A French helmet from the First World War would better protect against explosion blasts than the helmet that currently equips the American army, according to a recent American study.
"Biomedical engineers at Duke University have shown that (...) modern military helmets do not protect the brain better from shock waves created by an explosion than their WWI counterparts," the university said. a statement.
"One model in particular, the French Adrian helmet, actually gives better results than modern models to protect from explosions," added this study published last week, as the Pentagon announced that 109 American soldiers suffered from a concussion. due to the firing of Iranian missiles at a base housing American soldiers in Iraq.
The Adrian helmet was distributed from 1915 to French troops to protect the soldiers from shrapnel exploding above the trenches.
Head injuries had become one of the primary causes of casualties on the battlefield and this light helmet, unable to directly stop a rifle or submachine gun bullet, was fitted with a crest, a fixed piece of metal on the top of the helmet intended to absorb shocks coming from above.
American researchers compared three World War I helmets to helmets currently used by the U.S. military, finding that trench warfare was most comparable to fighting against jihadist groups: the Brodie round, flat helmet used by British armies and American, the German helmet Stahlhelm which will be used during the two world wars and the helmet Adrian.
The pressure exerted on the helmet was similar to that recognized to cause cerebral hemorrhages and tests showed that the risk was 50% without helmet, less than 10% with German and British helmets, 5% with helmet modern American and only 1% with the French helmet, says the study.
"The result is surprising because the French helmet was made from the same materials as its German and British equivalents, and the shell was thinner," notes one of the study's authors, Joost Op't Eynde.
"The main difference is that it had this ridge at the top of the helmet. Even if it was designed to protect against metal shards, this characteristic could also protect against shock waves," he concluded, before recommend a new design of modern helmets to better protect from blasts of explosions.
© 2020 AFP