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French Army Training exercise helmet

Article about: Well, that's amazing. The page James shows is from Hennequin Tome 2, and its in a section devoted to the liner of the mle51. The book helpfully provides translations into german and English

  1. #11


    Well, that's amazing. The page James shows is from Hennequin Tome 2, and its in a section devoted to the liner of the mle51. The book helpfully provides translations into german and English (if only the bloody Dutch book had done the same instead of including quite useless full-page photos which don;t help at all...sorry, quite aggreived about that!). Anything the translations are perhaps not as precise or detailed as such as we might wish, but better than that Dutch book...(sorry, not much...)

    "Ingenious use of the under helmet in the 1980s. The M78 ((F1 in our language)) liner and chin strap adapt perfectly to the fixing holes in the third generation model, ((he means the third type of mle51 liner)) an officer thus produced a very light and comfortable replica of an F1! ((Make your mind up Roland please!)) The only sign of 'tinkering' consisted of fixing a piece of twisted cotton strap to facilitate the passage of the rear loop. A magnificent sandy coating provides the final touch. The illusion is perfect."

    The object is tagged as being from a Private Collection. It's still in one but somewhere different. Clearly Hennequin thought that is is a one-off and it may well be. That makes it a *very* interesting thing.

  2. #12


    Greg Thanks for breaking down the translation i always get worried when i read words like Tinkered with I'm just trying to figure what the twisted cotton strap would imply ,maybe it's the best description of the webbing strap weave perhaps
    Last edited by James C; 06-30-2020 at 08:21 PM.
    Regards James

  3. #13



    The helmet is Indeed presented on Page 84 of the Hennequin.
    For me it is a parade helmet an officer modified to make it more confortable. Soldier were not alowed to do so.
    Clearly not for training. Not Autorised


  4. #14


    Many thanks for your thoughts on this one Bruno it is appreciated Maybe things were different for the French Armed Forces during this time period but i have been looking over a few of my own examples of lightweight parade helmets from other nations and those have a non textured smooth finish and as you can see this French model has a thick textured coating for some reason ,maybe to obscure its true identity further perhaps ,My West German example especially has a high gloss finish as you would expect for such a ceremony as a Military parade ,I don't suppose you happen to have any reference pictures from this time period (1980's) of similar french lightweight or steel helmets in use on Parades ,i had tried looking over vintage images from previous Bastille Day parades without success
    Regards James

  5. #15


    James, I have a feeling you are riding a red herring in search of a mare's nest here. It seems clear to me from Hennequin that this is a one-off, and moreover if it were a parage helmet specifically it would be as bright and shiny as all the others so designated. I'm not so certain this *is* a parade helmet as in ceremonial, but something some character made up to allow his head a little comfort after long nights of wine and roses. (If someone comes up witha a crate of them, I'll take this back with pleasure!).

  6. #16


    You're right Greg of course ,some things just didn't sit right with me if it were a Parade helmet especially with the textured finish that was all ,on further inspection it looks like a granulated cork texturing more commonly found on WW2 period US helmets has been applied, if further research bears fruit I will ask one of the Moderators to amend the posting
    Regards James

  7. #17


    Didn't saw the answers.
    Yes you are right, it might not be called a parade helmet as it wasn't is purposed and it isn't a general delivery.
    I agree on a personal modification to get a "lighter " helmet. Some oficers were found of this, also geting their uniform modified too to have a better fit.
    I feel the painting is also there to hide the initial texture of the M51 liner that really looks "plastic".

    That said, it is a very nice sample I consider genuine. The liner is of the early type. Not so easy to find nowdays.

    Realy nice looking and in very good condition. I like it.


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