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Tankist/VDV Helmet?

Article about: I posted this hat question on my earlier gimnasterka and telogreika question thread I had posted but after the post was several days old and probably a lot of viewers didn't know I added it

  1. #21


    Continuing with the journey of the mystery helmet. I checked all threads on the hat with a black light for any newer thread with negative results, including the added on extra chin cloth strap that I suspect was put on as a back-up in case the pressed cardboard buckle fails/breaks.

    Also I have probably found about eight or so WWII tankers helmets during my research and some of the methods used for the attachment of the chin straps and the buckles/hardware on them are all not the same. You would think all the attachments and buckles would be follow the same pattern if all the hats were made at the same factory. Just a little more info on the hat I have. It was specifically made without a liner. There is no indication there ever was a liner that was removed.
    Here's a couple more nice helmets I found on this site. Notice how the attachment of the chin strap and buckle on the first one is the same as the one I have the other is just a button. Ray Collect Russia SOVIET MILITARIA Headgear (other than visor hats) Soviet Russian

    Tankist/VDV Helmet?Tankist/VDV Helmet?Tankist/VDV Helmet?
    Last edited by RayG; 03-14-2014 at 03:21 PM.

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  3. #22


    The black/gray helmet from has a broken and repaired chin closure using a postwar button and a small loop of added cloth. I know this because I used to own it. I sold it at the 2013 SOS. The person I sold it to was selling again at the recent 2014 SOS. Apparently Igor bought it and is now selling it on his site. Funny, as I originally bought it from him in the mid 1990's.

  4. #23


    Thanks Mike. That was the only one I saw with a button, now I know why. However the metal buckles and strap attachments on some of the other helmets are still different from each other with the most common chin one is the double "D" rings but there are square buckles used also. Some of the other strap buckles are not all the same either. Ray

  5. #24


    As we know and already has been mentioned, even if by chance should this be an actually WWII war time expedient made helmet there's no way to prove it and without proof, it's all pure conjecture and not worth anything of value money wise. But it has been an entertaining journey at least for me.
    I would love to hear opinions on the helmet on what it could be from some of the other experienced folks here. Of course there may be no real provable answer but maybe just a guess based on your experience.
    There's been over 500 lookers, including over 60 members that opened and read this thread but only two gentlemen joined in with an opinion and/or discussion about it. Surely someone else must have some thoughts on it.
    My total experience on these helmets is limited to just what I posted here and to any research I did regarding this helmet.
    I'm more familiar with US stuff. Here's a link to my US collection. I also have other a fairly large collection of non US guns and uniforms. But I only started with Russian items a short while ago, Ray

    My mannequin displays - PINNED DISPLAYS - U.S. Militaria Forum
    Last edited by RayG; 03-14-2014 at 09:36 PM.

  6. #25


    I guess there's not too many logical reasons behind the beginnings of your helmet, Ray. Even if it was a mock-up for use as a training aid, it's hard to imagine anyone going to that amount of trouble if the proper ones were being mass produced and available.

    Another wild stab in the dark is that it was something to do with a sewing school or sewing class. Sounds silly, but imagine the staff levels at the RMK plant pre-war, compared to the amount of seamstresses required in the early war period to keep up with demand. It wouldn't be hard to find experienced sewers, but they would still have to undergo in-house training to adapt to making various products.

    Just as a side note, the dark helmet above appears to have the dark blue flannel lining; a bit hard to tell the colour from the photo. They must have had tons of this stuff. I've seen it lining 50's era torpedo boat helmets, and through to the 70's and 80's, as the liner for the rarer ShZB leather flight helmets, and also on into the 90's as a liner for the winter coat/coveralls combination flight suit.

    Cheers, Willie.

  7. #26


    Willie, your sewing class is a good thought. Pressed cardboard buckles used instead of wasting scarce metal ones. The factory runs a batch of pressed cardboard ones in place of metal ones in their punch press for training purposes. The liner left out so quality of the student's sewing of the sections can be observed. No need for mike holes as it won't be actually used.
    The only problem I can think of with this theory is, that assembling the helmet sections would be one of the first procedures done to make the helmet and the sewing quality would be visible for inspection early on. The liner was intentional not put in on this helmet. Also why were the mike holes not put in for sewing training/inspection? Being war time, I don't think they would waste a helmet even for training. It could have been assembled from the beginning in the correct way, inspected during the training process and issued out for use when completed even if there were some sewing defects made during training.
    Also it has those added white cloth chin straps, which, at least to me, indicates the helmet was used/worn and the straps were added by an individual after the cardboard chin strap buckle broke. Ray

  8. #27


    Yes, good points,Ray. Out of all the theories, I still think I'd put my money on it being one of a batch roughed out in some regional plant for the sake of expediency during the urgent need period early in the war.

    Had a look at your link to the mannequins. They're a wild looking bunch. Those Civil War dudes really need a haircut. I'd tell them to smarten up a bit.
    I used to do a bit of Civil War re-enactment, still got all the gear. There's not much of it goes on in Australia though, mainly down in Victoria.

    Cheers, Willie.

  9. #28


    Just to clear the buckle issue up, when I said pressed cardboard, that's what they are but they also appear to have been coated with some sort of a resin or paint, probably in an attempt to strengthen or harden them. Almost reminds me of the period radio circuit board type material, Ray
    Last edited by RayG; 03-16-2014 at 04:05 PM.

  10. #29


    Hi Ray, I cannot add anything of value to this discussion, but I am enjoying it.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  11. #30


    Thanks Ade for posting that, at least I know you are following my thread and I know if you could, you would add something. Ray

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