Sunday, February 17, 2013
Nationalist China Military Police helmet
What never ceases to amaze me is the global influence of the US M1 helmet and it's corresponding liner. That classic design was around for the better portion of the twentieth century and still turns up here and there on active duty.
This entry's M1 sighting is from the island nation of Taiwan, or Formosa, or Nationalist China, or whatever we are calling Chiang Kai Check's island hideaway these days. In an earlier post about the Nationalist Chinese combat M1 I've went on about Taiwan being one of the cast-off former girlfriends of big broad-shouldered, and utterly fickle, the United States. Once upon a time we viewed Nationalist China as a tiny (itty-bitty) bulwark against Communist China ("Red China, I'm still happy to call it, though it is alternatively known as "Wal-mart east").
Today our national memory is pretty blank as to why we ever went out with that girl in the first place. Watch out Turkey, we're like that! except, of course in the case of our permanent dance partner - Israel ("what do those two see in each other?").
Taiwan, remains today, an odd man out, always on the brink of having Mainland China swallowing it up with it's lunchtime noodles. So let's enjoy a really attractive Nationalist Chinese Military Police helmet in the few moments left to it. (read fast)
What a beauty, especially in the sunshine of this far-eastern quasi democracy. This stunning Chinese knock-off of the good old M1 is a real standout in my collection and I'm very happy to have acquired it recently from a friend and fellow collector in Europe who gave me an incredibly generous deal on it, for which I am forever grateful to him.
Here's the helmet in action as Nationalist Chinese MPs practice presenting their chrome-plated WWII-era M1 Garands to the invading Red hoards. Their expressions do look a little doubtful, don't they?
Though the lines are identical to the M1 liner, the absence of external rivets is the first indication that this lid does have some differences to it's Yankee uncle.
"Help, I'm being held prisoner in a Chinese helmet factory" Sorry, I couldn't resist.
I'm struck by how clean this helmet is, I suspect it is unissued.
The right side is insignia-free
This has to be one of the most handsome poly-chromatic helmet insignias out there.
The only marking of any sort that I could find is this very mundane letter/number combination.
The interior has a particularly sterile and anonymous design, the fact that this lid appears unworn by anyone accentuates that sterility.
Nylon and plastic abound. The nylon chinstrap is adjustable by the plastic buckle slider. The sole piece of natural fiber is in the cord that holds the suspension together.
The leather-look headband is plastic as well.
Generally speaking this well-designed helmet has an interior suspension that could pass for a construction hard hat.
That's not a scratch in the rear surface, its the reflection of my tripod.
These non-ballistic plastic helmets seem to be reflective of a society where the military, and its police are generally unchallenged...
save for balloon-wielding crazies.
I have to wonder if there was a corresponding M1 steel helmet for Nationalist Chinese MPs prior to the advent the ballistic fiber helmets of today.
The only example I have of a metal helmet for Chinese Military Police is the one below, though his shoulder insignia may indicate that he's a commie.
Looking very much like plastic toy soldiers, this group of MPs appears to be part of a spontaneous "flash-mob" demonstration. I'm quite sure that they were dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
Still my favorite photo of a Taiwanese MP. So plump, jolly. and adorable - now just another ex-girlfriend we're embarrassed to bump into at the mall.
See you next time with another MP helmet from the collection.