Do you want to learn about the evolution of Bulgaria’s military helmets? Are you interested in learning about the design of the Bulgarian helmets? Read our guide for more facts and information...
Military helmets are constantly evolving with the advancements of modern technology; in some parts of the world, however, the military finds itself continuing to primarily use dated equipment as access to the improvements is limited. This situation is prominent in much of Eastern Europe, as the region was under Soviet rule denying the states the access to the improved western technology. Today, many countries such as Bulgaria are beginning to improve the equipment that they provide to their army as they benefit from joining organizations such as NATO or the European Union.
The First Bulgarian Helmet
Bulgaria, like many other nations, has modelled their military tools after the equipment used by their strong allies. Prior to and during the First World War, Bulgaria was part of a military alliance headed by the German state; as a result the first steel helmet was known as the M16 and was produced in a German design. The Bulgarian army was not able to produce their own helmets as they did not have the technology or factories to create the equipment; this situation meant that Bulgaria imported the helmets from Germany. Improvements were not made to this original design until 1936 due to the heavy restrictions imposed on the Bulgarian military in the wake of the Great War.
An Updated Design
When the restriction against military build up and development were lifted in 1936 the M16 design was replaced with the M36 design. The M36 style of helmet was the most popular helmet in much of Europe during World War Two and today the design is still the most commonly used helmet in Bulgaria. The design of the M36 differed from the M16 as it featured a shorter brim as well as a sturdier chinstrap in an effort to limit replacements. The M36 design features three unique variations on the helmet; however, the basic design is identical.
The Bulgarian army sports a dark greyish green uniform and the colour scheme commonly corresponds to the helmet; however, it has become popular for the soldiers to also wear a design that is pea green in colour. The helmet can also be identified as on the right side there is a small shield painted on to the surface in the colours of the Bulgarian flag.
When the Iron Curtain came down in the late 1980s, many of the countries in Eastern Europe were able to discover updated technology. Kevlar helmets have become more common in Bulgaria as the country has gained the capacity to produce the design. The M36 helmets are still standard issue in the army as the Kevlar material is expensive and therefore costly to produce in bulk. In fact due to the expense of production many of the Kevlar helmets that are used are imported from other countries. The Kevlar design is preferred by most of the army as the design is lighter, more compact, and commonly considered more comfortable when worn.