Simple questions about the ssh40
Here are a couple of simple and straighforward (probably even naive) questions, but ones I can't find a conclusive answer to. I am sure several of you will give me the facts in quick time!
Under the front brim of the ssh40 there is a very small star impressed into the steel. I understand from Clawson and other places that this is a mark of acceptance for the Soviet military. But does this mean that ONLY those helmet shells intended for the Soviet military have this stamp, or do ALL Russian-made ssh40 shells, even those intended for export, have it?
Following from that, should we expect to see a similar stamp on the ssh60 and 68? (My enquiries so far seem to indicate the answer is 'Maybe, sometimes'.)
The reason I am interested is because I am very interested in comparing and contrasting the Polish, Hungarian, Czech and Romanian versions of the ssh40. I know that some early Czech vz53 were converted from ssh40, and I believe that all Romanian M40 were Russian-made shells with Romanian fittings. It seems clear that the star stamp is evidence that the shell was made in Russia, but does it also show that the shell is ex-Soviet military.
Thanks for your attention!
04-19-2016 04:12 PM
Thanks for reminding me of this feature on Soviet SsH-40s. here is the resuklt of a quick survey of my holdings
Ssh36s no star
two wartime SsH-39s no star
Soviet-issue 1953-dated SsH-40 star
Soviet-issue SsH-40 with four-point harness no visible star (but it has a thick coat of white Kommandant's Service paint)
Albanian issue SsH-40 no star
Czech relinered SsH-40 star
two Romanian issue SsH-40s star
Hungarian M-50 no star
Somali SsH-40 shell no star
two Soviet SsH-60s star
Soviet and Mongolian SsH-68s have a serial number on the front peak
Both the Albania and Somali helmets are a bit rusty around their rims and this may have obscured the stars,
OK, this hasn't gone well, has it. Either no-one actually knows anyathing, which I find very hard to believe, or it is a point too small to bother with. But I remain interested.
Based on my own observations and those of one or two others, it seems that the star imprint under the brim of these Russian helmets is NOT present on the ssh39, is ALWAYS present (as near as we can say) on the ssh40, and is SOMETIMES present on the ssh60 and NOT present on the ssh68. These are all Russian-made shells.
The star is not present on the Polish wz50, or the Czech vz53 (apart from the small number that were converted from surplus Russian shells with Czech lfittings in the early 1950s), or the Hungarian M50. This all makes sense because we believe that all these shells were actually made in the respective countries. However ALL the Romanian M50 shells inspected have the star. This is sort-of expected because it is known that the shells were made in Russia and exported. Is the presence of the star on these, which existed in considerable numbers, sufficient to assume that ALL Russian-made ssh40 shells have the star, whether produced for domestic use or export? (This is the question, really, as Clawson in his book seems to assert that it is a Soviet army acceptance stamp, not a factory quality control stamp.)
The thing that got me interested in this was comparing a number of Hungarian M50 shells with a smaller number of Russian ssh40. A small number of the Hunarians were very similar - almost identical - to the ssh40, along the brim and sides. (Others much less so.) I wondered whether there was any point at which ssh40 shells had been re-used by the Hungarians. But none of them have the star stamp. So perhaps it is all down to manufacturing variation. I do not know how many manufacturing plants were involved, but I think it was at least two. None of my Hungarian helmets have makers marks.
So, some sort of a conclusion, but not much of one. I will continue poking at this, to see what comes out.
NB - the stamps are often hard to find, quite small, often lightly pressed, easily lost in overpainting. And some look more like squares than stars.
Soviet only had two plants and exported shells
The Ssh40 have a 5 branches star wich difer from the ssh60 were the star only have 4 branches. For Ssh 60 it is a circle
All the Best
I have just noticed something on the WWH website .: World War Helmets - Casque Modèle 50 :.. This is specifically regarding the Hungarian M50 helmet. They say (translation follows) -
"However, it is likely that the hulls of Russian helmets Ssh40 have been used to be reconditioned helmet model 50 before the start of production of the latter."
OK, so we know that ssh40 shells were rebuilt by the Czechs for the earliest vz53, so it may be not impossible that the Hungarians did the same thing. But they should be identifiable by the star stamp on Russian-made ssh40 shells. Does this seem true?
The star is just a control and it isn't systematic on helmets
The form and possibly numbers would be the best way to identify a soviet origin for the shell