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East German NVA M56 helmets

Article about: Hi guys here I have a first pattern M56 East German helmet. The M56 was produced by Eisen und Hütte AG and the liners by VEB Sattler und Taucha Lederwarenfabrik. The design was originally a

  1. #31


    Quote by reneblacky View Post
    Forgot I also post a thread on my ones, lots of interesting posts on it
    Helmet M56 NVA
    Thanks for that, especially has it includes a link to a very interesting Spanish forum (with some good stuff on the M56) which I hadn't seen before.

    And I note especially Post 19 in the thread you mention, from Battle Gear, who includes a comparative picture of the chinstraps - very useful, especially as it includes the Russian version used on some ssh40. And no sewn-on cheekpieces!

  2. #32


    This is interesting; I just found out on another forum (Historical War Militaria) that while the early version of the M56 was made in three sizes (as indicated by the Roman numerals at the top of the stamp) the later shells were one size only, sizing being done by the size of the liner itself.

  3. #33


    Greg your last post is very interesting and the first I've heard of it , can we assume the one size only for the last run model's would be a medium size 11 ,I've just looked over my 1986 dated example and this is the size indicated ,also do you know if all the later production m56's are flat topped ,mine is covered in netting and a strichtarn cover so hard to tell for sure ,I can say though it sits very nicely upturned and settle's back into position when knocked ,isn't it sad what we get up to on our weekends

  4. #34


    James - and Russ and anyone else reading! - I am getting rather concerned about this idea of there being only one size of the later production M56 (and I am believing that what we are discussing here is the M56/66 with NO external rivets), The usually very reliable team at WWH seem to believe that the M56/66 IS produced in three shell sizes -

    "The shells produced from 1966 are manufactured in three sizes like the model 56. However, the shells are not always marked and a large majority has no size marking nor production year (however, the size may be indicated at the interior of the shell by a stamp, provided that it does not get deleted over time). Six pins are electrically welded inside the bomb in the upper third of the helmet."

    And also I am seeing many references elsewhere to late production helmets dated almost up to the fall of the DDR, with size codes in Roman numeralsl. It may be that that note on the other forum was just, well, *wrong*.

    WWH also say - "Since 1976, the helmet was again altered without apparent difference. The top of the shell is reinforced by a greater thickness of the shell at this level, generating a slight weight gain."

    Now that is interesting because all reports of the 'flat top' shell seem to indicate late production dates, and I wonder whether the very last batches accidentally introduced this very slight flattening as part of the increase in thickness mentioned here. Or whether indeed it is just the extra weight that keeps the helmet from rolling.

    Its amazing really, all these little details ought to be easy to cross-check, but they're not. It is what makes helmetcollecting both so much fun and so incredibly annoying at times.

  5. #35


    I have one dated 1987 with a Roman numeral III for a size large shell

    from what Ive seen they were still making size II and III in late manufactured shells

    those two shell sizes are most useful, a smaller head size can still easily get by with a size II shell with the adjustable liner

    it was impractical to continue manufacturing the size I shell when they had the new adjustable liners

  6. #36


    Sorry to bring up this old thread but I found a very interesting variant of the M56. This one is much more harder to come by, as it has 6 riveted studs to hold in the liner. From what little info I have found they made this variant from 1965 for a few years and then on the later models the studs are electrically welded in place with no rivets on the helmet shell. It has numerous coats of paint and is bashed up a little on the crown but it just adds to its look. I would love to see if anyone else has this variant of the M56 and would love to hear anything that anyone else can add to the description of this helmet.
    Thanks for looking guys.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture East German NVA M56 helmets   East German NVA M56 helmets  

    East German NVA M56 helmets   East German NVA M56 helmets  

    East German NVA M56 helmets   East German NVA M56 helmets  

    East German NVA M56 helmets   East German NVA M56 helmets  

    East German NVA M56 helmets   East German NVA M56 helmets  

  7. #37


    Don't be sorry Ian and after all it is your thread to begin with .Thanks for adding this interesting variation to the discussion and i really like the overall shell patina Greg will be pleased to see you have broken this one down into it's composite parts and a brave man you are too to do such a thing as knowing my luck i would have destroyed something along the way ,thanks for sharing

  8. #38


    Not one I've seen that's riveted all round for the later liner system Great to see.

  9. #39


    Here is the only reference I could find for this M56 variant

  10. #40


    Here is the only reference I could find for this M56 variant

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