Canadian Two-Tone & Improvised Vehicle Camouflage Helmet Netting

Big Red here with a question from "Michael Walsh"...

    So, TAKE FIVE!

     Mikey asks,

    "Big Red, most of the nets you have talked about, except the British Mk. 2, are not easy to find. The Canadian two-tone and vehicle camouflage nets are easy to get. What do you know about them?"

    Excellent question Mikey,


    I suppose every M-1 helmet collector is guilty of dressing up some of their M-1s so they don’t have to defend the question of “why do you have so many that look exactly alike?”.

    Let’s start with the Canadian two-tone net.

    Canadian Two-Tone Net







    The Canadian two-tone net is a helmet net that was manufactured in Canada during WWII for use with the British Mk. 2 or the British turtle helmet. It was woven in a ¼ inch square pattern and made to a finished size big enough to properly fit the the M-1 helmet. It is called "two-tone" because half the net is dyed olive green and half was dyed dark brown with a distinct line separating the colors. This net has finished edges and a draw string interwoven around the perimeter of the net to secure it around the edges of the British style helmets. This net however, only experienced limited use with U.S. troops as it became available at approximately the same time as the American Net, Helmet, with Band 1944.

    Despite this nets availability, it’s lack of use by US forces is supported by the fact that any discussion of it’s actual use always revolves around a limited number of photographs of Major General Holland M. Smith taken during the invasion of Kwajalein Island in 1944.


     Vehicle Camouflage Netting







    First Mikey let me say, I am glad to hear you refer to this net as vehicle netting and not the more common “cargo netting” that most young collectors usually call this type of net.

    Vehicle camouflage netting was manufactured for the purpose of camouflaging equipment in the field where cargo netting was made and used to transfer cargo, vehicles and troops to and from ships.







    Civilian work forces in all the Allied armies of WWII manufactured vehicle camouflage netting making it readily accessible in every theater of war as well as in every Allied home front. It was used to disguise civilian areas of manufacturing from potential air assault as well as by the Allied armies to disguise vehicles and artillery in the field.


    Although vehicle camouflage netting would have been one of the most common nets that GI’s would have had access to, it was not the GIs net of choice when other options were available. These nets were woven from cotton in a two inch square pattern and varied in color from khaki tan to dark olive green and would have had varying colors of burlap scrim, green, olive, brown and tan, available for use with them. These nets worked great for concealing equipment from enemy planes but did little to disguise the shape or reduce glare for the M-1 helmet.

    The Engineering Corps made all damaged nets, that were no longer big enough for concealing equipment, available to the Army Ground Forces for use as M-1 helmet nets.

    Hope that helps Mikey and remember,

    if your friends want to know how you gained your intel, tell em

    Big Red Says!


    “Hey Big Red, what about the ones with the paper tags?”

    1 comment

    • James Wong

      Hello, Canadian collector here. Something I would like to add, is that Two-Tone Canadian nets were also used by canada well into the cold war (Tho by 1980s WW2 pattern nets were rarely seen). Canadian Forces officially adopted the m1 helmet in the 1960s. You find two tone nets in use with all manner of m1 models from ww2 pattern to the 1980s last production m1s. You can use this info for making a Canadian m1 display that would add some diversity to a shelf.

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