Friday, August 22, 2008

Soviet Union Ssh36 Steel Helmet of WWII

More than simply men kissing men...

its the Ssh36 helmet of WWII

Just when you thought it was safe to mothball your nukes...

They're baaaack!

Like a villain in the Batman series, the Russians have finally come out of their dormant state and are back to their old shenanigans, just like the old days. How nice it must be for China to be out of the oppression spotlight for awhile.

The suspense was killing me, I knew it was only a matter of time until the Soviets who run that morally-decayed cuspidor of a country reasserted their brand of barbarism.

In celebration of the return of an old enemy (the Harvey Dent of geopolitics) here’s the first installment of what will be three posts on the Sovietski lids in my collection. My hope is to have all of them profiled before nuclear war is declared over the Red invasion of Georgia (why couldn't it have been Arkansas?). I begin with the classic Ssh36.

Behold that marvel of aesthetics The M36 helmet of the USSR, this is one of the finest examples of design to come out of the Soviet Union since this thing:

  No, I don't know what it is either.

Seriously though, I think this is a great looking helmet, and this example is one of the favorites of my collection.

This side view demonstrates the classic lines; deep skull, flared skirt, crest, and broad visor.

Head-on, this beauty hints at some influence from the French Adrian.

Although the steel is surprisingly light (ballisticly) the depth of the skull provides superior protection from falling debris and low-velocity shrapnel.

The short ventilator-concealing crest is strangely, and  fashionably, Adrian-like  for the product of such a classless, charmless, and godless society.

From the rear, note the slight asymmetry of this helmet, an indicator of the third-world industrial base Russia has always excelled at.

Liners in specimens of the Ssh36 are often missing.  Research indicates that the liners were often removed by the soldiers to provide space to accommodate their winter caps beneath the helmets.  This particular helmet has an unmarked liner, though a liner unlike any I've ever seen for a Soviet helmet.  I'm assuming its a replacement.  Made of what appears to be pigskin it has five fingers and is sewn to an olive drab wool band.  

Again, like the classic French Adrian, the chinstrap bales are fairly thin wire.

And like the Adrian, this corrugated metal band provides both airflow as well as a buffer between the inner surface of the helmet and the head of the wearer.

The all-fabric chinstrap is rugged and cheap to produce.  The slider buckle is thin stamped metal.

The only marking "Z-I3I6" appears inside the rear skirt.

This close-up of the welded crest shows the openings that allow for passage of air...

through the hole in the top of the skull:

Unlike the Chinese helmet I profiled earlier, the rivets are machined by slave-laborers rather than peened by slave-laborers

Aside from a few scratches the green paint on this lid is in remarkably good condition.

And the stenciled red star on the front is still very much intact.

Now let us hope and pray that the Russkis come to their senses and quickly get out of Georgia, and return the concept of unilateral invasion of sovereign countries back to where it belongs...

American foreign policy.

Bottom line, the ex-commies are at war with the ex-commies.  That makes it really hard to know which side to root for on this deal.   After all, wasn't it Georgia that cursed the world with favorite son Stalin, for goodness sake?

Stalin says: "Yummy, SUPPER!"

accession number: MOA hmar233.62.2
Ssh36 Soviet Steel Helmet
Acquired 1983, Lansing Michigan.
Purchase price :$20.00
Condition: excellent (though liner may not be original to the helmet)

Another Soviet helmet next Monday

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