Modèle 1951 helmet

The Modèle 1951 helmet was a military helmet used by the French military (Army, Navy, Air Force and Gendarmerie), iconic of the Algerian War. It replaced a variety of helmets used during the Second World War, including the Adrian helmet, Modèle 1945 helmet and American-supplied M1 Helmet.

Modèle 1951 helmet of the French Army. This particular helmet is on display as an ex-voto at Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille. The back of the helmet is slightly bent, suggesting that it was hit by fragmentation.


The Modèle 1951 was designed to have the same general shape as the US M1 Helmet, in an effort towards standardisation within NATO. The two differ in that the M1 has a longer visor and a more pronounced downwards slope on the sides. The M1 also has a nape strap while the Modèle 1951 does not.


The Modèle 1951 comprised a heavy external cover, made of 1.2 mm of an amagnetic alloy of manganese steel, and a lighter inner helmet.

The Modèle 1951 was produced until 1976, before being superseded by the Modèle 1978 helmet. It nonetheless remained in service well into the 1980s.


A French soldier with a Mle 1951 liner for armored troops (aka Modele 1965), 1976.

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