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I know that the U.S. military was using the flat, British style helmet at the start of WWII, and changed to the more familiar style during the war, but i can’t find when or why they changed. Can you please help.

Thank you,  

Ron Lorio




Dear Mr. Lorio,


The British Mark I Brodie helmet, adopted in 1915, put its emphasis on protecting the soldier’s head from overhead artillery bursts, a common menace in the trenches crosscrossing the Western Front in World War I. It was also adopted by the American Expeditionary Force as the M1917A1, and continued in use until the M1 helmet was introduced in 1941 and entered service in force from 1942 to 1985. The difference was simply a matter of emphasis, the M1 offering a bit more protection from the sides as well as from above than the Brodie, though slightly less, perhaps, than the German Stahlhelm. In practice, the M1 became immensely popular and famous for having more versatile applications between battles, although troops were advised to avoid using it as a heating utensil, lest the flames take the temper out of the steel.



Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History

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