Australian MKII

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH AFRICA 1941 (E 1636) Some of the Australian infantry who stormed the heavily defended Wadi in Bardia, 11 January 1941. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

General Information: The Australian Mark II was a domestically produced version of the British Mark II. The two helmets were very similar, but unlike its British cousin, the Australian MKII had a raw edge. The reason for this is that the company that produced the helmets, Commonwealth Steel Company, lacked the machinery necessary to bend manganese steel strips.[1] These helmets are sometimes erroneously referred to as “MKIII” helmets by collectors. This apparently is due to the fact that the chinstrap lugs on most Australian WWII helmets are stamped “MKIII.” This designation, however, refers to the model of the chinstrap lug, not the helmet. Australian helmets made prior to 1941 have an earlier type of chinstrap lug marked “MKII.”[2]

Displayed Example: This helmet has a prominent stencil indicating the liner size which is 7 ¼”. The chinstrap lugs are both marked “MKIII 1942.” On the interior dome there is a broad arrow military inspection stamp. The original owner wrote his name in pencil on the rim. The name appears to be “H. PRIO.” I purchased this one for a modest price on eBay around 2009.

Collector Notes: These historically interesting helmets occupy the low end of the price spectrum for WWII steel helmets.

[1] Lucy, Roger. “The Australian Brodie ‘markIII.’ HelmNet. July 22, 2007. 2nd Post. Private website.

[2] ibid

Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

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