Can anyone identify this wartime helmet ??

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by ian lanc, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. ian lanc

    ian lanc Member

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    Son got this helmet yesterday and stumped as to what type it is!

    So far I know its NOT English/Canadian/Japanese/Korean/Chinese.

    If you look closely the pressed lip around the helmet is on the lower edge ? This is the problem!

    Any good guess's please ?? Is it WW1 WW2 - postwar ? Somebody must know!

    If you know what type it is do show proof please! had a few guess's and all wrong.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #2 stona, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
    Looks like a British WW2 Civilian Protective Helmet, known as a 'Zuckerman' helmet after the designer who was better known for other things! It was a helmet used by various civil defence units, as the name suggests, not a combat helmet.

    You could buy one in 1941 for 5s 6d.

    MINISTRY OF HOME SECURITY

    THE CIVILIAN PROTECTIVE HELMET

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR ASSEMBLY AND FITTING


    The Civilian Protective Helmet is issued unassembled in three parts - body, lining, and lace.

    The steel body is in two sizes and the liner is in six sizes - ie three sizes to each size of body, as follows -

    The medium body (stamped M) takes linings of 6 and a half, 6 and three quarters and 7.

    The large body (stamped L) takes linings of 7 and a quarter, 7and a half, and 7 and three quarters.

    Fig 1 shows the general shape of the helmet. Although the body is symmetrical in shape the line of lacing holes is sloped so that when the lining is assembled to the body the helmet has a front and a back. The back comes down lower to protect the back of the head.

    The letters L and M stamped under the rim at the back indicates the size of the helmet body.


    How to assemble the Helmet.

    (i) Take a lining of the required size and a body of the size to fit the lining - see above. (NB - It is essential that the right size of body be used with each lining size.) It does not matter which part of the lining becomes the front or back; but it is usual to assemble it so that the join in the headband is at the back.

    (ii) There are eight pairs of lacing holes in the steel body, corresponding with the eight loops on the lining (A 'pair' of holes means two holes close together - about 1 inch apart. There is a space of about 2 inches between two pairs.) A loop should be placed behind and between the two holes which form one pair, and the lace threaded alternately through the lacing holes in the body and the loops on the lining as show in Fig. 2.

    When the lacing is finished lace should be visible outside the body of the helmet between each pair of holes, and should be invisible between the two holes which form a pair (see Fig. 1).

    (iii) When the lacing has been completed, draw the lace tight and tie it firmly in a bow. It will be most satisfactory to form the tie inside the helmet (ie alongside one of the loops in the lining) and at the back, where loose ends can be tucked away, and not outside the helmet, where the tie will be more liable to come undone.

    The lacing can be done with any strong piece of cord or lace of the right thickness if the lace originally provided gets broken.


    How to fit the Helmet.

    The wearer of the helmet should see that it fits well. The leather band of the lining should fit as closely as possible around the head without being too tight. If it is too loose and the next size smaller is too tight, the lining should be padded with layers of paper or other material inside the leather band.

    When the fit around the head has been made right, the helmet should be worn to see whether it comes down far enough, or too far, on the head. This can be adjusted by lengthening or shortening the piece of cord which is threaded through the webbing band at the crown of the head. The brim at the front should be about level with the eyebrows when the helmet is worn in a comfortable position on the head. (Note - the cord must not be loosened so much that the head nearly comes in contact with the steel body. People with high-domed heads may find it advisable to wear the helmet above eyebrow level.)


    Chinstrap or Carrying Loops

    No chinstrap is provided because it is not likely to be necessary except in rare circumstances. Nevertheless lugs are provided inside the helmet on either side through which a piece of tape can be threaded if desired, to form either a strap (to be worn either under the chin or at the back of the head) or a carrying loop.



    Some did fit chin straps:

    [​IMG]


    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, it's one of them alright. Back in the 1970's, you could pick them up for a couple of Bob.
     
  5. ian lanc

    ian lanc Member

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  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There were several manufacturers of Zuckerman helmets.

    Given that more than 10 million were produced, you'd need to check if any were made slightly differently. I know some had the rolled edge underneath for example. I don't know all the manufacturers' stamps, but The M is for medium and most helmets did not come in two different sizes.

    To my eye that dome looks like a 'Zuckerman'.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. ian lanc

    ian lanc Member

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    Well Steve I think you are right mate :shock:

    Any idea's what the two holes around the rim was for ?
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Possibly where the hooks of the optional chin strap were fitted. I remember a friend of mine in the early 1960's had one from the Civil Defence, which had a chin strap, from memory hooked to the edge of the helmet.
     
  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Steve/Terry - a couple of auto makers made some of these. Do you think VM = Vauxhall Motors?
     
  10. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Wow you guys are good!
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Very possible, if not probable Mike. I vaguely remember them also being used by steel erectors in the early/mid 1960's, before the modern 'hard hat' was introduced, at a time when 'high rise', steel frame buildings were cropping up all over the UK, and a friend's father, who worked for Pressed Steel (who pressed car body panels) told us they'd been diverted on one production line to make helmets, so possibly the same type.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    you guys might find this interesting:
    When I was a kid, I recall seeing a few of these Zuckerman helmets being used by southern Oregon loggers. I clearly recall one that had the same letters SFP on the front (like the picture) and was painted an off-white (the other was painted a silver color)...not sure what that means, I thought it might have something to do with Sierra Pacific Industries, which is a forestry/timber products company, but that region back then was all Wyerhauser and Roseburg Industries.

    I suppose those Zuckermans were purchased as surplus?
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #13 stona, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    SFP was for 'supplementary fire party'.

    Pressed Steel at Cowley definitely made these helmets, but they were stamped with their logo rather than letters. I come from south of Oxford, not far from the old Cowley plant and still remember seeing war time camouflage on some of the buildings as a kid.

    I found this website whilst looking for manufacturers (I only know three and there were dozens). It illustrates the slightly different styles quite well. There is a suggestion that the holes in the rim are for transporting the helmets, stacked in tens and tied together.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I've done a little more checking with 'someone wot knows' about these things. I'm 100% sure it's a civilian protection helmet. The old saying about not looking for a zebra when there's a donkey in the field comes to mind :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  15. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Steve don't discount the occasional Okapi:)
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure it's not a Quagga?
     
  17. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Have to be stuffed then. Last one died in 1883. Don't worry me hat and coat are already on....
     
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