Thursday, December 30, 2010

1942 German Gas Mask Canister & M38 Danish Gas Mask

Here is another piece of WW2 history that I brought back from my travels in Denmark back in 1981. It is a German gas mask canister and a Danish civilian gas mask. I purchased the pair, together as a set, at a shop in Denmark. I don't recall how much it cost, but at the time it was pretty darn inexpensive! Here are the details:

(Gas mask canister-can)

The gas mask canister is a long model, German military issue canister that is dated as 1943. The canister is missing the carry straps, but still has three packs of replacement lenses in their original wrappers in the lid case. The cleaning cloth retaining spring-clip is in the bottom of the canister, but the cloth is missing. The canister is over-painted in a "Normandy" style camouflage paint scheme. The case is exactly as I acquired it.
Inside the lid of the canister is a holding case for the extra replacement lenses. Inside this holding case is a Waffenamt Stamp (Military Inspector Stamp) that has been punched into the metal. On the outside of the case lid there is a the maker's stamp of "ebu" in a triangle with the date code fo "43" indicating a 1943 manufacture date.
On the bottom of the canister is a letter "D" molded into the metal as well as the hand painted name of the original owner :Leib". If you look close at the painted name, you can see that it was originally painted on with a lighter colored paint and then later over-painted with a thicker black paint. The "D" indicates that the canister is leak proof.The extra lenses are still in their original wrappers and have the date of 1943. There are three packages of lenses. The instructions on the wrappers indicate that the lenses are for the GM 38 gas mask, the standard German military gas mask of WW2.

Unfortunately the straps for the case are missing, with the exception of one short end that was still attached to the case when I bought it. The rest of this remaining strap end had been cut away. With a magnifying glass, I can make out the faint makers stamp and date of 1942 on the canvas attaching tab.


Inside the german canister is a Danish Model 38 (M#*) Civilian gas Mask. The gas mask is date marked on the cloth straps with the date of 1941. The filter is date stamped with the date of July 1942. The canister and mask are both labeled as civilian models.

For a more complete and in-depth article about these danish gas masks, take a jump over to the blog M55q at this link:

There are several very good articles covering Danish gas masks with tons of detailed information, so be sure to check out all of the pages!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Russian Revolution Budenovka Hat

Now here is an unique Christmas present you probably won't find under the Christmas tree in too many homes.................. A Russian Revolution, Budenovka Hat! (Pronounced boo-dyo-noh-vkah)

Thanks for the great gift N8!

Here's a bit of history about this great hat......

The hat is a Russian made reproduction of the original Russian Revolution military hats of 1917. It is a communist version of the old Russian Army hat used during the years before. The hat was redesigned in the years that followed 1917, in various fabrics and styles. This hat is sewn out of a very course wool with a rough linen liner. It is trimmed in red cloth with a large red cloth star, with a Russian star pin in the center. The hat can be worn with flaps up or down......

Very cool and very fun hat.........and a hat with some history!

Here's some shots of my hat:

Bundesgrenzschutz M-53 Stahlhelm, BGS M-53 Helmet

A few weeks ago I spotted the BGS helmet I have been looking for listed in an auction on eBay. To make a long story short, I won the bid and received the helmet just before Christmas. This the "crowning jewel" for all of the equipment that I have outfitted the BGS bicycle with.

The helmet is in near perfect condition
with only very mild wear, inside and out. The paint is nearly perfect with no scrapes through the finish or areas that have worn through. The leather chin strap and liner are in smoothly worn condition. the shell is a size 64 with a maker's stamp of "LS" which indicates it was manufactured by Linnemann and Schnetzer. The liner is a size 54-57 adjustable type with sweat brow perforations. The chin strap is black on one side and natural on the other. I can see from the wear and molding of the leather chin strap, that it was worn over the brim with the tail end tucked inside the inner liner band. The only markings on the liner are the inked name "West" and what appears to be something like "ph 02" written under it. It looks like there was some sort of label glued to the top pad of the liner at one time, that has now peeled off.

From what I understand, the original ver
sions of this helmet were produced with no vent holes and were first manufactured and issued in 1953. The BGS officers complained about the lack of vents, so the next production run of helmets were produced with side vents in the shell, possibly in the early 1960's. If that is the case, then I would assume that this helmet is one of the original 1953 production helmets.

I will post more information on this helmet as I find it............. until then, here is a photo gallery of the new helmet:

Here are some natural light, outside pictures of the helmet:

"Studio shots": Exterior pictures of the helmet:

Here are the pictures of the interior of the helmet:

Danish M-23 Helmet Mystery Solved!

I contacted a fellow collector, and blogger, Aleksander, over at , and he was able to not only identify the helmet, but give me a good snapshot history of it as well!

Thank You Aleksander!

I highly recommend his Blog. It is filled wi
th outstanding information and photos and he posts often. Check him out:

Here is an excerpt from the e-mail that I re
ceived from him................ outstanding information!

Some general things about your helmet:

It is a M23 civilian version. (Lightweight =
Thinner steel, liner is simplified)
It has the old civilian liner with the eight flaps.
- The army helmet had eight flaps as well, but a different way to attach the liner to the dome.
The chin strap in unusual, but not uncommon, it is definitely original.

Now for something more interesting!

FDB = Fællesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger = The Danish Consumers Co-operative Society...
It was founded in 1896, and is one of Denmark's oldest firms, and they are still going strong!
During the 1930 the company established their own factories, and this is where your helmet is from.
During WWII, large companies operating in Denmark (For instance: Burmeister & Wain, FDB, Man Diesel etc.) Had anti-sabota
ge guards and / or air-raid personnel. Since FDB did not sell anything to the German army (many companies was either forced to collaborate or did it by their own free will. However the ones who voluntarily supplied the German army was punished after the war)

I am reluctant to believe this helmet was a pa
rt of the air-raid protection equipment stored at a central place in the factory / office building, hence the need for the number on the side of the helmet.
I think the liner is blue because that was the company colour of FDB. Then as now.

It is a truly unique helmet, and I have only seen one like it during the last 10 years or so, and it did sell for a lot. ( At that time)

I also received some great information from another fellow collector in Denmark, Ib Kristensen. Here is a portion of his email reply:

"I've only got one picture of your helmets.
But from the description I do not think it has been used by the Resistance.
When the Germans surrendered in Denmark, used some of the Resistance also this type of helmets. They were usually hand painted with various symbols or letters, such that one could recognize the group they belonged.
The helmet must be a civilian model (M/1941). It is approx. 1.5 kg lighter than the Army model M23.
Besides, there are various small deviations from the army helmet.
This type of helmets are used by many different civil authorities and purpose under WWII.
Many of them are used for surveillance and rescue groups, house and factory guards, civil defense, and so on.
During WWII had many large companies and factories in Denmark had their own guards, fire brigade and air defense / rescue.
FDB ("Fællesforeningen Danske Brugsforeninger" = Association of Danish consumer cooperatives) had many factories producing foodstuffs, household goods, clothes, shoes and furniture.
FDB was created in 1896 and still exist.
Initially comprised FDB logo of Scripture "Joint Association of Danish consumer cooperatives".
Later the lion have the central location in the logo.
In the period 1946 - 1948 was the lion changed and replaced by a loop with the letters F D B:
The 5 on the side of the helmet may be the employee's identification number in the group.
I have tried to researched it, but can not find any exact explanation for the blue color.
The army helmets usually have inner ring / padding of brown leather, or some had yellow leather.
In a book I found described that the civil helmets often have inner padding of different material, shape and color;
I think it did not have a specific purpose, but could be needed because of product shortage during the war."

Here is a link to his web site....... be sure to jump over there and check it out! Tons of great info and photos of danish uniform caps.

Here is an additional link that he sent is a paper from the Danish Museum that shows several men in Denmark wearing WW2 German air defense helmets with the exact same markings!:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Danish M-23 Helmet

Well here's another post of one of my helmets............... from all of my research, I believe it is a Danish model 1923 helmet.

I purchased this helmet in Denmark, back in 1981 and have had it "banging around" ever since. So far I have not been able to determine what the i
nitials FDB or the Lion on the front signify. There is also a 5 on the left side, also a mystery. The liner is a light blue leather. The original paint is black. Based on the color and finish of the helmet, it appears top be a "civilian model" that was used by Danish Police, Fire, and Civil Defense. The blue leather liner is a complete mystery! I have only seen these helmets with natural leather liners...............

The person I purchased the helmet from told m
e that it had been used by the Danish Resistance during the German occupation of Denmark during WW2. This is just second hand info and I have not been able to verify this. I can say that these helmets were widely worn by the Resistance all through the war and there are MANY photos with danish soldiers wearing them.

Until I find out more, the helmet remains a bit of
a mystery...............

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

French, Model 1915 Adrian Helmet, WW1

Here is another gem from my collection. This helmet is a WW1 French model 1915, Adrian Artillery helmet with original winter camouflage paint. I picked this helmet up at the Paris Flea Market in Paris, France in 1981.

The French Adrian helmets were named after the French General Adrian who designed them. The french soldiers originally went into combat in WW1 wearing only a Kepi hat. With the advent of trench warfare and near constant artillery barrages, with shells bursting overhead, the number of head wounds sky rocketed. The french answer to this was the lightweight Adrian steel helmet. As soon as the helmet was issued to the troops on the front, the number of head wounds fell. A simpler, and stronger version of this helmet, one that was stamped from a single piece of heavier steel, was issued in 1926.

Here are the pictures of my helmet........... The original blue-gray paint the helmet was issued in can still be seen inside the helmet under the liner, and where the white paint has been scratched away.