Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

GSG9 & M53 helmet

Article about: A couple of recent pick-ups... I came across the GSG9 paratrooper-style helmet at last Sunday's Liverpool arms fair. It was on the stall of a dealer-friend of mine, and he told me how he had

  1. #1

    Default GSG9 & M53 helmet

    A couple of recent pick-ups... I came across the GSG9 paratrooper-style helmet at last Sunday's Liverpool arms fair. It was on the stall of a dealer-friend of mine, and he told me how he had purchased it off someone who had owned it for several years under the mistaken belief that it was a WW2 FJ 38 helmet. These helmets are now extremely difficult to find, and it was just pure chance that I decided to go to the arms fair. It came at a very reasonable price too!

    GSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmet

    A Luftwaffe decal had been applied to the helmet at some time, and although this had been removed by my dealer-friend, the glue in the outline of the decal remained... and it was an absolute bu**er to get rid of. There was another issue with the helmet too. I was told that it was fitted with the very rare early type bolts with the cross cut head. Of course this was utter bo**ocks… the porkies that dealers tell to get a sale! The bolts were bog-standard modern threaded bolts. Why they were in there I cannot say, but I got a set of replacement bolts of the correct type from Warhats.Com… a very good site if you are after parts for refurbishing.

    GSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmet

    Picture of one of the modern bolts in place... the last picture is of the replacement bolts which arrived today

    While I had the liner out I decided to carry out a few repairs... the liner is fixed to the black plastic band by a looped thread of almost translucent plastic wire, a bit similar to cat gut. The front end had parted company from the band, and I effected a good repair with similar material. The liner is dated 1975 and has two names written on it.

    GSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmet

    The second helmet was purchased off eBay Germany last week. I have been after one for some time, and last week I spotted two being sold by a UK seller. One of them was near mint - while the other example was quite heavily used, so I reasoned that the used example would go for less. Both were of the ventless design, and both auctions finished within minutes of each other. The first to go was the almost mint example, and that fetched £59. So I was fairly confident that my killer bid of £40 for the used example would probably seal it for me, but no such chance... the final price was just over £80. The helmet I ended up purchasing on eBay Germany was at a fixed price of £75... and is of the vented type similar to the wartime M40. The chinstrap is missing, but the liner is of the earlier type without the perforations to the front. Generally speaking it is in excellent condition with much of the cork texture under the paint still intact. As for the robin... that just happened to be in the bird bath when I was photographing the helmets! Click on all pictures (twice) to enlarge.

    Cheers,
    Steve.

    GSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmet
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  2. #2

    Default

    nice finds! The M53 helmet has a nice textured finish, probably used by Border Guards

  3. #3
    ?

    Default

    Nice Harry.

    We get stuff like this surfacing in NZ now and again and the more I learn about them here the more I want them.
    Helmets are my chosen fetish, I have 29 give or take 5 or 6 more. Not an out of control amount I know. Probably should have a lot more if I'm going take collecting seriously. I've tried to behave myself, but
    I have no self control.

    I like your new profile pic too.
    My Dad has one of those with the Northern Ireland bar.
    He was there 1973 and 1975.
    137 Java.

  4. #4

    Default

    Two new helmets in the same post?!!! Have you gone buying-mad?! :-)

    Nice lids mate and nicely snapped - I'm intrigued that such a complex liner would feature "a piece of wire" as such an important part - one would've thought there would've been a specifically designed and engineered "bit" (technical term) [with a long name!] for that...... 'learn somat new every day....... :-)

  5. #5

    Default

    Nice to see a GSG9 helmet that hasn't been messed with for a change.

  6. #6

    Default

    Very nice finds Steve.
    You are right these are getting harder to findespecially the GSG/Para type.
    I think one of the main reasons for the increasing rarity is that so many were corrupted by fakers (or in some cases re-enactors) re-styling them as WWII items. So frustrating now to anyone looking for genuine post war items!

    I missed out on several GSG lids before I was fortunate to make contact with a German police officer who had served in GSG9 and I ended up with an absolute minty example still with the stores tag on it!
    It kind of went the same way with the M53 but there was also the vent / no vent and colour issue with BGS / Polizei and Berlin BePo so I ended up with a few.
    I have posted them all before in this section but here are a couple of comparison pics;

    GSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmetGSG9 & M53 helmet

    Regards

    Mark

    PS Does anybody ever believe the "early rare bolt etc" sh*t any more? I don't know which is worse; the dishonest seller trying to blag you or the idiot seller who believes it himself!
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote by Danger View Post
    I like your new profile pic too.
    My Dad has one of those with the Northern Ireland bar.
    He was there 1973 and 1975.
    137 Java.
    A bit off topic I know but just for interest of members not "au fait" with British Army unit nomenclature; 137 Java refers to 137 (Java) Battery, Royal Artillery.
    Steve being an ex "Gunner" will correct me if my memory is not accurate but 137 Bty was part of 40 Regt RA but ended up as part of 26 Regt RA before being placed in suspended animation (inactivated in US military parlance) around for or five years ago. Added just for general knowledge in case anyone wondered about the strange phrase.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote by Danger View Post
    Nice Harry.

    We get stuff like this surfacing in NZ now and again and the more I learn about them here the more I want them.
    Helmets are my chosen fetish, I have 29 give or take 5 or 6 more. Not an out of control amount I know. Probably should have a lot more if I'm going take collecting seriously. I've tried to behave myself, but
    I have no self control.

    I like your new profile pic too.
    My Dad has one of those with the Northern Ireland bar.
    He was there 1973 and 1975.
    137 Java.
    Hi Danger,

    I have to behave myself when it comes to collecting, my space for displaying this junk is extremely limited... so from time to time I have to make some difficult choices about what might have to go.

    As For the medal with Northern Ireland bar, that is mine and it was awarded to me when the whole regiment went on parade at a special ceremony, and every man who served in the Province on our first tour received their medals. This would be towards the end of 1972 - or early 1973 at Barton Stalag in Hampshire. You must be very proud of your dad, but we veterans of Northern Ireland are always given a bad press... we are made out to be murderers and the like. The topic of Northern Ireland is a political hot potato, but the fact remains that more than 3,000 people died during the 'Troubles', and just 302 died at the hands of the security forces. The vast majority of the killings were the work of the IRA. The Royal Artillery served well over there... the first British soldier to die in the 'Troubles' was a gunner... and the last British soldier to die was also a gunner. The Royal Artillery suffered more casualties than any other arm of the British army. The Royal Artillery also had the honour of carrying out the most successful tour in the Province... and that was my regiment. Anyway... back to the topic!

    Ade... the way the liner is constructed is extremely strong, the nylon 'wire' - or whatever you want to call it - passes through the black plastic and then through a thick fibre band before passing back through the plastic... this is repeated every couple of inches. Had it not been for the fact that I splashed out loads of dosh on a book about bl**dy Home Front helmets I would have had more money to spend at the arms fair... and this coming Sunday its the Preston Arms fair!

    Mark, I saw your helmets before. That early Bundeswehr para helmet you have is actually much rarer than the FJ 38 helmet which it very closely copies - although not as valuable! The chances of finding another unmolested example must be almost zilch... so well done to you for getting that. As for my GSG 9 helmet... the chinstrap assembly is the early pattern without the quick release and the plastic chin cup. Apart from the replacement bolts, it is totally original. Grenzschutzgruppe (GSG) 9 was formed on September 26th 1972 following the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and its strength during that period was 400 personnel. Taking into account the strength of the Bundeswehr Paratroopers and GSG 9, the helmets of this type that they used must have been in their low thousands. How many have survived intact is anybody's guess, but as Mark says... many were 'modified' by re-enactors and rendered useless to collectors of cold war militaria. Then of course there would have been some lost through natural wastage - such as damage, so it should come as no surprise that they are hard to find.

    There are two for sale on eBay Germany at the moment, and both of them are in excess of £300 each. As for mine... I went to the arms fair to offload my box of 20 Polish F1 grenades. I was aiming to get £250 for the complete box of them, but no dealers were interested. Then I spotted the GSG 9 helmet on the stall of my friend... he was asking just £175 for it. So the grenades were reduced to £175 for a quick sale, and I came away with an absolute bargain!

    Thanks to everyone for the kind comments, it just goes to show that the majority us collectors know how to conduct ourselves properly on WRF without resorting to the kind of behaviour usually associated with the worst excesses which has almost ruined some internet chat groups.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Last edited by HARRY THE MOLE; 09-25-2019 at 10:04 PM.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  9. #9
    ?

    Default

    Hi Harry,

    I am very Proud of Dad. He's had a rough time and is a little worse for wear thanks to his tours.
    He spent '72 and '74 and "76 based in Germany. He was a Abbot commander.
    I know it's off topic, but old QEII tried to get Dad killed.
    Granddad was in the Cold Stream Guards, and so while Dad was in Germany his C.O gave him a new hat and sent him to go guard the Queen.
    This perplexed Dad, and his men gave him shit about it, which is normal.
    Then he was offered a place in the Cold stream Guards.
    Dad turned them down and said he didn't want to abandon his men, especially with the cold war and everything.
    Next thing he knew, he was up for a tour of Northern Ireland!
    Maybe it was just rotation or what?
    Anyway, this is why when my turn came up for deployment to Afghanistan Dad pulled me aside and said NO.
    No more he said. Enough.
    It was hard for me, but I did as he said. We have a long and proud military history in my family.
    Now I have 2 sons, I know what he meant. I still have the lust to fight, must be in the blood.
    This is why I collect.

  10. #10

    Default

    Really nice pairing Steve and superb finds ,the small restoration on the GSG9 Helm was well worth while I have seen a few British Army helmets fitted with these cross headed bolts also when the odd one has gone missing .
    Here is a link to a pair of goggles that would compliment this helmet a treat Rubber Goggles Black Vintage Cold War Soviet Era Fetish Role Cosplay Adjustable | eBay
    Regards James

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Question Post war GSG9 or copy M38?

    In Fallschirmjäger helmet forum
    01-30-2019, 11:27 AM
  2. GSG9 Helmet?

    In Bundeswehr forum
    01-02-2018, 12:32 AM
  3. 02-22-2016, 10:20 PM
  4. 08-17-2014, 11:00 PM
  5. Fallschirmjäger-Stahlhelm oder GSG9 Helm/Sanitäter

    In German helmets on e-bay just added
    09-29-2013, 07:30 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •