Monday, July 25, 2016

Zivilschutz Helm, West German Civil Defense Helmet, Schuberth Type ZS, 1970's-1990's, with ZS ZB Headlamp

Today we'll be taking a look at another unique Civil Defense helmet, (and headlamp).  This time the helmet is from West Germany.

This helmet was one of the official Civil Defense helmets for all of the German Civil Defense Agencies during the 1970's,1980's, and into the 1990's.  

The German Civil Defense Organization was spilt up into quite a number of sub-departments that were each assigned their own special duties and responsibilities.  The German philosophy was to have many specialized units and organizations, instead of just a few "do everything" organizations like we find in the US.

This style of helmet was first made in 1973 and production, and use, continued into the 1990's.  The helmets were based on the old 1945 Wehrmacht "Thale B/II" helmet that was designed at the end of WW2, but never issued due to the abrupt ending of the war.  This helmet also is VERY similar to the standard East German Army helmet!  The similarity in appearance to the East German helmets  made this a very unpopular helmet in West Germany.

Two East German Soldiers in their East German combat helmets.

Officially this helmet was called the "Type ZS" helmet.  ZS stands for Zivilschutz, or Civil Defense.
These helmets were worn by the THW, Red Cross, the various Civil Defense units (ZS), Volunteer Fire Service, etc.  It was a "do everything" helmet!  
The helmet is constructed of plastic, and is designed to mount a headlamp. The helmet includes a molded-in front mount with a rear cord-routing clip for the light.

Inside the helmet, there are tabs used to mount the leather or reflective neck protector.  

There are also slots on the front-interior for mounting a wire mesh face shield that was designed as a "heat deflector" for firefighting. (The "heat deflector" screen was quickly abandoned as it was not effective).

The liner is adjustable from size 53-61 cm, and is marked in both metric and US sizing.  The chinstrap is equipped with a "break-away" wire latch, and is rigged like the metal fire service, and paratroop helmets.

This particular helmet is marked as made by Schuberth, and is dated 1998 (if I read the molding circle-stamp correctly). 

It is stamped with the name of the helmet as well:  "Type ZS".  There are also a few hand marked numbers, but the helmet appears to be unused (not surprising as these helmets were so unpopular!).

Here are a couple of shots of the helmet being worn (by "yours truly" again!)

Here are a few detail shots of one of the headlamp types that were  used on this helmet.  This lamp is missing the sliding U-handle, but otherwise is complete.  When worn with the helmet, the light's battery pack-base would be clipped to the belt.  On the front of the light, there are slots so different colored filters can be installed or a light-visor.

And now let's take a closer look at this unique West German helmet.  Here's the photo album:

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