WWII German RAD Helmet -
The Reichsarbeitsdienst (or RAD, Reich Labour Service) was an institution established by Nazi
Germany as an agency to reduce unemployment, similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the
United States. During the Second World War it was an auxiliary formation which provided support
for the Wehrmacht.
The RAD was formed during July 1934 as the official state labour service. The RAD was an
amalgamation of the many labour organisations formed in Germany during the times of the Weimar
Republic. RAD members were to provide service for various civic, military and agricultural
construction projects. Konstantin Hierl was its director during the organization's entire lifetime.
The helmet featured here is a German military M-42 style. As issued during World War Two. In this case
adopted by a paramilitary organization.
This is a German RAD helmet. Two decals have been applied to the sides of the shell. The design
of the decal consists of a circle with a perimeter formed by wheat spears. The inside of the circle
is of red color and has a black swastika. The RAD logo is found in the center of the swastika.
The liner and chin strap are missing. The rivets that held the aluminum ring that held the chin
strap are also missing. The helmet retains the ventilation holes in the dome area. These openings
provided air circulation when the helmet was being worn.
The modern German helmet saw its birth during World War One. Its design was so advanced
for the time that the German government saw it fit for the same basic design to be re-employed
during World War Two.
The German helmet of World Wat Two has become one of the most recognizable silhouttes of war.
The helmetss of the Third Reich came in a variety of designs. There were approximatelly
9 different types developed. Even the non-military helmets often displayed the
swastika as a means to show support of the Nazi party. The helmet was constructed of a
combination of metal and leather.
Some of the helmets have markings stamped in the inside of the rim. The markings provide information
such as the serial number, name of manufacturer, helmet size, etc. A
markings guide has been provided to help
the collector and enthusiast gain a better understanding of their meaning. It is important to
note that not all possibilities of markings are covered in that section.