Original WWI Polish Used Austro-Hungarian M17 Steel Helmet with Liner - Massive Size, Marked TJ68

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is an incredible helmet with dual history! The shell is a WWI Era Austro-Hungarian M17 Stahlhelm and was produced in the rare and massive size 68! These size 68 shells are amongst the hardest sized helmets to locate. The helmet is complete with an early Polish leather liner with overall evident signs of a long service life.

After World War I Poland seized large quantities of M1917 and M1918 helmets. Most were later sold to various countries, including Spain. However, at the end of the 1930s, it was discovered that the standard Polish wz. 31 helmet was unsuitable for tank troops and motorized units; while offering decent protection, it was too large and heavy. As a stop-gap measure before a new helmet was developed, the General Staff decided to issue the M1917 and M1918 helmets to the 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade, which used them during the September Campaign.

During the time of the Warsaw Uprising the helmet was also worn by the members of the Polish Home Army and it was during this time that the helmet became the symbol of the resistance, as every Stahlhelm worn by a soldier of the underground army signified a dead German occupier it was taken from.

Much of the original paint and Polish repaint are still visible and retained, but there is quite a bit of wear to the exterior. The shell retains both of the ventilation side lugs, which are the correct short version without a step for the larger size shell. This would ensure proper installation of a "Stirnpanzer" brow plate regardless of shell size. We checked the the helmet for a rolling mill mark, and due to wear and paint we were not able to see any markings except for a faint TJ 68 marking above the right ear. The leather chinstrap and liner are both still present with evident wear present and no extensive damage.

This is a wonderful, rather rare helmet that comes more than ready for further research and display.

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