Friday, October 30, 2015

Another outstanding helmet blog: casques collection

With a Belgian focus, this wonderful blog also features a very wide range of helmets from many other countries.  Do check it out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Polish Wojskowa Sluzba Wewnetrzna (Military counter intelligence force) helmet

Established in 1957, the Wojskowa Sluzba Wewnetrzna (WSW) was essentially a rat squad ferreting out less than politically indoctrinated members of the Polish armed forces.

The WSW was part of the Ministry of Defense and its primary responsibilities included:
- Detection and elimination of espionage activity in the Polish People's Army
- Elimination of detected political sabotage
- Detection and elimination of soldiers who carry out terrorist attacks
- Detection and elimination of officers and soldiers who carry out sabotage in units of the army

"elimination" uh-oh

- Counterintelligence supervision of the Polish Navy and Air force
- Protection of the Minister of National Defence and his family
- Counterinteligence supervision of factories working for the Ministry of National Defense
- Maintaining discipline in the Polish People's Army [keeping the troops in line no doubt]]
- Conducting investigation of criminial cases in which suspects were members of the Army
- Conducting prosecutions of soldiers who deserted
- Overseeing the recruitment of the Army [must have had a heck of an incentive plan].

WSW men on the lookout for violators of group think.

As far as I know this helmet doesn't have a nomenclature but it is a uniquely distinctive piece of headgear.

It's made of something very like fiberglass.

Though non-ballistic it has the lines of a helmet otherwise ment to protect the wearer from shrapnel.

The font is surprisingly stylish, in a Stalinst sort of way.

The stenciled Polish eagle is typical for most Polish helmets of the Cold War era.

The liner is a particularly nice design made of quality materials.

The size is ink-stamped on one of the ventilated fingers.

There are, for a collector, a gratifying number of stamps...


and here, the name of the wearer.

The fingers have brass-and-leather grommeted tie-holes.

Split-pins affix the leather to the liner band.

The suspension is simple and straightforward with criss-crossed cotton webbing.

There is some sort of composition material making up the band.

The chinstrap is secured by flexible bails.

Like most Polish helmets of the era, the chinstrap is of good leather and sturdy.