Saturday, September 6, 2008

Soviet Union Ssh68 Steel Helmet - "high dome"

Here then, is my final installment on the Soviet helmets of the 20th century, ending, appropriately enough, with the last installment of Soviet steel helmets; the Ssh68. Soviet troops providing an early example to the U.S. Department of State on how to achieve victory in Afghanistan.  Note their "high-dome" (sometimes called "conehead") helmets. The front view of this lid makes very evident its unusual height. In profile the dip over the ear is reflective of the earlier generations of Soviet helmets.
The right side demonstrates some sort of unit or tactical marking, seen here... in close-up.
The four split rivet heads which secure the suspension are clearly visible in this view.
These four synthetic leather pads with a simple but ingenious cotton cord provide a highly adjustable padded suspension keeping the wearer's skull well out of contact with the helmet shell. The sheet-metal "T"s which provide a sprung mounting for the liner remind me of the old Adrian system.
A close up of the split rivet which secures the suspension.  The horsehair backing of the liner pad is also evident.
The leather chinstrap is well made though that buckle seems quite un-martial in appearance.
The texture is roughened with (I think) silica and painted a rich medium olive.
Like most red helmets this one is abundantly marked:
in the dome...
stamped on the rim...
and under the skirt.
Though, to my eyes, slightly incongruous in height and balance, this particular example is in outstanding condition.  Where it not for the tactical marking I'd say that this one was never issued.
Back to that ill-fated Russki adventure in Afghanistan... Vlad the impaler toasts the Americans' turn at bat.
provenance: accession number: MOA hmar236.62.13 Ssh68 Soviet Steel Helmet Acquired 1999, a gift from a friend visiting Russia. Purchase price :$20.00 Condition: excellent

1 comment:

federico said...

I bought one of these helmets last year in Berlin for 15€ (haggling) in an antique dealer shop.
It's without the white tactical markings, but there are all of the others marks
(it's good for freestyle skiing, it suits well :D )