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Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

Article about: IDF M1s have featured here before but, as there are many variations, members may be interested to see this example purchased on eBay last year: Some observations: Shell: 1. Appears to be a l

  1. #1
    JBR
    JBR is offline
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    Default Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    IDF M1s have featured here before but, as there are many variations, members may be interested to see this example purchased on eBay last year:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some observations:

    Shell:

    1. Appears to be a local production and lacks some of the quality of US M1 shells (although I have no way of telling how good the steel is). The rim is roughly cut and fixed and the whole bowl lacks symmetry from slightly off-centre pressing and one strap swivel loop being set back slightly further than the other. Of course, it is easy to find US shells with these symmetry discrepancies but not usually all of them at once. There are no markings or stampings and no stress cracks (only a few dents). The form reminds me of a rear seam Schlueter I have - slimmer and taller than the more squat post war low crown US examples. It's painted a flat medium desert colour over a lighter, almost cream, previous coat. beneath the paint is most of a textured surface not unlike cork rather than sand.

    2. The light khaki or olive 18mm approx wide webbing straps have hardware copied from the WW2 US type painted the same medium desert colour as the shell. Connections are riveted, rather than sewn.

    Liner:

    The liner is ex-US cotton composite by Westinghouse. Probably, it is WW2 production because very slight traces of what seems like OD N03 fabric remains around some of the rivets. Difficult to say for sure as it has clearly been re-conditioned more than once and OD N0 7 fades to something like a faded No3, anyway. There's even an extra (non-US) set of rivets alongside the originals. Both sets are now redundant as a third set of riveted fixings have been added to hold the present nylon/plastic hard-hat type liner. This liner has Hebrew markings (see photos) so presumably made in Israel. It's surprisingly effective - comfortable, strong and providing a secure, stable fitting. The long plastic strap (I think it is nylon) acts as a neck strap. There are also two pieces at the sides that could take a chinstrap. The synthetic headband is cushioned with foam. I've opened it out to it's maximum adjustment - size 60ish, which happens to be my headsize. I'm guessing it dates to the late 60s/early 70s and is not unlike the armature part of the familiar East German arrangement. The outside of the liner is gloss OD of the Korean War variety (I think) and still has the remains of two US unit decals. I haven't identified these yet but I think the one on the lefthand side (with a snake motif) may be a supply unit. on the front is a black Private 1st Class decal over the grommet hole.

    Although Israel is often thought to have been lavishly supplied by the US, in fact, the IDF had to adopt a 'make do and mend' policy to meet it's equipment requirements in the 50s, 60s and 70s particularly. This makes items such as helmets, load carrying equipment etc particularly interesting to collect. Israel was given or sold surplus materiel from Britain, the US, France (until 1962) and Czechoslovakia and anywhere else they could scrounge stuff from. So, from the point of view of steel helmets alone there are M1s (ex-US and locally made), Brit Mk2s, Mk3s, Paras (incl locally converted RAC types), French M51s and captured Polish M50s. And all these with locally made or adapted liners, strap arrangements etc - not to mention variations on the paint and camo cover themes.

    Hope this posting is useful to someone. All comments gratefully received. Best Regards to all.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    Very unusual piece JBR, with some unique features, I completely agree with your comments about the IDF having a make do approach, I have some reference books with IDF troops in a mix of french lizard pattern trousers, unknown OG Jackets, British helmets etc, a very ragged looking but efficient combat troopers.

    Anyway, back to your example I really like it because it's so unusual !!

    Regards ,Opex.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    HI, i love the liner on this example! I have never seen one similar. I am looking at selling my Re-issued M1 soon i think but unfortunately the liner doesn't have any insignia on like yours.

    Does the liner pop onto the westinghouse?

  4. #4
    JBR
    JBR is offline
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    Thanks for your comments, Opex, and yours too, edelweiss123. Yes, the liner is detachable from the Westinghouse liner shell but only because suitable 'lugs' have been riveted on. Best Regards,

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    The liner doesn't look miltiary to me, it looks like it's form a hard hat or something similar. It's very commen for Israeli's to make individual mods to helmets, because of the need to do reserve duty after the army many people aquire stuff and mod it to be a bit more comfortable.

    I like it, Israeli stuff is interetsing becuase it differs a lot bit it isn't faked, the chnages are done for a reason.

  6. #6
    JBR
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    Thanks for that, Tinhat. Interesting point about the reservist angle. Yes, it does seem to be a hard-hat type liner, albeit an IDF one (it has the Zahal mark). Also, it doesn't open out to it's full size adjustment in the liner shell - approx 60 is max. Best Regards,

  7. #7

    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    I love these helmets and i am seeing the price's ris for these over the last yr or 2
    Wayne

  8. #8

    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    I like all M1 helmet variations used by the Israelis and other middle east countries, they're interesting to collect, because of the different variations you can find

    they would often add there own liners, sometimes using a British style MKII style liner with a rivet on top

    they are not that easy to get these days, once in a while a seller from Israel sells some interesting variations, but they're expensive

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    Quote by battle gear View Post
    they are not that easy to get these days, once in a while a seller from Israel sells some interesting variations, but they're expensive
    The prices on e-bay from Israeli vendors are absurd, particularly as these have no value in Israel. If you met an Israeli that had one in their cupboard they would be so shocked that you are prepaired to pay money they would probably give it to you. I bought a 1942 dated british para helmet for $30 in a flea market and I thought the seller was going to have hernia laughing at me. They don't get out the country much because the thought of taking it through airport security is a bit daunting.
    Steve.

  10. #10
    JBR
    JBR is offline
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    Default Re: Israeli Defence Forces M1 Helmet (2-strap version) Re-conditioned US Liner

    Yes, some Israeli sellers list helmets etc at ridiculous prices. But not all. I thought mine reasonable at about $30 but postage made it almost double that. Of course, this is much cheaper than going to Israel to get one! Best Regards,

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