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Posted: 12/29/2002 3:56:22 PM EDT
Ok me and a friend got into an argument about GI helmets over time. He said that it was stupid for us to wear our steel pot helmets during Vietnam. He said that they were cumbersome in the jungle, he also stated that they wouldn't stop much of anything. I said if the soldier properly fragged out it would do a great job at preventing shrapnel to the head, and it would also cause rounds to richochet off if they aren't straight on hits. He then stated that the "guerilla" VCs wore the straw hats because they were less cumbersome and not as heavy as our steel pot helmets. My question was why would they wear the helmets at all? They are bigger then our USGI steel pot helmets of the time, they would be just as cumbersome not as heavy but they aren't offering any protection at all except from the rain. They would also give away your position in a jungle, maybe not in the rice paddies or long grass but in the jungle I'm sure they would.
He also said that our steel pot helmets would make noise and bounce around on your head when you ran. Then I brought up that all you have to do is keep the strap tight. Then he said then it makes them uncomfortable and they will come loose. I'm pretty sure once you snugged those things up they would stay tight. Now do you guys have any information on this matter?

Does anyone have any idea how much protection the steel pot helmets offered?

And what about todays standard helmet the K-pot?
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:11:19 PM EDT
Hair is nature's helmet.  Looks like you're fucked! [}:D]

Why in the world did you shave your head and eyebrows anyway?  

The straw hats were more of farmer's hats and a way of staying cool more than offering real protection.  Keep in mind your local VC solier probably came from a rice paddy, not a law firm or doctors office.

Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:22:25 PM EDT
Well...I have been told (here we go) that the chin straps were never used. In an explosion, the helmet would fly off your head. IF you chin strap was on, your head would stay in the helmet and go flying with it. THat's what i was told. So...naturally... if the strap is not used , the helmet will bounce around a bit.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:25:54 PM EDT
The only time I ever wore a steel pot was in basic and AIT. I wore a Kevlar after that.  What I can remember it that the pot wasn't as comfortable as the Kevlar (btw- I believe the Kevlar helmet actually weighs more, but "rides" better)
Steel helmets came into vogue during WWI as they provided better protection from shrapnel than the other forms of headgear. The stats are out there somewhere, but if I recall correctly the simple steel pot reduced the casualty rates considerably.
Until the K-pot came along, there was simply nothing better than good old steel.  I can see how in a Vietnam Scenario, fighting VC and such, there would be less need for helmets since mortar and arty wouldn't be as prevalent.  However ther regular NVA had both. So it would probably be a combination of sticking to doctrine, and not knowing what you may run into.
Keep in mind that the NVA had an issue helmet with some ballistic protection, similar to our steel brain bucket.  Hollywood would like us to believe that every enemy over there was wearing straw hats, but in reality that was more often worn by VC, who were trying to pass themselves off as farmers, vilagers, etc. That was the normal headgear to keep the sun off when working in the fields, not sneaking around in the boonies.

The ballistic protection provided by a K-pot is superior to a steel pot. It CAN stop a bullet, (there's one at the ABN museum at Bragg, with a round in it) but I wouldn't don one and expect 100% protection.  At intermediate ranges, given the proper angle and all, a standard rifle round will penetrate.
It does increase the odds though to wear one.
About "snugging things up," imagine what would happen to your neck/head when all that ballistic energy from a bullet transfers itself to a securly strapped on helmet.
We always kept our chinstraps off once we hit the ground.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:38:08 PM EDT

About "snugging things up," imagine what would happen to your neck/head when all that ballistic energy from a bullet transfers itself to a securly strapped on helmet.
We always kept our chinstraps off once we hit the ground.
View Quote

Never even thought of that great point.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 4:44:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 9:29:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2002 9:31:33 PM EDT by Derek45]
[rambo]Duh, I neva wore no helmut in da nam[/rambo]
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