desert shemaghs

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shemaghsThe shemagh is a traditional middle eastern headwear scarf that is usually made from cotton. However, wool blends are very popular as well. Most of the shemaghs purchased at army navy stores, like Omahas Surplus, are made of cotton and come in a variety of colors. You can buy these scarves here at Omahas and they usually feature 2 colors that can serve to have meaning as well as provide a certain amount of  camouflage. 

The shemagh has also become quite the fashion accessory, especially among hipsters and college students. While some may also see it as popular headress among terrorists, our soldiers have adopted them since vietnam because  of the practicality in the field of battle. The loose woven cotton provides superb airflow and ventilation while at the same time keeping out the sand and uv rays from the sun. 

The vibrant color schemes and designs that are woven into  the shemagh scarves are often associated with different tribal origins from the middle east. For example red/white pattern is most often associated with Jordanians. Solid white is traditionally Saudi.  


M-1 Helmets

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m-1 helmet linerm-1 helmet ww2The military M-1 helmet was designed by the United States during world war 2 and was used until 1985. Its design is so simple and effective that many other countries adapted at least some form of the m-1.  The iconic 2 pc helmet system features an outer steel shell and an inner safety type hard hat that carries a suspension system to allow the wearer to fit the helmet according to the size. 

The steel pot  was made from hardened manganese steel with a crimped outer rim made of stainless steel to give the helmet a smooth edge. In early ww2 the crimped steel ring met at the front of the helmet(called front weld) . By 1943  the weld was moved to the back. The steel pot holds a chinstrap via 2 metal rings or bails that was rarely worn around the chin as soldiers were afraid that the enemy could grab them from behind and use the strap as a means to choke and pull them down. The “nape” strap that runs along the back of the neck was usually sufficient to hold the helmet securely to the head.

Early steel pots had fixed metal receivers or “bails” to hold the sewn cotton chinstrap. Because the fixed-bails were prone to snapping off when the helmet was dropped or sat on, the bails were eventually made to swivel. Later chinstraps were nylon and  easily clipped onto the helmet bails. steel pots tend to last forever and are still relatively easy to find at just about any army navy store. It is the more fragile fiber liners that are the more difficult part of the m-1 helmet to locate.

At Omahas, we have not been able to sell many of the  the liners separately for quite sometime as we have many more steel pots than liners and need them in order to sell complete sets.

The fiber liners have come in many different materials over the years and some even have paratrooper chinstraps on the them for special model helmets. We have a good supply of the 1980’s paratrooper style helmet  liners and it is the only m-1 liner we have available for sale separately