Skip to comments.M-1 Steel Helmet
Posted on 01/26/2013 8:32:59 AM PST by virgil283
"Early in World War II, U.S. forces were still equipped with the M1917 "Doughboy" helmet, a left over from the First World War. The M1917A1 helmet, adopted in 1939, differed only in minor details. In 1941, the M-1 "steel pot" helmet was adopted as a replacement in all the US armed services, although it did not become universal for at least another year. The new helmet was issued to the Marine Corps in the spring and early summer of 1942. At Guadalcanal, in August 1942, the M1 helmet was common and the old "dishpan" helmet had mostly disappeared......
After its adoption in 1941, the M-1 Steel Helmet became the symbol of U.S. military forces and was used world-wide by all branches of the services for the duration of World War II, in Korea, and through the Vietnam War...."
(Excerpt) Read more at olive-drab.com ...
I grew up with these....my dad’s he brought home... the one I got.....Every time I see the new Kevlars, I get a tinge of all those Nazi helmets I saw in the WWII movies...something just don’t sit right, even though I know they provide better protection...
I believe our modern helmet is based on the German Stahlhelm M1942. Can’t beat German engineering I guess.
Is the rough texture to reduce glint?
Excellent picture. Thanks for posting.
I remember watching a show about that Stahlhelm and how it was an amazing piece of both design and metallurgy. It gave better coverage and (hence) protection than allied helmets, and it was also made of a more durable metal. Hard to beat the German engineers when they are on their game.
Yep. Any time you see a "shiny" helmet, it is actually the helmet liner, which were originally made from compressed, and impregnated paper fibers, and later from plastic or fiberglass. The liner by itself, offers a level of protection analogous to say a civilian hard hat. In garrison situations, MPs, drill teams, color guards, DI's etc. would wear polished, painted or even chromed liners. These were sometimes referred to as "parade helmets." The steel shell could not be worn by itself as the liner had the suspension, headband, chin straps, etc...
For example, you can see the difference comparing the following photos...
“Every time I see the new Kevlars, I get a tinge of all those Nazi helmets I saw in the WWII movies...something just dont sit right, even though I know they provide better protection...”
Kevlar was developed in 1965 by DuPont and the Army started using them in the late 70's, and by the mid 80's every branch of the military was using kevlar.
Kevlar has been enhanced and other fiber types are also in use.
Not the material, it’s the style/look.
It took a while adjusting it, but the 1st generation Kevlar, aka “Fritz,” I received in 1986 eventually fit as well and easily as my M1 steel pot. The current Kevlar is a 2nd or 3rd generation, with a less pronounced back flare to protect the back of one’s neck, due to nearly all troops wearing body armor (aka modernized ‘flak vests’ of Vietnam). the original Kevlar and modern body armor causes the front of the helmet to cover one’s eyes, aka Beetle Bailey.
Yeah, I wore the original k-pot for several years until I was assigned to the Stryker brigades. They were a royal PITA when worn with the old flak vests. I don’t think I ever wore an IBA with an old k-pot.
The flak jacket—>IBA—>IOTV evolution was a very welcome one as well.
Yeah, the solo chin strap on the kevlar was uncomfortable (never did get that whole button snapping thing down) and it easily came loose, especially while IMTing. The MICH has better padding and the airborne retention straps built in. It’s also a tad lighter and made to hold NODs more securely. Also, instead of the unsnappable button on the chinstrap, it’s a plastic clip that doesn’t come undone and is easy to work with.
...and I’m guessing the NCOs still refer to them affectionately as “brain buckets” :-)
Big Red One helmets, a fine sight. In our final days with the old steel pot before we turned them in and drew our Kevlars, the 16th Infantry scheduled a road march. I had all of the soldiers remove their camouflage covers and we humped with the bare steel pots, probably hadn’t been done in years and made the CSM nervous. No doubt the troops thought I had finally gone around the bend, but it was good to pay tribute to those who had gone before us. We never wore them again.