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belgium m71 parachutist helmet

Article about: Could it be that the Belgians simply wanted the best of both worlds with the W German M1A1 Para shell being superior to the French F1 Shell and the French F1 liner being more to their liking

  1. #51

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    many thanks for your comment krikke your input is most welcome and its awesome that you actually use to wear this type were the comfortable to wear over a long period ?im really fond of this lid can i also ask you if the jigsaw pattern helmet covers were quite commonplace on your m71's or was there a variety used i have seen one that looks very similar to us woodland pattern many thanks james

  2. #52

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    Well there are different patterns yes. But I can't provide pictures of them now. Wednesday I'm at the base.
    I shall take my helmet at home and post you some good pictures of him.
    If you are interested,... I still have 3 nice smokejackets with the same pattern...


  3. #53

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    great stuff krikke it would be great to see your lid ill look forward to that and many thanks for the offer on the jackets but for e i mainly just collect lids but im sure somebody else on here might take you up on the offer thanks again oh and russ many thanks for your nice comment also cheers james

  4. #54

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

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  5. #55

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

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    Here we are wearing them on an exercise in Turkey.

    I am the guy on the right with the big machinegun.



  6. #56

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    The appearance of a serious end-user of these helmets has reminded me of something I haven't been getting on with.

    Right then. I did make a claim sometime earlier in this thread that I'd ask around and see if we could get the Facts about the curious combo of the German LL and French F1 helmet.

    Unsurprisingly there is no absolute answer, although the following, mostly derived from Belgian collector Walter Jacobs (who has recently completed the ms. of a book on Belgian helmets) may help.

    The M71 helmets were originally sourced from Schuberth between 1972 and 1979, with more from VDN in the mid 80’s. These helmets were essentially identical to the German LL issue, except that the liner bolts do not have a little hole in the middle (with some rare exceptions), and the chinstraps have an extra leather strap element making a chin-cup (an option offered by Schuberth, not a specific Belgian requirement), and a Belgian flag on the side (originally a sticker, not a decal). There is a possibility that some helmets were issued without the extra chincup strap, but then again that element might have been lost or removed by individual users.

    These helmets were used from the early 70s to the late 90s and they have often been repaired. Most have their leather chin cup replaced by a French plastic cup from which the leather padding has been removed for hygienic reasons but some retain the original leather chin cup strap, sometimes in “mixed” colours since the strapping on early Schuberts was sometimes brown instead of green. Some of these early helmets were re-painted glossy green, re-lined and re-strapped in the army Arsenal of Ypres; the strapping is twice as thick as the original ones and liner bolts were sometimes replaced with whatever was available and fitted, even hexagonal bolts.

    In the 1990s VDN-made LL helmets, made by VDN, were purchased from Germany, 'off the shelf' from stock; they do not have a flag on the side and originally did not have the chin cup, although some paras placed old chin cups on them (leather or plastic). This type of helmet has a NSN (Nato stock number) in it with “13” for Belgium and the manufacturers mark is stamped in the rim. Some of these helmets are still in use.

    At some time, possibly the mid-1980s, the Belgian army purchased the hybrid German/French para helmet, but there is no definate information about the source. They are not arsenal modifications, they were manufactured as seen. The liner is not 100% French, since the plastic buckle on the chinstrap is of Swedish manufacture. The holes in the shell were made before it was sprayed and the decals (no stickers) of the Belgian flag are always placed high on the shell, relative to those on the earlier Mle71 or other Belgian helmets. There was only one batch of these relatively uncommon helmets and no marking whatsoever can be found on them.

    That's absolutely fascinating, isn't it. There's scope for a whole collection in itself based around these helmets. I love it!

    However, I and Walter J and everyone else would be delighted if Kris can fill in, correct, or otherwise add to this story.

  7. #57

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    krikke what a superb picture of you guys in full kit much appreciated for sharing this picture im liking the matching face paint also can i ask what year this was taken and crikey your right that is one big gun and greg many thanks for finding out all this information your research certainly gets results its absolutely fascinating many thanks james

  8. #58

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    The pictures were taken in 2003 in Kusadashi with the presentation of NRF. (Nato Response Force).


  9. #59

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

    brilliant kris many thanks for posting all this on my thread i am truly humbled you are very kind sir, many thanks james

  10. #60

    Default Re: belgium m71 parachutist helmet

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    These are pics taken at Koksijde. Waiting to go inplane to jump. :-)


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