Military Review

Stories about weapons. Steel air defense helmet: M-38, or "Blockade"

Stories about weapons. Steel air defense helmet: M-38, or "Blockade"

I was preparing a great review on steel helmets / helmets, and then a man called after watching the movie “Frontier” with a question.

The question was about a few seemingly documentary shots from the film in which the air defense fighters were in "some kind of strange helmet-like helmets." And, accordingly, the interlocutor was interested in what it is: foolishness, or? ..

Or! This is not nonsense, it is quite the opposite: a conscientious approach to historical component of the film. However, we’ll talk about the Frontier a bit later, but for now about a strange helmet.

So, before us is a very interesting piece of military history. Steel helmet of an air defense fighter who did not have an official name. In principle, all its unofficial names are true. And “Steel helmet of an air defense fighter”, and “M-38”, and “Blockade”.

But let's go in order.

This helmet was produced at the Leningrad Metal Plant, LMZ (many sources call the plant "metallurgical", but this is wrong).

It was a variation on the theme of the steel helmet of John Brody, a British engineer. Brodie’s helmet was a British response to “Adrian’s helmet” (well, the queen’s subjects could not walk in French helmets!) And were in service with the British army from 1915 to 1939 years, and in the US Army even to 1942.

Brodie helmet 1915 model year

In the USSR, the helmet was known since the days of intervention, a fair number of them fell into the hands of the Red Army from the warehouses of the British army in the north.

At the end of the 30-ies in the Red Army seriously thought about creating a model of a steel helmet for air defense units and civil defense. Its main difference from the main steel helmet of the Red Army fighter was precisely in wide fields. And it was not just so invented.

The main purpose of the helmet is to protect the head and shoulders of an air defense or civil defense fighter from fragments and debris falling from above. It is worth noting here that the experience of using air defense weapons in the First World War showed that there is a possibility of destruction of the calculations of anti-aircraft batteries with their own fragments falling from a height of several hundred or thousand meters.

And m, multiplied by g, has not been canceled.

The same is true for civil defense fighters. Their main task in the future war was to help the calculations of firefighters, adjusting the flow of citizens to bomb shelters, and the like.

As a result, I needed a helmet:

1) is lighter than the standard army, designed for young people and women;
2) with fields to protect the head and shoulders against damage from above;
3) inexpensive to manufacture and with the possibility of mass production.

English helmet Brodie fit in all respects. And on the LMZ they mastered the production of a helmet for air defense fighters in 1938. Unofficially, the helmet received the marking M-38.

The helmet was made of steel 1,8 mm thick with the width of the visor rim 35 mm. The weight of the helmet was 1200 grams.

Production was carried out from sheet metal by stamping, so as to obtain a helmet of high strength. Stamping also made it possible to make this easy-to-produce helmet inexpensive and massive.

The balaclava was made of fabric that was attached to the base of the helmet using two rivets. The size of the balaclava under the head was adjusted with the help of a rope. The chin rest consisted of a rag belt with square clamps at the ends, the second ends were attached to the helmet with the help of welding.

An emblem-drawing was supposed to be put on the helmet: the star at the edges of which was an anti-aircraft gun with a searchlight, in the rays of which the silhouette of an airplane was located below the center in a gas mask.

But often the helmet was simply painted in green or white, depending on the time of year.

When the blockade of Leningrad began, the helmet was also produced in the shops producing consumer goods of the Molotov and Karl Liebknecht factories instead of pots and basins.

Naturally, from the metal that was available. These helmets and received the nickname "Blockade".

The weight of the helmet, made of steel "civil" nomenclature dropped to 850-950 grams, protective qualities, respectively, also decreased. But helmets - this is probably what the “Big Earth” was hardly thought of in the first place.

So Leningraders got out as they could and did it very, very successfully.

It is quite natural that, following the Air Defense and Civil Defense Forces fighters, Leningrad militia began to adopt the M-38 helmet.

An air defense helmet, or M-38, was produced at Leningrad enterprises until the middle of 1943. The exact number of manufactured products is unknown, but, according to search engines and reenactors, even in our time, with a certain amount of luck, you can find such a helmet in the attics of old houses.

Yes, not a masterpiece. Yes, a copy of an old English helmet. Yes, they were made not from special steels, but from what was available in the blockade.

Nevertheless, the Blockade M-38 did its job: it defended the heads of those you saw in the pictures.

Such is the part of our history.
21 comment
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  1. Amurets
    Amurets 1 March 2018 15: 33
    Nevertheless, the Blockade M-38 did its job: it defended the heads of those you saw in the pictures.
    Such is the part of our history.
    A good article about the necessary attribute of hostilities. And by the way, the fragments were mostly from their exploding anti-aircraft shells.
  2. K.A.S.
    K.A.S. 1 March 2018 16: 07
    good article!
    and what kind of rifle does the girl have from the first shot? Mauser?
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 1 March 2018 16: 28
      Girl-fighter standing on the background of the living room. On her head is an unusual kind of helmet, very rare in Soviet photos. But in English - as much as you like. This is the so-called Helmet MPVO, made in 1938 in a small batch for fighters of local air defense, modeled on the British army helmet - "basin". For completeness, the girl is armed withritual rifle "Anfield R 14", probably got to Leningrad from the warehouses of the former Latvian or Lithuanian army.
      1. K.A.S.
        K.A.S. 1 March 2018 16: 40
        THX! what a shame to me! I couldn’t see this rear sight and the reload handle, although at first I smacked about enfield, but I was somewhat embarrassed !!
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 1 March 2018 16: 48

          I am not special in small arms. I just remembered my own comment on an article about British rifles in the Red Army ...
          Caption for this photo had to search in the Internet!
          1. jjj
            jjj 2 March 2018 10: 23
            You see, here the English rifle on the butt does not have a metal eyelet. And in the photo for the article there is such a cringle. He is embarrassed. And the rear sight can at a glance be taken for a raised fuse box.
            But "Anfield R 14" is from the Latvian army. And everything becomes clear
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 2 March 2018 15: 17
              For the sake of completeness, the girl is armed with the British rifle "Anfield R 14", which probably came to Leningrad from warehouses of the former Latvian or Lithuanian army.
  3. Curious
    Curious 1 March 2018 17: 01
    An interesting point. In the German army, at the same time, a kaska with exactly the same designation was also in service.

    The Heisler engineer’s M38 landing helmet, which was adopted in 1938, had almost no fields, as it turned out that in the event of a hard landing, the head-cover injured around the neck and shoulders, and the helmet visor created undesirable aerodynamic turbulences during the jump, which often led to the breakdown of the helmet from the head of the paratrooper and he landed in one comforter.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 1 March 2018 17: 06

      A HELMET of the civil defense service, usually goes under the unofficial name of "Gladiator". Models were produced from 3 (early version), 2 and 1 piece (late version), with and without ventilation holes. This is the most common helmet manufactured for civilian air defense (Luftschutz).
    2. Kent0001
      Kent0001 7 March 2018 20: 17
      This topic is more familiar.
  4. polpot
    polpot 1 March 2018 17: 07
    Thanks for the article, I saw this helmet, but the conspirators thought they were delivering.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 1 March 2018 17: 42
      The Soviet Union in 1941-1942 did not get to this! In extreme cases, the troops of the Far East and Central Asia would be "torn off".

      Politruk V.A. Burygin (center) explains to volunteers-scouts the command assignment. Northwest Front, 8th Army. July 1941
      Although in the photo of the militia - fighters are all without steel helmets ...
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. DimanC
    DimanC 1 March 2018 17: 33
    Well, right. In the end, it’s not to go to fashion shows, but to protect the heads
  7. hohol95
    hohol95 1 March 2018 17: 48
    Since the author told us about the USSR air defense helmet, he is obliged to tell us about the Third Reich air defense helmet (my comment was deleted (to know why))!
    1. Alf
      Alf 1 March 2018 21: 08
      Quote: hohol95
      (my comment was deleted (to know why))!

      Probably considered for the idealization of the 3rd Reich or the propaganda of Nazism. Say thank you for not being dragged to court. laughing
      1. Roman Skomorokhov
        1 March 2018 21: 23
        Quote: hohol95
        (my comment was deleted (to know why))

        In the Rules that you were obliged to read, there is such a clause: "A whole article instead of a comment."

        Quote: hohol95
        Once the author told NAM about the Soviet air defense helmet, he MUST tell about the air defense helmet of the Third Reich

        Yes, let us put the author, let him work.
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 1 March 2018 22: 04
          Yes, let us put the author, let him work.

          Just not on the CHAIN ​​-
  8. xomaNN
    xomaNN 1 March 2018 18: 15
    For me, a very interesting fact about such an unusual helmet-basin. Mom had the Leningrad Defense medal (the name is inaccurate), which she treasured. Thanks to the author
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 2 March 2018 08: 42
      Medal “For the defense of Leningrad”
  9. Alf
    Alf 1 March 2018 21: 07
    In the 7th series Of all the guns, there are many shots where the air defense fighters wear just such helmets.
  10. serg.shishkov2015
    serg.shishkov2015 4 March 2018 05: 49
    which rifles in our country were not there — Ross, Lee-Enfield, Gra, Vetterly-Vitali, even the Mausers of the Franco-Prussian War! also P, 14! and helmet-555555! 1 how much is unknown about that war