The Waffen-SS untilized the M1935 (Modell 35) steel helmets, which was adopted by the Wehrmacht, to replace the lagrger, cruder and heavier World War I helmets. The M1935 was supplied in five basic sizes. This suspension consisted of an adjustable, leather-padded, spring-aluminum band which was secured at the sides and rear by three cotter keys.
The M1943 which was introduced in 1943, was also adopted and worn by the Waffen-SS personnel. It was similar in appearance to the M1935 except in dispensed with the inward crimp around the rim thus easing and cheapening manufacture.
Waffen-SS helmets were finished in a matt field-grey and fitted with black or brown chin-strap. The Waffen-SS continued to use the two transfer (decal) shields which the SS-VT had utilized pre-war. These shields were centred immediately below the ventilation holes on either side of the helmet. The left shield was red and with a white circel containing a black swastika. The right shield was silver(the base colour of the right shield varied greatly) bearing the double runes of the SS. In early 1941, combat troops were restricted in wearing of the red/white/black swastika sheilds for the sake of camouflage and concealment. Although the SS runes were worn alone for some time, these were also discontinued after November 1943.
Cloth camouflage helmet covers were widely used by the Waffen-SS and distinguished from those of the Army and Luftwaffe by the distinctive SS camouflage pattern. These covers were reversible, having either two styles of camouflae pattern (spring and autumn) or mottled pattern on one side and the white on the other. They were fitted to the the helmet by a fold in front and small metal hooks at the back abd either side.
The Italian SS retained the Italian steel helmet throughout the war and in no instance were they reported wearing German issue helmets. Helmet insignia was not generally worn except for some units which utilized special Italian-manufactured decals with black SS runes on silver (left side). These shields varied from German-manufactured decals in shape and size. Little care was taken in their application as opposed to the precise positioning on German helmets. Netting was the basic means of camouflage on the Italian helmets.