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The Collectability of the Adrian Helmet

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Hello all,

I've been exploring some of the German helmet variations (with significant help from Fritz and Kenny - much appreciated).

During my internet research I also keep stumbling across a variation of Adrian helmets - each with ornate designs. I particularly like the polish legion design (puts me in mind of Crimean/Napoleonic infantry).

My question is 2 fold, are these helmets desirable (as they seem to be significantly cheaper than German equivalents) and linked to this are they often faked? (If so is there any tell tale signs of legitimacy).

Thanks in advance.

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There are modern reproductions on the market and a whole range of the different emblems worn. Good WW1 and even WW2 helmets, which are complete and in a reasonable condition are getting harder to find. The WW1 helmets were generally horizon blue, the WW2 were basicly khaki finished, but some have an olive green colour finish over the previous colour. In 1939, along with the new pattern 1926 helmet, which also had a new design of emblem, being on a round disc, the older 1915 types were also worn. Khaki replaced horizon blue in the mid 1930s.
In the photo, an example of the M.15 type re-used in 1939/40, with greenish finish and emblem for pionier/engineer troops. You can still see the original horizon blue finish under the olive colour.

There is certainly a demand for these types of helmet, especially for the WW1 collector, or those specialised in French militaria.

Adrian.Genie.jpg

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Again your detailed reply is much appreciated Fritz.

I have one more request and then I'll stop asking for advice (for now at least 😀).

This helmet is currently for sale - Is there any indicators of authenticity. Is it like the German helmets, should they have makers marks in a specific place?

Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After some research I believe this helmet to be ww2 - it's being sold as ww1 which threw me off a bit.

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In that condition I think you would be better to pass on it anyway.

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Thanks Kenny, after a bit more research I believe it ww2 civic defence rather different to the ww1 combat shell it is being sold as.

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This is a helmet of the "Defence Passive" - or civil defence. It is the 1926 pattern with the original horizon blue finish, which was later changed to khaki, as mentioned. The makers name was, I believe, usually printed on the underside of the leather liner. The helmet has the new type at the time, special fittings for removing and replacing the liner easily. You can now get good copy liners and chinstraps, which are sometimes offered in the internet, either from sources in France or the UK, from the pictures seen so far, they look quite well made and not too expensive. If the helmet is not too expensive, I would perhaps tend to go for it, the condition in the picture seems reasonable. It might make a good start to a small collection of these helmets and their variations. Around 50-60 pounds might be ok.

I would tend to ask the seller whether this has been repainted - i.e., horizon blue over the original khaki, it is hard to judge from the photo.
If so, then this is a modern repaint, possibly used in a film or re-enactment, then I wouldn't bother. Ask also for a guarantee, whether this can be returned against refund if not satisfied.

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It is interesting to note, that Churchill, after he resigned from his position after the Gallipoli failure, rejoined his old regiment at the Front in France as a Major, and being fluent in French, expressed how impressed he was about the new French steel helmet, that he was presented with an example, which he then wore in the trenches. This original helmet with a photo of him wearing it, is in the collections of the Imperial War Museum in London and was part of the permanent exhibitions there, possibly still on show.

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Thanks for the info 👍 it's all helping me get a grasp of what i'm looking at when researching.

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In my research, there seems to be a mixture of the fully blue/green ones and ones that have chrome bits (see example). Am I right in thinking that the chrome pieces indicate that the helmet was non-combat. I assume this based on the fact I wouldn't want to be sitting in a trench or bunker with a shiny hat on 🤔

 

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On the later models the comb was often made of aluminium, which however, often loses much of it's paintwork.  On the other hand, some civil organisations wore a helmet with nickel plated fittings, the badge and the comb being thus brighter, for example the police, who wore a black (or dark blue?) helmet with badge and comb in nickel plating. These can be seen in wartime photos, especially those of August 1944, where the police joined in with the street fighting in Paris.
Here are some examples of historic photos from August 1944 depicting police forces and others wearing such helmets.

Captured adrian helmets were also refurbished and re-issued on a small scale to various organisations such as Luftschutz, Polizei, etc., as was much other captured material.

Paris443.jpg

Paris444.jpg

Paris44.1.jpg

Paris442.jpg

Paris44.jpg

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Great, thanks for your continued indulgence. My next move is to see if I can find the triangular badge missing from the front to try and identify my example. Any suggestions would help - strangely I find myself becoming obsessed with investigating wartime helmets 😂 I think I've caught the bug

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This is not a triangular badge. The original badge was removed and the helmet for re-used by some other (civil) organisation and the green triangle painted on as a sign  or symbol for it's new usage. Different branches of service would have this colour code. Try and find out more on this, wouldn't be sure if any information of this sort has been documented or recorded, as it was often done on a makeshift basis in difficult times, such as by the resistance during the occupation.

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Hi everyone,

I've found another badge/symbol that has me stumped.

Does anyone have an idea if this pleated circular plate is a badge or something that's been added (it's on an Adrian helmet)

Thanks in advance

 

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Hi Rank, looks like a badly worn Peruvian Model 1934 Adrian Helmet, the center of the badge should have a face, which seems to have worn off. 

peru-model-1934-adrian-helmetw-sun_1_09ff6f3fb3bf262675ba2e816d559b11.jpg

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Very nice indeed.

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How to ruin a helmet

 

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Interesting video, seems like a lot of work to restore a helmet that has obvious rust damage. I have restored several myself, but I only work on sound helmets and try to use original or authentic parts in my restoration. The main reason I restore some helmets is that I do reenactments and would rather not mess up an original helmet. 

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