Saturday, November 13, 2010

US M1 liner Military Police

Somebody call a cop!

I certainly can't speak for every ex-GI regarding the nature of MPs...

we surely saw plenty of pictures of them on the homefront doing the bidding of presidents Johnson, Nixon, and my parents...

they also frequently distinguished themselves in combat in Vietnam,
and  they did a fine job of defending their country considering that they were a bunch of total a-holes

Of course, I kid.

I had only limited experience with military police in the guise of US Navy Shore Patrol and the experience was always very pleasant and positive.

Again, I kid.

Now comes a very handsome Westinghouse liner of the Korean/Vietnam era fully tricked out in the livery of a Military Policeman.  "Let's see some I.D. soldier!"

Numerals and stripes appear to be waterslide transfers, as is the MP insignia on the front

At least three layers of paint can be identified on this lid, including something looking very like the haze-gray of the Navy.

The distinctive insignia of a 3rd Army badass is also a water transfer decal.

The headband is marked and intact though the nape strap is missing.

Headband leather shows little staining.  This model was the last to retain the stud and garter fastener for the chinstrap.

Perhaps the name of a previous owner.

No surprises here for the fan of the M1

Or here either.

Keeping aberrant behavior at bay at the cost of constant vigilance.

Captured in the popular culture as our first line of defense against flower-wielding hippies (or, apparently, young Kennedys as this Lego guy suggests)

This was seldom a welcome greeting at the front gate.

Over the next month I hope to highlight the various military police and military traffic control helmets in my collection.  Again comments, corrections, and questions are always welcome, and are often used to update my posts.

See you next time with another fine Military Police lid.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cambodian Military Police Helmet

With a country as old as Cambodia, where does one begin?

Cambodia has a culture that goes back a jillion years.

Cambodia has incredible architecture,  which seems to have been designed by
Dr. Suess.

In the 1970s, Cambodia entered a very dark period

This is Cambodian crazy man Pol Pot.

This is what Pol Pot did to Cambodia during those times.

Now Cambodia has become much healthier and stable under its new king...

HRH Norodom Sihamoni 

Helping the king in preventing Cambodia from falling into the hands of evil nut-jobs is one of Cambodia's newest honorary citizens:

Angelina Jolie. 

 She would have kicked Pol Pot's crazy ass.

The lovely Ms. Jolie is assisted in her fine efforts by military policemen such as the gentleman below.

This is a modern-day political rally under the new constitutional monarchy helping to keep dick-wads like Pol Pot from ever destroying Cambodia again.  In the foreground is a Cambodian MP wearing this entry's helmet.

And here we are, neatly transported back to the present.

This nice example is a pretty straight-forward copy of the trusty US M1 helmet liner .  Here, moulded in a distinctive blue plastic is a very well-appointed lid.

The white insignia is stenciled on the shell.

This helmet is another reminder of the long legs of the venerable M1.

The stamped brass insignia on the front is exceptionally ornate and detailed and is richly informed by...

the architectural motifs of the country.

The script on the side, I'm certain, alludes to the mission of the wearer,

and this helpful key may help us decipher it.
(and, don't we all?)

Now, on to the details

Those familiar with the M1 helmet liner will recognize everything here save for the vivid blue color.  The layout is nearly identical in all respects to the M1.

The nearest thing to a marking on this shell is the remnant of a moulding sprue on the dome, otherwise it is altogether anonymous regarding manufacture.

The suspension is comprised of herringbone tape.

Continuing the mimicry of the M1, the chinstrap has both the cam-lever buckle as well as the...

stud and garter fasteners.

The main differences of this chinstrap from the American version are the quality of the leather, the black color, and the black plastic chin cup.

As with the American version the headband is affixed to the suspension by spring clips...

and there is an adjustable nape strap at the rear of the shell.

It's a light and comfortable non-ballistic piece of headwear, so attractive in all respects that nearly all Cambodians appear to be in a clamor to get one of their very own!

And I'm so happy to have acquired mine.

See you next time with another fine lid from the collection.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Greek M. 34-39 Combat Helmet

This helmet is one of my favorites, acquired just five years ago, from the estate of noted helmet collector and authority, Floyd Tubbs.  

A fairly uncommon helmet on the collecting market, I was happy to get this helmet from such an impeccable collection and for such a charitable price, for which I'm still thankful to Mr. Tubb's son.

Now, on to the Greek Army and this particular helmet.

Don't let the dress and the clownshoes fool you -

without a doubt...

Greece fights!

If the Greek m.34-39 looks familiar it's probably because it's essentially the Italian M.33 without vents and with a different liner and chinstrap.

Manufactured in Italy prior to World War Two, this lid was intended for Italian use but was eventually rejected as too lightweight.  Italy opted for the slightly heavier, and more ballistically sound M.33.

So, what to do with a surplus of pretty nice helmets?  Export!

Stocks of this helmet were unloaded to the Greek military and designated the M.34-39.

The shell is nearly identical to the Italian helm save for the lack of those three distinctive ventilation washers.

Sold sans liner to the Greeks, the helmets were repainted by the Hellenic forces and used during the conflict between Italy and Greece in 1940.  I can only imagine that the close similarity between the helmets of the opposing forces must have caused some battlefield confusion.

Aside from the paintjob and lack of external ventilators, the eye immediately picks out one more difference from the Italian M.33; four very small screws along the rim on the sides of the shell.

Those screws support the simple suspension frame for the Greek-manufactured liner.

With a typically European seven-fingered leather liner the shell sits a comfortable distance from the head of the wearer.

Marked with the size, and insignia of the Greek Army this is a handsome, if somewhat lightweight, liner.

The two-buckle sliding chinstrap is also of Greek manufacture and, like the liner, it is well-made from fine leather with two handsome brass buckles.

My helmet is in particularly choice condition save for  one tear and one dry-rotted area in the leather liner.  This is a great piece for any collection of combat helmets.  And I'm happy to have it.

 The prowess of the Greek forces should come as no surprise considering the long and storied military tradition of that proud people,