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50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK

Article about: I purchased this helmet from a seller who claimed the helmet came home with a friend who served in the US Military during the Gulf War era in the Middle East. The helmet appears to be a late

  1. #1

    Default 50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK

    I purchased this helmet from a seller who claimed the helmet came home with a "friend" who served in the US Military during the "Gulf War" era in the Middle East. The helmet appears to be a late 50s / early 60s M53 produced by Linnemann & Schnetzer, size 64. The "black-green" paint is worn but appears to be original, close to the shade Sleepwalker described as "RAL 6012" in his wonderful reference thread on this model helmet.

    The leather chinstrap appears to be original to the helmet and is in good condition overall but shows mild "stiffness." The helmet liner looks to be the correct style for this model helmet and strongly appears to be original to this example. Upon acquisition of this helmet I noted several handwritten inscriptions on the leather liner which clearly appear to be Middle Eastern in origin but I am sadly unable to translate them - can anyone here make them out? The leather liner was very dry and brittle, making it difficult to handle without further damage occurring. What I am about to say may upset some, please take a deep breath before reading any further! I applied Ballistol to the leather to soften it and to reintroduce moisture to the material. I know that many collectors frown upon doing things like this, as I usually do too, but in this case I decided to apply this oil in hopes of stabilizing the damage already done. It did darken the leather and even after a few years of drying it's slightly darker than when I first acquired the helmet, however the leather has "bounced back" and is more supple and healthy than before.

    I have read in several sources that are now murky in my memory that these BGS helmets were sold off by the West Germans in the late 70s and many wound up in the Middle East serving in the Iran-Iraq War, can anyone else verify this?

    Any observations or thoughts concerning this helmet and it's possible service life would be very much appreciated, it has been a favorite in my Stahlhelm collection for many years.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK   50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK  

    50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK   50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK  

    50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK   50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK  

    50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK   50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK  

    50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK   50s 60s West German BGS Bundesgrenzschutz M1953 M53 Stahlhelm Helmet GULF WAR BRINGBACK  


  2. #2

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    Hello.

    a very interesting piece.

    However, the helmets were not phased out until the 1990s.

    Only it is known that these helmets were delivered to Afghanistan.

    Can someone translate the inscription?

    Regards

  3. #3

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    Quote by Sleepwalker View Post
    Hello.

    a very interesting piece.

    However, the helmets were not phased out until the 1990s.

    Only it is known that these helmets were delivered to Afghanistan.

    Can someone translate the inscription?

    Regards
    I can't translate the inscription but from experience I think it is very likely to include a prayer or religious quote.

    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."

  4. #4

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    Very nice piece and thanks for sharing ,although Afghanistan is multi ethnic i am also leaning towards this being an Afghan used piece especially with the Arabic text present as there are other known examples out there
    Regards James

  5. #5

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    Thank you Sleepwalker, Watchdog and James C for your replies, I would have never guessed it might have been in Afghan service. I could only find one reference source that had images of the M53 in use, check it out here:

    M53 in Afghanistan
    >> Neuigkeiten
    - Stahlhelmsammlung


    In contrast, this website details WW1 era M18 helmets in service in Afghanistan but has no mention of the later M53 models being used:

    WWII gear in Afghan use: Part II – uniforms – wwiiafterwwii

    Does anyone else have any other images of the M53 being used outside of Germany?

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