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Italian helmet? need help

Article about: hello friends, i picked this helmet in pretty rough shape but I'm not sure if its a ww2 m33..... no air vents?

  1. #1

    Default Italian helmet? need help

    hello friends, i picked this helmet in pretty rough shape but I'm not sure if its a ww2 m33..... no air vents?

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  2. #2
    MAP is offline


    Very interesting helmet. I wish I knew the answer. The shell and liner look original. I hope one of our members with some greater experience comes along as M33's have always been a minefield to me. These helmets were used, re-used, re-issued, used by other countries, etc....

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #3


    Late war repaint used by Italian troops fighting the Germans in Italy.

  4. #4


    Hi J Rojas,
    helmets M33 are actually a minefields , as Michael says.
    This type of helmet must always have the rivets with air vents, the rivets as those of your example, have never been used unless it is a field repair; but there are other important details:
    1)the felt under the liner leather was orange color during the WW2, while the one used in the post war period was yellow color, like what I see in the your photos.
    2)the color that is visible under the last painting reminds me the khaki green used in the postwar.
    The chinstrap hooks are of the rectangular type as those of the war period but were also used after the war by drawing from warehouse stock.
    I believe that the shell can be of WW2 period but reused in the postwar and the liner was added later, in my opinion.
    If it can help you see this my post:
    Italian helmets of WW2


  5. #5


    I think I may have an answer. I was looking through a book on Italian helmets (available only as a viewable pdf, unfortunately, here - Libreria - - and found this, which is an illustration of an M33 as exported to Finland. As you can see it seems to have rivets in place of the usual air vents. This made me look elsewhere, and on this useful website - Finnish Junkyard - you can see an illustration of an M33 without air vents. I'm not claiming this is 100percent certain, but to see the same thing in two unrelated places is a Big Clue.

    First picture captured from the book, second from Finnish Junkyard webpage

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  6. #6


    Greg, nice work and very, very interesting!
    Actually two clues are a evidence! It is a track that is worth further consideration.
    I knew that some m33 were reused in various countries. Finland, Spain..etc, but I've always considered the installation of local production liner, in this case the liner is Italian, but we can not rule out any option, also considering the many years that have passed, for this your hypothesis remains very viable!


  7. #7


    thanks for the patience and taking the time to reply....i've learned so much in such a short time.

  8. #8


    Here is some extra information, taken from my copy of a website that no longer exists. It was run by Finnish collector Jukku Juutilainen, who became more interested in aviation helmets and then seems to have vanished completely. He was a good guy and a reliable source of information.

    Anyway, this is what he said about the Italian M33 in Finnish use (copied direct from the saved page) -

    "Finnish Army had some 75 000 WW1 era German helmets of 80 000 delivered in 20's,while the Winter War broke out 30.11.1939. Germany did not allowed delivering war material to Finland via Germany during the Winter War, so most helmet purchased arrived to Finland after the 1939-40 Winter War. So did also 30 000 Italian m/33 and 50 000 Czech helmets. These helmets arrived in original WW2 era condition and it seems that they serviced in same shape throught the WW2 too. Most probably some of them carried unit markings and camos. These helmets were taken off from service after the WW2, but I have had a couple of post WW2 examples of both helmet types with depots matt green overpaintings and depots liners. Usually then the m/33 Italian helmets air ventile holes have newer liners rivets fixed to the holes."

    The implication here is that the M33s were supplied in normal state, with air vents, but if they required refurbishment they had liners that were simply rivetted in, as shown in the pictures posted by J, and those in my previous email. That's interesting, as the implication I get from the Italian book (published just a year or so ago in a very very limited edition!) is that the helmets were supplied as shown in the picture, that is, without vent holes. I think we need to know more about all this!

  9. #9


    Yes, I agree a good topic of study, I have learned many things that I did not know.

  10. #10


    Another piece of information - the Moisin-Nagant site has a section devoted to Finnish helmets ( Finnish War Helmets: ) and the note on the M33 is -

    "The Finns were supplied with a number of these helmets by Italy at the outbreak of WW2. These helmets are quite similar in color and shape to the Soviet M39-M40, so in many cases the Italian helmets were issued to artillery or like troops. Direct service on the front line in a helmet so closely resembling those of the Red Army was not a good idea. This helmet was issued to a member of a field artillery unit attached to the 2nd Division in the Continuation War. The liner rivets in this helmet were replaced post war in Finland."

    Which seems to agree that replacement of the air vents with simple rivets (which look very similar to those used on the Finnish M40 or Swedish M37, which was also used in Finland) was a Finnish repair/refurbishment. The helmet shown on the site has the rivets.

    There are bound to be Finnish-language sites that explain all this completely. The next step, perhaps.

    (A later addition)

    I found this forum posting by Paolo Marzetti, author of ELMETTI (and therefore pretty reliable!) -

    " Yes,the most part of the Italian helmets that arrived in Finland, were complete with their issue vent holes (mainly pre-war type),their chin-straps and their issue
    liners as it is possible to verify by the photos of the time. But some M.33s have been directly refurbished in Finland, with new not vented bolts, new chin-straps and
    maybe new liners (even if I've never seen liners of other type mounted on). It is not clear if these refurbished M.33s have been ever used during the war, or used
    after WWII with helmets of other kind. IMO it is possible the Finnish Army has used these helmets till the end of the 50's at least together with other modern helmets."

    The forum included several pictures of Finnish M33 with rivets, without airvents.

    Well, I now feel confident in saying that J's hemet is in fact a Finnish refurbished M33. A good find.
    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 04-26-2016 at 09:23 AM.

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