SSH-40: what can protect a Soviet helmet

History 03/03/20 SSH-40: what can protect a Soviet helmet

From the early middle ages to the present day soldiers of the warring parties to protect their heads in battle used metal helmets of various shapes and strength. Over time, they evolved into helmets must be worn by soldiers during the fighting. The mass production of these hats in our country only began in the period of the great Patriotic war. The question arises, how were Soviet helmets durable and able to protect the warrior in battle?

the task of Fighting the workers on the home front

According to statistics, during the great Patriotic war in the Soviet Union produced more than ten million metal helmets. However, it is not so important the number of data quality hats. As shown by the war, it was at altitude. The fact is that if in anticipation of the impending tragedy, the Soviet government in 1932, almost ten years before the outbreak of war instructed Lysva metallurgical plant, leading its history from 1785 to develop a new metal helmet for infantry soldiers. The task was practically not feasible. The helmet was supposed to safely protect the head of a soldier shot rifle, machine gun, artillery splinters and shrapnel. Moreover, the customer represented by the Ministry of defense of the USSR wanted the headpiece has a convenient form, and weighed less than 800 grams for the largest fifth of the size of the head. To abandon the complex order, the company’s management could not, and his assistants set to work. It should be noted that the Lysva metallurgical plant was selected for the production of helmets is not accidental. In the Imperial army like metal helmets designed to protect soldiers from bullet and shrapnel wounds, not produced. The country was producing helmets for firefighters. Moreover, their production was just at the Lys’venskiym metallurgical plant. Not surprisingly, the order to create the helmets for the soldiers came to this enterprise, which was located in the Urals far away from the theater of operations.

the Steel helmet for the Soviet soldiers

the First version of the Soviet helmets appeared in 1936, but he absolutely did not meet the requirements of the customer. It was subsequently released a few versions of helmets, but none of them quite live up to the high standards set by the Ministry of Defence. Only in 1940-m to year, finally got SSH-40 (steel helmet of the sample of 1940), meets these requirements. Previous models of helmets is different from low quality steel and the almost complete lack of bullet resistance. Besides helmets earlier modifications it was impossible to wear warm headgear that in the conditions of the Russian frosts was a significant disadvantage. In the helmet to 1940, has been improved petulance device, and the mechanism of depreciation. But the most important was the development of carbon-silicon-manganese-Nickel steel with parole received the designation of I-1. Its use allowed to achieve the necessary paleontologist.


Immediately after the appearance of the first prototypes of the helmets began its testing for compliance with the requirements of the customer. It turned out that the helmet made of armor steel And a-1 having a thickness of 1.2 mm was a reliable means of protection from bullets and shrapnel of artillery shells. These characteristics of the steel helmet was confirmed by shooting from 3-linear rifles, and pistols of the brand “Revolver” and “TT”. During the first tests in dash factory in steel helmet was shot from a distance of 10 meters from the Mosin rifle, designed for a firing range from 800 to 1000 meters, and also from the “revolver”. Testing a new helmet withstood. Then on the ground the steel helmet was shot with a machine gun from a distance of 115 metres, the result has also been found satisfactory. Test data were recorded accurately in the relevanting magazines and has been preserved to our days. At the same time, the new Soviet helmet compared with the same steel helmets, standing on the armament of the armies of Germany, Sweden and Italy. To note that the beginning of the war the Germans had several modifications of the steel helmets, but as shown by the field tests, all of them losing much of the SSH-40 in bullet resistance, and ease and flexibility of use in winter conditions. Most interesting is that during the war the steel for helmets, and its form repeatedly tried to improve, but to achieve better characteristics than steel And-1 and a more optimal shape than the SSH-40 was unable. This fact was recorded after the war, a special Commission of the Ministry of defense of the USSR.

Dmitry Sokolov

© Russian Seven

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