Helmets of the Finnish Army
The Finnish Army used a wide variety of helmets during the War and even produced a type of their own. Prewar, the Finns preferred the use of the M/17 Austro-Hungarian helmet and this was the primary helmet through the Winter War. When the Finns needed helmets to equip their expanding military, they turned to the Germans, who referred them to the Hungarians to purchase the M/38 helmet. This is in line with the Finns preference for German-style helmets and led to the M38 being the second most common helmet in Finnish service. Most of the other helmets in Finnish service, especially non-German types, were received as "aid" from nations during the Winter War and used alongside the German style helms. Listed here are the most common type of helms used and those approved for use in the 2nd Jäger Battalion.
Austrian M17/ German M16
The most common type of helmet in Finnish Service during the War was the Austrian M17, with well over 90,000 acquired between the formation of the Finnish Army in 1919 and the start of the Winter War in 1939. This type was also supplemented by the nearly identical German 1916-18 designs, with over 80,000 in service during the Winter and Continuation Wars. The major difference between the German model and Austrian model was the way the chinstrap hooked onto the helmet and the chinstrap itself. The Austrian model used a web chinstrap that was permanently attached near the liner. The German one had two big lugs to attach the chinstrap closer to the brim of the helmet. This type is preferred in the 2nd Jäger Battalion.
Essentially a knock off of the German M35, the Hungarian helmet was one of the most common types used in the Finnish Army during the Continuation War. The Finns originally wanted to acquire the German M35 during the Winter War to supplement the old WWI helmets they were using, but the Germans refused the order and sent it to the Hungarians instead. This was done for political reasons as the Germans were “allied” to the Soviets during the Winter War. The major difference between this helmet and the German M35 was the liner system used as well as the addition of a small carrying point on the back of the Hungarian helmet, used to strap the helmet to a pack. Though the order was placed in December 1939, the first helmet wasn’t shipped until after the end of the Winter War in March, 1940. The order was a large one, about 80,000, and this type went on to be one of the standard types in service during the Continuation War.
German M40 or M42
WWII German helmets were acquired late in the War by the Finns. The Germans didn’t start sending any real aid to their erstwhile allies until well into 1943. The first shipment of M40s arrived in early 1944 and seemed to be used right off the boat. A further shipment of the simpler M42s arrived later that year. Little effort was wasted trying to convert or even paint these helmets as pictures can be seen of Finnish troops wearing M40s with the Heer decal on the side. As such, wearing an unconverted Heer (German Army) M40 is allowable on a case by case basis. M42s must be painted proper late war German factory fresh field grey and CANNOT have a decal.