Original Imperial German WWI Grand Duchy of Baden M1915 Infantry EM/NCO Pickelhaube Helmet
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition Imperial German line Infantry enlisted man's Mannschaften (other ranks) pickelhaube, with Grand Duchy of Baden (Großherzogtum Baden) Wappen and Cockades. The M1915 was the last model of Pickelhaube issued prior to the move to all steel helmets. In accordance with the 1915 regulations these helmets would no longer would use brass, silver, or Tombak as the M1895 did. All issued Pickelhaube would now use grey oxidized steel fittings for all Regiments.
This helmet features a oxidized steel frontplate (wappen) with the Crowned Heraldic Griffin clutching a sword and resting on the Baden state shield. Below this is the Grand Duchy's motto: MIT GOTT F. FUERST U. VATERLAND (With God for Prince, or Grand Duke, and Fatherland). The crown of this leather helmet displays a vented enlisted removable spike mount on an oxidized steel baseplate. The spike is in excellent condition, and is easily removable using the "bayonet-style" attaching system. It should be noted that the pieces of leather that attach the wappen to the helmet are still used, and intact.
It also has the correct "vent" on the rear support spine of the helmet. It is complete with the Baden (Yellow and Red) and German National Colors (red white and black) cockades around the chin strap lugs. In 1897 the new Reichs-Kokarde in Red-White-Black was introduced for all ranks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st. The Reichs-Kokarde was to be worn on the right side of the helmet, and the state Kokarde was moved to the left, as on this helmet.
The interior features The original leather liner, which is in frail condition, with few fingers intact. The helmet appears to be faintly marked on the interior but is too faded to be able to read anything from it.
The black leather shell shows normal age crazing and wear. The lacquer finished leather is in very good condition having no serious issues. All metal pieces are firmly in place, and show no signs of ever having been removed, added, or so on. The front leather visor has oxidized steel trim in very good condition but it loose, as is the visor itself. The metal spine that descends from the spike's baseplate to the edge of the rear visor is also in very good condition.
Overall a very nice condition Imperial German pickelhaube from the Grand Duchy of Baden, a great addition to any collection!
Germany’s Pickelhaube helmet, distinguished by a lone spike jutting straight from its top, became a symbol of Prussian militarism in the early 20th century. At first glance, the distinctive spike seems to have served no practical purpose and use of these helmets on the battlefield was abolished during World War I.
Introduced by the Prussian military in 1843, the Pickelhaube was originally proposed for use by cavalry troops. The helmets, made of pressed leather, were developed as an updated solution to the conical shako hats worn by Prussians during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleonic-era shakos offered virtually no head protection and were cumbersome to wear in wet conditions, as they easily soaked up rain. The Pickelhaube, therefore, was greeted as a practical modern invention. The new “leather helmets” or “helmets with spikes” gave soldiers’ greater head covering and visibility.
The distinctive spike on the Pickelhaube was supposed to function as a blade tip. It was designed to deflect sword blows aimed at the head. The spikes could be modified depending on soldiers’ battlefield duties and outfitted with plumes on formal occasions.
Use of the helmet became widespread throughout Germany and was even adopted by regional police forces and fire brigades. The helmet was often greeted with sarcasm and mockery, even within Germany. In 1843, the famous German poet, Heinrich Heine, wrote and published a satiric poem, “Germany: A Winter’s Tale,” in the poem, Heine compared the Pickelhaube to a lightning rod:
“Yes, yes, I like the helmet, it demonstrates the loftiest wit!
A kingly inspiration, it was! Complete with a point and tip!
I’m just afraid a storm will come and only too easily hit,
That romantic crown of yours with a fancy lightning blitz!”
The Pickelhaube became a symbol of Prussian aggressiveness and battle prowess. An imperial proclamation in 1871 made the Pickelhaube mandatory for all German troops. Proud Prussian military leaders with bristling mustaches posed for publicity photos sporting the Pickelhaube, including Kaiser Wilhelm II, Otto von Bismarck, and Paul von Hindenburg. In other countries, the horned helmets became synonymous with barbarism, especially during World War I.
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