British helmets in WWII

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by toffeeman, Nov 7, 2007.

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  1. Alright Lads,

    Was there any benefit for the British Army having 'flatter' helmets in WWII compared to the American and German's?

    It just seems the US and German helmets are more practical as they covered more of the head than ours did, sometimes it looks like they're balancing plates on their heads.
     
  2. I'm sure there was a book/study recently that showed in actual fact,British helmets were very good. Something about the flatter shape deflecting debris? I could be wrong!
     
  3. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Better to stop rain running down your neck for one...
     
  4. Easily identifiable silhouette?
     
  5. there were two types of british helmet in ww11 the dads army lid type which was worn from 1914-1944.-also by the yanks until 42..
    and the then new model 44 pat helmet infantry,, tortoise which stayed in service well into the 80s, in some infantry units.
    any benifit from having a flat helmet -or a jerry type coal scuttle was a thing of traditions within the countries involved..
    the british lid was first,, seen at agintcourt-(prob spelt wrong).were as the german coal scuttle came along in 1916.
     
  6. Hadn't thought of that but perhaps it did provide design cues for the 1916(?) pattern helmets.

    Here's a rather marvellous 3D Computer model of one:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. I doubt, otherwise the 44 pattern helmet would not have been designed and produced.
     
  8. WWII helmets were mostly left overs from WWI. Unlike the Germans we did not possess the technology to make 'deep' helmets until later on. That's the reason we had shallow helmets. Fcuk loads left from WWI and keeping the same presses that made them. Obviously by WWII we had the technology as the motorcycle helmet and airborne lid were both deep press.
     
  9. Here is an article on the development of the steel helmet in WW1:

    http://www.greatwarcollection.nl/Html/Brodie.html

    They were designed to protect against air burst shrapnel, so the rim gives protection to the nose and neck. The whole thing would have been much easier to stamp out of a sheet of steel than a 'coal scuttle' type helmet, so it was possible to deploy them very quickly (and save a lot of lives)..
     
  10. the wwii airbourne para,rac pat helmet was developed from the german..fallschirmjager helmet..before 1941. airbourne troops used cork helmets and rac old miners leather ones...the 1944 pat helmet turtle back.. was first issued to canadian units..
     
  11. I stand corrected :D
     
  12. The British (Brodie) helmet was designed in WW1 to give troops in trenches protection from air- bursting shells and was not really meant for mobile type warfare. The brim gives better protection to the face, neck and shoulders than the later US M1 helmet used in WW2, which, I think was designed, in 1919 but because of the “war to end all wars” had just finished, this was not mass produced and issued until after the US entered WW2. I think that the UK was about to adopt the US M1 helmet as late as 1942/1943 and that the Canadian Government did order thousands of M1s but at the last minute the UK decided to adopt the Mk3 turtle-pattern helmet. The Mk3 may have offered better protection than the US M1 but was very uncomfortable to wear, was a real bar steward when running and tended to be pushed down over your eyes when firing from the prone position. In consequence for years, British soldiers hardly wore their steel helmets unless the air was full of flying shrapnel. I served in an army that wore US M1956 pattern webbing and US steel helmet. The webbing was as good as the Brit ‘58 pattern but the US M1 helmets was far more comfortable plus could be used to boil water or as a wash basinl. As an afterthought, the WW1 pattern helmet was simple and cheaper to produce than most of it rivals (who says history never repeats itself)?
    Vickers, the UK arms manufacturer, had a contract with the Belgium Government to supply steel helmets at the start of WW2. These were similar in design to the larger German WW1 coal-scuttle helmet but, as students of military history will recall, Belgium left the field early and so Vickers had a pile of helmets in their stores. For some reason, the Brits did not want to kit their troops out with coal scuttle-helmets however the Dublin government was re-arming and expanding their army so bought them at a knock down bargain price. I understand that these helmets are much sought after by helmet collectors of the non-gay variety. Yes I know its sad that a person should know this trivia but if you think this is sad don’t get be going about gelatine blocks and M193 ball ammo.
     
  13. The British helmet came about from all the Roman helmets left over from 400AD. We simply hammered them into the shape we desired and took the silly feathers off the commanders ones.
     
  14. You were never voted in as PEC were you?
     
  15. i was pec on a number of occasions and in both messes..