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Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

Article about: Stuck inside this weekend due to temp of over 100°F, off the scale poor air quality because of the forest fires and a new mask mandate, so threw this thread together for the forum basement

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    Default Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Stuck inside this weekend due to temp of over 100°F, off the scale poor air quality because of the forest fires and a new mask mandate, so threw this thread together for the forum basement dwellers, I thought about including it here IDF ISRAELI helmets arab israeli wars, 1967 - 1982 but the M1 has a wider audience so may get some converts.

    The M1 has a long history with the IDF which culminated in a clone design in 1968 but there were a number of refurbishments on the way.
    I’ve made a vague attempt to put some sort of chronology but most of it is a bit of guess work, however the multiple conflicts do give a lot of photographic evidence.

    The M1 did make an appearance in the 1948 war but is rarely seen compared to the British models. By 1949 it was more visible, and these would likely been surplus from Europe. I’ve looked extensively for a wartime complete WWII produced M1 with proven IDF lineage but came empty handed so far.

    1948 photo, looks to be just the liner.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    1949 end of war parade, only the NCOs are wearing them

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  2. #2
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    In the 1950s a period where the IDF was using anything in terms of helmets they are more widely seen. Through the 1950s and into the 60s Israel refurbished and reissued M1s in various ways. None of these are dated but some photos do give hints to the type being worn.
    This is a front seam, swivel bale M1 shell with the original strap still fitted, there is no way of knowing how long the shells and liners have been paired but the liner is WWII period. It still has some of the original fittings but the liner is locally produced.

    This type of liner – I’ll brand it the ‘orange liner’ has similarities to the British MkII and HSAT liner held in place by a rivet in the top.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Photo taken 1951

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  3. #3
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    This one is another a front seam, swivel bale M1 shell, this time has an Israeli made chinstrap. Another orange liner this time mounted directly in the shell, this time using a cruciform pad rather than the oval.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    The helmet shown here in 1952

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    1965

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones
    Last edited by Tinhat; 08-14-2021 at 07:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Next up and rear seam, bales removed, and shell converted to take a three-point British HSAT style chinstrap. The chinstrap itself is an Israeli copy. The liner is a local copy of the HSAT liner.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    I have three images of this helmet in wear, all of them are credited as being worn by paratroopers before the jump on Mitla pass in the 1956 Sinai campaign.
    This is the best image, you can see that the chinstrap bales are not connected to the shell edge but further up, indicating this type of liner.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

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    Prior 1967 standard M1 issue helmets begin to appear in numbers. These are noticeable by the issue chinstrap and liner being visible. Most likely a surplus from the Korean war, and is probably a result of the change in supply from predominantly French to the US following the post Suez fall out.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    This example is known to have come from an IDF base and has nothing identifying it as Israeli except the locally made head band.
    Painted on the front are Sergeant stripes and ‘May’, with the same in Japanese, possibly indicating part of the Japan Occupation Force. Liner is dated 1952.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  6. #6
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    Last of the conversions, the chinstrap is another type of locally made version. The liner is a copy of the British MkII. There are a number of copies of this liner but this is the only one I have seen like this. The brown cross straps are metal, not the usual fiber board, the pad in the top is some sort of felt, not the usual rubber. It is also marked with size and IDF צ stamp.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    I have this one at the end because of the type of helmet cover being 1970s but that is no indication of when this was made

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  7. #7
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    One variation that stated to appear is the modified line for armoured troops, I’ve stollen the image form this thread M-1 helmet with modded liner, Israeli tanker helmet – that is a subtle hint that I don’t have one - they are a hybrid based on the M38 tank helmet. The ones I’ve seen photographed are all US made but converted in Israel by a company named Ritukh. They are also all paired with US M1 shells with standard chinstrap.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Images are difficult to come by and accurately identify because the shell also fits over the Israeli made M38 which I will throw in here.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  8. #8
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    Following the 1967 war there was a move to standardize equipment. This led to the adoption of a US M1 style helmet with liner and the three-point chinstrap.
    I don’t know whether the conversion of M1s came before the locally made one or in parallel but between 1968 and the 1973 war there was an almost total change over to this style.
    I will start with the conversions and work towards the full Israeli manufactured version.

    This one, if nothing else gives an indication of the level that Israel goes to recycle equipment, the shell started it’s life as normal M1, was first modified to have the orange liner fitted and then altered again to have the three-point bales fitted and holes plugged. It has the US airborne liner.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  9. #9
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    Another modified US shell. The liner is the first version of the Israeli manufactured, this model has nape strap fitted, later remove because not considered necessary with the three-point chinstrap. Although visually very similar the material is a reinforced nylon and the profile is lower.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Made by Tama, it has two molded identifications the צ and מ י (M and I) which I believe stand for State of Israel and probably indicates ownership of the mold.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

  10. #10
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    Israeli made shell, this model is normally referred to as the ‘Kasdah’ which is just a collectors term, kasdah in Hebrew means ‘helmet’, if you stop a soldier in Israel today and ask him what he has on his head he will say - kasdah.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    The shell is stamped again with צ and מ י as well as the date of manufacture. 1969 is the earliest I have seen and 1975 the latest. The shell flares out at the side more that the M1, I think this is to prevent the liner deforming on the chinstrap bales.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    The shell has a red oxide primer

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    The liner is the second type, with no nape strap. Liners are stamped with a 5 digit number, I’m beginning to convince myself that the third and fourth are the year, there certainly seems to be a correlation.

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

    Israeli M1 helmets, variants and clones

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