Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Danish M-23 Helmet Mystery Solved!

I contacted a fellow collector, and blogger, Aleksander, over at http://m55q.blogspot.com/ , 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 me......it is a paper from the Danish Museum that shows several men in Denmark wearing WW2 German air defense helmets with the exact same markings!:

No comments: