Bulgarian M36

Bulgarian soldier wearing a M36 A*

General Information: The Bulgarian Model 1936 was the helmet used by Bulgarian armed forces during the Second World War. Initially it was manufactured in two factories in Czechoslovakia and also in the Eisenhuttenwerk Thale facility in Thale, Germany. Subsequently, the M36 helmets were made in a factory in the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak.[1] There were three versions of the M36: A, B, and C. All followed a design similar to the German model from the same era. The M36 A, sometimes referred to as the “Type-A,” had a rolled edge. Four large, round rivets held the liner in place while two smaller rivets secured the chinstrap attachment mechanism. The M36 B was similar to its predecessor, but it had a raw rather than rolled edge. Three rather than four large rivets secured the liner the shell. The M36 C had a shortened visor and a liner similar to the type used on Greek M34-39. This liner had a suspension system with four spring brackets that attached to the shell with four small rivets. The chinstrap loops were attached with medium sized domed rivets. Following the German styling, the M36s had tricolored national shield decals on the right side.

Displayed Example: I was at a dealer table at a Show of Shows in Louisville, Kentucky watching the dealer pull stuff out of a box. He pulled out this helmet and passed it to me. I gave him is asking price of $45 and added this specimen to my collection. It is a Model 1936 Type C. It is complete and in original condition. This size is nicely marked twice on the liner: 57. There is a large “M3” ink stamp on the liner. I do not now what this was for.

Collector Notes: The Bulgarian M36 may be the longest serving World War II helmet. According to one Wikipedia source[2], the M36C is still in service, although it is being phased out. As my SOS story illustrates, this helmet type can be had for near army surplus prices. It is one of the most affordable additions to a helmet collection. Because of their long service histories, many of these helmets were refurbished post-war. The M36 C model was the most produced version of the M-36, accounting for 70% of all production[3].

* Citation sought

[1] “Bulgarian M36 helmet.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_M36_helmet. Last edited June 5, 2021. Accessed July 10, 2022.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

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