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Why did helmet style change from ww1 to ww2 for the Americans but not so for the British and Commonwealth countries?

Article about: Why did helmet style change from ww1 to ww2 for the Americans but not so for the British and Commonwealth countries?Ever since I was young I always thought that the style of American helmets

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    Default Why did helmet style change from ww1 to ww2 for the Americans but not so for the British and Commonwealth countries?

    Why did helmet style change from ww1 to ww2 for the Americans but not so for the British and Commonwealth countries?
    Ever since I was young I always thought that the style of American helmets in WW2 looked like it offered more protection that that of the Canadians. Other than maybe better rain protection the top rounded style looks like it leaves more open space for potential side damage. I post information about helmets on my website and would really like to explain this properly, but I was also just wondering the reasoning behind the Canadian helmets and why they decided to use the same design that they had used 20yrs before.
    Thanks!
    Also you can check out my site at
    Helmet Collectables

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    The British/Canadian helmet design did change, friend...the MkIII "Turtle-shell" replaced the old Brody-style around 1943-44, I believe...
    The US made the switch around 1942...
    I don't collect them myself, but I'm sure one of our more knowledgeable members will be able to provide more information...
    cheers, Glenn
    Last edited by bigmacglenn; 05-24-2015 at 05:28 PM.
    -Mehr sein als scheinen-

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    Oh ok thank you for your input. Hopefully I can get more information.

    William
    Helmet Collectables

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    SMP
    SMP is offline
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    As above. The style did change in 1943 . No doubt it could have changed sooner, but it is an expensive business especially at a time of all-out war when industry is stretched to the limits. You also have to remember it is not always desirable to use a helmet design that closely resembles your enemy - even if they have the better design. There are many stories of soldiers mistaking American helmets and British MKIII helmets for German coalscuttles !

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    Quote by bigmacglenn1966 View Post
    The British/Canadian helmet design did change, friend...the MkIII "Turtle-shell" replaced the old Brody-style around 1943-44, I believe...
    The US made the switch around 1942...
    I don't collect them myself, but I'm sure one of our more knowledgeable members will be able to provide more information...
    cheers, Glenn
    Hi Glenn that is not 100% acurate the Canadian Army may have adopted the British Mk III near the end of the Second world war specifically from D-Day on but in essance these were in actuality only loaned to the Canadian Military and almost all examples were returned to the British Government at the end of hostilities in 1945
    Canada's main battle helmet remained the Mk II untill the mid 1960's untill being fully replaced by the US M-1
    We did however purchase 200,000 US-M-1's in 1943 and they were issued out for a short period of time during the second world war in small numbers .

    Regards Mark
    Always on the look out for WW II Canadian Helmets and Cam nets to add to my collection.

    Found a Canadian Mk II Medics Helmet and yes I know they are about as rare as hens teeth !!!!!

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    Quote by wperez View Post
    Why did helmet style change from ww1 to ww2 for the Americans but not so for the British and Commonwealth countries?
    I was also just wondering the reasoning behind the Canadian helmets and why they decided to use the same design that they had used 20yrs before.
    Actually the British Medical Research Council began the development of a new helmet design quite early in the Second World War, because Mk.II gave little protection from the horizontal missiles more often encountered in mobile warfare. After studying the problem, it developed a new helmet design which gave better protection to the back and sides of the head. An initial run of 400 Helmets, Steel, Mk.III were issued for user trials and evaluation in the latter half of 1941. However, with the USA's entry into the war, the British Army began to study the feasibility of adopting the new American M-1 helmet. In late September, 1942, the British War Office informed Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) and other Dominion HQs in London of the Army Council's decision to adopt the US M1. In the end these plans did not see fruition, as the M-1 proved incompatible with Commonwealth head-sets. In April 1943 the Imperial General Staff opted instead to produce the Mk.III, but due to lack of proper steels and deep draw presses, actual production did not begin until November 1943, continuing to early 1945, when production shifted to the Mk.IV.

    With respect to Canada, as Lt.General McNaughton, GOC First Canadian Army put it "The ruling policy in Steel Helmets is that the Canadian Army be uniform with British, unless another policy should give substantial advantage." The Canadian Army therefore followed the British lead, with plans to adopt the M1, although with a number of improvements (which US Ordnance rejected). When the British changed their minds abot the M1 in early 1943, General McNaughton decided likewise to adhere to British Mk.II until Mk.III became available. In the end only 3rd Canadian Division received the Mk.III in any numbers, and as Mark K notes, a Canadian order for 200,000 M1s was not cancelled in time, and a large number of these helmets were issued to Canaian troops on the west coast and in home establishments.

    After the War the Mk.II remained in service in the Canadian Army, pending US attempts to develop a new one type fits all for ground, airborne and armoured troops, which, needless to say, did not succeed. Efforts were then made to develop a helmet from ballistic nylon, and when those failed to produce a satisfactory design the revised M1 with the nylon "Combat Liner" was officially adopted in 1960, although it took most of that decade before the Mk.II was wholly supplanted.

    All this is covered in detail in my book"Tin Lids - Canadian Combat Helmets" which you can order on-line from Service Publications it's part of the Up Close series.
    RogerName:  tin lids cover.jpg
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    Thank you for the very detailed answer Roger and might I add an excellent publication well worth reading.

    Regards Mark
    Always on the look out for WW II Canadian Helmets and Cam nets to add to my collection.

    Found a Canadian Mk II Medics Helmet and yes I know they are about as rare as hens teeth !!!!!

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