Original Finnish / Russian WWI Era M17 Sohlberg Infantry Helmet with Doeskin Liner & Chinstrap
Original Item: Only One Available. The Finnish / Russian M17 helmet is more commonly known as the "Sohlberg" helmet by collectors. The helmet is a Russian design that was manufactured in Finland, which at the time was part of the Russian Empire. The M17 was produced at the Sohlberg and Holmberg factories in Helsinki in 1917, and these were intended for shipment to Russia for installation of liners and issue to Russian Troops.
The Finnish Revolution of 1917 stalled production of these helmets, and when Finland became an independent State the helmets were incorporated into the new Finnish Army. Those completed in Finland had fine reindeer skin liners, which were much softer than the Russian issue liners.
The life of the Sohlberg helmet as a frontline combat helmet was unfortunately short-lived, as after Civil War broke out in 1918 the 500 or so remaining helmets in the Finns possession were taken by Communist Red Guards before again being liberated by the pro Conservative "White" Guard victors. The helmets were issued to the Helsinki Regiment, before being withdrawn in 1920 and were then passed into service with Fire, and Civil Defense units.
The Russian's also produced M17's but were slightly different than those produced in Finland. The most telling indication of Russian manufacture was that the top vent cap, which was less "star shaped", and the Russian made M17 was also slightly larger. These were supposedly made at Izhora in Russia.
This example is in very good condition, and still has much of the original green paint on the exterior. There is also some black paint on the outside, so it may have been repainted for fire service at one point. Man of these were reused in Finland during the interwar period, and even into WWII. The original issue color of these helmets was green, but during WWII and the "Winter War" these were put back into service as Civil Guard/Civil defense helmets.
The liner in the helmet is in very good condition, still very soft and with minimal deterioration. There is no tearing in the leather, and the only issue is that the top tie string is missing. The chinstrap is made of thicker leather, and is fully intact.
A rare WWI/WWII Helmet from Finland, ready to display!
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