Original WWI Royal Croatian Home Guard Officer Shako

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This very nice World war One Royal Croatian Home Guard Officer Shako features a red felt body with black leather crown, band and visor. Has wide band of gilt braid around the base of the crown, indicating officer issue.

The helmet's Wappen (Front Plate) Shows the Royal Croatian Home Guard Cot of Arms. The interior is lined with red silk and has leather sweatband. There are some attachment points on the inside for a chin strap. Maker marked on leather sweatband. Size is approximately US 7 1/4 (58cm). Overall condition is very good.

The Royal Croatian Home Guard (Croatian: Kraljevsko hrvatsko domobranstvo, Hrvatsko-slavonsko domobranstvo or Kraljevsko hrvatsko-ugarsko domobranstvo, often simply Domobranstvo or Domobran in singular, in German: Croatisch-Slawonische Landwehr) was the Croatian-Slavonian army section of the Royal Hungarian Landwehr (Hungarian: Magyar Királyi Honvédség), which existed from 1868 to 1918. The force was created by decree of the Croatian Parliament on December 5, 1868 as a result of the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement.
Uniform of the Hungarian Honvéd

The settlement specified four conditions:

- Croats (and Croatian Serbs) would serve their military service within Croatia
- Military training would be conducted in Croatian
- Cadet and Domobran academies would be formed
- Croatian military units could take on Croatian names

During wWW1 the 42nd Home Guard Infantry Division consisting of the 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th Home Guard Infantry regiment under the Command of Stjepan Sarkotić took part in the battle against Serbia in August, 1914 together with the 104th Landsturm (pučko-ustaška) Brigade under the Command of Theodor Bekić.

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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