Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spanish Leather Tankman's Helmet

seventh in a series of tanker helmet posts
Now don't get me wrong,  I think Spain is a country that has given the world great beauty.

This is a Spanish Beauty:
(photo by Massimiliano Uccelletti)

The Mme Grégoire Staechelin' rose is known as the "Spanish Beauty":



And this Moorish influenced Spanish architecture is certainly a thing of beauty:

This Spanish tanker's helmet, however, ain't no beauty:

This is the ugly cousin of the Italian M35 Tanker's helmet (profiled last week).  Although this helm tries to mimic the far superior Italian version, it fails in every aspect.

As with the Italian model this helmet is a leather covered fiber bowl surrounded by a padded bumper with a rear skirt and leather chinstrap/flaps.  The bowl, you'll note is considerably shallower than the Italian helmet, providing much less protection for the wearer.

From the top little difference can be detected between this number and the Italian model, except perhaps for the inferior dye job of the leather.


Its when one begins to examine details like the sewn seams that the inferiority of this helmet really start to become evident, clearly the person who sewed and assembled this bumper pad had other things on her mind.


The interior is, again, a copycat of the Italian M35 except for the lower grade and color of the suspension leather.

The finish of the neck flap is misaligned, miscut, and haphazardly assembled.


This Frankenstein assemblage of misaligned  rivets secures the chintzy chinstrap buckle.  One wonders if these workers are encouraged to come to work drunk.


The flannel liner has absolutely no value as a cushion to the wearer, again compare this to last week's entry on the Italian liner with its plush white felt padding.


Peeling away the flannel reveals the Pinata-like dome of this lid.  About the only shock absorbtion available in this helmet is the fullness of the hairdo of the wearer.

North Korean nut-job and dictator for life Kim Jung Il might have enough of a bouffant "do" to bring some level of effectiveness to this helmet, but here (as in most instances) he is the exception.


Where the Italian neck flap is tightly sewn into place, the Spanish version is crudely tacked on.

And note how those tacks often tear right out of the cheap, thin leather.


The chinstrap assembly too, suffers by comparison with the Italian model.


The unscreened vent holes don't even communicate through the flannel liner, rendering them quite useless for providing ventilation.


The only aspect of this helmet that gives it any aesthetic value is the Spanish eagle affixed to the front.

The helmet bears no maker's or inspector's marks of any sort.  It's as if no one wants to claim paternity of this waif.


I think the reason that the bumper pad is not attached as that on the Italian model, is to facilitate disassembly of this helmet making it easier to fit into the trash compactor of history.

But who am I to criticize, after all, as these photos demonstrate, proud Spanish tankers did fight on to defeat...

ahh...
er...

oh right, now I remember!  They went on to defeat the Incas!



And for as ugly as this poor excuse of a helmet is, now comes the really ugly part;

This is former Spanish strongman and prick, Francisco Franco:

And here he is on his wedding day as the blushing bride of Satan (the man to the left)


What a lovely couple, I think they're registered at the genocide boutique.
=====================================================












España es una tierra de contrastes.

Questions?



provenance:
accession number: MOA hmar 248.68.8
Spanish Leather Tankman's Helmet
Acquired 1991, Grand Rapids Michigan.
Condition: excellent

Next Monday another tanker helmet will be profiled.

Stay tuned!


4 comments:

Noel said...

Love your writing, Mannie, whether serious, light, or somewhere in between. These pix bring to mind one of the best descriptions of combat that I've read (although not involving armor): a George Orwell account of Republicans during the Spanish Civil War taking and briefly holding a fortified Nationalist position somewhere. Also, somewhere out there on the 'net is a short and blurry, but arresting, bit of footage, supposedly showing Republican T-26's in action.

mannie said...

Noel,

I'll look for it. Old tank footage and great pix of hairdos on despots are things I never tire of.

Mannie

Anonymous said...

Hello,
You know nothing about Spain history to speak so easily about. First Francisco Franco’s was an authoritarian regime rather than a dictatorship in the nasty German nazi stile and despite its defects, incomparably better than the totalitarian regimes with which the Spanish Left has always identified (e.g. the Soviet Union, China, Cuba). Second, that Franco defeated, not a democracy, which the Republic failed to be, but a revolution led and fought over by Stalinists, Marxists revolutionaries, anarchists and left-wing Republicans and separatists. Thirdly, that through his neutrality after the Civil War he spared Spain the ravages of World War II. Fourth, that by suppressing the communist-led guerrilla forces he crushed any attempt to revive the Civil War. Finally, that he watered down the old resentments and hatreds while managing to leave behind a prosperous country at his death. Something that former ruined communist countries cannot say. Keep educating us about helmets and leave the politics apart.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with what this poster said. If you must make political comments then please research your history before just repeating what one can learn from modern school books. Otherwise I enjoy your helmet collection!

" Anonymous said...

Hello,
You know nothing about Spain history to speak so easily about. First Francisco Franco’s was an authoritarian regime rather than a dictatorship in the nasty German nazi stile and despite its defects, incomparably better than the totalitarian regimes with which the Spanish Left has always identified (e.g. the Soviet Union, China, Cuba). Second, that Franco defeated, not a democracy, which the Republic failed to be, but a revolution led and fought over by Stalinists, Marxists revolutionaries, anarchists and left-wing Republicans and separatists. Thirdly, that through his neutrality after the Civil War he spared Spain the ravages of World War II. Fourth, that by suppressing the communist-led guerrilla forces he crushed any attempt to revive the Civil War. Finally, that he watered down the old resentments and hatreds while managing to leave behind a prosperous country at his death. Something that former ruined communist countries cannot say. Keep educating us about helmets and leave the politics apart.

June 17, 2015 at 11:45 AM"