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New Forum about the DAK and Tropical German army, and Allied army in WW2 only

#1 18-05-2016 18:29:30

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Friends
now I want to show you this rare helmet known as the “Dutch” Helmet although it appears it was never worn by the Dutch.
Apparently they were so called as some were made in Holland probably by a branch of SAPHI (South African Pith Helmet Industries of Pretoria) and issued in Germany to the 15 Panzer Division during Easter 1941 due to the shortages of the tropenheim made in Germany. Evidence of this appears in photos dated Easter weekend 13th/14th April 1941 in the “Studio” in Germany.
Photo evidence also supports their use again during the march from Tripoli to Tobruk in May 1941.

In fact I have another one like this but marked inside with the south african broad arrow and dated 1940!

Your opinions are welcome.


http://i65.tinypic.com/2youafp.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/24ov988.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/ot1cv7.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2ppjztj.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/23jsmpt.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/w47sn.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/29y485t.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/1zl9fl4.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/idbokn.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/jv2p7n.jpg

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#2 19-05-2016 14:01:08

don_kihotis7
Moderator
From: Cyprus
Registered: 05-09-2013
Posts: 2513

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Marco,
hmmm i am out of my field here but i have seen once a Dutch helmet by another tropical collector and it looks nothing like yours.

I will get permission to post his photos here for comparison.


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#3 20-05-2016 00:38:08

msteve21
Veteran DAK Member
From: Australia
Registered: 05-12-2011
Posts: 507

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Looks to be a version of the SA/ Dutch pith helmet but without the top air vent, possibly postwar ???

Mark S

Last edited by msteve21 (20-05-2016 02:44:11)


Collector of DAK & Panzer Militia
Great Southern Land

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#4 20-05-2016 09:07:45

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

hi Friends
this is not a Dutch helmet (I don't know them as I have never seen them, I don't even know if they exist... I know that The Dutch used South African Helmet in their different versions and part of them had been made in Holland.)
this is a SA helmet.
Here is the second of my three SA helmets.
SA helmets  had been made in different versions, with and without top air vent.

http://i67.tinypic.com/2lj7347.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/opog34.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/f0pxzl.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/2qjhfer.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2din0n5.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2465i03.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/14b8h35.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/16by2vb.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/1675tdx.jpg

Last edited by zip3120 (20-05-2016 09:12:49)

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#5 20-05-2016 09:51:47

msteve21
Veteran DAK Member
From: Australia
Registered: 05-12-2011
Posts: 507

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hello Markus

SA helmets  had been made in different versions, with and without top air vent

I was thinking that, but not having any production knowledge about these helmets I didn't want to say anything

They are outstanding examples of very rare helmets, please post pics of number three helmet

I was lucky to actually handle a vet bring back "SA German used helmet" this very week

I'll ask the owner if he will allow me to post a photo of it

Cheers

Mark S


Collector of DAK & Panzer Militia
Great Southern Land

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#6 20-05-2016 11:41:14

don_kihotis7
Moderator
From: Cyprus
Registered: 05-09-2013
Posts: 2513

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Ah ok, so it's South African. You said Dutch and that's what my mind kept.

I have posted a Dutch helmet in a separate thread. Here is the link: http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/viewto … 771#p15771


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#7 20-05-2016 12:25:40

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Ciao Mark
here is my third Sa pith helmet. Its owner was the Pte. H. Rowbotham in the Royal Natal Carabineer. (The South Africa's oldest Regiment)
This Regiment fought in North Africa (1st South African Infantry Brigade, 1st South African Infantry Division, XXX Corps. ) and in the Italian Campaigns.

This is the Canadian production version (interesting to see that it have also the Canadian broad arrow...) as a modified version of the pressed fiber helmets from Hawley Products Canada.
This is the only pattern of the pressed fiber helmets to feature an actual ventilator cap, but it still maintains the row of four holes seen in there other South African sun helmets – and interestingly includes three holes to the rear rim, which was likely used for a neck curtain. Those three holes also appear on the South African used MkII steel helmets.

Mark if you are interested in this topic see this site.   http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/2015/ … onnection. Here, afterwards a description of SA sun helmets, the author argues that the Dutch helmets have never existed in DAK equipment. This is confirmed in http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ … amp;page=7


http://i66.tinypic.com/25a24ix.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/rasv3k.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/245yhcx.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/peyw.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/72g6ro.jpg

http://i64.tinypic.com/2ia3mf4.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/xlyxdc.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2e2175c.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/15x79tz.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/244dvrm.jpg


pressed fiber helmets in the first battle of El Alamain

Last edited by zip3120 (20-05-2016 12:46:43)

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#8 20-05-2016 13:05:57

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Chris the helmet you posted is a very nice SOUTH AFRICAN "polo Style" sun helmet smile, standard version.

It appears that the Dutch company “JP.de Mol, Breda” was granted a pre-war contract to manufacture these for export to the South African military. These helmets were always intended for the South Africans – and never for the Dutch Army; they were completely different from anything the Dutch Army was using in its distance Far East colonies but instead they comply with the SA standard.
Please see   http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/heer-luft … ld-563623/    and   http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/2015/ … connection
Ciao

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#9 20-05-2016 20:58:09

barry1954
Confirmed DAK Member
Registered: 23-04-2011
Posts: 177

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Some nice examples and pictures posted. Here are 2 of my South African piths

Barry

http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_1p_2.jpg
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_2p_1.jpg
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_4p_1.jpg
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_4p_2.jpg

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#10 22-05-2016 11:24:56

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi barry
very nice helmets  smile

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#11 23-05-2016 12:10:09

msteve21
Veteran DAK Member
From: Australia
Registered: 05-12-2011
Posts: 507

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Thank you Ciao for the info links, very useful information on these rare helmets
Thx Barry for adding your two helmets, who would have though we dig out six of these helmets out of one thread, truly amazing


Collector of DAK & Panzer Militia
Great Southern Land

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#12 04-06-2016 23:04:18

barry1954
Confirmed DAK Member
Registered: 23-04-2011
Posts: 177

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Thanks Gents and yes nice to see all these examples on one thread. I never even knew about the Canadian piths until I saw this thread and one popped up for sale back in SA which I managed to buy last week. It is missing the liner but still a nice example to add to the collection. Here are some pictures.

Barry

http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_cp1.jpg
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_cp2.jpg
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/26_cp3.jpg

Last edited by barry1954 (04-06-2016 23:06:02)

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#13 05-06-2016 13:01:10

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Ciao Barry
nice helmet. Now to complete your collection you have to find the British made versions, in cork and felt, with and without top air vent. smile

To your knowledge the soldiers wearing the Canadian version in the pic were machine gunners of the President Steyn Regiment, 1st SA Division, near the beach on 4 July 1942, during the first battle of El Alamein. The first assault of DAK was just rejected!
Marco

Last edited by zip3120 (05-06-2016 13:04:36)

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#14 05-06-2016 14:48:44

RRA227
Supreme DAK Member
From: Hokendauqua.Pa. U.S.A.
Registered: 23-06-2011
Posts: 1443

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Nice helmets. Rich A. in Pa.


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Knowledge is power, guard it well.

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#15 18-06-2016 00:55:55

The Magpie
Veteran DAK Member
Registered: 29-06-2011
Posts: 646

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Marco,

Ok some confusion here. The threadstarter South African pith is not one of the captured Dutch made Breda helmets. I don't even think its a German used helmet. Looks like the shields have been added post war the way they sit on the helmet. Marco look    underneath the shields and see how much of a ghost (fade) there is ?

Peter is completely wrong if he still believes these Dutch made Breda stamped helmets are not captured stock from the Dutch in 1940 (they were from captured stock as confirmed by the DAK vets themselves) & then used to supply the 15Pz Div DAK in April 1940 before any SA units had arrived in Afrika.

The "Dutch" Helmets are captured stock from 1940 made in Holland. Issued to 15Pz April 41. This thread has one example shown by the link by Chris. The rest of these really nice helmets are Allied made. SA. The SA helmets were not taken in 1940 Holland. There were no SA units in Afrika till the summer after the 15Pz Div had already deployed to Tobruk May 41. The captured SA helmets were taken during the fall of Tobruk 42. Not before. So the Dutch made helmets predate the SA helmets by over a year in German use in Afrika.

There are very few Dutch made German used helmets still around. Am told there are 5 in collections but have only confirmed three still exist. Maybe more who knows ?
The SA helmets you have to be really careful with as most have been souped-up with German insignia postwar. One recently appeared on a dealers site that had been post war added German  insignia for $ 1800us when really it is just a SA helmet with German shields worth around $300us.
Without actual provenance would be highly sceptical of any SA sunhelmet with German insignia that could have been added yesterday....

The helmets made in SA should be considered a part of DAK history also just not confused with the Dutch made Breda helmets.

Sadly Marco, your threadstarter is not a Dutch made Helmut used by the Germans, but a common SA helmet some enterprising individual souped-up with a couple common German helmet insignia....

with great respect Marco
Tim

Last edited by The Magpie (18-06-2016 07:15:26)

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#16 18-06-2016 01:01:01

The Magpie
Veteran DAK Member
Registered: 29-06-2011
Posts: 646

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Correction, the photos of the two German soldats in studio portraits post #4 are wearing Dutch made captured stock, not SA made helmets.

The details between the Dutch made captured helmets and the Allied made helmets is fairly obvious including the Breda stamp.

Last edited by The Magpie (18-06-2016 01:11:15)

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#17 18-06-2016 12:24:56

zip3120
Friend Of DAK Forum
Registered: 23-09-2015
Posts: 359

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Tim
yes I think you are right for the threadstarter South African pith helmet, surely it is not one of the captured Dutch made Breda helmets.
I think now it was not a German used helmet, I removed the shields and there was no footprints.
Now it has returned to its rightful nationality, a British-made “Polo” helmet, with the same basic shape of the South African-made version, but lacks the ventilator cap on the top. neutral

However I am very happy with this thread! I had the opportunity to study the topic well and this are my conclusions:

1) I have seen many Dutch sun helmet patterns made for the Dutch colonies but no one looks like those used by the Germans in Africa ( see the pics).
The material used by Dutch for their colonies was not the cork. Cork isn't as good for jungle climates as it is for hot dry climates.

http://i66.tinypic.com/9hoowy.jpg
http://i65.tinypic.com/6ggf0y.jpg


2) It appears that the Dutch company “JP.de Mol, Breda” was granted a pre-war contract to manufacture these for export to the South African military. These helmets were always intended for the South Africans – and never for the Dutch Army. That's why they has been made in Sa shape! The germans captured these Dutch made South African helmet in 1940

3) the pith helmet shown in the link by Chris is a very good helmet but I beg you to compare it with the ones shown here #9 .  They are exactly alike, both outside then inside. The sweatband and its lanyard are typically South Africans! See the sweatbands in #4 and #9.
As the Chris example has not the “JP.de Mol, Breda” stamp I should like to know if underneath the shields there are the footprints of them.

Ciao
Marco

Last edited by zip3120 (18-06-2016 12:30:22)

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#18 18-06-2016 20:00:06

The Magpie
Veteran DAK Member
Registered: 29-06-2011
Posts: 646

Re: South African DAK Pith Helmet

Hi Marco

There is no evidence of any connection between Holland & South Africa about these helmets made in Breda. And at this point it is incorrect to say these are Dutch made for  SA forces. Agree they are patterned after Not only SA but English piths.  Evidence may surface at some point, but for now it is just a theory.

Bob's wonderful helmet does have a ghost underneath the shields, asked him about this just last year.
Great thread, you have done good work to show the different Allied piths compared to the German used Dutch made version.

Caio
Tim

Last edited by The Magpie (19-06-2016 05:21:18)

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