted field gray paint. However, a good number
also retained their World War I paint finishes as well. Modified
by the addition of the first pattern SS runic decal and National
Socialist Party shield, these helmets were quickly pressed into
service and used through the late 1930's until most units were
equipped with the newly introduced M1935 helmet. In fact it was
not until March 1941 before the SS ordered the removal of all older
model World War I style helmets from rear area support units.
Some of these helmets were also repainted in textured field gray paint
and given single runic decals in late 1940 and early 1941.
However in the early years of the SS they continued to bear smooth
paint finishes both inside and out. Early transitional model
helmets were always given first pattern runic shields and no helmets
bearing second pattern decals have ever been considered "original" by
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The Right Side of an Early SS-VT M1918 Helmet.
The Left Side of the