Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Spanish Military Police (M1 clone) Steel Helmet
Yankee go home! (but leave your helmet)
The classic US M1 helmet has been copied by numerous nations, some best buddies like Taiwan (go here), also some dear acquaintances like the Netherlands and Denmark (likewise, go here and here).
Our Cold War allies (save for the British Commonwealth countries), even France (for awhile) adopted the M1 or started producing their own domestic clones of that classic design. It was an anti-commie love-fest, everybody in matching helmets.
Spain is an interesting exception to that rule.
Spain and the United States have not been such good pals, some have gone as far as to opine that Spain is the most anti-American country in the galaxy (here).
[fun times in Barcelona]
Goodness, such fussing between two such nice peoples; and when one considers the histories of the two countries one will find some disquieting similarities.
Despite the ill-feelings, Spain after its long love affair with the German-style helmet (here) adopted (in 1983) the venerable, and very much American, M1-style helmet.
At last, something we can agree upon.
Two members of the policia militar, one martial, the other groovy.
Although very similar to the US M1 this home-grown Spanish clone is entirely of Spanish manufacture and the differences in the two helmets become immediately apparent when looking at that distinctive chin cup and cotton-webbing liner strap.
The "draw marks" visible in this view indicate a thickness not nearly as great as the M1
Another difference is the raw edge of the Spanish model. The M1 has a separate rim providing a very "finished" look and feel.
The "loop within a loop" chinstrap fasteners are quite handy and the bale is nearly identical to that in the M1
The distinctive chin-cup provides for great stability however the plastic material is
not particularly rugged.
The liner has rivet placement unlike the M1 as well as...
a pair of ventilator grommets.
These ventilators lead me to believe that the liner is more likely to be stand-alone headgear than would the complete liner and helmet combination, witness the above picture of the two youthful PMs.
Here's the meat-and-potatoes of the liner suspension and where any similarities to the US M1 take their leave. The five-leaf suspension is distinctly European as is the leather construction.
The liner strap bales are unique as well. Note the crack above the bail. The plastic liner, as with the chin cup, is not particularly durable.
Velcro, that great legacy of the space-age, provides size adjustment for a snug fit.
The liner is nicely marked with this manufactures embossment in the dome.
Although of very simple design and inexpensive material this liner clip does bear some resemblance to the similar fitting in the M1
A phalanx of PMs armed and ready for action.
Why can't two such cute countries just get along?
A fine looking M1 clone in Spanish livery