Danish M1923 helmet

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Danish soldiers wearing M-23 helmets at an AA gun

The M-23 helmet was a combat helmet issued to Danish troops during the interwar period and saw service in the Second World War. It was the first helmet to be issued to Danish Defense forces and was produced locally by the company Glud and Marstrands Fabriker.[1]

History and usage[edit]

Discarded Danish weapons and helmets following the German invasion

Following the carnage of World War I the Danish government fell into line with other industrialized nations and began to equip their soldiers with steel helmets. This new trend emerged from the trenches of World War I where steel helmets greatly reduced casualties. The Danish Military accepted plans for the helmet from Army Captain HE Johnsen and began distributing them to troops prior to World War II.[2] The helmet first saw combat during the German invasion of Denmark, Operation Weserübung, on April 9, 1940. Following the end of the war in 1945, Denmark phased out the m-23 in favor of the M48 steel helmet, which was modeled after the American M1 helmet. This move coincided with many other NATO members who adopted the same design.[1] The M-23 is unique in that it was never exported internationally and Denmark was the only country ever to use it. This contrasts with other helmets of the era such as, the French Adrian helmet and the British Brodie helmet, which were widely distributed around the world. Moreover, this helmet’s distinctive appearance makes it easily recognizable from other interwar steel helmets.

Design[edit]

Front, side and rear view of the M-23

The M-23 was made from a single piece of Swedish steel and was produced in both military and civilian versions.[3] The military version contained either an Army or Navy emblem on the front, depending upon which branch it was issued to, and many were covered with textured gray paint. The inside of the helmet was equipped with a leather chin strap and liner consisting of eight flaps. On the rear of the M-23 a hanging slot can be seen towards the bottom. The civilian version was issued to various non-military organizations such as, police and fire departments, and did not have an emblem on the front. It was made from lighter steel and had a lower quality liner and chin strap. Unlike the military version it remained in service with these groups long after the war.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barnes, Don. "Helmet Collection, Helmet Denmark". Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Sciu, Peter. "Military Collection of Peter Sciu". Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Dade, Brandon. "Denmark M23/39". Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Grubb, Samuel. "Danish M-23 Navy Helmet".