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Guard M'17 Helmet Marking

Article about: Well it is another day and I have another question. I have a Guard's M'17 helmet with a marking on the rear that I'm not sure about. I know the history of this helmet since 1918 so I do not

  1. #11
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    It would be interesting to see photos of these helmets being worn. Perhaps someone out there has one?

  2. #12
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    These helmets were worn by the entire 1st Garde Division. Many refer to them as being from the 1st Garde Regiment zu Fuß due to a single photograph of the regimental commander in the unit history. There is another period photo of the crown prince conducting a field inspection of the Gardefernsprechabteilung Nr.1., who as members of the division have the shield on the sides of their helmets. This photo appears in the book "Zur Geschichte der Nachrichten=Truppe 1899-1924".

    Supposedly, only the infantry units of the division wore the numbers on the back. Many examples exist without the number, which were not needed for the units that were not in the front lines. The earliest numbers were painted in dark red paint, but the color turned out to be too dark to be seen from a distance, so most were over-painted in white. Helmets issued later just started off with the numbers in white. I have also seen a few original helmets with black numbers. When the orders came for camo painting in the summer of 1918, most of the painters left the areas of the shield and the number as they were and just painted the camo around them. I have also seen several examples where the shield was over-painted in camo colors and then reapplied on top of the camo paint. You an actually see the outline of the original shield underneath.

    CCMJR

  3. #13
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    Does the number ID the company? Why were these helmets marked in the first place? If the shield IDs the division and the number the company, shouldn't there be something to ID the regiment? Is there any actual documentation for the marking of these helmets?

  4. #14
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    Quote by aicusv View Post
    Does the number ID the company? I believe so. Why were these helmets marked in the first place? My contention is that they were added for recognition of front line troops, in the same way that some Austrian units had a white square on the backs of their helmets. If the shield IDs the division and the number the company, shouldn't there be something to ID the regiment? That's what they had shoulder straps for. Is there any actual documentation for the marking of these helmets? None that I know of. Even Kraus does not mention it in his well researched two volumes on the uniforms of the German army 1907-1918.
    Chip

  5. #15
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    Thank you for the answers.

  6. #16
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    Quote by aicusv View Post
    ...there was a single German should board, for the 398th IR. In my board collection I had a perfect match to it. Could this mean that this regiment was also up against boys from south eastern PA?
    The IR.398 was up against American troops on several occasions during 1918. It sustained an American attack on September 12th and "Practically the entire 3rd Battalion of the 398th Regiment was captured on the first day".

    CCMJR

  7. #17
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    That would be the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. SO now I'll have to see who that came up against.

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