Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hungarian m.35-38 combat helmet part one

Some of my favorite Hungarians:

Bela Bartok

Ernie Kovacs

Eliza Doolittle.  "...and not only is she of royal blood; she is a princess!" *
                                                                               Zoltan Karpathy

And the Hungarian (and often Finnish) M35-38.

Uh-oh, I don't know about you but I'm always a little skeptical about countries that model their helmets after the German stahlhelm.  Sure its a great design but it has a troubling cachet, n'est-ce pas ? (Bang! two french terms in a row).

This is an example of a Hungarian M35-38 which was refurbished into Finnish army service.

Differences from the German M35 include the rivet placement...

and the small bracket on the rear skirt.

This bracket was used to fasten the helmet on to the soldier's backpack while on the march.

The M35-38 in the field and gaily decorated.

A video of the Hungarian helmet in action here (with a nice view at 1:25)

Size and manufacturers marks are stamped into the inside of the rear skirt. Flecks of blue paint on the again indicate the Hungarian lineage of this helmet which, following WWII, was repainted and fitted
 with a Finnish liner.

The liner is distinctly Finnish.

The fabric envelopes for the pads are a little festive.

The ventilator is stamped rather than a separate piece similar to the German M40 and M42.

A very simple iron buckle graces the chinstrap.

The rivets and washers appear to be brass and the liner fingers are sewn to a heavy leather band, vey similar to the German M.16.

More tell-tale flecks of blue paint add to the circuitous  pedigree of this helmet.

The M35-38 served from 1936 well in to the Cold War, seeing two decades of service both with Hungarian forces and later in the livery of Finland.   German design, Hungarian manufacture, Finnish service; this is a well-travelled helmet.

* Thanks to Frances for this information and to Mark for his peerless interpretation of Henry Higgins.

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