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]
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.
Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 09-24-2011 at 01:42 PM.
Nice post Greg. And thanks for the link
Gee Wiz Greg P Thank You most kindly for such detailed documentation, definately a keeper
Here's one I obtained today a compressed liner similar to the US M1
Last edited by reneblacky; 01-29-2012 at 12:05 PM. Reason: added text
Another cool find Rene.Where do you turn these things up mate.
Is that a beaded Luftschutz lid hiding there?
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