Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Svenska M 37 Stålhjälm, Swedish M 37 Steel Helmet M37/65

Our showcased item for today is a new Swedish helmet that I just picked up.   In fact the helmet arrived just in time for some new snow here in Port Townsend!   Now how appropriate is that?

The helmet is a brand-new condition, looks-unissued, Swedish Model 1937 (M 37), helmet.  Most of the original M 37 helmets that were made in 1937, were refurbished and a newer suspension headliner installed in the 1960's and 1970's.  At the time these helmets were first refurbished, they were given a new model designator of M37/65.  I'm not sure if that would mean that this helmet is a M37/73 ???  This helmet is marked with the painted date stamp of "73" for the year 1973 (it looks brand new, but all of the info I have found indicates that this is the refurbish date, not a manufacture date).  It is also stamped with "AL-E" above the 73, which I believe indicates the unit or branch of service, but I'm not positive........ still researching that.  The shell size is a 69, which is the the "average" sized shell with an adjustable liner that fits from sizes 55-59.  The actual designation for this new style liner is "liner model 3", or "Mod. 3".   The helmet shells were manufactured in the following sizes: 66, 69, 72, and 75.  The adjustable head band portion of the liner actually looks exactly like the adjustable liner band on my post-war BGS helmet.  This leads me to believe that the liners in these refurbished Swedish helmets may actually be a German manufactured liner.   I'm not sure on that though, I'm still researching that fact.

The model 37 helmet was in use until the modern kevlar M90 helmets were issued to the troops in 1993 to 1994.  In the 1990's the Swedish government supplied the new Estonian Army with M37 helmets.  I would guess that with all of the "old" M 37 helmets that had been pulled out of service, that there was plenty of old stock to send their way.

Here are some close up pictures of my Swedish helmet:

Here are a few historical shots:

Estonian Troops in the 1990's in Swedish Helmets
Swedish Troops in WW2 (M37 helmets with original liners)
And as an extra little bit here is a scanned manual for the original M37 helmets!

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