COLD WAR ERA SOVIET BLOACK
EAST GERMAN M-56
* M-56 Helmet History *
The East German M-56 helmet was originally designed in 1942 as a replacement for the M1935/M1940 model Stahlhelm. It was initially developed for the Wehrmacht by the Institute for Defense Technical Materials Science in Berlin (see M1944 above). The helmet had seen trials since 1943, but was not adopted during World War II.
The design was not used until the requirement for a distinct German helmet for the Volkspolizei and the National People's Army arose. The East German leadership was motivated in large part by a desire to avoid provoking the offence that using a traditional Stahlhelm design would have caused East Germany's Warsaw Pact allies (especially Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet Union), but a more practical military necessity was also present due to the continued use of surplus Stahlhelmen by West German units, in particular border guards. Moreover, the East Germans suspected the West could re-issue the Stahlhelm on a general basis in the Bundeswehr at any time and therefore needed a helmet that was easily distinguishable from that of their potential enemy. For both reasons, the 1942 design was likely chosen because it was the most similar of all German designs to the most recognizable Soviet helmets, in particular the iconic SSh-40 design. Such a design not only served a political purpose, but was one that NATO armies were unlikely to closely duplicate. Indeed, the M-56 was similar enough in appearance to the SSh-40 that some Westerners failed to realize its German origins altogether and assumed the East Germans had adopted a Soviet design.
The M-56 helmet came in three basic versions, Mod 1 or I/56, Mod 2 or I/57 and Mod 3 or I/71, and was widely sold to Third World armies.
* What is a Paratrooper *
A paratrooper is a military parachutist—someone trained to parachute into an operation, and usually functioning as part of an airborne force. Military parachutists and parachutes were first used on a large scale during World War II for troop distribution and transportation. Paratroopers are often used in surprise attacks, to seize strategic objectives such as airfields or bridges.
* The Cold War *
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the period is generally considered to span the 1947 Truman Doctrine to the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by the two powers, following their temporary alliance and victory against Nazi Germany in 1945. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction discouraged a pre-emptive attack by either side. Aside from the nuclear arsenal development and conventional military deployment, the struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events and technological competitions such as the Space Race.
Cold War Era Soviet Paratrooper Helmet
Smoky Mountain Relic Room offers a 30 return policy with proof of purchase.
-Limited Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee-
The Smoky Mountain Relic Room stands behind the items we sell with a limnited lifetime guarantee. We will exchange any item for store credit if the item sold is found by a certified authenticator not to be the authentic artifact, fossil, meteorite or mineral that we advertised it as being. A letter, specific to the artifact, fossil, meteorite or mineral in question, from a certified authenticator (in the business under the occupation specific to the item in question) must be brought in with the item for the return to be acceptable. This guarantee is for the lifetime of the initial purchaser only. See the Relic Room Manager, downstairs inside Smoky Mountain Knife Works, for more information. Original receipt required for exchanges.
Your purchase will be shipped in 1-3 business days via USPS or UPS.