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They turn up on the Western front as that is where the people had chicken wire and the Germans were hiding most from allied strafing runs. If you look at period pics they show up most often on German troops in France. It was an adhoc camoflage to hold foliage much like a cut rubber inner tube or string or breadbag strap.

This is probably the most easily faked "camo" helmet. A properly wire wrapped German helmet is indistinguishable from an original, despite the wafperts who will claim that they can tell a difference, usually in conjunction with some friend offering his for thousands. Pay no more for one than the underlying helmet plus a subjective bonus for how you feel about it. Where it came from is important.

My only example cost a little more than underlying helmet (I could have gotten it for $50) and was given to the seller's mother when she was a teenager by a neighbor who brought it home from the war (allegedly picked up at St. Lo.). They found it in the attic while cleaning out the mother's home in moving her to a smaller condo with assisted living. I trust it because I know where it came from.
 

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Supposedly there's a way to tell European chicken wire from similar American - something about the twists, but I don't remember exactly. There's probably NO way to tell a fake from an original if old European wire is used, though. Consider this - would a GI be more interested in the HELMET or some old chicken wire like he has back home on the farm? Wouldn't he be more likely to just take it off before shipping his "trophy" home? While I might be tempted to use some in "restoring" an old helmet for decorative or representative purposes, I wouldn't think about paying extra for a helmet because it had some on it - unless, of course, as Hambone says you have absolute knowledge of and faith in the seller.
 

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"European" chicken wire is made the same today as it was in the 1900s. So is ours. It's zinc dipped, aka "galvanized", a process invented in the late 1800s or very early 1900s which process we use today on chainlink fences, sign posts, etc.

The difference is much US chickenwire has smaller holes with a tighter wire twist. One sure way to tell is if the twist reverses, it's US. Other than that, one who knows what they are doing and has some experience with originals can get Eurowire, fabricate, and age it easily and the end result is indistinguishable from an original. The sad part is the misinformation and "advanced collectors" weighing in on the topic at a certain forum are comparing fakes to fakes. That is, a well done fake aged more than an original is more appealing to these folks than an original :confused:
 

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Chickenwire wasn't only used to camouflage helmets it was also used to protect trenches and bunkers, it prevents handgrenades falling in a trench and it can be used to hold sandbags together.


P
 

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What Peter said. It can also be seen in period pics on AFVs and AA guns used to hold foliage. The most consistent use of it I see in period pics is Normandy/France 1944-45, which makes sense. Also a couple pics are about of use in Italy. Just like painted "camo" helmets today, if examples for sale today were indicative of their use, every other German soldier would have had one ;)
 

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Just like the camos and neat gothic signatures.
I never encountered wired helmets while hounding vets in the 60s.

Always looking in the wrong place.
My experience was the same in the 80s Mike. Back when painted camos were no more, or less desireable, than helmets with nice decals and about $200 they were exceedingly hard to find, almost rare, except for silly fakes. I know because that is what I was looking for then. Now "camos" are everywhere for sale. Most of the neo "experts" on these came on the scene in the mid to late 1990s when the "camo explosion" occurred. They compare fakes to fakes.

As for wire, again, a properly done wire fake is indistinuguishable from an original. Wear and age can be created in a day and fakers usually "over age" them to appeal to what neo-expert "advanced collectors" think is original.
 
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