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Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

Article about: Well that's exactly what I though they were Joe, good description. I did like seeing the photo above of the beaded helmet in combat but without context it could be a late war thing or not ev

  1. #1

    Default Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    I have bought a beaded luftschutz helmet from a forum member ( it is on it's way down under ) and being my first I got to doing some research on the types and liner construction and I have a few questions for the more knowledgeable out there.

    1) As I understand, the gladiator styles were available for private purchase for about 5 to 8 reichsmarks. These all had the lightweight "civic" liner. The beaded design was slightly heavier ( but not as heavy as a normal combat helmet ) and were made in M35, M40 & M42 models. They DO NOT have the decal showing the price or size so how were they provided? free issue - & to whom? ..... flak units ????

    2) The beaded model had both civic and so called "combat" style liners - why.....? and who got what?

    3) Was the beaded police helmet the same as the beaded luftschutz in construction and liner? Where would the distinction be made in the wearing of the field police ( feldgendarmarie ) combat helmet and the beaded police? City and combat areas I guess, but how was the demarcation sorted out?

    Sorry for the "twenty questions" lads - just trying to understand it all.
    Cheers, Dan

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    They may have been available for private purchase during the early years; however, I would think that beaded helmets were freely given out to citizens in the latter years of the war. My reasoning behind this is because the typical German citizen during the war, especially the latter years 44 & 45, were very poor. I doubt they could have afforded to buy a helmet. Also, in period photographs you often see citizens, especially younger men and women, wearing helmets that do not fit. They simply used whatever was available, including foreign helmets (explanation for variety of LS helmets). This is also probably why we find so many M34 fire helmets that have their combs removed, they were probably reworked for civilian use in fire patrols, rescue, national defense, etc.

    The general thought is that beaded M35, M40, and M42 helmets were not fit for combat, and thus were worn only by civilians/non-combat personnel. However, I am not totally in agreement with that theory. I have seen multiple period photos of beaded helmets being worn by front-line troops. This could be because of the soldier's personal preference. These photos do not appear to me to be "staged" or propaganda photos, but original combat images from the early war years. I think the soldiers who wore the beaded helmets in combat used the "combat" liner to go with their beaded helmet. It makes sense to me because it is doubtful that the civil liners would have held together through daily wear on the front-lines. This is only my opinion.

    To answer your third question, most beaded combat police helmets have the same civilian liner as the LS beaded helmets. On occasion you will run into a beaded combat police helmet with a combat liner. Beaded helmets are considered second rate helmets, maybe they are not as strong/heavy as their combat counterparts. On another note, I have heard of German soldiers preferring the Quist style combat helmets over the other manufacturers because they were about .2 lbs heavier, thus allowing more protection.



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    Last edited by Sir Payne; 06-23-2012 at 06:54 AM.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Thanks Corey for that great explanation!
    I am afraid I am opening for myself a whole new area of collecting .......argh!!!!!


  5. #4
    4md is offline

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    The second photo you put up looks like a bead Corey. Although the first looks like a cut rubber tyre tube. This photo is from a series in stalingrad, the barrikady gun factory......heres a few more they are excellent shots
    note the last photo is from the same sequence as the one you posted, the pipe in the foreground is the same pipe as the one in your photo behind the soldier

    regards Paul
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    Last edited by 4md; 06-23-2012 at 09:50 AM.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Good spotting Paul, I was going to say I though the first of the photo's wasn't a beaded at all but a rubber band. Nice set of photo's to.

    The second shot is a great one showing a beaded helmet on a combat solider. Would be interesting to see if there are other shots around. I have always been under the impression beaded lids were second rate shells but it might not be the case


  7. #6

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Still not convinced, sorry.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Hard to really tell if it's a band or a bead - Wayne ( ww2relics&collectables ) has a relic with a rubber band on it and it could be perceived as a bead from a short distance. I will compare the gauge of the steel with calipers when it arrives to several of my combat lids and let you know the results.
    If anyone has vernier calipers that can reach over the rolled rim you can check helmets of your own ( or measure the rolled edge & halve the amount )

    THAT should put to rest the idea that these were reject combat lids if the gauge is different.


  9. #8

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    I'm very glad that you are now the owner of the mulch-schutz! I hope it arrives soon and safe and sound!

    I was under the impression that ALL beaded helmets started out as "regular" helmets. After the first helmet of a batch was ready, it was subjected to a quality-control ballistics test... I assume the test consisted of being shot at by a pistol from a far distance. If that helmet passed (aka deflect the pistol bullet), then the whole batch passed and were set up to be combat helmets.

    If the test helmet failed (aka the bullet went thru), then the whole batch of helmets were put into a different steel press which would add the bead which would identify the helmet as not fit for combat duty.

    With that being said, in the closing days of the Reich when supplies were scarce, especially in the case of Volkssturm, HJ, etc. being pressed into combat duty, I am sure that many beaded helmets were used in combat.

    Let's remember that helmets were meant to be used to protect the head from falling debris, etc. NOT your average small-arms fire. I guess a second-rate helmet is better than no helmet at all!
    Last edited by GIZMO8Z; 06-23-2012 at 02:43 PM.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Spot on Joe.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  11. #10

    Default Re: Types of beaded Luftschutz helmets??

    Is it my eyes, or am I not finding any beaded helmets in those photos? They all look to have rubber straps, tubes, or whatever; where the bead would go.

    On a side note, did anyone notice in 4md's third pic, the soldier pointing with both hands, wearing a silver IAB that is half broken. Just something that caught my eye.

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