Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Austrian M.75 combat helmet (part one)


Hey, Austria isn't Germany, although Austria was the blushing bride of Germany in the Second World War and participated in many of the evil hi-jinx of the Third Reich.  Today however Austria is a member in good standing of both the UN and the EU.  Officially neutral, Austria does have a well-trained standing army, following Switzerland's example of needing a strong army to preserve the idea of neutrality in a complex world.  Ain't it the truth.

Three Austrians of note:

Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp. Nice Jacket

Fictional American Harry Lime who hung out in Vienna
who was a fictional dick.   Nice smile.

Arnold Schwarzenegger former body builder, governor, actor and sex bully who is a non-fictional dick.  Nice pose, dick!

Hollywood must really like Austria

I really like the Austrian M.75 steel combat helmet

Another US M1 clone, this helmet has been around since the seventies and is even featured on a cool Austian postage stamp:

Is it just me or is there a resemblance between these two Austrian G.I.s and Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" cartoon G.I.s?

Austrian soldiers in ranks with helmets or turbans (non-ballistic I'd imagine).

Let's take a walk around this nice lid.

The exterior porvides no surprises for the fan of...

the venerable,  and apparently, venerated US M1 helmet.

Save for the chinstrap...

and the non-textured finish, this is a dead-ringer for the American "steel pot"

The netting is uniquely Austrian, with a much larger weave than that of the M1 of WWII.

From above there are no surprises, but the big differences are apparent...

when you get a gander at the suspension and chinstrap.

The chinstrap has two garter fasteners including the anti-concussion one in use here. The open end allows the strap to give way should a concussive shock-wave, generated by a nearby explosion, pull at the helmet of the wearer; or so I am given to understand.

Taking a cue from its German neighbors (in a good way, this time),  the brow of the leather suspension has numerous rows of ventilation holes.

Nylon bushings provide impact space between the suspension and the shell.

The nine-fingered suspension is stamped with the size as  well as the wearer's name and branch of service, "Bundesheer" is the army, as opposed to "Bundeswehr" in Germany.

I used to see lots of young people here in the US sporting Bundeswehr athletic shirts prompting me to coin this marketing slogan:

"Bundeswehr is Fun to wehr"

Such a wag am I.

other, less distinct, markings are underneath.

This sliding buckle provides for some adjustment for the wearer.

The fingers are nicely grommeted and a very sturdy cord draws them all together at the center.

The liner itself if very similar, though certainly not identical to the M1.  It seems, in this view at least, to be slightly drawn-in along the rim.  It also has a riot of rivets.

Oddly, only about half of these rivets are even connected to the suspension, leading me to believe that there may be an airborne configuration of this liner which would utilize those otherwise idle rivets.

The helmet shell has one marking indicating, I imagine, the maker and date of manufacture.

Again, as with the M1, the separate rim is butt-joined and spot-welded.

The chinstrap bales are quite identical to the M1 swivel bales.

Behelmeted soldiers of the "Eastern Kingdom" blaze away at those who dare to challenge their neutrality.

Another very handsome helmet from Europe that owes its good looks to its progenitor the good old, reliable, and much-copied American M1.

"Stick with a winner" I always say.



Kitoko50 said...

Hello !
Yellow marking/stamp inside the helmet stands for Ulbrichts Witwe in Kaufing 34, 4690 Schwanenstadt (U SCH)

On the front edge of the helmet , you will find a somehow confusing "uS" ... and date of manufacture! Sometimes understood as "US helmet"



JohnJameson18y said...

If you are wearing a gas mask you might find those two buckles comming in handy as you won't have to adjust your chinstrap.

Anonymous said...

just happened to see this blog searching for something else. One correction: the "name" on the liner is no name, it says "Scheiss Bundesheer" meaning bloody Bundesheer - some soldier doesn't seem to have been to enthusiastic about the Austrian Army.