Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bulgarian M36/C combat helmet

"Old soldiers never die" 
(they just lose a whole lot of their paint)

Used between 1938 until the the last decade of the 20th century the m.36/C had a long life under more than one regime and great geopolitical changes.

An abundance of these helmets ended up on ebay as the m.36/C was an inexpensive glut on that venue for two or three years.

The design of the m.36/C was influenced by the German helmets of the era.  During the
Second World War Bulgaria was a nominal ally of Nazi Germany.

Both paint and tricolor decal are pretty beaten up leading me to believe that this particular helmet saw a lot of service over five decades or more.

The applied ventilator bushings are similar to the Italian m,33 but are more conical.

The ventilator bushings are secured by a large washer.

Split-pins affix the liner framework and the chinstrap bails.

A subtle crest runs the length of the crown of the shell

The only markings are a size indicator on the liner and, perhaps, the initials of one of the wearers.

The quality of the leather liner and chinstrap is inferior to the m.36/A (here).

Robust swivel bails secure the chinstrap halves.

Unlike the m.36/A the leather liner is supported by a metal frame, vaguely reminiscent 
of the Italian m.33.

Small split-pins secure the liner to the frame.

Here's a gallery of the M36/C in action:

A Bulgarian soldier with his "sort of" Nazi friend ("frenemies" as the young folks say today).

Who doesn't enjoy a little vino while on the march?

A mix of m.36/Cs and m.36/As. All three versions - A,B, and C were used simultaneously.

The m,36/C soldiered on through the Cold War era.

A Bulgarian soldier armed with an AK-47 supported by a Soviet-made T-34 tank.

Bulgarians of the Cold War, note the RPG launcher, ubiquitous to all communist countries of the era and still widely used today.

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


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