German Model 1895 Pickelhaube : Prussian Guard Regiment

Accession Number RELAWM15026
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Helmet
Physical description Brass, Cotton, Leather, Metal, Silvered brass
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1916: Uniforms
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany
Date made c 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

German Other Rank's leather Pickelhaube, with the liner intact. The helmet is painted black and has brass fittings, including a spike with five ventilation holes, visor trim, rear spine and frontplate. The frontplate is that of a Prussian Guard regiment and is secured by leather wedges which pass through two soldered loops, which sit through the body of the helmet. The nine-tongued liner is secured with a length of cord. There is no chin strap. Stamped in black on the inside rim is, 'K B A G 1915' all in a black square. This is the stamp of the Prussian Guard Corps garment authority (Kriegs-Bekleidungsamt Gardekorps) and refers to the Kreigs Bekleidungs Amt Garde, and date of issue. With the Pickelhaube are two cockades; one Prussian (black and white) attached to proper left, the other is black and red attached to proper right.

History / Summary

The pickelhaube, in various forms and models, was used by Germany and its states since the 1840s. Features of pickelhauben were based more on military fashion, than on operational functionality, and provided little genuine protection to the wearer.

Usually made of leather (although some cavalry units wore steel pickelhauben) and painted black, helmet fittings would depend on the state, unit and rank of the wearer. Shortages during the First World War saw the introduction of Ersatz Helmets that were made of ersatz (replacement) materials such as felt, tin, steel or fibre. Pickelhauben were gradually phased out in 1916 with the introduction of the steel helmet (stahlhelm).