British Helmets

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by chipm, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    All other countries (i think) had moved on to a style of helmet that covered more of a persons ears and neck.
    Was it just the fact that they had the machines to make them, or did they think it was a better design..........why did The Brits continue to make that "Old Style" of helmet.?
    Thank You
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    Helmet design 1:0:1 is to protect the carotid artery, throat, temple, back of neck. The classic 1WW brimmed British Mk.1 & 2 shell designs were specifically designed for protection from fragments of shells exploding either as airbursts or in mud - i.e. falling at a steep angle. In this case the brim protects the temple, carotid artery and back of neck whilst not restricting movement or hearing. It was always appreciated that the design was flawed if the projectiles where at a shallower angle. There are complaints about the helmet from fronts with harder ground e.g. Mesopotamia).

    However, steel helmet designs became iconic very quickly. Also rushed production soon becomes a stockpile. Post war economics meant the British entered the 2WW with the flawed design new designs were not put into production. Combat reports soon requested a better helmet however the new version was considered easy to mistake for the Italian helmet and held back until Italy was out of the war (Its first widespread issue was D-Day). The dilemma was risk of friendly fire vs +/- 10% increase in protection.
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  4. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Exactly as said above , then we were wearing the 1944 pattern helmet into the mid 80s ! ( and doing almost anything to avoid doing so )
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  5. Listy

    Listy Well-Known Member

    As someone once told me.
    Lie prone with a helmet on, now open fire with your rifle to your shoulder. You'll soon see the advantages of a British helmet.

    They might have a point on that.
  6. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The 'new 'British helmet was issued in time for Normandy and though everyone thinks the German helmet is' The' standard it too was found wanting and a new designed was introduced during the war. Hitler did not like the look of it (though tests proved it offered better protection) and prevented its general issue. After the war the 'improved' German helmet was taken up by The East German Army. There is film of a German soldier wearing the 'improved' helmet in action so some did get issued.

    Comparison of the 'improved' German helmet (top) with the 1944 British helmet

    german helmet replacement.jpg

    Stahlheim new design Helmet   (3)c.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
    ceolredmonger, Sheldrake and Owen like this.
  7. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    Wow....amazing how much info is available about ALL facets of WW2.
    Thanks for all of the replies.! :)

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