Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I've always wondered.

With sincerest apologies to anyone who had to ware them and
to relatives of those brave men who died waring these helmets
I wish to comment on the tommy-helmets in use during
both great wars.Every time I see a war film I wonder who
designed the cumbersome-looking things and if they were as
awkward to wear as it appears ?Were they more efficient than
seems possible and if so why are they not in use to this day ?

The Americans and Germans had stream-lined helmets that
looked the part,as did the Italians and French.The British
Paratroopers,of which my uncle was one,had modern-type
headgear,so they can't have been unavailable.I noticed that
the air-raid wardens had similar helmets but that made some
sense as it would protect them from falling debris,but they
didn't have to bear arms.The Infantrymen who wore them
were expected run and jump around and be able to fire
.303 rifles while encumbered by something that looked like
a relic from the past.

I certainly wouldn't like to have been on the wrong end of a
Bayonet thrust by a Tommy wearing one of those helmets
but from this distance one can only say that those helmets
looked,if you'll excuse me saying so,useless and awkward. I
looked it up and could find no reference to their genesis.On
a very much lighter note,did you ever notice in those Roman/
Biblical epics where they show scenes from the Collisseum,
its always the Gladiator in the roundy helmet,him with the
Trident and net,that gets it first.


Foot Eater said...

Apparently they were designed like that so they could double as soup bowls. Can't remember where I heard this or be arsed to Google it.

Jokemail said...

Looks remarkably like safeti's character's helmet to me

Monstee said...

The US doughboys wore something similar in WW1. The design am akin to metal version of the pith helmet with some variation. The idea was that wide brim would better protect you from falling debris and shrapnel when running in areas being shelled or in trenches. US later started using more German style helmet when we noticed that they just worked better.

the anti-barney said...

Footsie,They'd hold plenty of soup.
Jokemail,I'll thank you not to mention that go-by-the-wall here.
Monstee,its still hard to understand why the British persisted with them.