Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

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SkipperJohn
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Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:54 pm

I have had this privately purchased Sachsen Pionier Pickelhaube for several years. It is not unit marked but it had to come from Sachsen Pionier Battalion Nr. 12 (Pima), or Sachsen Pioneer Battalion Nr. 22 (Riesa):

Image

The helmet is a standard private purchase type with an officer grade liner:

Image

And a non-vented rear spine:

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When the helmet arrived it had only one Kokarde:

Image

The Sachsen Kokarde is the officer type, and the Kokarde is made of zinc. I just knew this Kokarde was fake so I started searching for (what I thought was) a proper enlisted type.

Tony recently submitted a post that listed a dealer who I had never heard of, and lo and behold, I discovered that this dealer had several original Sachsen wartime issued zinc officer Kokarden!

https://www.kpemig.de/

I learned that these zinc Kokarden did exist and I subsequently purchased an officer's type Reichs Kokarde for this helmet:

Image

Both of the Kokarden on this helmet are made of zinc and both have a "V" notch so that they fit over an M91 lug:

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The reverse side of both Kokarden are oxidized and the Reichs Kokarde has a soldered repair. Why would someone bother to repair a reproduction cockade?:

Image

My thoughts are that this helmet was owned by a Fähnrich or an Unteroffizier mit Portepee who either didn't worry about upgrading the helmet to officer standard, or didn't have time.

What are your opinions?

John :)

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by 911car » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:37 pm

SkipperJohn wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:54 pm
I have had this privately purchased Sachsen Pionier Pickelhaube for several years. It is not unit marked but it had to come from Sachsen Pionier Battalion Nr. 12 (Pima), or Sachsen Pioneer Battalion Nr. 22 (Riesa):
John, it can also come from GR100 (even better...).
Whatever it is, GR or Pioneer, the chinscales should be in maillechort (white metal).

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:52 pm

911car wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:37 pm
SkipperJohn wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:54 pm
I have had this privately purchased Sachsen Pionier Pickelhaube for several years. It is not unit marked but it had to come from Sachsen Pionier Battalion Nr. 12 (Pima), or Sachsen Pioneer Battalion Nr. 22 (Riesa):
John, it can also come from GR100 (even better...).
Whatever it is, GR or Pioneer, the chinscales should be in maillechort (white metal).
I do not think that is quite correct. Only GR100 wore white metal chinscales. Pionier chinscales were gilt from every battalion.
Read Tony's article here:

http://www.kaisersbunker.com/pt/pickelhaube.htm

I would love it if it were from GR100, but I knew it was Pionier when I bought it.

John :)

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by 911car » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:27 pm

[/quote] I do not think that is quite correct. Only GR100 wore white metal chinscales. Pionier chinscales were gilt from every battalion.
[/quote]

That is correct, John. All 30 Pioneer battalions wore yellow metal chinscales... except for the two saxon ones.
I will be happy to learn something if someone can prove me wrong though...

You wrote you knew your unmarked helmet was for pioneers when you got it. How can you tell? I am interested because I have been struggling with this issue several times.

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:53 pm

[/quote]

That is correct, John. All 30 Pioneer battalions wore yellow metal chinscales... except for the two saxon ones.
I will be happy to learn something if someone can prove me wrong though...

You wrote you knew your unmarked helmet was for pioneers when you got it. How can you tell? I am interested because I have been struggling with this issue several times.
[/quote]

Okay, now I'm confused --- again.
Where did you get your information that the Sachsen battalions wore silver chinscales?

The article from Kaiser's Bunker said all Pionier Battalions wore gilt chinscales.

Randy Trawnik's book Spiked Helmets of Imperial Germany, Volume One shows a photo of a Sachsen Pionier helmet on page 216 and the chinscales sure look gilt to me. Also, on pages 224 - 226 (a 1911 Prussian Quartermaster Regulation) it says that only the 1st Guard Regiment of Foot will wear silver chinscales. An A.K.O. dated 1 March 1843 stated that all Pionier Battalions were to wear gold chinscales. The Pickelhaube was adopted for wear by the Kingdom of Saxony in 1867 and my understanding was that the Prussian regulations were to be followed.

In Eric Johansson's book Pickelhauben there is a Saxon helmet on page 47 with silver chinscales attributed to GR100 only.

The spike unscrews on my helmet, and that would indicate (to me) that the helmet was from the 12th Battalion as they were allowed a black parade plume. This could be; however, just because it's privately purchased and came with that type of spike.

I can't seem to find any information indicating that the Saxon Pionier Battalions wore silver chinscales, only that they used silver fittings with gilt Wappen centered on a silver star and gilt chinscales.

You asked how I knew this helmet was a Pionier helmet since it is not marked? I knew only because it has gilt chinscales.

John :o

Added note: the Saxon Pionieren wore a different color tunic than the other battalions. The Saxon tunic was green instead of Dunkelblau.

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by 911car » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:59 am

Do not worry, John, this is the fun of this hobby. I hope such discussions would happen more often.
As long as I can remember it was accepted for me that Saxon pioneer helmets bear white metal chinscales, and this is confirmed in my usual references (Laine, Larcade; I didn't check Randy's book).
I still called a friend of mine who is the best expert I know on Saxon imperial headgear, of which he has an impressive collection, and asked him the question. He did not hesitate one second: "White metal chinscales, golden stars for officers" (GR100 officer helmets have silver stars; the only way to distinguish those).
In fact in Saxony a number of Pickelhauben, and not only GR100 and Pioniere, came with white fittings and silver chinscales: Zahlmeister, Kadetten Korps, police...
Your helmet is great, by the way.

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by argonne » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:35 am

Bruno and John,

Me may have here a helmet worn in one of the two companies (7 and 8 ) of the II/ER1 in Berlin.(Eisenbahn-Pionier-Regiment).
As Larcade wrote in his Tome I, page 147, those helmets were similar (of course except the saxon wappen and the cockades) to the Garde helmets worn in the ERs and in the GPB (Garde Pionier Bataillon). The chinscales of GPB and ER1-4 helmets were yellow.
The officer helmets of those two saxon companies in the ER1 had yellow stars, yellow chinscales and white rosettes on the chinscales.
Not more complicated than that :D
Bruno, I think that your friend Providentiae Memor will confirm that too :D

Philippe
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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by 911car » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:27 pm

argonne wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:35 am
Bruno and John,

Me may have here a helmet worn in one of the two companies (7 and 8 ) of the II/ER1 in Berlin.(Eisenbahn-Pionier-Regiment).
As Larcade wrote in his Tome I, page 147, those helmets were similar (of course except the saxon wappen and the cockades) to the Garde helmets worn in the ERs and in the GPB (Garde Pionier Bataillon). The chinscales of GPB and ER1-4 helmets were yellow.
The officer helmets of those two saxon companies in the ER1 had yellow stars, yellow chinscales and white rosettes on the chinscales.
Not more complicated than that :D
Bruno, I think that your friend Providentiae Memor will confirm that too :D

Philippe
:wink:
Another candidate... then this helmet should become extraordinarily rare. I wonder how many one-year volunteers would be enrolled at any time in the 2 Saxon Eisenbahn companies... perhaps Joe could have an idea.

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:25 pm

I appreciate your input and I have done a little more research.
Apparently Eisenbahn Regiment 1, Companies 7 and 8, wore a Pickelhaube with silver Sachsen star and gold Wappen prior to 1913, as mentioned above.
After 1913 these Companies became part of ER2 and continued to wear the same Haube.
The 2nd Companie of the Kraftfahr Battalion also wore the silver fitted Sachsen Haube.
I can find no reference that any other ER Regiment had companies that wore this Pickelhaube.

None of my research materials mention what color the chinscales were on the Sachsen helmets for the above units.

There seems to be several conflicts in resources concerning this.

I certainly hope that others chime in on this thread. I am really curious what this Haube is.

John :o :? :o :?

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:13 pm

I obtained some more information concerning the configuration of this helmet from a fellow forum member, collector, dealer, and friend.
He looked in yet another resource, The German Pioneers, Technical Troops and Train from 1871-1914-Uniforms and Equipment. and found the following:
The name of the book is, The German Pioneers, Technical Troops and Train from 1871-1914-Uniforms and Equipment.

Page 108, Saxon Pioneers, Silver chinscales

Page 222, Saxon Railway, Gold chinscales
Both Pioneers and Railway had silver fittings for the star, rear spine, spike, visor trim, and M91 lugs or rosettes, with a gilt Saxon Wappen. Officers had gold stars on the spike base.

I also looked at Randy Trawnik's site and found that he has this example for sale:

https://ageofkingsmilitaria.com/saxon-i ... ickelhaube

This helmet, though Infantry, has the same type of spike, spike base, studs instead of stars, and officer cockades. It is listed as an NCO, OYV. It has rosettes instead of M91 lugs.

I am leaning toward my helmet being Eisenbahn in it's configuration, but I am still wondering about the cockades --- NCO? OYV? Fähnrich? Wrong?

John :?

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by 911car » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:51 pm

Glad that you are finally convinced John. Here are some published pictures of pioneer officer helmets.
thumbnail_SCAN3322.jpg

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by SkipperJohn » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:28 pm

Okay, I'm convinced that this helmet must have been used by the Eisenbahn troops or the Kraftfahr (motor transport) troops.
I have had this helmet for about 11 years which means I bought it during the internet days, and I thought that I did a pretty good job of researching it before I bought it. Apparently, not good enough.
I guess I should be happy. There were far fewer Eisenbahn troops than there were Pionieren.
The helmet is made of fiber and is in excellent shape, except for the liner. The liner has some rips in the leather and the cloth skull has come unsewn. Other than that it presents very well.

Now, about the Kokarden; would you believe them to be appropriate?
Would you designate this helmet NCO or Fähnrich?
I don't believe that it is possible to determine if this was a OYV. OYV wore an enlisted rank unless they had passed the officer's test and were authorized to wear a portapee officer's sword knot, just like everybody else.

Any opinions welcomed!

John :o

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Re: Here's Another Oddly Configured Pionier Pickelhaube

Post by argonne » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:17 am

The reference book quoted bei Bruno (Deutsche Offiziershelme aus der Kaiserzeit by Joachim Hilsenbeck) is also showing at page 198 a pict of a helmet worn by a saxon reserve officer of the 7 and 8 company ER1: yellow stars and flat chinscales :thumb up:

John, if we accept that the chinscales have always been on your helmet and that this style of cockades was on this helmet too, we may have a Fähnrich helmet (no stars) but with officer cockades. We also may have a helmet worn after 1914 by a Feldwebel with the function of Offizierstellvertreter.
However it is private purchased (Eigentum) and this helmet could never have been worn buy this guy while doing his duty in the garrison before he promoted to Fähnrich or Feldwebel ( the high of the spike as the voided crown of the wappen would never have been accepted to be worn by a common soldier up to Feldwebel).
But that´s only my two cents :wink:

Philippe
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