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Untouched German Luftwaffe M40 Helmet


This helmet was picked up in an old farm house in the sellers hometown of Mosjøen, the Germans had a lot of soldiers there from 1940-45. By the looks of it this helmets sat there untouched for 75 years. It has never been in a collection before. Once it come into my possesion I only applied a wax to prevent any further rust and preserve it for many years to come. This one could tell some stories for sure.

The Germans began advancing north from Grong on 5 May. To oppose them were a Norwegian battalion (numbering about 400), which was falling back to Mosjøen while carrying out ineffective demolitions, and another weak Norwegian reserve battalion. Nos. 4 and 5 Independent Companies landed at Mosjøen on the night of 8/9 May, replacing the small French detachment. No. 1 Independent Company meanwhile secured Mo i Rana and No. 3 Independent Company went to Bodø.

On 9 May, the Germans drove the Norwegian defenders from Fellingfors, 25 miles (40 km) south of Mosjøen. No. 5 Independent Company and two Norwegian companies occupied a position 10 miles (16 km) from Mosjøen, where the road from the south ran between the Bjørnaa river and steep hillsides. Early in the morning of 10 May, the leading German troops (from the 181st Infantry Division) advanced incautiously by bicycle up the road and were ambushed and destroyed by a platoon commanded by Captain John Prendergast, one of eight Indian Army officers attached to the Independent Companies, losing some fifty casualties. Later in the morning, the German main body drove the British and Norwegians from this position, while Austrian ski troops outflanked the defenders. Gubbins, who was present, agreed with the Norwegian commander that there was no other suitable defensive position closer to Mosjøen. The two Independent Companies and the British light anti-aircraft detachment (which had to abandon its anti-aircraft guns) were evacuated in the early hours of 11 May aboard the Norwegian steamer Erling Jarl, which Gubbins had chartered for 5000 krone, escorted by two destroyers. The Norwegians withdrew up the road to the north.

However, on 10 May, in a daring move, the Germans had commandeered a coaster, Nordnorge, manned it with a crew detached from German destroyers and embarked 300 infantry from the 138th Mountain Regiment and two mountain guns. Nordnorge sailed from Trondheimsfjord and entered the Ranfjord, at the end of which lay Mo i Rana. The Germans landed at Hemnesberget about halfway along the fjord. Two Dornier seaplanes also landed 40 infantry and mortars. A platoon of No. 1 Independent Company and some Norwegian reservists were outnumbered and forced to escape by boat after a stiff resistance.

Two British warships, the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta and the destroyer HMS Zulu, had tried too late to intercept Nordnorge. They sank Nordnorge about an hour and a half after the Germans disembarked, but then had to leave the fjord. A shuttle of seaplanes reinforced and resupplied the Germans at Hemnesberget. Counter-attacks the next day by No. 1 Independent Company and Norwegian troops failed to dislodge them.

The Norwegian troops withdrawing from Mosjøen had intended to proceed by a ferry which normally docked at Hemnesberget. They had to proceed by road instead and were forced to abandon much of their equipment.

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