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Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

Article about: If anyone can provide info on the liner and chin strap that would be most appreciated. I'd like to know if the liner is indeed Finnish or original to the Austrian shell and possibly the date

  1. #11

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

    Further to the 'long' one piece chin strap. I'm just speculating here but this could be a field expediency or a conservation method. I read that during the war with the Soviets the Finns were running out of leather and started to use lacquered cardboard to make scabbards for puukkos. Perhaps this was an attempt to conserve leather and metal as well.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

    [QUOTE=dastier;442465]Greg - as you mentioned this is outside your area you may not be aware of this: the metal band is what makes my helmet a M17. M16 have leather retaining bands. M16s upgraded to metal retaining bands during WW1 are called M17s to distinguish them from M16 helmets.
    Attachment 284966

    Oh, thank you. All part of the learning process. That's my fact for the day! I am generally a bit vague on Great War helmets; I can tell an Austrian from a German but as you have noted that's about where my expertise peters out. I'll shut up then shall I? ("Yes!" - The Massed Ranks of Serious pre-1950 Collectors.)

  3. #13

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

    No problem Greg. I'm just learning myself (and making mistakes - to prevent rot the Germans went from a vegetable tanning process to a chrome process not the other way around.)

    Most of what I've learned about the M16/M17 and M18 is from a few sites online such as
    Stahlhelm | HELMETS OF WAR and Alexander And Sons Restorations:
    plus a few others.

    The site you provided was a good source for info on the Finnish M16. There used to be a site on for all kinds of Finnish helmets but its gone now.

    There was a suggestion on Gunboards that the strap arrangement is similar to Swedish chin strap attachment. I'm going to follow this lead.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

    I may not be able to tell you anything worth knowing about your helmet, but I hope you will be delighted to hear that the Pottia website still exists, but at a different URL which Google unaccountably fails to find. I went to some effort to track down Markku to find out what happened after the site apparently disappeared, and eventually discovered that although his interests have changed somewhat (he is now a Big Name in street-organ festivals!) he still maintains his helmet collection and site; go to pottakokoelma - helmet collection

    I'm not entirely clear about the significance of the reference to Swedish chinstraps - but I feel confident in saying that the chinstrap on your Finnish helmet is entirely unlike anything used on any Swedish helmet I either have or have seen. They are invariably a conventional two-piece strap.

    Another possibly useful reference which you may already know - Finnish War Helmets:

  5. #15

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

    Thanks Greg and yes I'm excited that you have tracked down Markku and found his site. I used to visit his site frequently. In fact at one time he corresponded with me by email (and I subsequently misplaced his email address). He was most helpful on a related Finnish matter.

    FYI I've bookmarked your list of helmet web sites - thank you for this.

    As to the reference to Swedish chin straps - I think the Gunboards member thought stitching the strap to the bale was a Swedish technique. I suppose there could be some merit to this suggestion. Sweden and Finland are neighbours and Sweden provided material support and volunteers to fight alongside the Finns. I don't think he was saying its a Swedish strap just perhaps a Swedish method of fastening a strap.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post re The use of the German WW1 helmet by the Finnish Army - if you look at 'BI232 inside' the strap also appears sewn together on a Finnish M16 from WW2.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Austrian M17 helmet as used by the Finnish Army

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