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French M-51.

Article about: Hi Guys. Here's a French M-51 from my collection, this particular example has a Satin 300 Hood attached. Feel free to comment.

  1. #31
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    Quote by 37Webbing View Post
    Another splendid helmet.
    I have a soft spot, for Euro clones. Very nice helmets!

    The liner, does it smell... Well. Strange? I have a couple of Danish produced M1-clone liners.
    Made in the same way as your French one, and they smell horrid.
    Many thanks for looking and for your kind comments. In answer to your question no this liner does not smell, and is not such an odd question as some others may think

    I know exactly what you mean regarding the smell, I have a couple of Danish M-48 models and one particular Civil Defence model with the Bakerlised liner does indeed smell very oddly,and after many years of my ownership and copious airing's still retains that awful mysterious smell...very odd,but clearly a feature of the Danish liners

  2. #32

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    Quote by Opex View Post
    Many thanks for looking and for your kind comments. In answer to your question no this liner does not smell, and is not such an odd question as some others may think

    I know exactly what you mean regarding the smell, I have a couple of Danish M-48 models and one particular Civil Defence model with the Bakerlised liner does indeed smell very oddly,and after many years of my ownership and copious airing's still retains that awful mysterious smell...very odd,but clearly a feature of the Danish liners
    Thank you Opex!

    Perhaps it is a distinct Danish thing then?
    I have never smelled anything like it.
    The smell does indeed not seem to diminish if you air it frequently or wash it.

    As of now, all other M1 helmets, Eruro clones or not, with bakelite liners are all odorless (More or less).
    It is quite the mystery. Well. At least for me it is.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  3. #33
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    Quote by 37Webbing View Post
    Thank you Opex!

    Perhaps it is a distinct Danish thing then?
    I have never smelled anything like it.
    The smell does indeed not seem to diminish if you air it frequently or wash it.

    As of now, all other M1 helmets, Eruro clones or not, with bakelite liners are all odorless (More or less).
    It is quite the mystery. Well. At least for me it is.
    I quite agree, the Danish liners are very distinct smell wise,it is a mystery, I can only assume it must be something to do with the manufacturing process,and therefore the chemicals involved in this process...most strange

  4. #34

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    Quote by Opex View Post
    I read in a book by Martin Windrow that French forces wore US M1's for the early part of this conflict and when the MLe-51 wa issued it spend more time attached to the soldiers belt than on the top of his head, which makes sense as 99% the reference pictures from this era I have show Legionnaires wearing Beret's ,kepi's or bush hats.
    Hello Opex,

    Thanks a lot for your kind note.

    They are so many interetseing little stories around helmets. I think that's also what makes them so nice to collect.

    Concerning your comment concerning M1 helmets, they were widely used in indochina and even at the begining of Algeria.

    Usualy, at that time they were worn by officiers and old soldiers in order to distinguish from the crowd of non Professional soldiers requested to serve in this conflict.

    That said, and back to your comment about the fact they were worn at the belt, it is true they weren't that used during operations.
    I think this is linked to the nature of the field and clearly, bush hat and caps were far more confortable.

    Therfore, for defensive position or during huge battle like Na San or Dien Bien Phu, they were largely used.
    It was also the case for Paratroopers that were, by default, in all "hot" positions.
    In Algeria too. Some commenders asked their troups to were them. They were call "chapeau en peau de locomotive" (Train skin hat).

    All the best

    Bruno

  5. #35

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    I can see why they usually wore a bush hat instead of a steel helmet, try wearing a steel M1 helmet outside on a hot summers day during a heat wave combined with high humidity for a couple hours carrying your combat load with rifle & ammo and you will feel how uncomfortable they can get, the steel shell gets very hot almost like a frying pan. lol!

  6. #36
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    Quote by bourguignotte View Post
    Hello Opex,

    Thanks a lot for your kind note.

    They are so many interetseing little stories around helmets. I think that's also what makes them so nice to collect.

    Concerning your comment concerning M1 helmets, they were widely used in indochina and even at the begining of Algeria.

    Usualy, at that time they were worn by officiers and old soldiers in order to distinguish from the crowd of non Professional soldiers requested to serve in this conflict.

    That said, and back to your comment about the fact they were worn at the belt, it is true they weren't that used during operations.
    I think this is linked to the nature of the field and clearly, bush hat and caps were far more confortable.

    Therfore, for defensive position or during huge battle like Na San or Dien Bien Phu, they were largely used.
    It was also the case for Paratroopers that were, by default, in all "hot" positions.
    In Algeria too. Some commenders asked their troups to were them. They were call "chapeau en peau de locomotive" (Train skin hat).

    All the best

    Bruno
    Salut Bruno, many thanks for your information and perspective on the usage of the Mle-51 during the conflicts undertaken by French forces.

    The "chapeau en peau de locomotive" add's more intrigue and a nice slant on the description of these helmets in use.

    And I quite agree these genre of French Helmets are highly collectable ,and I never tire of sourcing them, I still need to add a Mle-53 to my collection..hopefully 2015 will be a lucky year and a good example will make it'self available to me.

    Kind regards,Gary

  7. #37
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    Quote by battle gear View Post
    I can see why they usually wore a bush hat instead of a steel helmet, try wearing a steel M1 helmet outside on a hot summers day during a heat wave combined with high humidity for a couple hours carrying your combat load with rifle & ammo and you will feel how uncomfortable they can get, the steel shell gets very hot almost like a frying pan. lol!
    Hi BG,great points made, I can imagine how uncomfortable a steel helmet is on a hot day...especially used for an extended period,not nice.

  8. #38

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    great informative thread ,regarding the smell issue i can confirm my 1953 dated m51 really does smell strange almost like its been treated with fire retardant ,it has retained this smell in all the years ive owned it and as its over 60 years old i doubt it ever will lose it

  9. #39
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    Quote by James C View Post
    great informative thread ,regarding the smell issue i can confirm my 1953 dated m51 really does smell strange almost like its been treated with fire retardant ,it has retained this smell in all the years ive owned it and as its over 60 years old i doubt it ever will lose it
    Thanks for looking and for your contribution James, it is interesting that you have an odorous liner, I assume it is the US type made from cotton and pressed with Phenolic acid,hence the stench ?

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