Steel Helmet, The

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The Steel Helmet (1951)

The Steel Helmet is the 1951 war film that was the first US feature film to portray the Korean War onscreen (the war had only begun a year earlier). This was also the breakout film for writer/director Samuel Fuller, who went on to direct such notable war films as Merrill's Marauders and The Big Red One. The Steel Helmet also marked the feature film acting debut of venerable character actor Gene Evans, who would proceed to have a role in Fuller's next Korean War film Fixed Bayonets! (also released in 1951). The production was also the first (but not the last) to use the Santa Monica Mountains as a stand-in for Korea. The film is a meditation on race, bigotry, tolerance, and morality in wartime.

The following weapons were used in the film The Steel Helmet:


M1 Garand

Throughout the film, American GIs carry an M1 Garand.

M1 Garand - .30-06
Short Round (William Chun) finds an M1 Garand.
Short Round rousts Sgt. Zack (Gene Evans).
Sgt. Zack is seldom seen without his M1 Garand and cigar stub.
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Sgt. Zack and Lt. Driscoll (Steve Brodie) disagree about tactics.
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A North Korean sniper with an M1 Garand.
Sgt. Zack returns fire against a North Korean sniper.
Lt. Driscoll's final resting place.

M1 Carbine

Throughout the film, American GIs carry a World War II era M1 Carbine.

M1 Carbine
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Browning Automatic Rifle

The GIs use Browning Automatic Rifles.

Browning Automatic Rifle - .30-06
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1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle

Short Round collects 1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle from dead snipers and carries them throughout the film.

1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle
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A North Korean sniper with the 1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle.
North Korean infantry charge with the 1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle
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M1911A1 Pistol

Throughout the film, GIs carry an M1911A1 pistol.

World War II Colt M1911A1 Pistol - .45 ACP
An American GI holsters his M1911A1 pistol.

M1928A1 Thompson

Throughout the film, US GIs, Sgt. Tanaka (Richard Loo) and Sgt. Zack (Gene Evans) carry the M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun.

M1928A1 Thompson with 30-round magazine and early 'simplified' rear sight that would be adopted for the M1 Thompson - .45 ACP
Sgt. Zack (Gene Evans) with a M1928A1 Thompson. Note the bolt actuator on top of the receiver.
Note the simplified rear sight.
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Sgt. Tanaka (Richard Loo) opens fire on a sniper.
Sgt. Zack (Gene Evans) joins Sgt. Tanaka shooting at the sniper.
Pvt. Baldy returns fire.

Browning M2HB

Throughout the film, American GIs carry a Browning M2 machine gun.

Browning M2HB - .50 BMG machine gun on M3 tripod
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Mk 2 hand grenade

Throughout the film, American GIs carry an Mk 2 hand grenade.

Mk 2 hand grenade
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Model 17 Stielhandgranate

Throughout the film, a North Korean major menaces the squad with a Model 17 Stielhandgranate

Model 17 Stielhandgranate "Potato Masher" high-explosive fragmentation hand grenade
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Grenade away!
Sgt. Tanaka (Richard Loo) and Pvt. Baldy (Richard Monahan) clown around with the potato masher.
Note the clip.

M20 "Super Bazooka" (3.5" Rocket)

Throughout the film, Sgt. “Buddha Head” Tanaka (Richard Loo) wields a M20 "Super Bazooka"

Chinese Type 51, a copy of the M20A1 "Super Bazooka" - 3.5"
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Sgt. Tanaka gets the kill.

Browning M1917

Throughout the film, North Korean infantry fire a Browning M1917 machine gun.

Browning M1917 - .30-06
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Throughout the film, North Korean infantrymen carry a PPSh-41 “Burp Gun.”

PPSh-41 Chinese “Burp Gun” - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
The squad examines a captured PPSh.
A North Korean infantryman charges with a "Burp Gun."
The PPSh against the column next to the BAR.

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