Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bulgarian Model 36/C Helmet "Kaska 36/C"

I had the chance to pick up a vintage Bulgarian helmet at an "extremely attractive" price, so how could I pass that up?........... I didn't! The helmet arrived yesterday in a pretty dirty and dusty condition, but completely intact. It has definitely been sitting in some sort of storage for many years. I gave it a good cleaning, re-oiled the leather liner and got it ready to take its place alongside the other helmets in my collection.

Bulgaria adopted this helmet in 1936 and issued three versions, A, B. & C. This one is a model 36/C. Known as the "Kaska" in Bulgaria, all of these helmets saw service with the military through WW2 and into the 1970's when this helmet style was replaced with a "Russian" styled steel helmet.

A WW2 Photo showing several versions of the M-36 Kaska in use.

During WW2, the Bulgarian Army was originally an ally of Germany and saw action against the Allies when Bulgaria declared war against the US and Britain in 1941. This resulted in heavy Allied air assaults with bombers and fighters against Bulgaria. The war with the Allies took place in the air and no Allied ground invasion actually occurred. Bulgaria also occupied portions of Yugoslavia, Greece and Serbia. Bulgaria sent troops into Bosnia and engaged in heavy fighting there on behalf of Croatia. In 1944, Russia moved into Bulgaria without opposition, and Bulgaria then switched sides and joined Russia in their fight against Germany. The Bulgarians fought the retreating Germans all the way into Austria. This helmet was there for all campaigns, seeing service for both sides in the same war!. After the war, Bulgaria became part of the Communist Block and at that time, a red star was painted on the front of this helmet.

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