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British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

Article about: Hi Guys, here is a helmet from my collection. This is a second pattern Airborne issue steel helmet. (The first pattern is extremely rare and few are seen in collections today. See photos of

  1. #1

    Default British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Hi Guys, here is a helmet from my collection.

    This is a second pattern Airborne issue steel helmet. (The first pattern is extremely rare and few are seen in collections today. See photos of the Bruneval Raid for an example) These were worn by both Paratroopers and Glider borne troops & Glider Pilots. Like many early items of British Airborne kit, the influence of the German issue Fallschirmjager helmet can be seen. This pattern of helmet can be seen in many photos of the British 1st Airborne Division fighting at Arnhem.

    This helmet was made in 1942 by "BMB" (Briggs Motor Bodies Ltd) As you can see it is a small size, and six and a half.

    The chinstraps are made from good quality thick black leather and are the type with stitched, as opposed to rivetted construction, and have a formed chin cup lined with chamois leather.

    The heavy liner padding is made from yellow sorbo rubber. Over the years this will deteriorate and begin to crumble. The crown is fitted with a black rubber pad.

    Note the original paint to the interior and the rather grey/green matt colour used. The exterior paint has worn off to a great degree.

    This style of helmet shell was also used on the early issue AFV helmet and the dispatch riders crash helmet. Note how the rim flares outwards to support the fibre band which is fitted to the exterior of the helmet.

    In recent years the price of these has risen sharply and these are now very sought after. Beware of conversions from other helmets and reproductions made for re-enactors. Beware in particular of helmets were were exported to Australia post war for use as tankers helmets. These had the chinstraps removed and a new hole drilled at the rear for a single point fixing. Play close attention in this area for any third hole which may or may not be filled to disguise it origins. While still original, an ex Aussie lid will not have the same value.

    I bought my example many years ago from a Veteran who served post war. These helmets were used for many years after the war untill no longer serviceable.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Hi, great helmet, I love to see the yellow sorbo & the cupped chin strap. I notice at least 1 of your straps is brown, maybe the dye did'nt take to well to the leather. 1 of my lids, virtually all the straps are brown. Does yours have the yellow blob of paint on the inside? I also have some fibre rim despatch riders helmets, but what I would love to see would be a fibre rim AFV helmet. thanks for showing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Hi, thanks for the comments.

    In fact, all the straps are black. I think you have mistook the shot showing the inside of one of the straps.

    This one does not have a blob of yellow paint to the inside. Some do, some don't. It also appears that there is a slight weight difference between early produced shells and slightly later ones of this same pattern. In actual fact, the early produced helmets have a different shape to the shell.

    I can show you a fibre rim AFV helmet but sadly not mine though. Named and battle damaged:

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/helmets/br...-helmet-15335/

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #4

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Thanks Ade for those info i almost bought one and for sure it must have been a repro or like you said a conversion of some sort . Your helmet is a beauty .

    Frenchy

  5. #5
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    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    The need to be aware of some fantastic copies must be learnt. I know of a Gent from Enfield who has been making BMB STAMPED liners for years, he has stocks of Sorbo, and has had those flattened buckles made, and has reels of the white webbing as used on the cradle. And he was making these over 15 years ago, imagine how good he is now......

  6. #6

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Here is a link to my friend Steve's site. He makes legitimate copies for re-enactors. These are incorrectly maker marked by design and some of the shells are not the correct style. What no copy maker can get correct is the fibre rim. This material is not made today.

    Pegasus Militaria - Airborne Helmet

    His site is not the best for the pages loading at times... The pics are not showing. So I have saved them here.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Oh yes I agree, for the re-enactment groups Pegasus Militaria have to be one of the best, however in days gone past, some of these repros were good, very very good, and have surfaced in and around Arnhem, a place we used to visit every September, having travelled by jeeps from Chelmsford, along with Trevor P, Nick C, Steve K, Dickie K, Dougie S, and 4 jeeps -Bash on Recce !

  8. #8

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    All names I know You will know Nobby as well then Dickie made me a pair of Para trousers about 20 years ago.

    I have heard stories about fake helmets being sold in Holland.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Hello Ade
    That is a beautyfull helmet you have there, I like it very much, I dident though they fake british helmets to, are they hard to get?

  10. #10

    Default Re: British Airborne steel helmet: 2nd pattern with leather chinstraps

    Hi Thomas, thanks for the comments.

    British helmets Airborne helmets are certainly faked the most. They are getting harder to find now as many former German collector are now buying British stuff as the prices are more reasonable..

    Others types just suffer from fake painted insignia.

    Cheers, Ade.

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