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Ssh40 "Cold War" recovered for opinions please

Article about: Good morning gents, Rooting around in boxes in my attic amongst what my wife calls "old army crap" I found this cold war souvenir I picked up in Berlin back in the 80's. This was a

  1. #1

    Default Ssh40 "Cold War" recovered for opinions please

    Good morning gents,

    Rooting around in boxes in my attic amongst what my wife calls "old army crap" I found this cold war souvenir I picked up in Berlin back in the 80's.

    This was an item I obtained during my duties which allowed regular liaison with our Soviet "colleagues" ( we were technically allies under the quadripartite agreement in Berlin!) and I used it as a training aid for a couple of years.

    As you can see it is very well worn and was a plain green item for an apparently long time before turning white! However this is how I found it. On the inside the later "Soviet Army Green" as NATO called it is very evident and has been over painted several times. The liner looks as if it has been "maintained" by various owners and there are multiple paper labels under the peak. The only stamp I can see is at the rear of the shell and there are no other obvious marks.
    Another similar helmet we used for training (sadly squashed by an armoured vehicle) was retro fitted with the three point leather strap shown here. This is very similar to the DDR type but the metal fittings, ie buckle, studs and rivets are different. Also the staps seem wider and even more "chunky".

    I like this helmet and think it tells a tale but what do other members think?
    All opinion is appreciated

    Regards

    Mark

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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  3. #2

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    An interesting Ssh40, painted like this i think they were for military police units, the liner has certainly seen better days and the riveted chinstrap denote a pre 1954 lid.
    The 4 point chinstrap would have been fitted to a Ssh40M which was produced for motorised troops, it was thought that the 4 point kept the helmet more stable on the head!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



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

  4. #3

    Default

    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    An interesting Ssh40, painted like this i think they were for military police units, the liner has certainly seen better days and the riveted chinstrap denote a pre 1954 lid.
    The 4 point chinstrap would have been fitted to a Ssh40M which was produced for motorised troops, it was thought that the 4 point kept the helmet more stable on the head!....
    Thanks Gunny,

    Yes you are correct the red and white livery does indicate MP of sorts usually referred to as Kommandants Service who along with such helmets wore other distinguishing items in particular the 'K' arm of service patch which was seen in various colours indicating service branch such as green for border guards, royal blue for KGB red for motor rifle units etc. The configuration of the red stripe and star seems not to have been standardised in any way and I have seen varying dimensions and variations on the stripe sometimes being one thick one like mine or two narrow ones (if anyone can add detail to this please do) and it seems to have been done at even sub-unit level with some markings being very crude as if done by Ivan on jankers having consumed the whole units vodka ration!!! This one for all that is really quite neat!
    As you say this helmet has been "around the block" and the liner seems to have been field maintained also the multiple paper labels inside together with the fact that it was rather elderly when it was painted white (note the rough paint surface under the white) suggest to me that this belonged to a third line possibly reserve unit or that it had been in GSFG for a long time and inherited by rotating units.
    The four point strap came off a similar helmet but as I say I think it was an "in service mod" as the clips shown with it which I believe are the correct ones were just hooked over the liner mounting points rather than rivetted through the shell which is why I was able to salvage the strap from the crushed shell.

    Over all, I like this helmet because of the "been there and could tell stories" patina versus a mint piece
    and the fact that I was there when it "defected" during a "liaison" trip.

    Thanks again for your input and if anyone else knows more about these please chime in!

    Regards

    Mark
    PS here is the Kommandants Service patch which is not to be confused with the K on a shoulder board which represents an officer cadet or "Kursant"

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  5. #4

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    very nice mark,it has the correct chin strap arrangement funny but i recently pulled this picture off the internet but cant for the life of me think where from Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #5

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    Quote by James C View Post
    very nice mark,it has the correct chin strap arrangement funny but i recently pulled this picture off the internet but cant for the life of me think where from Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks James, I haven't seen that pic before and it would be good to know if you recall where it is from as it might lead to more info The gear is all as I recall seeing it including the laughable "daisy" reflectors but somehow based on those I met these lads look very un-Russian it that makes sense?

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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