M1 v M75 An essentialcomparison: US M1 and Austrian M75 steel helmets.
At first glance the postwar Austrian M75 steel helmet may appear to be a carbon copy of its Godfather, the original WWII US M1 helmet, upon which it was based. While both helmets feature many similarities, such as swivel bales, sewn on chinstraps and a stainless steel rim, it is the details of such that makes comparison between the two fairly easy.
US M1 steel helmet v Austrian M75 steel helmet.
If we focus on the shell first, it is easy to notice that the M1 features cork textured dark green paint as opposed to the M75 which is notable smoother and painted green grey in colour. The front peak and side flared rims on the M1 are more pronounced while the M75 also exhibits a slightly lower profile.
M1 & M75 side profile comparison.
The stainless rims differ as well. On the M75 the rim is quite narrow and joins at the rear, while on the M1 it is wider and flatter, joining at the front. Comparison between postwar rear seamed M1s, which do not have a stainless steel rim, should be quite straight forward.
M1 front seam join (note the cork textured paint).
M75 rear seam (note the smoother finished paint).
Not too much can be said about the shell interior other than the maker markings. M1 helmets feature a blind heat stamp at the front around the peak area while M75s usual show a yellow ink stamp at the rear, such as U- SCH-76. Some M75s may also feature an extra metal clip next to the chinstrap bales for the purpose of holding the liner in place more securely.
WWII US M1 heat stamp markings.
Post 1975 Austrian M75 shell marking,
Regarding chinstraps, while both are made of webbing with metal buckle mechanisms the details differ significantly. The M1 chinstrap is bar tacked to the bales with either a brass or black metal wire prong and buckle while M75 chinstraps are either bar tacked or cross tacked to the bales, with two brass wire snaps and an engineered buckle. If the M75 shell has a T1 chinstrap fastener then it is most likely an Austrian M57. The strap webbing on M75s also match the shell being green grey, while M1 chinstraps are tan or dark green.
Late WW2 US M1 helmet fastener.
Austrian M75 helmet fastener.
Liners are a key feature to telling these two helmets apart. Made from green thermoplastic the M75 suspension is comprised of nine leather tongues, resembling that of the German M62, with the addition of a black leather US style chinstrap. The wartime M1 liner is made of brown resinated fibre with a webbing suspension and brown leather chinstrap. Later M1s also featured a webbing lining but in a different design configuration.
WW2 US M1 helmet lining.
Austrian M75 helmet lining.
It must also be mentioned that while the Austrian M57 M1 clone is mostly identical to its replacement, the M75, the design of its chinstraps and liner reflect those used by the US during the 1950s.
An Austrian M57 helmet with its 1st pattern Austrian liner.
It is hoped that this article can serve as a quick comparison between a run of the mill Austrian M75 and an original Second World War period US M1 steel helmet. March 2018. If you found this article interesting, why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter? Inform your passion! The World of Collecting.