WWII US Army Helmets

While watching a WWII war film today that takes place in France I noticed that the US soldiers had standard issue army helmets, and that all of the helmets had some kind of netting or cording over them. The German Army didn’t use any netting on their helmets, at least in the movie.

What was the purpose of this netting, what was it called, and was it unique to the US Army? I realize it was just a movie, but I have also seen it in photographs from the period.

Attaching foliage (twigs, leaves, etc.) to provide camouflage. Later on, a fabric camouflage-pattern cover was adopted by the Army (as the Marines had previously done) and that one had buttonhole type openings all over and an elastic band in order to achieve the same purpose.

In WW2 the Army actually painted such things as rank and unit badges on the helmets so they would not use the solid fabric cover. Took them a while to realize that was not a brilliant thing to do.

Soldiers could put vegetation or other things in the netting as camouflage.

Similarly the Germans did actually issue cloth helmet covers to provide camouflage. If you look at thispic that included some straps on the outside where vegetation could be attached to improve the effect.

Okay. I believe you… I have just never seen any twigs or branches in them. It makes sense.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

The Germans did use them, tarnnetz in German, as seen here on a fallschirmjäger in France, dated June 1944.

Right, if vegetation was not too readily available (like fresh off the beach) you could put on “scrim” – pieces of fabric and burlap and other materials to obscure the shape and color of the helmet and the way they painted targets on your head.

Meanwhile the Marines were doing this.

The later-day fabric camo cover with the buttonholes and removable insignia.

“Wankerovski!” “Yes, Drill Sergeant!??” “… You’re tryin’ too hard, son …”