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WW2 British Paratrooper ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops MkII’ - 1944

WW2 British Paratrooper ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops MkII’ - 1944

$1,450.00
Product code: 88

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

WW2 BRITISH PARATROOPER ‘HELMET, STEEL, AIRBORNE TROOPS MKII' MADE BY BRIGGS MOTOR BODIES LTD (BMB) IN 1944 - SIZE 7½  AND STILL FITTTED WITH AN ORIGINAL BRITISH AIRBORNE PATTERN CAMOUFLAGE ‘SCRIM’ NET.  This is an outstanding original example of a British manufactured Paratrooper ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops Mk.II’ manufactured by Briggs Motor Bodies (BMB) Ltd in 1944.  The helmet is still fitted with its original helmet liner, chinstrap and camouflage ‘scrim’ net and is almost certainly one of those issued to British Airborne Troops during World War 2.

Details

WW2 BRITISH PARATROOPER ‘HELMET, STEEL, AIRBORNE TROOPS MKII' MADE BY BRIGGS MOTOR BODIES LTD (BMB) IN 1944 - SIZE 7½  AND STILL FITTTED WITH AN ORIGINAL BRITISH AIRBORNE PATTERN CAMOUFLAGE ‘SCRIM’ NET.

This is an outstanding original example of a British manufactured Paratrooper ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops Mk.II’ manufactured by Briggs Motor Bodies (BMB) Ltd in 1944.  The helmet is still fitted with its original helmet liner, chinstrap and camouflage ‘scrim’ net and is almost certainly one of those issued to British Airborne Troops during World War 2.

British airborne troops were first issued with their own pattern of helmet in 1941. The first type, known as the ‘P’ type helmet, was short lived and was subsequently replaced by the standard ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops’. This was superseded by the MKI, and later the MKII. These three later types utilised a similar shell, but the first featured a black rubber fibre band around the edge and with leather harness (issued July 1942). The MKI retained the leather harness but deleted the fibre band, replaced by a stainless steel rim (issued October 1942).  The MKII, of which this helmet is an example, had the leather harness replaced by canvas webbing (from February 1944).

The MKII was not widely issued until September 1944, although some were used by the 6th Airborne Division in Normandy in June.  It was in widespread use when the Division fought at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden and was issued to the Polish Parachute Brigade. Attached to this listing are a couple of pictures showing British, Canadian and Polish Airborne Troops wearing the helmet during WW2. A good example of a British ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops Mk.II’ is held in the collection of the Imperial War Museum as item number: UNI 7936 and can be viewed online at: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30091198 .

This particular helmet, which is in museum quality original condition, shows clear evidence of having been painted at least twice during its service life.  Traces of the original khaki textured painted finish remain as well as the later olive drab colour that was common from mid 1945 onwards.  This finish and is patinated consistent with age and use. The helmet is fitted with the correct close meshed British Airborne Pattern Camouflage ‘Scrim’ Net.

This helmet was produced by Briggs Motor Bodies (BMB) Ltd in 1944 as evidenced by the stamp on the liner (see photograph) BMB and a feint 1944 and the large size 7½   inside a shield motif.  The original helmet lining shows significant wear which is not unusual given that these helmets remained in use with the British Army until the 1980’s. The leather bracing, webbing straps and a leather chincup are still supple and in outstanding original condition. The helmet is fitted with its characteristic leather and webbed liner, with a thick sorbo rubber ring on the inside edge of the helmet. The interior crown has a rubber pad and is fitted with four tan web straps and a tie string for fit adjustment. The metal webbing fittings were made from brass with an olive drab finish. The leather sweatband is stamped with the manufacturer’s initials, date and size shield. The liner is fixed by three screws, all of which are original. This helmet and scrim net have not been restored, repainted or refurbished and are completely original.

This British Second World War Paratrooper ‘Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops Mk.II’ is an outstanding, museum quality example of its type.  The best original WW2 British ‘Para’ Helmet I have ever listed, it’s so straight that I decided not even to take the ‘scrim’ net off.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.3000
Country of Origin British
Pattern Helmet, Steel, Airborne Troops Mk.II
Maker Briggs Motor Bodies Ltd (BMB)
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1944