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Military Terminology

What is the bale on a hat or helmet?


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January 16, 2010 8:57AM

Those are the two metal fixtures on the old WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War M1 steel helmets (also called steel pots). Those two fixtures (one on each side of the helmet) are what the canvas chin straps were attached to.

M1 steel helmet collectors usually talk about "fixed bales" or "swivel bales"; apparently the "fixe bales" were the original type (design) and probably, collector's might value them more than the swivel type. By a process of elimination, there certainly wouldn't be any Vietnam War steel pots with "fixed bales." Those would all have to be "swivel designs."

The WWII & Korean War M1 helmets are the same helmet, since Korea occurred only 60 months after WWII, and they made 22 million of them during WWII.