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Old 11-09-2010, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Nets on helmets in WW2?

I was watching Saving Private Ryan the other day and noticed that there seems to be a net or something like that covering the helmets of the American soldiers. No such nets were on the German helmets.

What are they really, if not nets? What's their purpose? And why didn't the Germans have them too?
Old 11-09-2010, 01:00 PM
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The main purpose would be allow camouflage to be added, so your shiny steel helmet would not be over-visible.
Old 11-09-2010, 01:03 PM
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The United States Army often utilized nets to reduce the helmets shine when wet and to allow burlap scrim or vegetation to be added for camouflage purposes. Most nets were acquired from British or Canadian Army stocks or cut from larger camouflage nets, The Army did not adopt an official issue net until the M-1944 mesh net that included a neoprene foliage band, which would have been retained on latter Mitchell and woodland camouflage covers.

To reduce shine and allow extra camouflage.
Old 11-09-2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
No such nets were on the German helmets.

And why didn't the Germans have them too?
Old 11-09-2010, 01:13 PM
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Location: England
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The Germans don't seem to have indulged in this practice very much. Complete cloth covers for it, yes, to some extent.
Old 11-09-2010, 05:01 PM
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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In the film, the Rangers didn't have netting on their helmets, but Airborne units made use of the netting.

Most films don't seem to indicate any consistency between type of unit and presence of netting. Airborne units appear to make the most consistent use of netting, but sometimes they don't employ it. Sometimes US infantry has netting, sometimes they don't.

When Canadian Forces (Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry) first deployed to Afghanistan they made use of nets and "scrimmage" (I think that is the correct term...bits of cloth) on their helmets. Since they've adopted the CADPAT Arid, I don't see it very often.
Old 11-09-2010, 05:04 PM
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And it was awful handy to stick things in.

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