Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dutch Treat: Netherlands M34 steel helmet

Originally I had posted this as an M23-27, and asked for help in identifying markings etc.  No sooner did I hit "post" than facebook friend Reinout de Waal sent me this message:

 Mannie, judging by it's shape it is in fact a M.34 dutch helmet (easy way to tell the difference is if you put the model on solid ground and see if you can put your fingers under the rim (not possible with M27). The grey paint, red liner and flat rivets indicate that this particular model has been reissued after the war by the "Bescherming bevolking" civil protection. The blue bar was to indicate command structure.

Thanks Reinout, for contributing to this blog.
 On we go!

Some of my favorite things are Dutch

The crunchy goodness of Voortman cookies...

The artistic vision of Jan Vermeer...

that crazy-ass Rutger Hauer...

and of course, the Netherlands M34 Steel Helmet

The  Dutch had a unique helmet design,

a unique army.

and the last laugh on the Nazis

I really like this singularly Dutch helmet, altogether unlike any other and a stand-out in my collection.

The bronze shield of the Dutch Lion is appears on the front of this lid

The steep front and scalloped rear provide almost a medieval appearance

As mentioned above, Reinout notes:

"The grey paint, red liner and flat rivets indicate that this particular model has been reissued after the war by the "Bescherming bevolking" civil protection. The blue bar was to indicate command structure."

This closeup shows a highly stylized and artistically rendered rampant lion.
Possibly the inspiration behind the antics of Gene Simmons?


The slot in the rear rim provides a purchase for fastening the helmet to a backpack.

The significance of the only marking in the helmet is related to its civil defense duty.

The  handsome (and characteristic to the civil defence use of this helmet)  ox-blood leather liner is very European though the skirt and fastener at the rear is unique to this model of helmet as well as the Dutch-inspired Romanian model.

No markings appear on the liner interior or exterior.  The quality of the leather is outstanding, however the felt padding is minimal.

From above the flared rear skirt is very apparent.

The buckle of hardened wire is simple and efficient.

The chinstrap is affixed with a rivet and a leather washer; a nice touch.

The rolled edge is emblematic of the overall high quality manufacture of this helmet

A helmet that I am very pleased to have in the collection

And, is it just me?


Peter van Hulsen said...

Hi Mannie, It's Peter (From the Netherlands ;-))

I'm very sorry to have to inform you that this Dutch helmet does not have the original inside anymore (wich is indicated by the red leather) These helmets were re-issued after the war for use in the various Civil Defense units. These units where devided in city areas (blok in Dutch)and also shows on your helmet. The helmet shell and the Lion are originally from the 1930's. Hope to have given you more insights in your own collection. I hoep al is well with you and I am glad to see you are more active on this blog in 2015. Greetings from across the big pond ;-)

Peter van Hulsen
ps: for further information you can always contact me by e-mail or via Linked-In

Mannie Gentile said...

Thanks Peter,

Yes, another friend from the Netherlands identified this as a CD helmet by the red liner and the markings. Thanks for your insight, I'l (3eventually) update this post to reflect this. Do you know if Dutch Civil Defence still uses this helmet?

Best regards,


Peter van Hulsen said...

Hi Mnnie,

Sorry for my late response but there are no more Civil Defence Units in the netherlands. The last Units where deactivated in the late 80tees of the last century. The last helmet worn by these Units was a copy of the Mark1 British Brodie Helmet.

Best regards,


Onno said...

Hi Mannie,

Nice site you got here! I like it a lot!

I also collect helmets and ww2 stuff.
I have got an original Dutch wartime helmet, with the lion emblem taken off.
The soldiers often did this themselves. Otherwise it is in untouched condition.
Original liner and math green paint.
I got two of those so one is up for sale. Let me know if your interested.

Kind regards,


GM said...

Thanks to all for wonderful information.

I have, what I'm pretty sure is an unaltered M34.

My question is about the Royal Netherlands Lion Insignia.

I've noticed some were colored orange, while other such devices appear to be the original metal color.

Can anyone explain this ?

There are traces of orange on my Lion badge, but I can't tell if it is original paint, or bits of almost 80 years of rust.

Personally I'm thinking bits of rust.

I'm unable to post images, but will gladly provide photos via email.

Thanks for any help.

Peter van Hulsen said...

It is only now that I read your request, sorry for that but Gmail puts your comment under the "social" section tab which I honestly hardly read.... There where NO Orange Lion Badges used in the War to my Knowledge. It might be an after war alteration by a person who was overly happy to enjoy regained freedom after occupation, but that is a wild guess and a fairly long-shot in my opinion...I rather go along with the 'rust theory'... The Lion Badges were eather the original copper colour or painted black as that was the original 'mobilisation order' in 1939 when reserves and troops were mobilized to man their areas and strictly patrol the borders (not only with Germany, but also with prove our willingness to remain 'neutral' as we managed to stay in the 1st World War) I hope to have provided you with ample info on the subject, but you can always get in touch for more info. Cheers, Peter van Hulsen - The Netherlands

GM said...

Thank you very much !

That is what I was thinking.

GM said...

Thank you !

That was what I thought.

My apologies for asking my question in the wrong section.

I am still learning how to navigate this site.