A tough time in the snow, 80 years ago

Finnish soldiers belonging to the “Company of Death.” Summa, 20 December 1939 during the Winter War with the Soviet Union.

The covers are Great War-era Austro-German M16/17/18 stahlhelme, some 80,000 of which were bought surplus for pfennigs on the mark in the 1920s.

The Finns later received as military aide large quantities (estimated 40,000) of updated German M35/40 helmets as well as smaller amounts of Czech M34s, Italian M33s, and Hungarian M38s during the Continuation War against the Soviets, a period during which most of the preceding were outright martial allies.

Finnish soldiers loading a heavy mortar, possibly a 120mm Krh/40, 7 July 1944, near Vyborg. Their headgear consists of Italian, German and Czechoslovakian helmets, also, note the very well-worn uniforms.

The Finns liked the German design so much that, in 1955, they ordered another 50,000 M40 type helmets from East Germany to equip their forces. These consist of both new-made and refurbished M35/40/42 models and carry the post-war M55 designation to set them apart.

The Finns used their stahlhelme until as late as the 1970s in various reserve units and kept them in arsenal storage until the end of the Cold War, just in case. They are readily available on the surplus market–especially the M55s– for about $50 smackers, skeletons not included.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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