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Other helmets used in the Bulgarian army

The paratrooper helmets

In 1943 a paratrooper unit was formed in the Bulgarian army. The men were trained in Germany and had German paratrooper equipment /according to some sources, the jump-suits were Italian/. And the helmets of the Bulgarian paratroopers were German. Even they had the Luftwaffe eagle on the side /as an aviation symbol/, only the swastika was removed. Seems also that some had the Bulgarian 3-color shield, hand-painted. Click HERE to read the full story of the Bulgarian paratrooper unit.

..Bulgarian paratroopers

Unfortunately that's not in my collection :(

Image from the Keith R. Gill collection

Luftschutz helmets

German Luftschutz helmets, the so-called "Gladiator" type. Delivered from Germany, the series seems were specially produced for Bulgaria - they were originally painted green, not blue. Both M36 and M44 Luftschutz helmets were delivered. Some with leather liners, other with cardboard and cloth liners.


However seems the earliest deliveries were standart German helmets, reissued for Bulgaria. This is such an example - typical blue colour, the German decal on the front carefully removed and the big Bulgarian decal applied on the side.

These helmets were used by the Bulgarian army unit called Protivovazdushna i Himimicheska Zashtita - Anti Air and Chemical Defense. The decal was much more complex than on the army helmets. It was also bigger. Again a shield, but different - the left part in the National colors /white-green-red/, the right part in black-white-black. In the center of the shield there was a smaller red shield with a standing lion inside. On the upper part of the shiels in a dark blue line were 4 cyrillic letters /the first letter from the four words of the name of the organization/. The decals were applied either on the left side, or on he right side, between the two groups of air vent holes. Such Luftschutz helmets were used probably also by the police - with mounted on the front the police badge /a red shield with a golder rampart lion on it/ and a Bulgarian-color circle badge over it. But helmets with holes for police badges also had the big decals on the side... Still trying to find more information about the Luftschutz helmets.

Members of the PVHZ: Left, a gift from the Allies, December 1943. Right: with a kind of fire pump. From these pictures seems, that these men had a kind of uniform, though withput effects. Also seems they are always with helmets and always in pairs :) /click to see bigger image/


German M35-40-42

Though officially not delivered, as far as I know, such helmets were used in the Bulgarian army. First this happened in the end of WWII - the Bulgarian army used lots of captured German equipment and this seems included helmets. Have a look at the picture below - I could not copy it well, but on the real picture is is easily seen that the second man /from right to left/ has German helmet. The 4th - maybe too, but hard to say for sure.

After the war many German helmets remained in the military stores together with the other helmets and were used in the army. Here are pictures of repainted and relinered German helmets, used after WWII in the Bulgarian army:

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M42 with a Bulgarian liner; M35 Bulgarian liner; M40 outside and inside

French WWI M-15 Adrian helmets

Some French-made M-15 Adrian helmets have been reused in the Bulgarian army. Still not know for what servce, but probably as a kind of reserve. Repainted green, with Bulgarian M36 type C liners /attached to the helmets with 3 M36 type A rivets/ and M36 C chinstraps. The liners have ink-stamped the emblem of the State Military Factory at the town of Kazanlak /a human profile with gas mask, the letters DVF over it/. The front badges have been removed. These helmets were French-made, but in fact came to the Bulgarian army from different WWI armies - the French, the Serbian, the Russian... As everywhere on this site, click thumbnail to see larger image.

French-made M-15 from the Serbian army - the badge outline still well seen

French M-15, probably from the Russian army, from the Roger Lucy collection


The Bulgarian liner stamp

Tanker helmets

These were probably Italian - at least on the pictures look exactly the same like the Italian ones. Probably were imported in the second half of the 30's together with some Italian armored vehicles that were supplied to the Bulgarian army.

Spiked helmets

In the 30's the Bulgarian police offiecers seems had some kind of spiked helmets for parade. Still can say nothing more, hope to get more information soon.