Not much of a help but i'd say continental Europe, due to it being sized as "59".
It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.
I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...
Possibly Belgian - Post war.
Thanks, you mean because the size is in cm instead of inches!
It's actually 53, very small size!
I would say post war Belgium.
I wonder. I feel fairly sure it is Belgian, based more on instinct than knowledge. However, I did remember a thing or two and do a bit of research and here's an interesting piece by a well-respected Belgian collector -
"The Belgian made DR helmet is indeed one of the rarest postwar produced helmets.
In 40 years of collecting, I have only seen 4 of them, (I have 2), all marked
"ABL 1949 XB 57 1950 Armée Belge/Belgisch Leger, 1949" (obviously not the year
of manufacture nor the model, this indication of the year is a mystery to me) XB
(the manufacturer : Xavier Buisset, at Vilvoorde, near Brussels), 57 (headsize)
and the real year of manufacture : 1950.
These helmets have been manufactured in one run during the year 1950 and the surplus shells were issued with proper
interiors as paratroop helmets by XB with some screws added in the 4 holes you
do not find on real ATMKII shells (this version is even a little rarer that the
DR version). If some of you need photographs of these helmets, do no hesitate to
It is indeed a pity that these helmets are used as "base" for fake British para
helmets since most are far rarer that their British counterparts, since they
were manufactured in far lesser quantities.
For years, I have tried to save these helmets from being re-conditioned for low
mercantile reasons. But it is more and more difficult to purchase them now since
their prices already reflect that they are sold as raw material for even more
expensive "British" helmets.
Even common M49's [This is the belgian clone of the British Mk3] are difficult to get at fair prices but if you consider that
most of the rare MKIII's (also made by XB, in 1951, only) have become "genuine"
Canadians, it is time to start worrying...
Keep in mind that -nearly- every Belgian made helmet of British type has a
magnetic rim (can be checked even on photos since the paint does not chip off
like on British helmets) but, there is -like always- one exception : the first
ATMKII helmets assembled by UMAL in the early fifties were original British
shells (with a non magnetic rim) but these helmets are as rare as the Belgian
made DR helmets."
Well then, is it or isn't it. Certainly some characteristics match...
Very interesting! I bought it on a website, just because it had a nice look, at least that's what I think. And for a very fair price. I will do some more research next week. Maybe some Belgian collectors will see it and confirm what you wrote.
The stamp on the leather made me feel it was Belgium, plus also the width of the rim. Seen quite a few armoured crew Belgium helmets sold as British HSRAC ( Helmet,Steel, Royal Armoured Corps) Due to width of rim.
Greg, have you any pictures of the Belgium Mk49's (Brit Mk3's) Can't say I've ever seen any.
The Belgian Mk3 looks remarkably like a British Mk3, with the one salient difference of having the brown leather Belgian liner, which we are more familiar with from the Belgian copy of the Mk2. Same liner, in all likelhood.
There are other differences, not obvious unless one has a sharp eye or is able to compare directly with a British-made object - I quote collector Roger Lucy -
"The easiest way to distinguish these from the originals is the magnetic steel rim and chin-strap lugs; however, when measured, the body is some 10mm longer, and the chinstrap lug rivets are mounted 5-10mm lower. Also the joint of the rim is very crude, clearly different to a ROCO or BMB helmet.
In the issued state they would have a Belgian flag decal, these are often scraped off to pass the helmet off as a 'genuine' Mk.III. The Belgian version is far rarer than the British original!"
Last year I had an unfortunate experince regarding a Belgian Mk3, which I did not buy. What I actually bought , on Ebay Belgium, from a man in Belgium, was an apparent Mk3 with a Belgian liner (all these are apparently positive points towards it being a genuine Belgian Mk3...) but alas it failed the magnet test and the lug test. I was too disheartened to bother measuring it fore and aft. Obviously very likely an ex-British shell refitted with a Belgian liner and used by the Belgian forces, but that's not what I was after. So be careful. Don't know whether asking a vendor to wave a magnet at a helmet before you offer on it would get much cooperation, though.