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another unknown helmet

Article about: Sorry to ask yet another lid question, but im struggling to find out what this one is. the only marking i can find is a 31. it is black (sorry for the poor pictures, i really do have to sort

  1. #11


    thankyou everyone for your informative comments and discussion.
    here are a few better pics of the lid.

    So im right now in thinking.... its a pre war Vz32 lid, repainted? post war for civil defence etc...
    post war liner too?

    What does the number 31 denote?

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    "…knowing him, and something of his deeds, it was impossible not to believe in greatness. In that square figure was housed a spirit of grandeur, and with his massive heroism went gentleness and modesty, even humility. He had no need to proclaim his virtue, for history would be his spokesman."
    Eric Linklater on Wavell.

  2. #12


    Quote by Greg Pickersgill View Post
    OK, this may be new information for me, Steve. I have always been under the impression that the black vz32 with the synthetic leather pads and the simple chinstrap was a reissued version supplied to various Czech formations after the end of WW2.

    I know that large quantities of the vz32 were used by the German Luftschutz and other German home front formations during the war; it seems to me very likely that there were more than enough 'ordinary' Czech helmets (and other captured helmets) about the place and there would be no requirement to manufacture more, and any actual Luftschutz-used and badged vz32 I have ever seen has been the original production version.

    Perhaps my Spanish is letting me down here as I am not seeing the clear link on Joseba's website that implies there was a run made specifically for the Germans during WW2. On the other hand, Joseba, for all we love him and his enormous efforts with that *brilliant* website, may have momentarily confused the wartime Luftschtz with the later postwar local Czech fire department...

    I'm quite willling to be convinced you are right, but at the moment I am sticking with my previously-held postwar refurbishment belief. Why do we not have a well-informed Czech collector on hand when we need one? Must be one out there surely....
    Greg, I may have been misunderstood, it was more of a question, I also believe this to be a post war refit, but what raised the question in my mind was on the website there are two helmets shown along side comments related to the WWII period showing similar liners. I used a translation engine which doesn't seemed to have been honed for helmet collectors.
    In the luftschutz section it mentions, helmets being repainted, I have one of these and the inside of the helmet is the original tan. It goes on to mention in '44 they were painted a different colour and mentions that the liner kept the same pads arrangement. From that with the image of a helmet showing a different liner and strap and being fully painted I implied (rightly or wrongly) that they had been manufactured from scratch.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is an additional helmet shown when the text is referring to wartime Slovakian forces, designated as air/civil defence which again has the same liner and strap arrangement.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The image shown in post WWII era has a civil defence helmet, where the liner and strap are slightly different.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As I said I'm not trying to convince anyone, but I am now interested to know if there were 2 types of M32 helmet in use before and during WWII, or possibly did the Slovakians continue to manufacture during WWII, I'm not sure how we can definitively know or where we can find another resource as good.


  3. #13


    Well, Steve, that's what its all about. To a large extent there is *no* definitive 'Encyclopedia of Helmets' that we can refer to in times of trouble. Marzetti's ELMETTI is very good, and Joseba's website is always a first go-to, and World War Helmets is in some ways quite brilliant (and there are a number of other websites that will repay attention) but *none* of them is definitively correct in every regard. Even Marzetti, even Joseba, even the big gang of serious collectors at WWH - all of them make mistakes (often on the basis of "everyone knows that..." recieved knowledge) and either don't have or leave out vital clues or information. (Though, to be fair, all those people make far far FAR less mistakes than many other collectors!) Its actually fantastically difficult to get first-hand information on these funny little metal and leather (and in my case advanced plastics) buckets that we know and love. Sometimes we just have to go with the balance of probabilities.

    But on the other hand, some facts are known and fixed... and I can't help feeling that if we had some specialist in Czech helmets here they could confirm that which I (and some others) believe, which is that the shells with the synthetic pads and simple chinstraps are indeed post-WW2 rebuilds. And whether, indeed, there was another variant vz32 anyway. In fact these detective stories are what makes it all so interesting.
    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 09-18-2014 at 11:43 AM.

  4. #14


    I think forums such as this are invaluable now, giving us the ability to share information and opinion. Somebody will chime with answer at some point I am sure, but as you say this is what makes it interesting, and turns collecting into a hobby.

    When I bought my M32, it was before the fall of the Soviet bloc, the internet, with only Marzetti to refer to and the first I had ever seen, now we have the luxury of discussing slight variations and obscure possibilities.

  5. #15


    Indeed. We have so much more information available than ever before. It seems both a short and long time ago now, but when I started collecting seriously around 1999 the only source I had was the 3-volume CASQUES DE COMBAT, from which I learned a lot but now know has its errors and omissions. There was next to nothing of any use on the internet at that time - how much things have changed!

    A black vz32 was one of my earliest acquisitions back then, and I believed for a long time it was an 'original' until I was put right.

    And I have recently heard from Czech collector Jan Kolarik, who has a good webpage here Československé přilby and he is absolutely certain that the black-painted helmets with the simple chinstrap and the synthetic pads *are* post-war refurbishments for fire, CD, police etc.

    Quite exciting for a moment, eh?

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