In an effort to reach the minimum 15 posts to remove that “watermark” obscuring the complete viewing of photos on this site, and partially due to boredom on a Friday night . . . here are a few pics of my current wz.31 Polish helmet. I’ve owned several wz.31’s over the years in a slow upgrade progression until acquisition of this fine example a couple of years ago.
The design and development of the wzor 31 (model 31) dates to 1930 with formal production started in 1934 after extensive testing. It was intended as the primary combat helmet to replace French Adrian design with production continuing up until the outbreak of WW2. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the wz.31 is the anti-reflective paint treatment. Known as “salamandra” it was a combination of the Polish military khaki-green shade lacquer paint and cork. The helmet was manufactured of chrome-molybdenum steel to high quality standards typical of all pre-war Polish military equipment (contrary to popular myth). Another unique feature was the quick release chin strap.
This helmet was brought to the US by a returning GI who picked it up in Germany in ’45. It evidently resided in Germany as a souvenir of the September ’39 campaign. This one has survived in near perfect condition and appears as though it was picked up off the battlefield last week. Never altered or disassembled, original unmolested wz.31’s such as this one are few and far between. It was made in the Huta Ludwikow factory in Kielce and bears the ink stamp LUDWIKOW 49 36. 49 denotes the lot number with 36 indicating the 1936 year of manufacture.