Thursday, March 9, 2017

Japan: model 30-32 (type 90) combat helmet (part two)

(For a video about me finding my first Japanese helmet go here)

 The Japanese model 30-32 first came in to general use during the Imperial Japanese army's bloody rampage through Manchuria (google it) Photographs and newsreel footage of that brutal occupation cemented the image of the iconic acorn shape of this helmet into the public consciousness.

Weighing in at two pounds three ounces, this chrome-molybdenum steel helmet is lighter  than many other combat helmets of the era. The model 30-32 served throughout the war and beyond, often found among the materiel of insurgent nationalist groups in Indonesia, Vietnam, and other European colonies occupied by the Japanese during the war.

Now for the walk around:

Two pairs of small holes in the dome provide some ventilation.

Viewed from above, the slightly ovoid shape of the shell is evident.

The three-leaved liner is similar to many European helmets of the era.

The insignia of the Imperial Japanese Army is made manifest by an iron, five-pointed star affixed to the front of the helmet.

Long fabric tapes comprise the chinstraps.

A nice design detail is the sewn point at the ends of the tapes.

The liner leaves are similar to the German m.16 of the Great War.

Also similar to many European helmets of the era, the liner leaves are backed by fabric envelopes into which batting or other material can be stuffed to provide padding as well as to adjust the fit.

A sturdy cord  gathers the leaves of the liner together.

Two vertical peened rivets secure...

A staple and split ring which in turn...

secure the chinstrap keeper loop.

Two similar horizontal rivets...

affix a staple which secures...

split rings that the chinstrap passes through on the sides of the helmet, these are in the same position, and serve the same function, as the chinstrap bails on Western helmets.

Two robust split pins...

secure the leather liner band to the shell.  A third point of securement are the prongs that affix the star insignia which pass through the liner band.

The liner band is joined at the front and rear with heavy stitching.

To ease production time as well as reduce cost the model 30-32 has a raw-edged rim.

And here are images of the model 30-32 in action:

See you next time with another cool helmet from the collection!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Denmark m.1923 combat helmet

Great Danes

Danish Queen Margarethe

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen

Danish author Karen Blixen

 Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard

Danish prince Hamlet

Danish idiot

And my favorite Dane of all...

the m. 1923 steel combat helmet.

This is the helmet worn by the Danish army on April 9, 1940 when
Germany overwhelmed Denmark.

The invasion unfolded so rapidly that Denmark didn't have time to declare war on Germany.  Danish military resistance was limited though spirited with the Danes knocking out many German armored cars and disabling a few tanks; the military resistance however lasted no more than six hours.  This was one of the shortest armed invasions of the war.  In all between 13 and 49 Danes were killed; sources vary widely but the number is generally agreed upon as 16. 

With this, Denmark was occupied by the Germans until the end of the war. 

Now for the walk around of the m.1923:

The profile of this helmet is one of the most distinctive and unusual of the interwar period.

The deep side skirts had a detrimental effect on the peripheral vision of the wearer.

Weighing at 3.4 lbs, this was one of the heaviest helmets of the war.

Made of Swedish steel, the 1.5 mm-thick plate this helmet provided very good protection.

Affixed to the front of the helmet is an oxidized brass badge of the Danish coat of arms
which was introduced in 1819.

The slot on the rear of the helmet allowed the helmet to be secured to the backpack
when in marching order.

The leather of the liner is of particularly high quality as is the
workmanship of the entire helmet.  The vertical slits at the lower edge of the leather
provided ventilation.

The eight fingers of the liner are gathered and adjusted by a leather thong which is passed
through brass grommets.  The significance of the crisply stamped numeral 3
is unknown to me.

The initials of the wearer are penciled onto the leather.

Split pins affix the liner band to the shell.

A brass plate riveted to the liner band notes the manufacturer as well as the serial number
of this particular helmet; another nod to the high quality of manufacture.

Flexible bales affix the chinstrap to the liner band.

A very robust brass buckles secures the high quality chinstrap.

The m. 1923 in action:

The Danish m. 1923; a favorite of the collection.

Although the military resistance to the Germans was limited it should be known that the Danes put up a spirited civilian resistance to the Germans, and that the Danish underground rescued and evacuated 8,000 of the 8,500 Danish Jews to safety.

In all, some 850 members of the Danish resistance died at the hands of the Germans.

See you next time with another cool helmet from the collection.