This is Bulgarian WWII M36 helmet with royal decal, of the earliest 1st model with rolled edge. The liner is attached directly to the shell by means of 4 rivets. The air vents /seen from inside/ are attached in a way similar to the M16.
Shell retains its original green paint gone at some places. Only shadow of the decal could be seen. Authentic liner, chinstrap is of old type, one piece. One of the fastening buckle is brocken.
Helmet in authentic condition, as found in military stock.
Liner size: M - EU 56 / US 7 .
HISTORY OF THE BULGARIAN WWII M36 HELMETS: In World War II, Bulgaria saw an alliance with Germany as an opportunity to satisfy its territorial claims unsatisfied after the WWI. As an ally of Austro- Hungarian Empire and Germany, Bulgaria was supplied with all types of military equipment from these two countries. To meet the needs of the Bulgarian army the allies imported helmets, bayonets, military trucks, arms etc. In 1935 Bulgaria worked out a project for its own model helmet, based on the German M16 and created an unique improved model dated 1936.
Although there is scarce information about these helmets, what can be said is that the M-36 helmets came in 3 versions - named A, B and C type.
Generally, it seems highly probable that the first versions of the helmet were produced by 3 foreign factories:
- Sandrik - Dolne Hamre, Slovakia
- Bruder Gottlieb und Brauchbar - Brun, Moravia /Bratri G&B - Brno, Czechia/
- Eisenhuttenwerk Thale - Thale, Harz, Germany In 1938 Bulgaria purchased a helmet matrix machine which was installed in Kazanlak military factory , so we supposed that the last C type Bulgarian helmets were made in Bulgaria by 1939. By the same period a new Bulgarian model appeared - M39.
What is typical for all the M36 helmets is a 3-color decal with black border on the side. It should be known that the decal is real, not painted by hand, as it was done in postwar times when M36 were still made use of. Then they were repainted and continued to be employed by the Communist regime army.
Nowadays, it is not very easy to find helmets with their authentic decal on. Soon it will be even harder to find any at all after the Bulgarian army starts to meet the NATO regulations according to which such items are to be destroyed.