I’ve been visiting Peter Oosterman’s site (www.m-1helmet.com) for a while because, in my opinion, it is the nicest looking militaria-related site on the web. When I heard he was publishing a book on M1 helmets, I was eager to purchase a copy. My expectations were high because the book cost $119.90 (including international postage), but it ended up being money well spent.
M1 Helmets is hard cover with nice binding, excellent quality paper, and top-notch printing. The layout and photography are exceptional. It is written in French and English and easy to follow with 319 pages.
The first half of the book provides details and history about the M1 helmet shell, liner, and components without being text heavy. The second half is called “museum” and features amazing examples of M1 headgear. Most of the helmets are well researched with excellent provenance. I value this book because it is a go to reference that consolidates details that have been discussed and published elsewhere. The museum portion of the book is a wonderful bonus in that you have multiple-view images of helmets most of us will never own in our collections. These are cream of the crop M1 helmets including camos, unit marks, and airborne configurations.
Overall the book is excellent, but I was disappointed the author only discussed fixed bale helmets and left out swivel bales. He also did not weigh in on the ongoing front seam / rear seam debate regarding when the changeover took place, etc. The author did an excellent job verifying contract dates for many other helmet features that I assumed he would have insight to provide for this. Hopefully, his book will be successful enough to merit a follow up that includes these missing subjects and more.
M1 Helmet of the WW2 US GI is available for purchase at www.m-1helmet.com.
Chris Hughes is a WorthPoint Worthologist specializing in 20th century militaria and the owner of Rally Point Militaria and Vietnam Uniform – Military Collectibles sites.