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New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

Article about: Greetings everyone, I am a fairly new member here although I have used this great forum as a source of knowledge many times. I am hoping that some of you Soviet experts could help me learn a

  1. #1

    Default New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    Greetings everyone,

    I am a fairly new member here although I have used this great forum as a source of knowledge many times. I am hoping that some of you Soviet experts could help me learn about this helmet I picked up about a year ago.

    It seems to be a SSH-36 with the bottom edge cut away. The only reference I have found online so far is from the Espenlaub website:
    http://www.aboutww2militaria.com/Nov...6_helmet3.html
    I posted some pictures on the WAF several months ago but did not receive many responses.

    Overall, the helmet looks and feels authentic. There is no liner but the chinstrap seems original. The inside paint may also be original (lighter green) but the outside has been painted a darker shade of green,a long time ago. There is a dark red star on the front (paint looks good but is a little shiny - may have been added for parade use rather than combat).

    I can see no printed stamps inside but there is a small punched stamp on both of the chinstrap lugs (see pictures below). I know very little about these helmets but I do know about British, US and German items. This SSH-36 does feel original, certainly as if it has been cut down this way for a very long time.

    Any help, information or guesses will be very much appreciated!

    Matthew

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  3. #2

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    Here are some more shots of the inside, all taken in natural light:

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  4. #3

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    im sorry but i know nothing on the reasons why its been cut down ,but it looks very well done and very symetrical and it has a neat cut with no raw edge as such ,if it wasnt for the top comb it could be easily confused with a german stahlhelm to the untrained eye ,very intriguing ,im sure other members on here will help you out ,regards james

  5. #4

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    Hello James,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I was starting to wonder if anyone would be brave enough to comment!

    You are right about the cut down edge - it has definitely been done properly and is not some home-made attempt to deceive. It shows all of the usual wear and tear found on helmet rims. I know little about this particular type of helmet but, comparing it to the many others I own, this is an authentic modification. The question remains when and why?

    I assume the darker green repaint was done at the same time as the cut down rim. The remains of the paint match this theory, as do the darker paint marks on the chin strap lugs (I'm not sure why these places were painted when the rest of the inside was not). More questions than answers, as usual.

    Does anybody else have any theories?

    Matthew

  6. #5

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    not a problem matthew im just sorry i cant really help you out but at least youve told us all you know on this interesting piece ,all i can say is be a little patient and im sure more learned members will reply as and when life permits ,best regards james

  7. #6

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    I don't know about 'more learned members', but I did copy your pictures of this unusual ssh36 to a number of supposedly well-informed helmet-collecting specialists and had absolutely no useful responses. In that case I can safely assume *no-one* actually knows anything. Quite baffling really; your helmet does look, as you say, like a properly-machined rather than bodged-about modification, and is highly unlikely to be the only example.

    The only clue may be in Clawson's RUSSIAN HELMETS, where in the chapter on the ssh36 (which he prefers to term the M-36) he says -

    "There is some indication that Soviet designers experimented with the M-36 (ssh36) shell trying to design an effective jump helmet for their very large pre-war airborne forse. On a few, the vent holes and comb were removed. On others, the vents were removed and the front brims and side-flares were cut off. After brief consideration the soft cloth lightly padded jump helmet was retained. Examples of these experimental helmets do exist, but they should be considered ultra-rare."

    Unfortunately (perhaps for your potential bank-balance, if not your collecting delight) I do not think your helmet conforms to this idea. But then again, what is it? If you ever find out anything please do post it here!

  8. #7

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    Not my field, Matthew, but from it's appearance and extremely well done workover, I'm leaning towards the experimental helmet theory myself. It does not give the impression at all of an intentionally faked piece, to my eye, at least. Just when or by what authority this work was done and for what intention is a mystery, though-which is a shame, as almost certainly it's history must be fascinating!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #8

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    i don't know about the helmet but i would suggest not to play with the little metal parts that hold the chinstrap... they look a bit fragile!

  10. #9

    Default Re: New member seeking help with unusual cut down SSH-36

    Thanks to all of you who have replied so far. I had almost given up hope of any responses - even just guesses if nobody seems to have a definite answer yet.

    I agree that the cut-down edge has been done very well. It must have been done in a factory and not by an individual. The only damage around the rim is from regular wear and tear, just like every other helmet. This really does look and feel like an authentic piece. But an authentic what?

    I will certainly be careful of the the liner and chinstrap parts. They are in strong condition but I will not be moving them at all, just in case something breaks. I believe in keeping things in their original state as much as possible.

    I doubt this helmet has been made to deceive and, having seen many fakes (like all of us), this still has a very convincing 'feel'. I purchased it in Germany and did not pay much, so the seller was not trying to deceive either.

    Any more responses or educated guesses would be appreciated.

    Matthew

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