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Italian M-33 helmet from Stalingrad

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Personal Gear (Kit) and Accessories' started by Slavic Marksman, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    Well its not something pretty to look at considering it was underground for 65 years,but its an interesting piece of history dug up from a Stalingrad(now Volgograd) battlefield.Theres no manufacturer markings on it anywhere-just rust-corrosion etc... I got it for $20.(sorry for the bad quailty pics-bad camera)
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    Kai-Petri likes this.
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    That's a gem. Looks closely like a Russian helmet but then again, I'm not up to par on helmets
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I don't recall any listings of Italian units so near to Stalingrad that this helmet could have been found there. However, if I recall, there were Italian Divisions on the German left flank along with Romanians. This helmut looks like a Russian one to me-but then again, im no helmut expert. Also, if this helmet was picked up from the Stalingrad Battlefield-as far as I know-that's against the law. Sadly, you can find all kinds of things lying about that are slowly rusting away.

    Several years ago, soem friends of mine from Holland rented a travel-trailer and took a trip to "Stalingrad" where they picked up some 20 or so Russian and German helmets-only for them to be halted at the border-taken into custody-questioned for about 10 or more hours, them made to pay hefty fines which im sure were vastly inflated by the guards-and finally released. (Sorry for the run-on sentence)
     
  4. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    It could be a Russian helmet-Im not sure though as im no expert on helmets myself,I believe though that the Italians were in Stalingrad - If I recall right Vassili Zaitsev the famous sniper says in his memoirs that they would see Italians and Romanians through their optics at times(id have to look through the book to confirm it though-I could be totally wrong.The helmet was dug up legally-I bought it from a reputable seller who has proper licesnses etc,At least I hope so because I wouldnt want to own anything illegal! Ive heard though that people will illegaly dig these old items up and transport them to America to sell to collectors.
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I just looked at a site that had some pics of Russians-this is a Russian helmet.

    As for spotting Italians and Romanians at Stalingrad-well-nope. I don't know how many miles away those Ital and Romanian-as well as I think some Hungarian, Divisions were from Stalingrad but, I severely doubt they could be seen from so far away-with any optics from the time period. Now I will concede that their might have been some Ites and Romanians detached from their parent units attached for some purpose? to some German units at Stalingrad but doubt it. This is akin to a so-called Professor I once met-who was Jewish and had claimed that Waffen SS troops were in every battle-including Stalingrad. Again there-I have never seen any referances to any ever being there at anypoint during the battle. If it's possible-just like with the Italians and Romanians, there might have been a few liason officers and men attached to one unit or another-but highly doubt it.

    If you find positive proof-i'd like to see it ;-))

    Best regards-C.

    Disclaimer:::::::

    PS, im no expert on anything so im always subject for being wrong.
     
  6. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    Wow a Russian helmet-I never really looked into it.
    Im sure you know more than me on the subject-im definitley no expert on this kind of thing;)Im going to scan through Zaitsevs memoirs real quick and see if I can find any mention of Romanians and Italians in Stalingrad,Ill keep you guys posted on what i find.

    -sm
     
  7. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    Ok I just found it in the book-There were Romanians in Stalingrad-Zaitsev says the Romanians would roar at the top of their lungs when they attacked trying to strike fear into them-Zaitsev says when they heard that roar they knew who was headed their way.The Germans shot down some of their biplanes piloted by Female Soviets and they crashed in the Romanians sector and they got reports of Romanians torturing and raping these female pilots.We were sharpening our knives for the Romanians Zaitsev mentions and when the Romanians charged them that very few Romanians left the field that day-Our sacred Russian step was fertilized with their corpses Zaitsev says.

    As far as the Italians in Stalingrad id have to look more into the book.

    Cheers:)

    -sm
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    [​IMG]
    Italian M33

    Soviet Helmet

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  9. Lippert

    Lippert Member

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    So it IS Italian
     
  10. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    There was at least one Italian unit in the Stalingrad area as the heavy transport unit 248 Autoreparto Pesante (consisting of 50 Italians and 30 trucks) was used to ferry the German 1. & 2./Pionier-Bataillon 162 into the city. Under orders to wait for the Batalillon to complete it's assignment before transporting them back again they were caught inside the pocket whereupon they were later assigned to Pionier-Bataillon 305. They were not deployed in combat and were left to their own devices. At the end of the battle 48 of the Italians were still alive (2 having died in January 1943) but only one would survive Russian captivity, the rest dying on the long train journeys to the POW camps.

    (Source: Pgs 57, 287 & 485/486 Island Of Fire by Jason D Mark)
     
  11. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi JC, thanks for the pics. They sure are a bit similar. You could also confuse a Swiss helm as one of these depending on what side your looking at.

    It it's italian, then this helmet HAS to have been taken from a place where those Ite divisions were stationed at--which was not in the city itself. I still find no refenences for Italian forces in the city.

    PS, sorry for my mis-I.D. of the helmet. Im going to try looking into this more because I THINK the Russian helmet shown is a later model. Ill look around a bit this weekend and see if I can find anything good.

    PS, if you look closely enough next time you watch the movie Cross of Iron, towards the very end of the movie where you see Steiner and his group trying to go through Russian lines, you will see more than one Russian soldier wearing the exact same style of helmet as is the rusted shell posted above.

    A ""Red Flag"" though on the gents post above me, how likely is it that a person is going to get an Italian helmet from that small detachment allegedly stationed in Stalingrad? Also, another Red Flag, if the helmet is KNOWN to have been with such a small detachment stationed in Stalingrad-one sure as hell, aint going to get it for the low price mentioned-that is a fact.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    If there were only 50 Italians there , then your helmet is a rare find! Are you sure it was found at Stalingrad?
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Nice find! Thanx for sharing the pics!
     
  14. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    The guy I bought it from is a good reputable seller,he had some other items from ww1 trenches and various ww2 battlefields for sale,I saw the Italian helmet for $20 and he said it was recently dug up in a Stalingrad battlefield,I figured it was an interesting piece and for $20 I couldnt go wrong.
     
  15. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I hate to burst a hopeful bubble but, I think the guy you got it from grossly embellished the story of the find. I'd bet my last Dollar, that this helmet would have been found in the area somewhere on the left flank of the Battle of Stalingrad. Getting something that is allegedly "Stalingrad" found-for $20 bucks-I doubt it-it's possible in some tiny way but, I highly doubt it.
     
  16. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

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    I have to agree. Finding such a helmet in Stalingrad is one thing, finding one on a Stalingrad battlefield is another. But that is the problem with collecting such items, Italian & German - without a cast iron provenance there is no way of knowing exactly where the item was found or to who/what unit it belonged. Still, it is an interesting item, and for $20 you still have a good bargain for an Eastern Front Italian helmet.
     
  17. Slavic Marksman

    Slavic Marksman Member

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    Honestly myself I dont think it was found in Stalingrad as well,maybe on the outskirts somewhere...I think that people are digging these old relics up from various ww2 battlefields and to get a few more bucks say they were dug up in places like Stalingrad,Leningrad,Kursk etc... For 20 dollars though I bought the helmet not the story.

    Cheers:)
     
  18. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Well said Huck, and Slavic/ one thing I do know about what remains on the Stalingrad campaign area, is that it's apparently illegal for anyone to take anything they find. I know this because a good friend of mine from Holland along with several of his Army buddies, rented a traveltrailer and went to go visit the Stalingrad area. They picked up some 20++ German and Russian helmets and I think soem other stuff-which is or had been just lying out in the open at that time.

    Anyway, my friend nad his friends, made this trip about 10-12 years ago. Well, when they came upon some Border Checkpoint, the Russian Guards inspected their rented vehicle and found all the relics that these guys had picked up. They were held for about 10-12 hours being questioned, and were only released when they paid their fines-which happened to be all the cash they were carrying.

    So, for that guy who sold you that helmet (and story) "found" at Stalingrad, it would be practically impossible for him to have obtained this relic from that battlefield. There are reportedly vehicle wrecks in the area as well as expended munitions-and live munitions-weapons and such-just lying out in the open rusting away.

    Whether all that I posted above is "really" true-I don't know and can only report what I have been told by friends.

    Take care and best regards-C.

    PS, original condition Italian Helmets-I have heard are not very expensive. You might be a bit happier with one of those? ;-))
     
  19. Mucha

    Mucha recruit

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    For the record - I'm a helmet collector, I wouldn't call myself the ultimate authority by any means but I've learned a thing or two along the way - that's absolutely, positively an Italian M33. There's a Bulgarian model, post war (M51)that's very very similar that are often passed off as such but this is not one of them.
    I've come across quite a few sellers of "Stalingrad" items, sadly most are faked.
    While it's not impossible to find and sell Stalingrad relics, by and large it's much cheaper to fake one then it is to slip, sneak, and bribe one's way to selling it.
    The Italians were most certainly on the Eastern Front of course and there's no reason why this could not be an actual East Front artifact, but as to it actually being from Stalingrad....don't think so :(
     
  20. Filippo

    Filippo recruit

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    I Can confirm. It's an Italian M33 helmet indeed. Italian ARMIR (Italian Army in Russia) fought together with the german troops up north of Stalingrad and, at the end of the campaign, officially reported 26 115 deads, 43 166 wounded and 63 684 dispersed.

    77 Italian soldiers were killed in Stalingrad (they were truck-drivers) and only two come back from that battle.
     

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