- The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Ostbataillon Helmet:  M1935 Used by Russian Volunteers 1941-1945

A large number of Russian volunteers served in the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) from 1941 through 1945.  One group of volunteers formed in 1941 consisted of Caucasians, Cossacks, Balts, and Ukrainians.  In November 1941 these volunteers were organized into "Bataillonen" consisting of approximately 200 men per unit.  Their purpose was to serve as rear area guard units engaged in various duties as assigned by German Army commanders.  One of the many insignia used to denote these Russian volunteers consisted of a stenciled insignia on the front of the combat helmet.  The M1935 single decal helmet shown below was formerly in the well known Al Barrows collection.  The helmet is a standard depot refinished item bearing hand applied, rough texture field gray paint.  The interior remains smooth bearing remains of its factory finished paint.  The symbol of the "Ostbataillon" is stenciled neatly on the front of the helmet.  While photos of such helmets in use are extremely rare, one such photo exists in the well known book published by Ludwig Baer.

Rare and Unusual  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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