Spanish Export M33

Italian officer of the 4th Littorio Division of the Corpo Tuppe Volontarie in Spain

General Information: The Italians supplied the Spanish Nationalists with Model 1933 helmets. These were exactly the same as the M33s used by the Italian army (see “Italian M33”). Surviving examples of the M33s used in the Spanish Civil War typically have rough brown or greenish-brown paint. This crudely applied paint tends to flake off over time. The Spanish-used M33s also often have brackets that were applied in the post-Civil War period for the attachment of a Spanish eagle badge. Ones used by the Italian army lack these features. When production dates are present on the Spanish import M33s, the dates are from 1939 or earlier.

Displayed Example: I bought this helmet at the Show of Shows in Louisville, Kentucky several years ago. It has the rough, crudely applied paint mentioned above. It also shows evidence of once having had a bracket for a Spanish badge. Eventually the badge brackets became standardized, but on some helmets, presumably early-modified ones, there were different types of brackets affixed in different ways. In some instances, the badges were welded directly to the helmets. Often these brackets were not well attached and had a tendency to break off, as is the case with the displayed example.

Collector Notes: To my collector eye, this is a really interesting helmet and a not very common helmet type. There is not much cachet for these things in collector’s markets, however. A Spanish Civil War used Italian M33 is one of the least expensive additions to a collection.

* marpo. “SCW Helmets in Action.” HelmNet (private website). January 11, 2017. 69th post. Accessed March 29, 2022.


Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

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