Original Finnish M62 Steel Combat Helmet
Original Item: Offered in very good condition theses are surplus Model 1962 Finnish helmets purchased directly from the Finnish Army.
M62 isn't the official name of this model, but it has been called that right from the start, so we will use this procedure here too. Helmets bought from Germany in 1955 were followed by a break in helmet purchases. By an order from the army, there was a study on the future designs of helmets abroad, and many different styles were tested. Tests proved, that ball like shaped Swedish gave more protection, than the earlier German models. Ability to take higher collision forces was about 60 kpm with the Swedish model, if the German model would be made as strong, it would have weighted twice as much as the Swedish one.
An offer was made for Finnish companies to start producing Finnish helmets, but only four companies expressed interest in doing so. The army finally got enough money to start purchasing helmets for the years 1958-60 and Hackman & Sorsakoski companys offer was accepted. But there were a lot of difficulties producing the helmets and the money was spent to buy helmets from Sweden in 1962. The total sum of helmets bought was over 70 000, but those only consisted of the metal shell, not the liner.
Next year the designing of a domestic helmet began and Wärtsilä Kone ltd. and Silta offered to make 30 000 helmet batch of Swedish model helmets, without the liner. In spring 1963 the production lines and metal shell quality was at the needed level and production started.
License to produce this type of interior was not obtained, despite negotiations, but nevertheless an production of interiors much like the J/53 Schweden were started in Finland. The production was done by Friitalan nahka ltd. for 70,000 helmets. Interior could be removed in battlefield conditions, which made it possible to use during winter, over the cap. That was something Soviets tried in the 30's, but not getting any good results. M/62 without the interior was also usable in emergencies as bucket, tool for digging or even as mess kit for making food.
At the start of 70's there was a need to make a new liner purchase, so that the earlier made shell could be put to use. The German interior still had the patent, which was already basically broken. Best solution seemed to be to order the interiors from its original producer. In 1971 there were 100,000 liners ordered from German Shubert-Werk KG company.
When the patent got old in 1977, Finnish Eine Grönroos ltd. started producing the interior for the army. Later the production was broadened to Olkainvalmiste ltd. and after the year 1978, Wärtsilä was capable of delivering complete helmets to the army. At the same time, old used helmets were repaired for new use.
The model M/62 has been in service for almost 60-years. The overall design and protection is very good and it is a wonder that Finland didn't notice the advantages it had compared to the German models. This model would have been a good choice even at the 30's, with the patent deal made with Sweden, there could have been a unified Nordic model, which could have been used by Finns. This was a solution that was realized after many unnecessary purchases. The major influence when making the decisions could have been a stubborn habit to use German models, by those individuals who made the decisions disregarding technical development.
Liner is adjustable and helmets are available in the following sizes:
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