Republican Guard Helmet

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    Jagdpanther
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    Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:22 am

    Hi,

    I bought this helmet back around 2004/5, apparently captured by a soldier of the 82nd ABN - it is either an M1 or a "Euro-clone" (or similar) of the M1 (attached to the liner it has a material chin strap pushed up on the front of the helmet as found on "euro-clones", but the 1980s style US Army main-shell chin strap??). Inside is written "Republican Guard Helmet Captured by SSgt Breslow Al Khidr Iraq 2003 82 AB 504 PIR G". The inside of the liner is painted in the same pinkish tan as the outside of the shell, it still has traces of dirt/sand sandwiched between the shell and liner, meaning that the liner is very well "stuck" into the shell, and I have not attempted to remove it to study the liner or inside of the main shell in more detail...

    As you can see, it has an Arabic slogan of some kind written around the outside of the shell - I'd love to know what it says - anyone speak Arabic?!?!!!

    Ade

















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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by nkomo on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:15 am

    VERY nice helmet!!!

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:23 pm

    Thanks very much! Very Happy
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by rob8066 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:30 pm

    Don't want to be the downer on this, but i've never seen an Iraqi helmet that looks like this.

    Its a standard US M1 been sprayd sand.

    If you look the interior has no sweat marks after it has been sprayed either.

    There is over spray on the Arabic writing as well.

    Not convinced i'm afraid.

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:14 pm

    rob8066 wrote:Don't want to be the downer on this, but i've never seen an Iraqi helmet that looks like this.

    Its a standard US M1 been sprayd sand.

    If you look the interior has no sweat marks after it has been sprayed either.

    There is over spray on the Arabic writing as well.

    Not convinced i'm afraid.

    I know exactly what you mean, I've not seen another quite like this - but I'm as sure as I can be that it is legit. Firstly, I got it for just £30 (at a militaria show in Malvern, England from a Dutch chap who said he got it from a friend of his who was the US soldier that captured it - obviously the latter doesn't count for much in itself) - surely if you were going to fake something like this you would do it to make some £'s on - so you wouldn't then go on to sell it for just £30 - if it was a US Army helmet it would have been worth that before fiddling with it and faking it up as an Iraqi lid!! Re the "over-spray" on the Arabic writing, it is not spray, but the whole helmet (this is hard to see on the pics) is covered in a layer of hard baked dirt/sand - that is what you can see on the writing. Plus I've owned this since just after the war (I got it in '04/'05), so - whilst not impossible - I just don't see someone faking it so soon after the war then selling it on for a pittance - if I had bought this last week for £70 I'd be more suspicious...

    I think it is a US shell, as opposed to a Euro-clone, which is odd for an Iraqi helmet as far as I can tell, but I was wondering if it might have found its way into Iraqi use via somewhere like Kuwait - presuming Kuwait used US supplied M1's(??). (My reasoning is that after the invasion in '90 some captured Kuwaiti kit was used by the Iraqis - I obviously don't know, just a guess.)

    Bottom line to me is that, whilst it is an odd ball, it just doesn't stack up as a fake and when you've got it in hand, it seems "right", if you know what I mean....? I'd be interested in more views though??

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:53 pm

    Further to the above, I've just stumbled upon this thread:

    http://oefoif.forumotion.net/t1085-nkomo-s-iraqi-helmets

    The first helmet on there is the same model as mine - i.e. a US M1 with a 1980's pattern US Army chin strap.
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by nkomo on Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:09 pm

    Jagdpanther wrote:Further to the above, I've just stumbled upon this thread:

    http://oefoif.forumotion.net/t1085-nkomo-s-iraqi-helmets

    The first helmet on there is the same model as mine - i.e. a US M1 with a 1980's pattern US Army chin strap.

    The one you referenced in the link above was carried out of the desert by one of my dad's former students.
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by zvez on Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:17 pm

    You might swing by the Iraq collectors forum, it's for Iraqi military gear, we've got a long thread on helmet variations:

    http://z8.invisionfree.com/Iraq_militaria_forum/index.php?

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:53 pm

    zvez wrote:You might swing by the Iraq collectors forum, it's for Iraqi military gear, we've got a long thread on helmet variations:


    Thanks for that - I will do. I had a quick look on there and found another one of the very same pattern as mine - the second from last, and third from last, posts on the "Iraqi Helmets 101" thread (I would post a link, but apparently new members cannot post links for the first 7 days on here!). Like mine it looks a hybrid of a US M1 and a clone M1 - i.e. US style with 1980's US pattern chin strap on the shell, but clone-style plastic liner and cotton/web liner chin strap pushed up on the front (in style of leather WW2 US one, but in cotton/web)..

    I'll post mine up on that forum too and see what opinions we get - cheers!
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by zvez on Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:06 pm

    This is the Iraqi 101 thread over there which gives lots of good info on variants:

    http://z8.invisionfree.com/Iraq_militaria_forum/index.php?showtopic=1826&view=getnewpost

    as an fyi, I'm not sure all the images will display in the thread unless logged in as a member.

    Chris

    Jagdpanther wrote:
    zvez wrote:You might swing by the Iraq collectors forum, it's for Iraqi military gear, we've got a long thread on helmet variations:


    Thanks for that - I will do. I had a quick look on there and found another one of the very same pattern as mine - the second from last, and third from last, posts on the "Iraqi Helmets 101" thread (I would post a link, but apparently new members cannot post links for the first 7 days on here!). Like mine it looks a hybrid of a US M1 and a clone M1 - i.e. US style with 1980's US pattern chin strap on the shell, but clone-style plastic liner and cotton/web liner chin strap pushed up on the front (in style of leather WW2 US one, but in cotton/web)..

    I'll post mine up on that forum too and see what opinions we get - cheers!

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:13 pm

    Thanks for posting the link Chris.

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by HoovieDude on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:13 pm

    Who added the writing? Some observations on it from my point. Paint, specifically the liner, looks too fresh. No wear on it. Hand writing looks European rather than American. Especially the lower case "t". The "SStg" looks like an attempt to spell "SSGT", which the U.S. Army abbreviates it SSG. Also, the 504, would have a "th", as in the 504th. We generally do not label units the same way our cousins across the ponds do. As in "1 Para", or "One Para". To us, it would be "1st" or First para, etc.. Not sure what the "G" is supposed to be either?

    All in all, could be wrong. But that is my take on it. Is there any provenance to it?

    I will get one of my Iraqi co-workers, a ex Republican Guard officer to translate it next week after the holidays.
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by zvez on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:36 pm

    Thinking tho, the writing may have done by the original buyer and not the soldier getting it. ie the soldier gave the details and the buyer wrote it out??? Just a thought?

    Chris

    HoovieDude wrote:Who added the writing? Some observations on it from my point. Paint, specifically the liner, looks too fresh. No wear on it. Hand writing looks European rather than American. Especially the lower case "t". The "SStg" looks like an attempt to spell "SSGT", which the U.S. Army abbreviates it SSG. Also, the 504, would have a "th", as in the 504th. We generally do not label units the same way our cousins across the ponds do. As in "1 Para", or "One Para". To us, it would be "1st" or First para, etc.. Not sure what the "G" is supposed to be either?

    All in all, could be wrong. But that is my take on it. Is there any provenance to it?

    I will get one of my Iraqi co-workers, a ex Republican Guard officer to translate it next week after the holidays.

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by HoovieDude on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:34 pm

    zvez wrote:Thinking tho, the writing may have done by the original buyer and not the soldier getting it. ie the soldier gave the details and the buyer wrote it out??? Just a thought?

    Chris


    True that Chris.

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:13 am

    Right, I've taken the liner out for the first time in all the years I have owned it, so you can have a look at that in more detail, pics below - but first, immediately below is the other similar Iraqi helmet mentioned from the other forum kindly brought to my attention by Chris (see link above from Chris) - like mine it has a US style shell and 1980's style chin strap, but with an M1 clone style plastic liner including material liner chin strap - that helmet is suggested to be of South Korean manufacture:





    Right, back to mine, below is the outside of the liner of mine, plus the inside of the shell (I can find no markings inside the shell):

















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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Easy Gee on Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:57 am

    I have some serious reservations about this lid.

    It is not inconceivable for Iraqi troops to have re-used a captured US or West German M1 clone lid from their war with Iran.But this lid doesn't look like either of these.

    My tuppence worth -I don't think this lid is US,unless a heat stamp can be found within the steel pot, the liner looks like a Norwegian or Austrian M1 clone to me.

    On a more positive note, it is an interesting piece.And has an air of mystery around it ,which I personally like about any Military piece!!!!

    My tip ,would be to discover some manufacturers markings/heat stamps, and go from there.





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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by zvez on Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:23 am

    Do you have a translation of the arabic text?

    Not much surprises me about Iraq stuff their procurement/supply system must've have been a nightmare

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by nkomo on Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:24 am

    zvez wrote:

    Not much surprises me about Iraq stuff their procurement/supply system must've have been a nightmare

    Chris
    Totally agree with you on that one, Chris. Absolute nightmare.
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Easy Gee on Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:56 pm

    nkomo wrote:
    zvez wrote:

    Not much surprises me about Iraq stuff their procurement/supply system must've have been a nightmare

    Chris
    Totally agree with you on that one, Chris. Absolute nightmare.


    I've been reading some research books lately about Iraqi procurement of uniforms and equipment..Saddam had some interesting sources for sure!!!!!!

    Next book I get will be Arabic for beginners Smile


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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:42 pm

    Thanks for all the comments/thoughts/feedback. This helmet has been sat on the side getting little attention for years as the WW2 stuff has been my main interest, so I've probably spent more time studying this helmet in the last 24 hours than in the last 7 or 8 years!

    Obviously this is a controversial lid, but pending any other discoveries about it, I am 99% sure it is legit. On the downside is the good condition of the paintwork plus the handwriting on the inside - the paintwork seems to have been a "field done" job, so conceivably might have been done not long before it was captured(?) and the writing could have been done by the person who had the lid off the capturing soldier as opposed to by the soldier himself, as commented above. On the upside, this kind of helmet (though rare) does appear to have been used by Saddam's Iraq (examples sited above) and it has a slightly unique configuration that it shares with those other ones identified as being Iraqi (1980s style steel shell chin strap but clone type liner/strap).

    At the start of the thread I thought it was possibly a US M1 or a Euro-clone of the M1 - I don't think it is either now - without being able to find any makers marks on it at all - and I have been over every inch of it today - my hunch is that it is something like South Korean made. Although the liner is plastic, it is not like the plastic Euro-clone liners (which I also have in my possession to compare) as apart from the fact they have a different feel about them (Euro liners have thicker/heavier and duller plastic than this), they also have a hole in the front for attaching insignia, like the WW2 fibre US ones did. This one does not. Below are some South Korean ROK Army M1's, presumably locally made - notice they have the same 1980s strap on the steel shell but the photos of the liners being worn at the DMZ show that the liners have no insignia hole in the front just like mine... So maybe S Korean made - like the M80 helmets were??

    If only I could find someone to translate the Arabic - I might have found someone for that, but it will be a few weeks before I can get hold of them...









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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by rob8066 on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:48 pm

    Well, we've certainly opened an interesting series of comments here.

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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by rob8066 on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:55 pm

    zvez wrote:You might swing by the Iraq collectors forum, it's for Iraqi military gear, we've got a long thread on helmet variations:

    http://z8.invisionfree.com/Iraq_militaria_forum/index.php?

    Just taken a look at your postings and pictures on Iraqi helmets.

    Really good & a very fascinating collection you have there.

    As for the sand coloured one you have with a green camo net on which you don't believe you know its origin.

    I believe these were manufactured in France.
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Easy Gee on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:44 pm

    It is interesting that you mentioned that you got it from a Dutch chap, I've looked at the liner again, and if I'm not very much mistaken the liner is Dutch, in fact an M-53 Thermoplastic model, quite distinctive from other Euro clone liners,in that is has poppers on the front of the suspension in which too attach the leather sweatband!!!


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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:38 pm

    Easy Gee wrote:It is interesting that you mentioned that you got it from a Dutch chap, I've looked at the liner again, and if I'm not very much mistaken the liner is Dutch, in fact an M-53 Thermoplastic model, quite distinctive from other Euro clone liners,in that is has poppers on the front of the suspension in which too attach the leather sweatband!!!

    Hmmmm - good spot - I think you are on to something there..!! Now you've pointed that out, I'd have to agree - I can only find photos of the inside of Dutch M53 liners and can't recall having seen the outside of one - do Dutch M53 liners lack the hole in the front for insignia like mine does?

    I've also noticed on mine that the nape strap is stitched in at one end, with poppers at only the one end, unlike US ones, but like Dutch M53s....

    If the liner is Dutch what about the shell - ever seen a Dutch shell with this style chin strap - the Dutch ones I have seen have straps more like a post-war US one, not a 1980s US one like this? (Obviously straps can be changed though...)

    With your research of Iraqi procurement, was Holland on the list of suppliers, or is this one starting to look more like an elaborate fake?

    Dutch M53 liner:
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Easy Gee on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:48 am

    Hi Jagdpather.

    The later thermoplastic liners do lack an insignia hole, and I believe that the later clip on type of chinstrap was used in the 80's,amongst many other European Armies.

    The shell if it is Dutch too,will have a stamp on the rim VBL and a series of numbers,but you might have to scratch a bit of the paint away from this area.!!!


    Iraq did not source from The Netherlands. Amazingly US WW2 F/S M1's were used as well as British Mk4's, and Russian lids, amongst many others, but not European M1 Clones.

    Hope this helps you, and sorry to be so cynical about this lid, but lids are my thing as it were!!!

    Cheers Gary. Wink


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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Jagdpanther on Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:02 pm

    Hi Gary,

    No problem at all - the idea is to get to the bottom of if this is legit or not, even if it bad news, as it seems to be for my lid...! So thanks for the info. Interesting re the other sources of Iraqi helmets, especially the WW2 M1's!

    Cheers,

    Ade
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    Re: Republican Guard Helmet

    Post by Easy Gee on Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:46 pm

    Jagdpanther wrote:Hi Gary,

    No problem at all - the idea is to get to the bottom of if this is legit or not, even if it bad news, as it seems to be for my lid...! So thanks for the info. Interesting re the other sources of Iraqi helmets, especially the WW2 M1's!

    Cheers,

    Ade

    No worries Ade ,your welcome Mate, I must say this has turned out to be very interesting thread,so I'm glad you posted it here!!

    If you have any more lid queries / questions,I would be happy to help or refer you too places of more information.

    If I told you all about the questionable lids I have bought over the years, it would bring a tear to your eye. "Research and more Research will avoid major wallet denting" is now my mantra,so don't feel to bad about your purchase Ade Wink


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