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.
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.
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: