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My German helmet

Article about: I'm new to the forum, and I've found it to be most interesting. I am attaching a picture I took in early 1969. If you look carefully you will see a WW2 German helmet sitting on a pile of gea

  1. #1

    Default My German helmet

    I'm new to the forum, and I've found it to be most interesting.

    I am attaching a picture I took in early 1969. If you look carefully you will see a WW2 German helmet sitting on a pile of gear atop the M-113 ACAV I was a crewman on in Viet Nam. The picture was taken at the beginning of Atlas Wedge, an operation by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to clear the Michelin Rubber Plantation near Lai Khe. I bought the helmet while I was home on leave between my first and second tours, and wore it around for a few months after I got back over there. It sure raised a few eyebrows among some of the older soldiers!

    Now, let's see if the picture comes through...

    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  3. #2

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Awesome mate , welcome aboard , i bet you turned a few heads alright , did you bring the lid back home , great to see you made it threw , cheers Raymond

  4. #3

    Default Re: My German helmet

    What was better protection? The german helmet or your U.S. Issue? And I would not have thought wearing it would be allowed

    Michael

  5. #4

    Default Re: My German helmet

    The US issue was a better helmet. Steel on top of that fiber liner, and the suspension system was more comfortable. I remember the German helmet as having a mostly leather suspension, adjusted by tying the cords as required, and being a bit lighter. The US probably would have withstood/dissipated hard knocks a lot better. If I would have tried wearing the thing in a rear area I would have been hung up by my thumbs. I eventaully sold it to a guy for what I paid for it (not much) and he fitted a US camo cover on it. We soaked the cover in hot water and stretched it over the helmet. The cover shrank to a fair fit after about a day in the sun.

  6. #5

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Great story

  7. #6
    ?

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Very interesting story , love the photo !!!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  8. #7

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Dear Tripehound,

    looks as if there was a decal on your Wehrmacht helmet?

    Yours,

    Olaf

  9. #8

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Very cool! I bet it turned a few heads and created a few laughs!
    Was there a decal? Looks like it....eagle decal? Not sure if it's me or the pic - looks like the decal is quite large. Hand painted perhaps?

    Cheers!

    Rob

  10. #9

    Default Re: My German helmet

    In the 60's German helmets were about a-dime-a-dozen and most had no real collectors' value. The original paint on mine was a scratched and peeling grey-green with no decals or markings. It might not have been the original WWII paint. I removed the loose paint and repainted the helmet black. On one side I painted what I was told was a "Bavarian Eagle": a square-looking stylized bird inside a shield. On the other side I painted the same shield with the SS runes inside. Not authentic by any means, but a definite conversation starter.

    Aside from this, I brought back as a war trophy a Mauser 98K, dated 1942, complete with bayonet. The S2 people told me the “BNZ” on the breech meant it was made in “Benz” or “Bernz”, Austria. I really need to take a few pictures and post them on the WEAPONS section of this board to see if modern research has turned up any information on its markings. And I still have the war trophy paperwork for it.

  11. #10

    Default Re: My German helmet

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    "BNZ" is actually the makers mark for Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, Steyr, Austria. I think your S2 was thinking of Damiler Benz

    Cheers, Ade.

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