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Identification of West German Zweiteilig Stahlhelm

Article about: From an old thread trying to identify a Chilean M1 helmet I picked up, with the help of a forum member Greg Pickersgill’s Chilean friend, it was determined that the Chilean M1 could possibly

  1. #1

    Default Identification of West German Zweiteilig Stahlhelm

    From an old thread trying to identify a Chilean M1 helmet I picked up, with the help of a forum member Greg Pickersgill’s Chilean friend, it was determined that the Chilean M1 could possibly be a West German Zweiteilig Stahlhelm (Bundeswehr M56). I dropped the ball in following up with this, but am picking up now.

    So, my question is, can anyone provide me with any type of identifying information that might help me determine positively if this shell is a German Zweiteilig or not, such as exact measurements etc. Photos of the helmet are on the original thread (link below) but honestly offer nothing definitive.

    Chilean M-1 ????

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Russ & Son

  2. #2

    Default Re: Identification of West German Zweiteilig Stahlhelm

    The best presently available information on the M56 is here - .: World War Helmets - Allemagne - Casque Modell 56 :. - but it doesn't include anything so detailed as exact measurments (actually quite difficult to achieve unless you have the original specification drawings) except an assertion that like the Belgian M1 clone it is 5mm lower than the US original. And anyway the shells and liners were sourced from more than one manufacturer and it is likely that there would be minor deviations form the supposed norm, as in other helmets like the French Mle51.

    Really, in many cases you just have to be realistic; if there aren't any stampings or markings in either the shell or liner then it could be any M1 clone - although to undercut that it *is* true that there are genuine differences in the shells, though in most cases you have to compare and contrast the actual objects, unless you do have access to quite good measuring kit. Measuring helmets is difficult - I once spent a day doing compare&contrast on the Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Russian 'Ssh40' versions and ended up with nothing useful. Except a desire for a set of good industrial measuirng calipers rather than the bits of paper and string and tape I was using. Useless.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Identification of West German Zweiteilig Stahlhelm

    Greg, thank you so much for all the input you have been providing on this quest of mine to properly ID this Chilean shell.

    From reading through the information, your Chilean friend Ricardo Jara provided in the original thread, I believe the identity of this helmets origin is narrowed down to only 2 possibilities, the West German M56 and another West German helmet Ricardo identifies as a type M-1C. I have copied and pasted the two particular points made by Ricardo below so as to bring a little sense to this thread to others that may be reading:

    From Ricardo Jara posted in original thread:
    “ It is a helmet that belonged to the FACH (Chilean Air force - Fuerza Aérea de Chile), Used since the years '60 to '90, and that it ended their useful life in an unit of defense of base ( military airport ), or anti-aircraft defense, by the green color.
    The FACH used American M1 helmets, and this helmet is not of that origin. And of the European clones, it only used two, and they are from Western Germany: one is the M56 and another is a helmet type M-1C, made by SW, and manufactured for the export only and never used in Europe.”

    So, assuming the information Ricardo is correct, I guess what I really am looking for is not just a way to positively ID a West German M56 but also to do the same with this type M-1C exported helmet, of which I am not familiar with. The differences between these two helmet types might be too subtle to tell apart, but then again the differences might be significant enough to draw a positive identification, so I will have to try and collect information on both to see.

    I did go ahead and weight the Chilean shell and it came in right at 1134 grams (including the Chilean chin strap), not too far off the weight of the West German M56 of 1160 grams Ricardo indicated however, I am not certain if the 1160 gram weight includes the chin strap or not. Just for fun I also weighed our Belgian M51 which fell considerably short of the 1160 gram mark.

    The quest continues.


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