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This section of the website discusses the anatomy of a helmet. Getting an understanding of the elements of the helmet will enhance the ability the enthuisiast in determining the authenticity of a helmet. This information can also be helpful in establishing the age of the collectible.

The information provided here is brought to you courtesy of MilitaryItems.com , providers of military antiques and collectibles to the general public and musuems. Come and visit our on-line store.


The M-1 helmet has a protective rim that covers the edge of the helmet shell. The rim started and ended at the front of the helmet. A seam was created where the start and endind pieces meet. This is known as the "front seam", a unique characteristic of WWII helmets.

The M-1 helmet could be outfitted with a fixed or swivel bail. The erly war examples (1941) came equipped with the fixed bail. It was soon realized that this was a flawed design since too much stress was applied to a rigid structure. The swivel bail solved the breakage problems by being able to move with the applied forces instead of opposing them.

The swivel bail design remained in use for the entire life of the M-1 helmet.

The liner contains the suspension for the helmet and is placed inside of the helmet shell.

Some of the liners were marked in the back with a number or a stripe. The same identification could be applied to the helmet shell. These type of markings were normally issued to individuals in a leadership position. The idea was that soldiers behind the leader could identify the person in situations such as amphibious landings.

If you have an interest is seeing other American military headgear, you can do so by going to our German helmets identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Luftwaffe and other organizations from various time periods.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

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