The Italian Army wore the French Adrian helmet during World War I, eventually producing its own version known as the Model 1916. All that changed after Benito Mussolini came to power in 1925.
Mussolini introduced a new combat helmet in 1933 as part of his military modernization program. The new Model 1933 featured a deep, one-piece stamped nickel steel shell with an uncrimped rim, and provided good overall protection. Three rivets, which doubled as air vents, secured the metal liner band to the helmet. The liner was leather with eight full tongues, perforated for ventilation and tightened with a leather or cloth drawstring. The green leather chinstrap was secured with a steel buckle. The design was so successful that it remains in use today.
The Model 1933 helmet pictured here is chrome-plated. It was worn by Mussolini’s palace guard, which also carried chromed rifles and wore black uniforms.
This helmet gives new meaning to the term “chrome dome.”