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British Stahlhelm copy

Article about: I am new to this forum, so forgive me if this has come up before, but a search could find no discussion of this unusual helmet. Outwardly it appears to be a German M35 Stahlhelm, but without

  1. #1
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    Default British Stahlhelm copy

    I am new to this forum, so forgive me if this has come up before, but a search could find no discussion of this unusual helmet. Outwardly it appears to be a German M35 Stahlhelm, but without the vent bushings. Internally however, the liner is based on the British Lining Mk.II, except, it has clearly been made especially for this type of helmet, it is not a liner from a Mk.II helmet that has been cut down and stuck in a Stahlhelm.
    The helmet is made from magnetic, not manganese, steel, and weighs 1.25 kg, it measures 284x228x155mm, so roughly it is the same size and weight as a size 64 M35. The colour very closely approximates that of a war-time helmet issued to the German Army (see the comparison shot of the Briitsh Stahlhelm beside its German equivalent.

    These helmets do crop up now and then on ebay, I found my own example in an antique store in Winnipeg in 1993, I know an (unprovenenced) example in the Canadian War Museum and one or two other collectors who have examples. So who made these helmets, and why?


    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    I have a vague recollection of seeing one of these previously and I think they were made for SF use or for training. I only have the vaguest recollection so I could be way out on this.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3

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    I have never seen one before...perhaps a movie prop? DougB, will probably know

  4. #4
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    Default British Stahlhelm copy

    They were probably produced at a time when success on the battlefield had not yielded significant quantities of captured helmets. One obvious possibility is that they were intended for clandestine operations such as by SOE, or (as this page from its history showing a similar helmet but with a replica I-31 liner, indicates) by M.I.9 which was tasked with aiding resistance movements and assisting with the escape of allied PoWs.

    Another possibility is illustrated by these photographs taken by the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit in 1943 shows they were used to equip faux Germans for training.

    I have found documnetary proof of this in the Canadian National Archives.
    In January 1943, First Canadian Army ordered 100 sets of imitation Germans tunics, side caps, belts, leather equipment and helmets - for its Intelligence Section - from the British War Office. The Directorate of Clothing and Equipment of the British Ministry of Supply replied sending samples and a price list. The samples were deemed acceptable by First Canadian Army and in early February the Ministry of Supply confirmed that all the requested items were due to arrive shortly, except the helmets which will take another month to produce. The helmets seem to have been made by a Grimson & Slater Ltd of Long Eaton Nottinghamshire (manufacturers - according to their letterhead - of springs and steel furnishings - but in 1943 they also manufactured liners for Airborne helmets) as it wrote to First Canadian Army on March 4 to advise that 100 "special assemblies" were en route by train and should be arriving within 24 hours. The helmets were priced at 15/ each.

    One unit to which these helmets and uniforns were issued was issued to the 1st Canadian Division German Demonstration Team. This group of proto-reenactors replicated a German infantry platoon, giving demonstrations of German drill, commands, and infantry tactics. The 7th Recce Rgt's WD records a visit by the Demonstration Team, on 21 April 1943. The War Diarist was impressed by their "rigid discipline" and the speed with which their brought their weapons into action.
    As you can see from the photographs, most of 1st Canadian Division German Demonstration Team's equipment was actually Briitsh Oliver Pattern equipment from the Great War, while their weapons were standard Britsh ones (except for the fake Stielhandgrenate) Some wore their helmets bare, others with covers with the German Heeresadler.

    So keep you eyes out these helmets, they are one of the more unusual Commonwealth helmets.
    Roger



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  5. #5

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    I found this old link to another forum..hope its ok to post here
    ww2 german copy helmet for special ops - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums

  6. #6

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    This sure looks like your actual helmet
    https://servicepub.wordpress.com/201...stration-team/

  7. #7

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    Quote by wizardman View Post
    This sure looks like your actual helmet
    https://servicepub.wordpress.com/201...stration-team/
    Indeed and the article is by him as well.

    So as I said, either SF or training, no one is quite sure yet.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  8. #8

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    Roger
    Very interesting post. In the picture of the bren gunners there are two different types of helmets. One darker with vents and the other lighter colored one with oversize double decals and no vents. Is there anything known about the ones with decals?
    Steve

  9. #9
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    Quote by No1canuck View Post
    Roger
    Very interesting post. In the picture of the bren gunners there are two different types of helmets. One darker with vents and the other lighter colored one with oversize double decals and no vents. Is there anything known about the ones with decals?
    Steve
    Steve,
    I think the lighter coloured helmets with the insignia have covers, which is a bit odd as by 1943 the Germans no longer wore decals on their helmets.
    Roger
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    interesting post.

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