Thursday, April 30, 2015

Yugoslav/Serbian Ne 44 combat helmet

Josip Broz Tito and the breakup of Yugoslavia.  Its all so very complicated.


This is Tito, Yugoslav partisan, unifier of his country, and the great thorn in the side of Joseph Stalin.


This is Tito Puente - the mambo king.  He has nothing to do with the story but is always worth mentioning and watching.


This was Yugoslavia under Tito...

 This is what the region looks like today...



here's an equation to explain what happened...


Simple, huh?
 
 
More straightforward and way easier to understand is the Ne44 steel helmet.
 
 
The Ne44 in action:





 
 
 
 
My Serbian version of this helmet is designated the M59.

 
 Weighing in at 2.6 lbs (1200 g) this sage green beauty has been soldiering since 1952, first with Tito's forces and then, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, with those of Serbia and Croatia.
 
 
 
Unlike this Serbian version, the Yugoslav model had the red star insignia on the front.
 
 
 
 A Yugoslav Air Force adhesive-backed vinyl insignia is affixed to the front. As seen the vinyl peels and bubbles and isn't particularly impressive - look at the Chinese composite
paratrooper helmet insignia by way of contrast.
 
 
After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the tragic civil wars that followed the Ne 44/M59
was used by all sides.
 
 
 
 From the rear the helmet has a distinctive bell shape.
 
 
 the Ne 44/M59 has a profile
reminiscent of the Spanish m. 38
 
 
 
 
 
The liner is a near dead-ringer of the US M1 helmet liner, with the Riddell suspension system.
 
 
 
Even the sweatband clips are identical.
 
 
 
The primary difference from the M1 system is the spot-welded washers that affix
 the suspension to the shell.
 
 
 
 Another slight difference from the M1 is the adjustable nape strap.
 
 
 
The bail for the chinstrap is also a copy of the M1...
 
 
 
 as is the adjustment buckle of the chinstrap.
 
 
 
 The strap is marked as is the shell.
 
 
Unusual for helmets, these have serial numbers.
 

 
An altogether handsome helmet that I'm happy to have in the collection.  See you next time.