"Sadder but wiser"
The subject of this post represents one of a few of those instances on my part.
Back in 1989 I was very happy to pick up this "American" tankers helmet, ca. Korean War. At least that's how the dealer pitched it to me. The price was right and I paid cash, feeling good about the purchase.
As soon as I got it home and took a good long look at it I became uneasy. I was starting to have some doubts.
It wasn't until I purchased Paolo Marzetti's "Combat Helmets of the World" (1996) several years later that I finally got a positive ID. There it is on page 120, figure 32.105; "Bundeswehr tankman's helmet U.S. A.C.H. type"
Oh well, live and learn. I still don't have an American tanker's helmet of the WWII era, but I did pick up, for $25.00 a pretty okay West German version. So all's well that ends well I guess.
Here then, in all of its copycat splendor, The Bundeswehr tanker's helmet of the post WWII era.
Front view, note the lack of the "horns" found on the U.S. version.
Top view demonstrates far fewer, and different placement of ventilation holes than with the U.S. lid. Marzetti notes that earlier versions of this German helmet had an aluminum bowl while later ones (as this one) had bowls made of fiber.
There are no maker's marks of any sort. A (missing) rubber disc fits in the very crown of the helmet to provide additional cushion for the wearer.
White felt padding backs the four fingers of the leather liner.
The is the only stamped marking of any sort in this lid denotes the size, the only other is in chalk...
and is just as mysterious in meaning.
Foam rubber, long since rotted away, was cemented on the headphone earpiece flaps, both for comfort as well as acoustic insulation.
Despite my initial buyer's remorse and a few years of trying to puzzle this one out, it remains a very nice specimen. A mute testimonial of a West Germany that was quickly getting back on its feet economically and militarily following the devastation of the Second World War. I'm happy to have gotten this helmet at such a reasonable price. And although I'm grateful to have acquired it...
here's looking toward the day when an affordable U.S. WWII tanker lid comes my way:
accession number: MOA hmar v126.96.36.199
Bundeswehr Tankman's Helmet
Acquired 1989, Lansing Michigan.
Purchase price :$25.00
Next Monday, another tanker helmet installment.