Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Army Tanker Helmet with Markings - dated 1944
Original Item: Only One Available. The following excerpt is from an article titled The Wonders of Tanker Helmets by Peter Suciu about Japanese Tanker Helmets in WW2:
Japan devised its own tanker helmet, which was very distinct from their traditional steel helmet designs. It’s been suggested that Japanese tanker helmets were actually based on flight helmets.
There are also three well-known variations of tanker helmets, including an early winter model that’s fur lined with dark brown leather, a summer weight composition fabric version, and a variant with snaps to secure goggle straps to the helmet. The summer weight version is the most common, made of waterproofed hemp with a leather liner that provides extra support in front and back. Interestingly, many seemingly un-issued Japanese tanker helmets have shown up in recent years. These aren’t believed to be fakes or copies, but were possibly from a forgotten cache uncovered in Kyoto in the 1970s or 1980s (depending on who you ask).
It’s generally agreed that Japanese companies awarded military contracts typically produced the quantity of items in the contract, regardless of how the war was going. Thus it is logical to believe that these “forgotten” items were merely contracted items but weren’t required by the military at the time.
It should also be noted that Axis tanker helmets typically weren’t designed for use with radios or other communication equipment. Until the war’s end the Japanese relied on signal flags to direct their armored units while the German and even Italians at times used throat mics and traditional earphones, but this wasn’t integrated into their headgear.
This is an excellent condition example of the summer weight variation of the Japanese WWII tanker helmet. The size is approximately 7 1/4 (58cm), and it shows very little sign of use, if it was used at all.
This M32 protective tanker's helmet has a brown cotton exterior with a black faux leather star attached to the front. Interior is lined with a coarse linen, black faux leather pads on the front and rear, and a light brown leather suspension. Lining is marked with manufacturer's mark, date stamp, and various other Kanji markings. One of these is clearly 昭 19 or Showa 19, for the Western year 1944. Sides have lined brown leather 'Y' straps with dual ring buckles. There are no major condition issues, just light wear from age and storage.
This is an extremely nice authentic example of a very desirable helmet!
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