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British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

Article about: Hello Ade, Here's a post war Turtle given to me by a friend who found it in a garage. Mk IV 1954, manufactured by CCL. Do you know who CCL were? Cheers, Guy.

  1. #1

    Default British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    With the basic design of the "Tommy" helmet dating from WW1 the British Army realised that a new design was really needed which gave better protection and a new improved ballistic shape. Introdued in late 1943.

    This pattern helmet saw use on D-Day and was issued to most Infantry units fighting in North West Europe from then onwards. It was not intended to be issued to troops back home in the UK as supplies were limited so combat formations got it first.

    Note the colour has also changed from the early war "service Brown" seen on the Tommy helmet to a new rough finish very dark olive green paint.

    The liner is maker marked and dated 1944.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    I have another one of these in my collection which I show here alongside the previous one Again dated 1944.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    The mark III was later replaced in September 1944 by the improved MK IV for use in the Far East.

    This had the same basic steel shell, but was fitted with new repositioned, lower chinstrap mounts and a quick release liner held in place via a "Lift the dot" fastener in the crown (instead of a nut and bolt as found in the MKIII). This was to allow the liner to be taken out and the shell to be used for carrying water or used as a wash bowl. This was a good idea in theory but in practise it made the liner a bit loose in wear.

    Cheers, Ade.

    PS> If you are not sure what a "Lift the dot" fastener looks like, have a look at any WW2 US webbing cartridge belt. The pouches close with this type of fastener.

  4. #4

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Hey Ade, dont laugh but when I first joined the military my first helmet was like this, very uncomfortable, especially the spike in the inner top, it used to dig in your head
    Ben

  5. #5
    Chris Collins
    ?

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Hi All,

    I have just bought a Mrk 4 like mentioned above, but trying to date it, and just wanted to run it past you all ,to be certain,

    on the helmet, i can barely see a faint, B with numbers 57 or 67 ??

    and on the fibre of the liner,
    it says what looks like EWE then below that 11 or 111 , and below that 1945 or 46 ..

    would the liner date be the same as the helmet itself ??
    many thanks
    Chris C

  6. #6
    Chris Collins
    ?

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    oh and its colour , this is a Dark olive green, smooth on the inside , and rough sand texture on the outside

  7. #7

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Hi Chris, the "III" is the designation of the liner type.

    See here for more info:

    Google Translate

    Cheers, Ade.

  8. #8
    Chris Collins
    ?

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Cheers Ade,

    Looks like i got a very early Mrk IV helmet then, its exactly the same as the one in the link you sent me,

    I am Well Chuffed.. . would these helmets have been supplied with nets ??..

    thanks for your help in the matter, i also just bought a Early 59 dated M56 DDR helmet, with early leather liner,and 3 rivets etc
    chuffed with it .. are these early post war helmets getting rare, or more to the point much more sought after ??


    I wish i could work out how to put pictures on here, as in the past 4 months i have got quite a nice collection of lids,

    Ive managed to acquire a Mod 36 swedish ,german M35 and repro Falchirmjager type, a original M42 (relic) a original Japanese helmet, (relic from a reputable dealer with history from Iwo Jima,recovered in 1988)
    Italian WW2 helmet ,a 1967 dated M1 with dated mitchell cover. and my turtle helmet and a East german DDR helmet tybe B (1959)

    i thought the easiest to find would be a Brodie mrk 2 and a despatch riders helmet, but it seems the prices on these have rocketed in the past few years, gone are the days of finding one for a quid at a car boot sale lol.. still ,I keep searching
    is there any good books on helmets anyone can tell me of ??
    Last edited by Chris Collins; 03-13-2010 at 12:29 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Hi Chris, nets would have been added at unit level I think?

    Cheers, Ade.

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: British MkIII Turtle pattern helmet

    Here's a pair of MkIIIs I have-a brown-painted one,and a Green-painted one. Both are 1944-dated. I added the Canadian nets to them-the brown/green ones that were so common at shows in my area for years.


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