Kaiser Wilhelm II (the last German Emperor) visits some troops in the field during World War I.  He appears to be chastising one man for replacing his spiked helmet with a fruit bowl.

The pointed helmet is called a Pickelhaube (plural Pickelhauben; from the old German Pickel = “point” or “pickaxe”, and Haube = “bonnet”, a general word for headgear).  They were originally made of boiled leather, but later thin sheet steel was used.

By 1916 the design was proven ineffective for trench warfare and abandoned.  It was replaced with the Stahlhelm – the German helmet you think of when you think of Germen helmets.

The helmet with the flat top?  I have no idea what that thing is, but it looks upside down.


  1. bmj2k June 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM - Reply

    The helmet with the flat top looks to me like an anvil, very necessary in wartime for fixing your spiked helmet when the point gets bent.

    • Jim June 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM - Reply

      Now that makes perfect sense! Sucks to be the fool wearing it though.

      • bmj2k June 12, 2012 at 6:16 AM - Reply

        Nah, stuff like that never hurt The Three Stooges. Moe used to runa hacksaw across Larry’s head, so a few pounds from a heavy mallet would be no more than an itch.

        • Jim June 12, 2012 at 7:46 PM - Reply

          Well, you can’t argue against the Stooges. The Kaiser looks like he would have made a good villain in one of their films. There is always something comedic to the uber-tough guy.

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