M1 Helmet and Liner
What is it?
The M1 Helemt came into service in 1941 and
replaced the British style M1917A1 helmet which had been in use since WWI
The helmet was universally adopted by all branches
of the Army and Marines, and would continue on in
service until 1985.
The helmet comes in two parts - a steel shell and
a liner. Each have important features on
them that make them a distinct part of WWII.
There are various types of liner that were in service during the war. They where normally brown in colour and made from compressed strips of canvas or cardboard. This model is more commonly known as “tortoise shell”.
Post war shells were typically made from green plastic. You can use these in a pinch, as people will not see the underside of your helmet, but we aim to be as historically accurate as possible.
There are a number of model shells that where issued throughout the course of the war. As a beginner helmet you should look at getting a post war European model. These are available through a number of militaria stores. Soldier of Fortune would be a good starting place. If purchasing a post war European model please note that the canvas chin strip will need removing and replacing with an OD3 version.
What impression can I use this with?
Things to note when buying
Budget permitting, get an orignal WW2 helmet, including correct tortoise shell liner
The webbing for the chin strap was a light olive drab (OD3) in early/mid war and went darker (OD 7) late war. OD3 would be better
Be careful not to get a helmet that was airborne as the chin straps and bales were significantly different
Post War, many European armed forces adopted the M1 helmet as part of their standard uniform. These models are refereed to as "European issue". This version is the most common you will see when buying a helmet. They are based on the late war model, are fine to use. Just make sure that you replace canvas chin strap for one that's OD3, and swap out the European helmet liner with something that is more authentic to U.S issue