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One of the very first compostite helmets!

Article about: I would like to show one of my recent acquisitions. A Danish Motor Torpedo Boat crew helmet, entirely made of fibreglass! Sources differ a bit on this helmet, regarding year of production an

  1. #1

    Default One of the very first compostite helmets!

    I would like to show one of my recent acquisitions.

    A Danish Motor Torpedo Boat crew helmet, entirely made of fibreglass!

    Sources differ a bit on this helmet, regarding year of production and year of issue.
    Some sources indicate it was produced in the late 1950s as MTB hjelm M/58 OR produced in the late 1960s as MTB hjelm M/66.

    What I do know however, is that the helmet was intended to be used on the two main MTBs in use with the Danish navy at the time.

    The Søløven (English: Sea lion) and Willemoes (Danish naval hero, fought the British in 1808) class motor torpedo / fast attack boats. - the fleet had a total of 10 Willemoes class MTBs and 6 Søløven class MTBs. The Sea Lion class boats were build in the UK, and the Willemoes class were build in Denmark, at the Frederikshavn Værft. A couple of countries wanted to buy Willemoes class MTBs, but were turned down.

    Statistics (for the navy buffs out there)

    Willemoes (room for 25 men aboard) - armament: 1 - 76mm auto canon, 4-8 harpoon missiles, 2 (4 without SSM) 533 mm torpedo tubes and 6 flare tubes. From 1990 also armed with: 2 stk. Seagnat/SBROC Mk. 36 (2x6) and from 1993 armed with 2 stinger missiles. Powered by 3 Rolls Royce Marine Proteus Gas turbine - 12.750 horse power and 2 General Motors Diesel engines with 800 bhp.

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    Søløven (room for 27 men aboard) - armament: 1 40 mm auto canon, 2-4 533mm torpedo tubes, 2 rocket launchers. Powered by 3 Rolls Royce Marine Gas turbine enigines - 12.750 bhp and 2 General Motors Diesel engines - 460 bhp.

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    Both MTB were able to lay mines.

    The Søløven and Willemoes class MTBs were retired in 1990 and 2000 respectively, ending an era of more than 100 years of continuous MTB use in the Danish navy.


    The helmet is a lightweight, M1 inspired helmet. Found in two main colours: navy grey and OD green. It has been speculated that the grey were used on the Sea Lion class boats as they were kept in grey and the green on the Willemoes class since they were kept in OD green. Although there is no sources that indicate this happening. The susspension is a standard M1, webbing suspension. Metal is kept in brass.
    There is a fairly substantial rubber edge on the helmet and I suspect it adds to the strength of the helmet. The Danish navy normally used M/46 and M/48 helmets (the M/46 was redrawn from service in 1951) but the MTB crew worried more about hitting their head on something when sailing at top speed, than being hit by shrapnel. It is more a "crash" helmet / hard hat, than ballistic protection. A total of about 2500 were made, and the helmet is rather rare at the moment. I have only seen 3 in Denmark the last 10 years (two without webbing suspension = not issued) and my own. Abroad I have been able to find perhaps 4-5 in private collections.

    There is made room for wearing headphones, hence the strange "cut away" at the ears.

    Enjoy some pictures:

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    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  2. #2

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    very nice and nothing that ive ever seen before ,i can see the m1 influence in the design the textured finish is reminicent of the pasgt ,im sure you will generate a big response from posting this thanks for sharing james

  3. #3

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    Quote by James C View Post
    very nice and nothing that ive ever seen before ,i can see the m1 influence in the design the textured finish is reminicent of the pasgt ,im sure you will generate a big response from posting this thanks for sharing james

    No, it is not something anyone (including me) have seen before. I learned about its existence two years ago, and just had to own one!
    Now I almost own the entire span of Danish 20th century army and navy helmets: M23, M46, M48, (MTB M58 or M66), M48-65 and a M1996. (Not to forget the M39 police helmet)

    They are seen "live" in action in these two small youtube clips, from a cold war informative video made in 1982 by the armed forces (Danish: Hvis krigen kommer. English: If the war comes), to the public, and to flex the muscles against the WAPA countries. The film is complete with 80s moustaches and navy hairdos.

    The helmet is visible in the second part, in the beginning.

    HVIS-1.avi - YouTube

    HVIS-2.avi - YouTube
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  4. #4

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    Very interesting lid, thanks for sharing!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #5

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    Dito!
    |<
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  6. #6

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    sounds like youve got a nice collection ,the police m39 sounds great and is a favorite design of mine with its deep flared rim ,shame it didnt make it as a combat helmet ,is yours black or has it been repainted ,cheers james

  7. #7

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    Quote by James C View Post
    sounds like youve got a nice collection ,the police m39 sounds great and is a favorite design of mine with its deep flared rim ,shame it didnt make it as a combat helmet ,is yours black or has it been repainted ,cheers james
    Yes, it is a very beautiful helmet.
    Mine is in its original 1939 configuration. 90% complete high gloss police black, with the police version of the helmet decal and the original red tinted leather suspension.

    As far as I know, it was never intended as anything else than a police helmet. The police originally "borrowed" a number of M23 helmets from the army, and repainted them in a glossy black. However they discovered they perhaps needed their own design. The liner is very easy to take apart. Unscrew the brass nuts, and the liner comes apart. Again a very unique helmet, although you can't help but speculate where they got the general design from

    Snapped some quick shots in my poorly lid man cave for the sake of it. (I will most likely feature it in another post, it certainly deserves its own.)



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    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  8. #8

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    she's a real beauty ,thanks for showing details pictures ,im sorry to side track your thread but i just had to ask about this model 39 the liner looks similar to the german luftschutz civil defence ,thanks again james

  9. #9

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    Are you sure the Danish torpedo boat helmet is genuine??? I mean, it hasn't got any horns on it, has it....???
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  10. #10

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    No, I am quite certain it is not missing anything.... Although a pair of horns would be in thread with what the rest of the world remembers best of Denmark. Although the helmets never really had horns during our glory days in the 8th and 9th century.

    ------

    James: The few luftschutz helmets I have handled all have nine leather "tongues", the M/39 only has six. The Danish M/39 liner is also with extra padding on the top of the dome, to protect against "blows" of any type... (Protesters then and now have a lot in common) The Danish liners is not riveted in place, and is easily taken apart by unscrewing the brass nuts. The two liners differ a lot of from each other, although it is very "German" in design. I have to give you that
    Last edited by 37Webbing; 09-03-2013 at 10:36 PM.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

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