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French OTAN M51 Helmet

Article about: Nice Rene, been meaning to pick one up for a while but something else always comes up. Going to start working on it today. I like them a lot. Thanks, John

  1. #11

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Quote by Walkwolf View Post
    Interesting helmets, boys. Not seen much, if at all over here.............

    OTAN is NATO backwards, which stands for 'North Atlantic Treaty Organisation'
    but in Francaise it reads: 'Organisation du Traite de l'Atlantique Nord'
    Cheers Steve Thanks for the detail
    Regards
    René

  2. #12

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    hi battle gear ,you have a very nice example ,so the early ones did have fixed bails ,and thank you walkwolf for otan description im sure in the future they will be collectors items ATTACH=CONFIG]243639[/ATTACH]
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #13

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Quote by col james View Post
    hi battle gear ,you have a very nice example ,so the early ones did have fixed bails ,and thank you walkwolf for otan description im sure in the future they will be collectors items ATTACH=CONFIG]243639[/ATTACH]
    G'day col james not sure about the early ones being fixed bale - take a look at the 63 dated South African made & issued
    Last edited by reneblacky; 09-23-2011 at 11:56 PM. Reason: changed text and facts
    Regards
    René

  4. #14

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Always nice to see people getting interested in the Mle51. I'm no expert myself but I do have a bit of a fascination with this helmet. By the way, I do find it very strange that some people (not anyone *here* obviously) take the view that some helmets are 'collectable' and some are not, or that some have 'worth' that others don't. It entirely depends what you're interested in really; I'd be much more interested in an unusual variant of the Mle51 than in *yet another* 'high-value' double-decalled perfect camo stamped Waffen SS M40 (or whatever).

    Don't be fooled, either, into thinking that this is 'just the Mle51'. There are a bewildering number of variants of the basic form - have a look here .: World War Helmets - France - Casque Modèle TTA 51 :. for a start.

    A mention of 'heavier early shells' or somesuch (can't find it at the instant) on that webpage awakened my curiosity recently and so some home experimentation seemed appropriate. Here's my results, in date order, weight in grammes

    THIBAULT '52 - 1104
    FRANCK '53 - 1176
    DUNOIS '53 - 1228
    CARPENTIER '53 - two examples, 1092 and 1194
    JAPY '53 - 1116
    FRANCK '54 - 1100
    HR '55 - 1244
    LU MESSEI '59 - 1086
    LU MESSEI '60 - 1162
    LU MESSEI '62 - 1132
    DUNOIS '62 - two examples, 1172 and 1184
    DUNOIS '68 - 1120

    That's quite surprising really, such a weight range for what is in principle exactly the same object, even when from the same maker. From my sample here we have a range between 1086 and 1244 grammes.

    All I know about the specification for the shell is what I get from the WWH webpage (or Joseba - FRANCÉS 56 TAP - who has the same figures), which says it is 1.2mm manganese steel, with a notional weight of 1100g. I guess that's '1100g more or less' really. The variation I found must be actual variation in the weight of the shells, as although such things as the chinstrap bails and the chinstraps themselves do vary slightly this would not wholly account for the deviation.

    Even leaving aside the variant weights of the shell there are best part of a dozen substantial variations of this helmet, at least five specific to the shell (six if you count in an example of the reversed placing of the chinstrap elements) and the others relating to the liner. And then you get into variations of variations...micro changes in one sense, but actual real variants.

    There are three main visible variations of the shell;
    1 - early models, with chinstrap bails fixed at a 90degree angle to the rim
    2 - middle period, with swivel bails similar to the later US M1
    3 - late period, back to fixed bails, but the bails are fixed parallel to the rim

    Chinstraps - early models have rivetted chinstraps, later production is sewn.

    At least two paint finishes, granulated for early, smooth for late, but multiple variants of both.

    And for the liner, the most visible variation is in the nape strap -
    1 - early - fixed with press-studs/poppers
    2 - middle - fixed, sewn
    3 - late - no nape strap, but a sliding strap at rear of headband.

    Also the liners are made of several different materials, with at least one change in rivet pattern.

    And then, if you were actually completely nuts and had plenty of room, you'd collect one from each manufacturer of either shell or liner. Each one comes neatly labelled with makers name and date, and for the liners the material used. It's a wonderment.

    Greg P
    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 09-24-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Nice post Greg. And thanks for the link

  6. #16

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Gee Wiz Greg P Thank You most kindly for such detailed documentation, definately a keeper
    Regards
    René

  7. #17

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Here's one I obtained today a compressed liner similar to the US M1
    Last edited by reneblacky; 01-29-2012 at 01:05 PM. Reason: added text
    Regards
    René

  8. #18

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Another cool find Rene.Where do you turn these things up mate.
    Is that a beaded Luftschutz lid hiding there?

  9. #19

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    Quote by Thanatos View Post
    Another cool find Rene.Where do you turn these things up mate.
    Is that a beaded Luftschutz lid hiding there?
    yep my new Quist mfg acquisition
    Regards
    René

  10. #20

    Default Re: French OTAN M51 Helmet

    very nice example René it looks timewarp condition i didnt realise that the lid can have a smooth finish , p.s nice luftschutz in the background thanks james

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