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Item:
ONSV6901

Original Czech WWII Vz32 / M32 "Egg-Shell" Russian Protective Corps Issued Steel Helmet

Regular price $395.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very rare Pre-WWII Czechoslovakian Vz32 Steel helmet, sometimes known as the M32, M34, Vz32/34, and other designations. It was used pre-war, and then during WWII it was reissued for use with the "Russian Protective Corps".

The Vz32 was the last of many Czech helmet designs, and were issued in the 1930's and saw service right through to the German Invasion. These helmets would be continued to be worn well after with the German Luftschutz and the German Allied Slovak Army on the Eastern Front. After the war these helmets would be adopted by the Civil Defense and Fire Brigade units.

The Vz32 shell is "egg-shell" shaped, unlike many helmets of the day, which had pronounced contouring, front brims, etc. It has a unique 5 pad liner system, which utilizes 5 discrete pads that are riveted to the shell, along with a standard heavy leather split chinstrap attached on bales that are riveted directly to the shell.

During WWII, this helmet was issued to the Russian Protective Corps of Serbia, as indicated by the OD green color, and the Cross on the front of the helmet. This was a Pro-Germany force raised in German Occupied Serbia, mainly for the protection of factories and other important industrial locations against Communist-Allied Partisans. This is the first time we have had a helmet used by this unit, and they seem to be relatively rare.

The liner and chin strap are in good condition, but due show wear and age. The chin strap has some stains and cracks, and looks like it was exposed to water at some point. The six liner pads still have their original padding, wrapped in plastic, installed behind each pad. The original maker markings that are usually on the rear of the pads are unfortunately absent.

A nice example of a WWII Czech, reissued for Anti-Partisan operations in Serbia during the war. Ready to display!

The Russian Protective Corps (German: Russisches Schutzkorps, Russian: Русский охранный корпус, Serbian: Руски заштитни корпус / Ruski zaštitni korpus) was an armed force composed of anti-communist White Russian émigrés that was raised in the German occupied territory of Serbia during World War II. Commanded for almost its whole existence by Lieutenant General Boris Shteifon, it served primarily as a guard force for factories and mines between late 1941 and early 1944, initially as the "Separate Russian Corps" then Russian Factory Protective Group. It was incorporated into the Wehrmacht on 1 December 1942 and later clashed with the communist-led Yugoslav Partisans and briefly with the Chetniks. In late 1944, it fought against the Red Army during the Belgrade Offensive, later withdrawing to Bosnia and Slovenia as the Germans retreated from the Balkans. After Shteifon′s death in Zagreb, the Independent State of Croatia, on 30 April 1945, Russian Colonel Anatoly Rogozhin took over and led his troops farther north to surrender to the British in southern Austria. Unlike most other Russian formations that fought for Nazi Germany, Rogozhin and his men, who were not formally treated as Soviet citizens, were exempt from forced repatriation to the Soviet Union and were eventually set free and allowed to resettle in the West.

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