Sunday, July 17, 2016

Portugal m.1916 combat helmet

I'm quite serious...

the only helmet that offers less ballistic protection than the lid of a
Webber barbecue grill...

is the Portuguese m.1916 of the Great War.

Burgers anyone?

It is no coincidence that the m.1916 bears a great resemblance to the British mk.I helmet as it was designed by British Army officer Major John MacIntosh.

The steel of this featherweight helmet is very thin; it weighs only 1.3 pounds.  Compare that to the manganese steel British mk.I which weighs in at 2.09 pounds and the heavyweight German nickel-chromium m.1916 at 3.04 pounds!

The chinstrap is missing and the liner is only partially intact; factors that made this very rare helmet affordable to my humble collection.

There is a ventilation hole on each side, formed by a separate grommet.

 A flimsy band of corrugated cork provides the only spacing between the helmet shell
and the head of the wearer.  Ouch!

The name, or initials, of the wearer are inked into the leather headband.

The edge of the rim is folded, surprising for such a cheaply stamped helmet.

Further compromising the meager ballistic value of the helmet are all of the holes drilled through the shell by which the liner is stitched in.

The corrugations in the steel, giving this Brodie-style helmet its distinctive look, were probably to add rigidity to this very thin helmet.

The post-war "Cruz de Aviz" insignia indicates that this helmet soldiered on after the Great War as part of the fascist paramilitary group; the Legião Portuguesa.

Legião Portuguesa members.

Now, as is usual with these posts, some photos and graphics of the m.1916 in action:

Pictured at center, in this group of Portuguese and British prisoners
is a soldier sporting the m.1916.

Now, I have to get back to that barbecue!

See you next time with another cool helmet from the collection.