Original Pre-WWII Era Royal Hungarian Army Enlisted Shako Helmet - Unit Marked
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Royal Hungarian Army Enlisted Shako, dating from the Pre-WWII Period, after Hungary became independent from Austria. It is a rather standard design, with a large front plate bearing the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hungary. Under the coat of arms is a banner reading KIRÁLYÉRT ÉS HAZÁÉRT, Hungarian for "For King and Country", the motto of the Royal Hungarian Army. Under this is the number 43, however we do not know if this would be a regiment or battalion, as we were not able to find out much about the Royal Hungarian Army of the time.
The shako looks to be made mostly of fabric and pressed paper. The bottom trim of the helmet is however real leather, as is the very long chin strap. The interior just shows some folded over and glued fabric, so it looks like the original liner is unfortunately missing. We have not been able to find much information about what type of liner would usually be installed, but we assume it was a standard leather sweatband.
Very decorative, an ready to display!
History of the shako-
The word shako originated from the Hungarian name csákós süveg ("peaked cap"), which was a part of the uniform of the Hungarian hussar of the 18th century. Other spellings include chako, czako, schako and tschako.
From 1800 on the shako became a common military headdress, worn by the majority of regiments in the armies of Europe and the Americas. Replacing in most instances the light bicorne, the shako was initially considered an improvement. Made of heavy felt and leather, it retained its shape and provided some protection for the soldier's skull, while its visor shaded his eyes. The shako retained this pre-eminence until the mid-19th century, when spiked helmets began to appear in the armies of the various German States, and the more practical kepi replaced it for all but parade wear in the French Army. The Imperial Russian Army substituted a spiked helmet for the shako in 1844-45 but returned to the latter headdress in 1855, before adopting a form of kepi in 1864. Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, military fashions changed and cloth or leather helmets based on the German headdress began to supersede the shako in many armies.
Although the mid-nineteenth century shako was impressive in appearance and added to the height of the wearer, it was also heavy and by itself provided little protection against bad weather as most models were made of cloth or felt material over a leather body and peak. Many armies countered this by utilizing specially designed oilskin covers to protect the shako and the wearer from heavy rain while on campaign. The shako provided little protection from enemy action as the most it could offer was in giving partial shielding of the skull from enemy cavalry sabres
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