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Hungarian Helmets of the HUPR


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Paul,

It isn't a German helmet but a WWII Hungarian one. These helmets continued to be worn after the war until the communist took over in 1948 when the Honved started to wear the Russian helmet. This you can also see in this photo. This is an area I need to research more so cann't say any more than that about the helmets. In time, like a lot of other WP countries, Hungary produced their own version of the Russian helmet.

Regards,

Gordon

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As for the helmets - in 1947 the Hungarian Military consisted of less than 14,000 troops, by 1948 only 20,000. In June fo 1948, the Hungarians signed an agreement with the Soviet Union to use Soviet military equipment. From the photo - the man wearing the reworked M38 Hungarian helmet (they repainted them a darker green) is wearing an M47 / M49 tunic. The photo should date from 1949 - 1950 as he has the slip on shoulder boards with what looks to be the 5 sided boards (M47s had rounded ends) from my understanding the Soivets did not begin importing the helmets until 1950 (but it may have been in late 1949?) Regardless - the Hungarian military did not reach its full expansion until 1953 (250,000 men) and until then they used whatever was on hand. I have a photo that shows men in the field with their shelters - some have the WW2 shelter quarters, others are using actual German SS 'pea' pattern quarters...it was a logistical nightmare!

Edited by hunyadi
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Charles,

I'm with you on the regulations bit. Once Tam?s gets settled in his new quarters we'll have to ask him, or Gergely, about what the exhibit says versus the regs.

Paul,

Re the helmet question. Others might have the same thoughts so I decided to post some pictures of my WWII Hungarian helmet to show the similaritites and the differences. Since this helmet was worn into the HUPR time frame it is not out of context.

The shell is the same as the German M35 helmet. The Hungarians added a metal u-shauped piece on the back which they used to fasten the helmet to their packs. Makes it easier to carry. One of the problems the Germans had was the habit of their soldiers to carry their helmet with the chin strap through the belt. This caused a lot of broken chin straps. By strapping it to the pack the Hungarians got around this problem. The other main noticable difference is the liner which varies considerably from the German M31. This is the Hungarian WWII colour on this helmet. Very hard to find one thathas not been repainted. This is not the green used during the HUPR.

Regards,

Gordon

Edited by Gordon Craig
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Here is my M45 / 46 helmet - its a wartime helmet, but as you can see from Gordons helmet the green is very different.

I was with Gordon when he got that very nice WW2 era pained helmet. According to the seller he found it in the attic of the house he moved into (this is about the only way you find them!) he sold it to Gordon for waaaaayyyyy below the going price. Generally they run about $350-$400 now. In all my years in hunting for one I have seen four - Gordons being the only one I could afford - but alas - I had no money in my pocket that day! The M45 / 46 runs about $100 - $150 as they had a short career and not many were in the service during the time it was used. I got mine when they could be had for about $35 - four years ago...

Edited by hunyadi
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  • 2 weeks later...

Time to move on to the Soviet style helmet that was also shown in the picture at the beginning of this thread. As you go through the pictures of this helmet you will see how closely it resembles the Russian helmet. It may even be a Russian helmet but I don't have any of mine with me for comparison research. It is however, definitelt painted the Hungarian green and not the brown used by the Soviet Union. It does not ever appear to have been painted brown and then repainted the Hungarian green.

Regards,

Gordon

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Here is what I know to be an M50 (maybe an M51 - not 100% sure on the exact designation) Parade helmet. The major difference from the field helmet and the parade helmet is the red star encircled by the national colors. From what I have researched these were used for parade purposes, but they also show up in the propoganda style photos of men in the field. So, there may have been some lax in the regulations. This one has seen a few dings in the warehouse, the field, or from just plain neglect.

These helmets have six rivets for the liner, a three pad pillow type liner, D ring swivel chin strap. No visible marks, though a stamp was on one of the liner pads, but has deteriorated beyond recognition.

Edited by hunyadi
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It may even be a Russian helmet but I don't have any of mine with me for comparison research. It is however, definitelt painted the Hungarian green and not the brown used by the Soviet Union. It does not ever appear to have been painted brown and then repainted the Hungarian green.

Gordon, there is no Soviet helmets that had the same liners as the helmet you have shown. This type of cloth liner is typical to Hungarian helmets and the leather chinstrap is to my own experience never found on post-WWII helmet. This kind of helmet has the same pattern of the SSh-40. The giveaway to be sure it?s a Hungarian helmet would be the liner configuration and the leather chinstrap.

It may be possible that those helmets were made in the USSR and then handed over to Hungary without liner. It may be possible that the liners and chinstraps were installed in Hungary or it?s mostly probable that they were all made in Hungary with the Soviet model.

By the way, what do you mean by "brown soviet helmet". Post-war Soviet helmet were green-olive!

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Bryan - thanks for the information on the Soviet helmets. I believe that these were made in Hungary - perhaps later around 1952. There was sufficient steel and manufacturing by that time to make these - but other than the mention of production stamps in the regulations, no more hard facts. I believe our contact at the military museum may have more answers.

Also - thanks for the comment on my M50 parade - but the real gem here is the WW2 era original helmet of Gordons!

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Bryan,

Sorry if I confused the issue with my terminology of colours for Russian helmets. Not an expert in Russian or Hungarian helmets but to my recollection Russian helmets in the SSh 40 design were more on the brown side of green than the Hungarian helmets. I was really trying to say there was a definite colour difference between the two helmets.

Regards,

Gordon

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