Posted 6 years ago
Not counting the variety of ersatz (substitute) spiked helmets created to address material shortages, the 1915 pickelhaube was the last regulation model to be universally issued.
The most noticeable difference is the change from brass to steel fittings, which were chemically oxidized to produce a grey, non-reflective surface. Besides reducing a soldier’s visibility to their enemy, it freed up brass for the war effort. A second feature is the removable spike, which reduced the soldier’s profile and denied their enemy that lovely aiming point.
There are a few other features carried over from earlier models that do not appear on the pikelhaube that I posted last week. The back spine of the helmet has a little sliding door that covers a vent to increase air circulation in warmer weather. This first appeared on Model 1895 infantry helmets.
Another carry-over from the enlisted model 1895 is the method of attaching the helmet eagle. Small loops on the back of the eagle fit through grommet holes in the helmet, and then are secured with leather wedges. You can see this on the inside of the helmet on the upper right side. The standard enlisted issue suspension system here is very different from the officer quality pickelhaube from last week, using nine leather tongues that would have been laced together, and no silk liner.
The red/white/black “reichs-kokarde” was introduced in 1897 for wear by the whole German empire, and is displayed on the right side of the helmet. The other side displays the black/white/black cockade of the State of Prussia. These were missing from the helmet when I bought it, and I purchased them from a seller who claimed they were original from unissued stocks. I didn’t believe him and apparently nobody else did, because he sold them to me for the price of reproductions. The chin strap is also a reproduction I added to complete the helmet.