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WWI Helmet Identification Help


adammg89

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Hello all! I'm hoping someone might be able to help me identify my two helmets. I was deployed to Afghanistan from 2013 - 2014 and purchased these two items from an Afghan bazar vendor who claimed they were WWI German helmets that were later used by the Afghan army after WWI. I purchased one smaller one and one larger helmet. I forgot what I paid for them, but I haven't tried to do any research on them until recently.

What I can tell so far is that the larger one looks Austro-Hungarian from the rivets but I can't tell what the smaller one is as I can't find any examples of the positioning of the bottom rivet. I also can't find any markings on the inside, so they are either fake, very faded, or painted over a lot. I also honestly don't know where exactly to look anyway.

Can anyone tell me anything about these helmets from the photos I attached? If you need a photo of a specific part, please let me know.

Thank you much!

Adam

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They both have remains of the original fieldgrey paintwork and some corrosion. Check to see if there are any markings stamped to the insides of the shell. The strap swivels on the inside of one helmet look like Austrian production. There have also been extra holes/rivets made to accomodate an alternative style of liner, and further holes for attaching a shield or crest, these also of Austrian origin. I would leave the paintwork as it is, as it is orginal. Due to the extra holes drilled in, the helmet would not be of top value, but still a historical keepsake. There are German style reproduction WW1 liners available, you could consider whether the liners should be replaced, or just leave as original.

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I would leave the helmets as they are, the Afghan army also used the M35 style, these were worn up to the 1950's. During the early Third Reich era German military observers were fairly impressed with the Royal Afghan Army, calling them “Prussians Of The Orient”.  

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The shoulder patch on this soldier’s uniform is the Royal Household Unit, an elite infantry formation dedicated to guarding the king’s palaces in Kabul.

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Drollig, die weißen Kinnriemen!

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Thank you for the information everyone! I will try harder to find some markings but I truly cannot locate any even under direct light... Would anyone recommend cleaning the inside / removing some layers of dirt? Or would this be detrimental to the value / integrity of the helmet?

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I would leave them alone honestly, but that is your call. I picked up some nice 1860's dated tower Enfield rifles when I was over there in 2002. Really cheap, but they were already cranking out forgeries to sell. Great find on the helmets, there have also been WW1 French FT-17 tanks recovered form that area as well. 

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That's awesome! I picked up two Einfield rifles myself while I was there. I tried my best to make sure they weren't fake by disassembling them and checking the parts and photos online before buying them, but you never know. If I knew the helmets were real at the time, I honestly would have purchased more!

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Yeah, I understand not expecting to find items like that over there. Education and research can help you out in the long run. Get some good reference materials and photo examples. 

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