Original Finnish WWI/WWII M17 Sohlberg Infantry Helmet with Helsinki Insignia
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 The helmets were issued to the Helsinki Regiment, before being withdrawn in 1920 and were then passed into service with Fire, and Civil Defense units.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, and the Russian made M17 was also slightly larger.
This example is in very good condition, and has almost all of the original black paint applied by the Finnish Civil Defense, along with a Helsinki area badge painted on the front. 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 good condition, though it is stiff from age. Also it does have some tearing around the edges, probably from being stacked on top of another helmet for a long period of time. The chin strap is made of thicker leather, and is fully intact. The helmet still has the top strap for adjusting the liner.
A rare WWI/WWII Helmet from Finland, ready to display!
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