The wargames hobby I have always found makes the hobbiest more aware of what actually happened in the wars they choose to recreate and in doing so tend to be far less pro war than the typical bod on the street.
I have always been interested in actual items that come from wars and have collected such objects as time as gone past such as the ECW musket balls through to Medals, though I once owned a Napoleonic cannon ball fetched from the sea (not fired in anger) fetched up by my father on a dive near Cornwall, oh I wish I still had that ball.
So whilst on holiday last week I cam across a shop selling military related items including the WWII French helmet shown above. I was torn between this one and a number of other helmets including a German paratroopers but this one won the personal debate.
At the moment I am just enjoying looking at it sitting waiting for me to do something with it. I plan to get a stand for it and it can join the other items in my man cave that are just there because they can be. To some people this will be seen as glorifying war and I don't have a strong argument against such a view as the main reason I bought and will keep this is simply for the enjoyment of owning it. WWII happened, I wish we could say we learnt things from it but given the number of conflicts large and small tells me we learnt less than we should and some of the wars fought have been less about protecting the vulnerable and more about getting some form of advancement, be it for Country or personal really matters little to me.
Back to the helmet, it's certainly great to own something that not only comes from WWII but comes from neither Britain or Germany and is as iconic as I feel this is. I was told by the guy who owns the shop that some of these helmets have been sold as WWI French helmets that are worth a lot more than the WWII version. I plan to save up and revisit sometime again, my son of course was real happy picking up a 50cal machine gun round, the bloke also had a 50cal US HMG and a Russian WWII MMG on it's carriage. I did not ask how much the 50cal was but the MMG was worth between £800-850 which was lower than I would have expected.