This helmet makes a great display item for anyone with an interest in military history. The fact that it is based on a WWII-era design that was rejected by Hitler, and that was later implemented by East Germany, gives it a unique history as well. Some accounts indicate that a limited number of the prototype of this helmet were used by military cadets involved in the defense of Berlin in 1945, and the fact that this helmet remained the standard-issue helmet for East Germany for more than 30 years attests to the fact that it was the most advanced design of any steel helmet ever made.
The M1942 design was a result of wartime demands. The rolled edge on the shell was eliminated, creating an unfinished edge along the rim. This edge slightly flared out, along the base of the skirt. The elimination of the rolled edge expedited the manufacturing process and reduced the amount of metal used in each helmet. Shell paint colors were typically matte grey-green (Heer) or grey-blue (Luftwaffe), and the decals were eliminated in 1943 to speed up production and reduce the helmet's combat visibility. Greater manufacturing flaws were also observed in M1942 helmets made late in the war.