Original Iraqi Fedayeen Helmet with Liner and Chinstrap - Operation Iraqi Freedom US Marine Bring Back With Photos of Marine
Original Item: Only One Available. Just in from a US Marine Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran! This is a 100% ORIGINAL helmet that was used during the second war of the Gulf in 2003. Made of a so-called "ballistic fiber," a material similar to kevlar but far, far weaker. The number produced is speculation; some sources claim only a few hundred helmets were produced, others up to 10,000.
This example was brought back in 2003 by a United States Marine at the end of his tour in Iraq. Included with this helmet is are two photographs. The first photo is of the Marine standing in in front of a palm tree dressed in full gear, with the following caption on the back: "ON THE MARCH UP 2003 1st BATTALION 7th MARINES". The second photo shows marines by a bon fire with multiple armored vehicles, with the following caption on the back: "AL KUT IRAQ 2003 MILITARY COMPOUND ARMORY. WHERE HELMETS WERE FROM."
These helmets were issued to Saddam's personal bodyguards (Fedayeen). Fedayeen Saddam (فدائيي صدام) was a paramilitary organization loyal to the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice". At its height, the group had 30,000-40,000 members. However, after the invasion thousands of helmets were destroyed, nobody knows how many exist today. Additionally many fakes flood the market and were popular on eBay a few years ago. This is NOT one of those fakes.
These helmets were issued to members of the Fedayeen Saddam elite fighting force between 1995 and 2003 in Iraq. The unit was commanded by Saddam's son Uday, who was - legend has it - was a massive Star Wars fan. Which is why their uniform was all black (no capes, sadly) and the helmets were clearly modeled on Darth Vader's, despite them being next to no use on the battlefield.
It's one of the rarest and still most unknown helmets used in a battle. This example is in very good condition, with complete rigging, sweatband, chin strap and, most importantly, the right side badge with the silhouette of Saddam Hussein and the Arabic phrase The Lord, The Homeland, The Leader. There is some wear and minor damage to the edges of the helmet, as these were not made of the most resilient material. The chin strap is present and in good condition.
One of the rarer military helmets to add to your collection with fantastic photographic provenance. Comes ready to display!
The Fedayeen Saddam did not rise to major international attention, however, until the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S.-led coalition forces. Whereas the Iraqi army and the Republican Guard quickly collapsed, Fedayeen forces put up stiff resistance to the coalition invasion. U.S. strategy was to bypass other cities and head straight to Baghdad. In response, Fedayeen fighters entrenched themselves in the cities and launched guerrilla-style attacks on rear supply convoys. These convoys were attempting but usually falling short of keeping up with the rapid advance to Baghdad. They were attempting to sustain the rapid advance by bringing up food, water, ammunition, medical supplies and mail from back home. These were very lightly armed cargo trucks driving as fast as they could on dirt roads mainly in southern Iraq, from where they had gotten the supplies in Kuwait.
Once they started to get close to central Iraq more and more paved roads were available. They were almost always at least a few days behind. This made the resupply convoys very vulnerable to attack. In these trucks were usually low to mid ranking enlisted soldiers with mostly no combat experience prior. For instance, these cargo trucks mainly were only defended by the two rifles the driver and truck commander had. So even in a relatively small force the Fedayeen could attack several of the last trucks in a convoy. Trucks that had lost contact with the convoy they had been in were extremely easy for the Fedayeen to capture or destroy, as they were isolated and extremely poorly defended.
The Fedayeen also used intimidation in an attempt to maintain morale in the Iraqi army and to keep civilians from rebelling. The multinational coalition was forced to turn its attention to the slow task of rooting out irregular forces from the southern cities, delaying the advance by two weeks. During the invasion, Fedayeen fighters wielded AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, and truck-mounted artillery and mortars. They made extensive use of subterfuge in an attempt to blunt the overwhelming technological advantage used by the invading forces.
By the end of the first week of April, Coalition forces had mostly succeeded in rooting out Fedayeen forces from the southern cities. The Shiite population was very unsupportive of the fighters, although many were intimidated. This factor, coupled with overwhelming firepower, quickly gave U.S. forces in the area a decisive edge. This reduced the pressure on the stretched supply lines, enabling the advance to continue. On April 9, Baghdad fell to American forces with only sporadic resistance by Fedayeen irregulars, foreign volunteers, and remnants of the Special Republican Guard, effectively ending the government of Saddam Hussein. Tikrit, the last city to fall, was taken on April 15.
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