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Author Topic: RCW White/Red/Nationalist Steel Helmets  (Read 1239 times)

Offline thestoats

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RCW White/Red/Nationalist Steel Helmets
« on: June 16, 2024, 05:44:35 PM »
Hey guys,
I'm curious about the extent that steel helmets were used by the various factions in the Russian Civil War and interrelated conflicts, particularly by both sides of the Civil War proper and the various Baltic/Eastern European nationalist movements. I know that they probably were hard to come by, but I've also read that in WW1 Russian troops weren't too keen on the cumbersome metal helmets even when they were available, something apparently corroborated by the Estonian infantry in during their fight for independence. However, in the Osprey Men-at-Arms volume on Ukrainian armies it mentions that the commander of an infantry unit (Pavlo Shandruk) went out of his way to secure Adrians for his men. If anyone could give a more comprehensive overview of the practice that would be helpful.
Looking forward to your responses!

Offline cuprum

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Re: RCW White/Red/Nationalist Steel Helmets
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2024, 03:58:52 AM »
During the First World War, about 300 thousand Hadrian helmets were delivered to Russia. They differed from the French ones by their cockade in the form of an imperial eagle and by their color - they were painted ocher. These helmets were used quite widely by all sides in the Civil War. In most cases the Imperial cockade was removed.

Russia also developed its own helmet - Sohlberg M17. About 600 thousand helmets were made. But since the main production of these helmets was located in factories in Finland, after the revolution a significant part of them went to the Finns. It is unknown how many managed to enter the Russian army, but such helmets were also used by all parties to the conflict. For example, these helmets were received by the Shock Kornilov Regiment (assault military unit) during the period of the Provisional Government. The helmet was used by the Red Army along with Hadrian's helmet until 1939.

German and Austrian helmets were also used by almost all parties to the conflict. Most widely - by armies of nationalists in territories occupied by troops of manufacturing countries (Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Baltic countries). The white Russian North-Western Army and the Western Volunteer Army were also equipped with German helmets.

An unknown number of British helmets were supplied to the Armed Forces of Southern Russia (Denikin's army).

Helmets were mainly used by assault units and machine gun teams.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2024, 04:02:39 AM by cuprum »

Offline thestoats

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Re: RCW White/Red/Nationalist Steel Helmets
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2024, 05:13:11 PM »
Thanks cuprum, this was very informative! I'm surprised by the number of Sohlberg helmets produced being double that of the Adrians delivered, I had previously thought the former was very rare!

Offline cuprum

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Re: RCW White/Red/Nationalist Steel Helmets
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2024, 01:44:48 AM »
According to Finnish researchers, the Finnish Red Guard received only about 500 Sohlberg helmets, which they found in factory warehouses. Accordingly, it can be assumed that about 500 thousand helmets entered the Russian army and they were much more widespread than Hadrian’s helmet.
This can be indirectly indicated, for example, by the use of M17 helmets in the Polish division in Siberia (very far from the fronts of the First World War).


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