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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: A close helm in WWI?         Reply with quote

The other day I was looking up WWI body armor and helmets. I discovered some really interesting things, like the Ford Model 8 Helmet and the Dean Panoply (a suit of plate armor designed by Bashford Dean, curator of the Met's armor exhibit). Both were supposed to protect soldiers mainly from shrapnel.

Two other helmets caught my eye but I've been unable to find any information on them.

The one on the right:


and especially this helmet, again on the right:


This one looks like an armet or a close helm! The website where I found it captioned it and the helmets next to it as French WWI helms. The two on the left are modified Adrian helms, so they're probably French, but the "close helm" on the right is puzzling.

Any clues on what exactly these helmets are?
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug, 2013 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: A close helm in WWI?         Reply with quote

Michael Wiethop wrote:

and especially this helmet, again on the right:


This one looks like an armet or a close helm! The website where I found it captioned it and the helmets next to it as French WWI helms. The two on the left are modified Adrian helms, so they're probably French, but the "close helm" on the right is puzzling.

Any clues on what exactly these helmets are?


It looks to me like a modified Adrian. Do you see the 'crest' on the top of the helm? The front bill of the helmet may have been removed to make room for the visor but it is hard to judge from the pictures. It could be that the visor is forward enough to clear it.

I know that tank crewmen and machine gunners were occasionally issued experimental helmets to protect from spalling when rounds hit the armor/ machine gun shield.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you haven't seen it already, here is an interesting book on experimental ww1 era armor. (published shortly after the war)
It goes into detail about the armor designed by different nations during the war.
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...0/mode/2up
The helmet on the right in the first photo looks like this one:
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...6/mode/2up
It was an experimental American design that the text says was uncomfortably balanced, and they didn't bother making one out of ballistic steel.

You can also read about visored french helmets starting on page 88.
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...8/mode/2up


Last edited by Jojo Zerach on Mon 26 Aug, 2013 4:54 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug, 2013 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
If you haven't seen it already, here is an interesting book on experimental ww1 era armor. (published shortly after the war)
It goes into detail about the armor designed by different nations during the war.
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...0/mode/2up
The helmet on the right in the first photo looks like this one:
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...6/mode/2up
It was an experimental American design that the text says was uncomfortably balanced.

You can also read about visored french helmets starting on page 88
-http://archive.org/stream/helmetsbodyarmor00d...8/mode/2up
Wow, thanks! I've been looking for that very book! I'll give it a look!
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed 28 Aug, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have read the book, and it contained no information on the French helmet on the right in my second picture. It was nonetheless a fascinating piece with a huge amount of information on armor, helmets, and shields in WWI and with some information on earlier armor as well.

For example, it briefly discusses siege armor from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and mentions plate armor from the 18th century. Dean mentions that some of the combatants in the siege of La Rochelle were shot dozens of times with muskets but survived unharmed due to their very heavy siege armor, and that some commanders and sappers in the American Revolution wore armor, but he doesn't cite sources often or well enough. Maybe I should start a thread on armor in the age of muskets?
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