Military helmets were used by the Assyrians as far back as 900 B.C., and by the Akkadians/ Sumerians during the 23rd century B.C. and the Mycenaean Greeks and Romans from the 17th century B.C.
These combat helmets were initially constructed using brass and leather, hardly a valid combination to obstruct much more than a frying pan over the head from an angry wife. From around the year 950 onwards, combat helmets were constructed from forged steel, thereby affording protection from piercing and cutting blows that were delivered by such dastardly items as flying arrows, swords, as well as low-velocity musketry.
From 1670 onwards, the use of military helmets witnessed a great decline among the rank and file due to the increased popularity for rifle firearms, against which, combat helmets of that period held no quarter.
Nevertheless, ornate cavalry helmets were reintroduced during the Napoleonic era among the dragoons and cuirassiers, more out of pomp and circumstance than anything else. An increased use of artillery, thanks to the onslaught of WWI, saw a renewed re-quirement and fervor for steel helmets.
Ballistic Helmets of Today
These days, military forces generally use helmets manufactured from ballistic materials, the most common of which is Aramid and more recently Polyethylene. In comparison to steel, these new materials offer far greater protection in terms of ballistics and against head injuries that can be caused by blasts.
Furthermore, Polyethylene and Aramid are far lighter components than steel, thereby allowing a great deal more mobility and a sufficient level of comfort afforded to the wearer. Nevertheless, improvements continue to be made, and it appears somewhat plausible that graphite could be the next new thing with regard to crafting protective headgear for soldiers and other professionals who may experience being in the line of fire.
Combat helmets have now been adapted to fit in with modern warfare tactics. For instance, they can mount video cameras and night vision goggles and other night vision devices such as monacles.
The IDF helmets supplied for the Israeli Army. In basic terms, because it is very basic, the IDF helmet, in most cases IDF soldiers also use Miznefet for camouflage cover over the helmet, is a utilizes a certain type of camouflage that has the appearance of a chef’s floppy hat, albeit it’s not quite in the same color as that of a traditional chef’s apparel.
The camouflage was developed for use in south Lebanon from the mid-1990s and is still used today. There are two different sided camos, one for woodland terrain and the other for desert terrain.
And where does the term miznefet come from?
Miznefet translates from Hebrew to mean ‘turban’ or ‘to wrap’, and specifically signifies the turban worn by the high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem.