AUSTRIA

 

 

 

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AUSTRIA_M58 shell front

Obviously another European M1 clone, and most often seen with a large-mesh camo net fitted. These helmets were introduced in 1958, the Bundesheer have previously used US-made M1s.

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AUSTRIA_M58 shell side

Strangely, these M58 helmets are known by the Bundesheer as 'Stahlhelm 2' and the later M75 (which has a leather liner similar to the German wartime liners) is known as the 'Stahlhelm 1'. See below!

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AUSTRIA_M58 liner

Pretty much typical M1 clone liner here - I do not know whether these were issued with a liner chinstrap.
The headband is of grey artificial leather.
There is a circular moulded stamp in the crown of the liner that reads "U Sch 1971".

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AUSTRIA_M58 shell interior

There is no sign of any stampings in this shell.

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AUSTRIA_M58 liner latch detail

This is an interesting feature I have not seen on any other M1-clone shell. It's a little metal spring-catch that clips over the edge of the liner and holds it in securely. Very neat and a good idea.

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AUSTRIA_M58 strap detail

I don't entirely understand why this arrangement of two catches is used on this Bunderswehr-type chinstrap fastener.

 The details of postwar Austrian Bundesheer helmets can be a bit confusing (oh ok, only to me then...) so this piece by Austrian collector Bernhard may help -

"I am a collector from Austria and I would like to share some information on the Austrian M1 helmet. The first model was a direct copy of the US made M1 and was made by a firm called Ulbricht´Witwe Schwanenstadt.The helmet liner of the very first version was made exactly the way as the American liner, except the fact that the webbing was made of grey fabric - the leather headband was made of brown leather. The chinstrap for the liner was black leather. During the 1960s the liners were made of grey plastic but still had the US style webbing - the  headband however was covered with grey artificial leather. The liner with the leather tongues was the last version.(They were available in three different sizes)

As a collector I have handled quite a lot of these helmets and I have observed that these helmets were often rebuilt or modified. For example the web straps were originally sewn to the helmet bales; sometimes during a rebuild new ones were riveted to the bars using ordinary hardware store rivets. I have some 1960s liners (grey plastic) that were modified with the leather liner assembly leaving portions of the webbing in the liner.To find a prime example of the early helmet with the correct helmet net and net band is not easy.

The typical stamps that you will find in Austrian helmet would be U.SCH.58 (Manufacturer and year of manufacture in this case 1958) and HBA 1958 that means Heeres Beschaffungs Amt. The official designation for the helmets is"Stahlhelm 1 " for the 1975 model and "Stahlhelm 2" for the older model."

Bernhard