French M36 Anti-Aircraft Helmet

Model 36 French helmet.

Used primarily by French anti-aircraft units. The cutaway pieces around the ears were to accommodate the headphones for aircraft sound location equipment, the French lacking any Radar-type aids to aircraft detection.

Strangely, this particular helmet was 'liberated' from a French Somua 35 tank in mid-June 1940 following the final battles of the French campaign along the River Loire. By this stage armoured units still in the process of formation and equipping were being thrown into the fray to stem the German advance and this perhaps accounts for the strange attire of this particular tank crew member. The helmet was recovered by a German officer, Leutnant Karl Bachle, who finished the war with the rank of Oberstleutnant. In addition to the Polish and French campaigns, Karl Bachle served in Russia and Normandy in 1944. He survived the war and this helmet was obtained from his Grandson.





 


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