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Author Topic: Gaede Prototype Helmet  (Read 367 times)

Offline Metternich

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Gaede Prototype Helmet
« on: August 12, 2022, 10:33:33 PM »
Just came across an interesting (colorized) picture of four German soldiers, an NCO and three officers, each in the Gaede Helmet (an early prototype helmet, prior to adoption of the M16 Stahlhelm) and gasmask.  The four are accoutered as if ready for a trench raid (note grenades, flare pistol, etc.) but their uniforms appear suspiciously clean (and note the bemused, and unmasked, private in the left background wearing a Feldmutze).  They are posing in front of a trench shield.
 Note the contrast between the second figure from the left - a nattily dressed officer wearing officer-grade tunic, trousers and boots - and the one on the extreme right - also an officer, but he appears to be wearing other-ranks' field boots (and has won the Iron Cross).



Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Gaede Prototype Helmet
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 04:26:18 AM »
Good find, never heard of that helmet before.
"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

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Offline Metternich

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Re: Gaede Prototype Helmet
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2022, 05:36:32 PM »
Not surprising; there were very few of them and they weren't in service long.   Here is the Imperial War Museum's note about the example in its collection.
  Early First World War period German protective steel helmet. German Army Group 'Gaede' (named after its commanding general) had suffered large losses in 1915, particularly by men suffering head wounds from blast-loosened rock fragments. Frustrated at having no effective replacement form of head protection, a Lieutenant-Colonel Hesse took charge and had 1,500 improvised helmets made at the Group's artillery plant at Malaise. The end product, the distinctive 'Gaede helmet' saw only very limited service (less than a year) before the M1916 Stahlhelm became a universal replacement to all German troops. The small numbers of Gaede helmets then in service were withdrawn and melted down, as a result few have survived. Recognised as one of the very first experiments in soldiers' head protection, the Gaede represents an important step in the history of combat helmet development.

Offline Metternich

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Re: Gaede Prototype Helmet
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2022, 05:53:13 PM »
The French also used an experimental helmet (in much greater numbers than the Gaede) prior to their adoption of the Adrian Helmet.  By the beginning of 1915 the French were issuing a steel skull cap (calotte métallique, cervelière)  to be worn under the Kepi (about 70,000 were issued).


This was soon supplanted by the familiar Adrian helmet, of which 20 million were produced.  The Belgian Army also used it in WW1, as did the Italian and Serbian (and a few Russian units) armies from 1916.  The helmet served the French Army until after  WW2.

Offline cuprum

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Re: Gaede Prototype Helmet
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2022, 02:07:21 AM »
I will supplement the information on the use of Adrian's helmets by Russians. Russia received 340,000 of these helmets. In addition, the Russian Expeditionary Force in France, which fought on the Western Front (44 thousand people), was equipped with such helmets.


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