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Original WWII Hungarian M38 Finnish Contract Steel Helmet with Original Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. In world war two Hungary was an ally of Germany. The Germans allowed and assisted the Hungarians in copying their design of the M35 steel helmet. Therefore, the WWII produced M38 Hungarian steel helmet is nearly identical to the German WWII M35. Both have the same shape, riveted ventilation holes, and the classic rolled edge. The minor differences between the M38 helmet and the German M35 was the liner system, liner pin position, as well as the addition of a small horizontal rectangular carrying hook above the back brim of the Hungarian helmet used to attach the helmet to a backpack when on the move.

The Model 1938 Hungarian helmet was one of the most common types used by the Finnish Army during the Continuation War of 1941-44. The Finns originally wanted to acquire the German M35 during the Winter War of 1939-40 to supplement their old stock of German WWI M17 & M18 helmets however, the German government refused the order and sent it to the Hungarians instead. Apparently this was done for political reasons as the Germans were technically still "allied" to the Soviets (who the Finns were fighting) during the Winter War of 1939-40. Though the order was placed in December 1939, the first helmet wasn't shipped until after the end of the Winter War in March 1940, which is why they were used extensively during the Continuation War of 1941-44.

The companies that manufactured the M38 were MÁVAG - Magyar Királyi Vas, Acél és Gépgyárak (Royal Hungarian Iron, Steel and Machine Factories) in Budapest, Weiss of Csepel, and Magyar Waggon és Gépgyár (Hungarian Wagon and Machine Factory) in Gyori. The maker marks used in these helmets were different depending on whether they were made for domestic use or for export to Finland, to help obscure the origin of the helmets. Helmets made in Gyori were marked GY domestically, or DR, as seen on the inside of this example. This is stamped over the shell size 66 under the left side of the helmet

The helmet still retains the original Hungarian liner, which has a galvanized steel liner band, covered with a leather liner, which is somewhat like a cross between the WWI and WWII German liners. It is still held by the original German WWII style split pins, and we do not see any signs that the liner has ever been swapped out. It's very possible that this helmet never left Hungary, as many of the export helmets were never shipped.

A very nice example of a hard to find helmet, still in the original issued configuration. Ready to display!

History of the German & Finnish Alliance-

In 1938 Finland became very concerned with Stalin's Soviet expansionism and turned to Great Britain and France for support. Both Countries were under supplied themselves so Finland, perhaps reluctantly turned to NSDAP Germany for aid. AH was swift to assist supplying great quantities of materiel including thousands of German Battle Helmets.

The Russians invaded Finland in 1939 driving deep into the country. The Finns resisted with amazing tenacity that has been the subject of legend and the wonderful WW2 Movie "THE WINTER WAR" (offered by IMA). The Russians paid a very heavy price and sued for peace in early 1940 keeping the invaded areas of Finland. Finland totally exhausted agreed with great regret.

In the summer of 1941 AH's NSDAP War Machine invaded the Soviet Union driving everything before them. Finland whom had received so much help from Germany then rose up and drove the Soviet presence out of Finland. However Finland would not "invade" the Soviet Union, they declared themselves not to be aggressors.

It is true however that the Germans recruited great numbers of Finnish "Volunteers" for their "SS UNITS" that did invade Mother Russia but that was true of all the overrun European Countries and even some others, still independent including apparently England and the United States, although these number were said to be very low.

At the close of WW2 with Germany defeated Finland was highly penalized by the Soviet Union, again gave up the lost territory of 1939/40 but did manage to retain it's independence unlike so much of Eastern Europe.

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