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Gildwiller1918

M56 Helmet

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I just picked up a nice M56 Helmet. This was the helmet used by the NVA or Nationale Volksarmee in Eastern Germany after WW2 (these were also used to some degree by the North Vietnamese). This one is stamped inside the rim with "II" which indicates its a medium size shell, "12" for the month of manufacture, and "60" for the year made. This shell has the outer rivets which was discontinued after 1966. The liner is a newer replacement and it marked on the inside liner, with "NVA II. N" the "II" was for the shell size and the "N" was a year code given, which did not go in chronological order, in this case it stood for the year 1989. I have not had one of these in years, but I found it for a really good price. 

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The design of this helmet was the projected M.44, which was shown to Hitler with the introduction of the new M.44 uniform. Hitler categorically refused this design, which he considered totally un-German, and prohibited further manufacture and introduction.
The design was later found and reconsidered at the foundation of the NVA in 1956. The new uniforms were based on the outward appearance of the former Wehrmacht uniforms, and on a recommendation by Soviet generals, however, the traditional German helmet was turned down for political reasons and the M.44 design was introduced.

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Good info Fritz! I think most people do not realize the history of this helmet, I know I did not. I do plan on getting a version of this helmet with the earlier type liner, similar to the WW2 versions. 

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I mentioned this in detail in a previous post.

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Here are the helmets in use 

 

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