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"1918, Chateau-Thierry, helmets" Topic

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Queen Catherine27 Feb 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

I'm looking into low-level actions of 1918 between the US and German forces, focusing especially on the 28ID and its actions near the Marne like Chateau-Thierry.

I read up on the appearance of the Germans, and I understand that they had mostly moved on to the stahlhelm or coal scuttle style helmet. However, I know they were also scraping the bottom of the barrel for units and men, so I'm wondering if

a) German reserve and other units in 1918 wore the picklehaube helmet

b) were any of these units employed during the Marne fighting.

Thanks in advance!

monk2002uk27 Feb 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

Only Stahlhelm were used. The units varied considerably in terms of experience and even within units.


rmaker27 Feb 2017 11:34 a.m. PST

The pickelhaube was a decorative, not a protective headgear.

Queen Catherine27 Feb 2017 1:08 p.m. PST

When did they make the change over during the war?

monk2002uk27 Feb 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

Pickelhaube was designed to be protective but not against shrapnel. The change over started in 1916. With the relative shortages, the helmets were rotated from outgoing to incoming units on the front line. Later, the helmets were standard issue to all.


AICUSV28 Feb 2017 7:28 p.m. PST

From what I've read the opening weeks of the Battle of Verdun would have been one of the few battles were the Pickelhaube and Stahlhelm would have been seen on the same field at the same time.
If interested, the Stahlhelms would not been camoed for Chateau-Thierry. The RKO for painting the helms was issued in August of 1918.

German Reserves were pretty good troops, After serving his time in an Active duty regiment, a soldier then went into the Reserve Regiment. He would actually be better trained and more experienced than his active duty counter part. Although by 1918 new recruits were being sent directly into Regular, Reserve, Landwehr, and Ersatz Regiments.

MadMax17 Inactive Member06 Mar 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

In "Storm of Steel" Junger says they received their steel helmets in the late summer of 1916, so they spent at least part of the Battle of the Somme in pickelhaubes.

Also the East front wasnt terribly high on the list for steel helmets, not uncommon to see pickelhaubes theres much later than on the West Front.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Mar 2017 10:25 a.m. PST

With the relative shortages, the helmets were rotated from outgoing to incoming units on the front line.

Interesting to note that Haig ordered the same thing to be done with British helmets (ie assigned to a section of front line trench, rather than to a unit) when he first took over on the Western Front, the shortages in this case being the result of a failure to cure the problem of "thinning" of the metal on the top of the helmet when it was "punched". This has since become "Haig took helmets away from his men because it spoiled their offensive spirit".

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