David Hiorth


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Para Helmet

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    Gene T,

    Interesting comments on Steve's helmet. Could I asK you where you got the info that the chin straps are those used by GSG9? They seem to be a combination of the M35/53 (the method of attaching the two straps) and the FJ versuchshelm straps (the shape of the strap and the way it is attached to the helmet). Like you, I am somewhat doubtful of helmets that are sold as "GSG9" helemts. Vendors know calling them GSG9 helmets will get peoples attention. To me I woudn't care what it was called. As a possible rare development type helmet it would be worth much more to me in my collection than an ordinary GSG9 helmet.
    It would appear, that like most military forces, the Germans are prone to repeat themselves. This helmet reminds me a lot of the early cut down M35 helmets that were produced when the Wehrmacht was trying to design their first para helmet, the M38.




      Hi Gordon,

      I find the straps to be the most intriguing part of Steve's new helmet, in part because it's the one component that doesn't appear to be converted. I called it "GSG-9 type" because it employs a spring clip arrangement on the left chin strap, similar to the one seen on known examples of the GSG-9 helmet (p31 of Baer's book, p119 of Marzetti's "Combat Helmets of the World").

      However, Steve's straps are also clearly different from the two examples shown in Baer's and Marzetti's books.

      Most obviously, Steve's straps are not provided with a chin cup and its associated pronged buckle sizing arrangement on the right side (as seen in Marzetti's illustration). Instead, the post buckle that mates with the spring clip appears to double as a friction buckle for size adjustment.

      Moreover, while Baer's and Marzetti's examples show only a single retention clip immediately above the neck strap junction, Steve's helmet has two such clips, one above the junction, one just below it. I suspect the upper one is distinct from the lower one in having a closed -rather than open- loop; an arrangement that can be seen on M1A1 helmets and police riot helmets alike.

      Whether this hybrid strap arrangement (part typical GSG-9, part M1A1, part FJ) is something that was trialed and abandoned on the production GSG-9 helmet, or if it's a common variant that available references have neglected to catalogue, I have no way of knowing at this point. However, it is certainly something to make a mental note of for future encounters.

      Gene T


        Team - The straight across brim without flare on this c. 1970 helmet reminded me of Gene T's famous lid.

        Steve - The GSG9 helmet you posted really has me scratching my head. Was someone trying to repro an M38 only to give up and try instead to cash-in on GSG9's elite status?

        Or is it an early version of an "operator's" helmet wherein the goal was ballistic protection with great sound and vision qualities with no intention of trying to achieve airborne suitability? It looks like a great helmet for an airplane or bus "noggin first" dynamic entry.

        Your new acquistion would also seem like the logical product of a Lander / Stadt level SEK or BEPO development program.

        Very interesting indeed.....

        All the best - TJ
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          Interesting discussion!!

          I am not doubtful that this is a GSG-9 helmet for any other reason than I'm always skeptical of any listing that advertises anything, of any sort, as something used by special forces of any country at any period of time ever. How's that for a statement of pessimism?

          Having said that, I know two things about GSG-9:

          1. They had para helmets
          2. The documentation is full of holes

          There are two features about this that I can't quite identify. The first is the screw lugs. They aren't the same on the M62 para helmet or what I've seen on the earlier confirmed FJ helmets.

          The other is the chin strap. The M62 style is gray leather. mine is black. It looks like the older FJ type has either type. So if mine is a put together, the straps most likely came from a much older and more valuable helmet. Which doesn't make much sense.

          As for the chin cup, they don't seem to be commonly found on examples I've seen for sale. So the presence or lack of one doesn't appear to have much to offer authentication.

          I wish there were more pictures of GSG-9 up close and in action. But it's understandable why this doesn't appear to exist.



            Another piece of information. This is a small helmet. Specifically, Size 54-57. I would think a 1980s reenactor would have gone for a significantly bigger helmet, especially if that reenactor was American. Us Yanks have Großkopf Syndrome



              Since we've introduced GSG-9 jump helmets into the thread, we should probably include links to these two recent discussions for cross-referencing, as a lot of what was said then is germane to the present topic:

              http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...251101&page=17 shows Gordon's unquestionably genuine GSG-9 helmet. One might note that the chin cup is not just a simple add-on, but part of a completely different chin strap system, one that is only seen on GSG-9 helmets (based on what little photo-evidence we have of such helmets in use). Personally, I tend to view this as a distinguishing feature between standard issue GSG-9 helmets and similarly-appointed Versuchshelme, one of which may be seen here: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=440962 ... the three helmets (two of which share the same liner and straps, but have different shells) seen in this thread would all be identified as LL-Truppe Versuchshelme, if we used Baer's book as our sole reference.

              For the purpose of educationating ourselves, I'm taking the liberty of posting a few more scans from Baer's book (Vom Stahlhelm zum Gefechtshelm, Band 2) to illustrate what was said above, as I believe this would qualify as "fair use".

              "A" is a typical Roemer-made Versuchshelm, with a rounded bowl and a completely flat brim profile (whereas mine still has a tiny hint of a brow arch). The trooper in the photo TJ posted appears to be wearing one of these.

              "B" is another Roemer helmet, with a stubbier visor.

              "C" is a modification of "A", with a riveted liner.

              "D" is a Schuberth-made Versuchshelm, with an M-38-like, more angular bowl profile, and in this example - extended visor and neck guard. I suspect this is what "Uncle Kurt" has.

              "E" is a Versuchshelm that could easily be misidentified as a GSG-9 jump helmet today, as it has a similar profile as the latter and is furnished with a nearly identical liner. The main difference I can see here is in the chin strap assembly (my scans are reduced in size for posting, the original photo in the book shows slightly more details). Mike's helmet in the linked thread above could be a cousin of this one.

              "F" resembles one of the helmets Jens posted on the GSG-9 thread, with a very unique neck strap system.

              "G" is identical to "F", except with a bolt-on (rather than riveted) liner.

              "H" shows the characteristic liner found in "F" and "G", and is identified as a Roemer creation. It's interesting to note that Roemer experimented with both the round bowl and angular bowl, and Jens' lucky friend evidently has one of each.

              "I" is yet another Versuchshelm variant, with a completely different (American) style liner. With this, I suspect all four major liner types identified by Baer are now represented ("A" and "D" are one type, with "E", "H" and "I" each representing another). So the differences I noted in my own liner study earlier would have to be viewed as subvariations of the A-D type, if we were to follow Baer's scheme, and if we assume that all of those liners are genuine.

              "J" is the only GSG-9 helmet shown in Baer's book. Given the thoroughness with which he addressed every other type of helmet, including some very obscure trial models, I find the brevity here puzzling. Could it be that there really was only a single type of GSG-9 helmet? Perhaps all they did was to take one of the earlier BW trial helmets ("E" for instance), modified the strap design to use riot-helmet style chin cups, did some minor tweaking with the liner, then put on a different color paint, and voilà!

              These two images came from Wikimedia and some photo-sharing forum that I can no longer remember.

              What all of this boils down to is that I probably would have a harder time believing that a strange-looking helmet was used by the GSG-9, rather than early LL-Truppe, unless it looked exactly like the dark green one Gordon posted on the "West German Helmets" thread.

              Gene T


                Hi Gene,

                Thanks for the additional information for those of us without Baer's book.

                In one of the other threads (click here) Gordon posted a bunch of pictures for member Esbitmännchen because he was having problems doing it himself. In his collection is a definite GSG-9 helmet complete with chin cup. So unless there were multiple versions in service with GSG-9, and Baer seems to say no (though he could have missed something), my helmet is definitely not GSG-9. I think we can also conclude that it isn't Fallschirmjäger from the 1950s either as it doesn't match any of the known examples.

                This leaves four possibilities:

                1. It's a well done fake which used original parts, including chin straps off of a 1950s FJ helmet.

                2. It's a not seen before experimental model. Perhaps coming inbetween the 1950s FJ helmets and the eventual production M62 FJ helmet. I suggest this because it seems to share traits of both.

                3. It's an "Ersatz" put together by either a FJ or BGS unit. Maybe they didn't have enough of a particular size and production was done. Making their own, small number, of helmets from existing stocks would be vastly cheaper and quicker than getting another production run.

                4. It's from another unit, such as Luftlande or a Staat Polizei special reaction force unit. This would explain the lack of impact padding. As with #3 it would be quicker/cheaper to make their own if the stocks of purpose made helmets was exhausted or otherwise not available.

                I don't know which one of these is more likely than the other. However, I tend to think #1 isn't the most likely. The small size and difficult to obtain original parts makes me think another option is more likely.



                  Gene T.

                  Sorry if I mislead you about the GSG9 helmet that I posted pictures of and you provided a link to. It was not my helmet. I was posting pictures for someone else but in looking at it again there is no doubt of its authenticity. Unfortunately, I do not remember who sent me those pictures. Back to Baer and his books. He obviously did not have a lot of info on GSG9 helmets when he wrote Volume II. He did have more knowledge when he published his one volume English compilation of his three previous volumes. While he devoted relatively little space in his English book to post war helmets he did include a picture of what he described as a GSG9 helmet. The pictures I posted are much better than what appeared in his book so we have a much better reference than he has put into print.


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                    Hope you dont mind me bring back this thread but heres an example i picked up last week, im very happy with my new purchase, cheers Pete.
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                        Spectacular. Absolutely breath taking.

                        Well done Sir.

                        All the best,


                          Nice one! Hopefully you didn't pay the going rate for these things. The days of buying one for EUR 100-200 on eBay seem to be long over.



                            What did you guys think of this listing?


                            The M-42-like flared/unfinished rim is counter-intuitive on a design that was supposed to create a compact and smooth profile. It's not a variant that Baer had catalogued in his book; I've never seen anything like it.


                              Gene T,

                              Interesting helmet. It could be what the vendor says it is but I have never seen anything like it before. Helmets A, C and D in your post #66 have a noticeable rim but not as much as much a one as this helmet that you posted.
                              I guess one would just have bite the bullet and buy it to really find out what it is.




                              I'm going to edit this post because after a quick look on the web I found what appears to be an identical helmet in an auction that is finished. The helmet was listed as a TRV in that auction as well. Could be a second helmet or the same one. There was only one picture on this old auction. No date on the auction either.
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                              Last edited by Gordon Craig; 01-29-2015, 08:35 PM. Reason: new information


                                I have pics of a third one with a black chinstrap, but otherwise it looks the same. Someone either set up a press to convert the 61 type into these, or there really was a prototype of this sort. I'm a little suspicious because the cut edge like that would have very little side strength I should think. But who knows... stranger things have turned out to be legit. At ERU 250 the price wasn't horrible.



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