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WWII M1 Net Variations

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This year I have acquired a couple variations of helmet nets and now I’m as equally addicted to them as I am M1’s!


im looking for as much info as I can gather on the different nets worn by US soldiers in ww2. I only found one good reference online and I used the search tool here and didn’t find what I was looking for. 



if you have any book suggestions, websites, personal info you’d be whiling to share, and hopefully pictures from your personal collection Id love it all please!



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I’m not sure I’m still learning about them. I don’t know how to distinguish between them. 

I know we wore British and Canadian nets a lot. I just don’t know what was most common or how to tell them apart. I see a lot about the different hole sizes and weaves etc. 

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Garandy, yours looks like a British made net. Tons of British made nets were worn by the American troops, in fact, the first official American net was only introduced in late 1944 and made its first mass appearance during the Battle of the Bulge (net, helmet, with band). This net is quite rare to find these days. On D-day the troops wore British made nets for the most part, there's still some debate around what nets were manufactured by the Americans before D-day. You'll find some large mesh nets that have a tag saying Denison. We aren't completely sure if these were produced in a factory or not. Often times large vehicle nets (mostly shrimp or Dennison type) were cut into pieces and worn over the helmet like that. The 1/2 inch mesh net is quite popular, you'll find them in OD7 as well as OD3 (rarely), these were most likely produced for the British war department as well. 


If you simply want a net to put over your WW2 M1, a small mesh British made net should do. You'll easily find these nets for sale, a lot survived and so are quite cheap. The only real problem is that they aren't the right size most of the time, GIs sometimes soaked them beforehand which made them a bit more elastic if that is the right word, improving the fit. Some GIs even made their own nets, some types of nets were common in certain divisions, the 79th ID comes to mind, they for instance wore type of net in Normandy that had a drawstring (if it is a drawstring) in the middle section, much like the type of net some German soldiers used to wear. So suffice to say a lot of variation exists. Good books have been written on the subject of the M1 helmet that covers (no pun intended) the accessories and nets that were worn. 


Today, helmets with nets that were installed at the time are incredibly rare. Luckily, a lot of original nets can still be found on the loose. It takes a bit of time and learning to be able to say what net may have been worn by the US army during WW2 and what not, but you'll be able to tell eventually. All you really need to know is that for the most part British made nets were worn, and that only one type was officially developed by US factories for US troops (correct me if I'm wrong here since shrimp nets etc. may have been cut in factories as well). 


Good luck on your quest! 



"The battle belonged that morning to the thin wet line of khaki that dragged itself ashore on the channel coast of France." - General Omar Bradley.



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14 minutes ago, ken88 said:

You'll find some large mesh nets that have a tag saying Denison. We aren't completely sure if these were produced in a factory or not.


Here's an example of one of those nets. My tag isn't in the best condition but it says:







As Ken said, US troops often wore commonwealth nets, so any WWII British net will do the job if you're looking to add a net to a helmet.


As far as verifying original nets vs reproductions it comes down to knowing what original nets look, feel, and smell like. Real nets tend to be stiffer than the reproductions with less fuzz and a distinct smell from the mildew inhibitor that was applied to the nets.


Unfortunately I don't know of any reference books that either cover nets specifically or have a good section dedicated to them but if anyone knows of such a book I would definitely be interested in hearing about it!


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Thank you so much guys this is great stuff. I have a couple nets but I’m trying to learn more and collect different examples. I know there are a lot of variances and some correlate with different time frames that they would of been worn. Earlier versions version manufacturers changes made later, woven vs knotted, etc 


I love the look of them all and think it would be a cool niche to learn a lot about and catalog them all. Maybe make a book that doesn’t exist yet? Who knows where I’ll go with it but I’m loving it 

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