Gaede headpiece Vosges

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Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Image

An extraordinary picture I found in Eric Balmier & Daniel Roess’ ”Scènes des tranchées des Vosges”: a sentry in May 1915 in a trench on a slope of the Ilienkopf or le Petit Ballon, wearing a steel Gaede-foreheadpiece.
The evolutionary link between Pickelhaube and Stahlhelm is perhaps the Gaede M1915 steel headpiece, which was mounted on a black leather skull cap.
General Von Gaede was one of the first to order the distribution of 1500 of these steel headpieces for his troops on the Vosges mountains.


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Post by joerookery » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:40 pm

Pierre

I have never seen a photograph of this! That is exceptional. These helmets have been the subject of many reproduction -- were there ever any more than the 1500? :eek: :eek:
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Post by Wyliecoyote » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:47 am

Joe that number is backe up in " The History of the German Steel Helmet" by Ludwig Baer.

According to his book, the casualties caused by head wounds from rock fragments during bombardments was very high. After waiting for better head protection than the pickelhaube, the Army Group Gaede Chief of Staff, Lt.Col. Hesse odered the manufacture of the 1500 helmets. It seems that they stopped at that number because the helmets were not authorized by the War Ministry, and Hesse almost had to pay for the cost of the helmets himself.

After the introduction of the M16 stahlhelm, the Gaede helmets were withdrawn and most were melted down for their steel.

Thanks for starting this thread Pierre, that is the best period photo I have seen of the Gaede helmet in actual use. Baer's book has only one.

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@ Joe @ George

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:07 pm

@ Joe @ George.

So it IS an extraordinary picture! I thought some of you knew it already.
Anyway period pictures of Gaede helmets "in action" seem exceptional like Joe wrote.
I thought also, that there were only 1500 of these helmets made ever, but I did not not for sure. George helped to solve that question.
BTW: The steel plate was 6 mm. thick and the helmet's weight was 2 kilogram, at least that is what I have been reading in the German Wikiped.

But can anyone explain, whatever the meaning must have been of that Roman style nose cover, besides of course to give protection to shrapnel and bullets? It looks very uncomfortable to me, especcialy if you have to handle a rifle. What has been going on in the mind of the designer? Who within the Armee Abteilung Gaede designed the head piece anyway? Is this a known fact or forgotten by history?
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Post by Wyliecoyote » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:54 am

There must not be a lot of information surviving about these helmets. Ludwig Baer's book is considered to be the Bible of German steel helmets, and the Helmet of Army Group Gaede only has one paragragh.

Even the total of helmets says "approximately 1500 helmets". No designer is mentioned, only that LtCol. Hesse was the driving force behind the development of the helmet. The weight & dimension given of the plate is slightly different than German Wikipedia: 5 - 7mm thich, 2.05 kilos (4.5lbs).

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Post by Gustaf » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:03 am

I had a chance to handle one of these at SOS last Feb, it is an interesting helmet, the adjustment strap on the back made it pretty much "one size fits all"
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Post by Robert » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:44 am

I always found that instead of a helmet they rather resemble Stirnpanzers with straps. May be nearly bullet-proof from point blank but shrapnell protection was not in the focus at all.

In 1915 the design was shown in the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, not very preceicely though.

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Post by Stahlhelm » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:48 pm

Just a quick note on the subjects of designer/manufacturer. In Ludwig Baer's Vom Stahlhelm zum Gefechtshelm Vol. I, it's mentioned that the helmet or Stahlkappe was designed by (unnamed) members of Army Group Gaede and manufactured in the Army Group's Artillery workshop in Muehlhausen. This private enterprise was limited to Army Gr. Gaede and these so called steel caps were only issued to its members. As mentioned previously in this thread, the driving force behind the helmet's development was the Army Group's Chief of Staff, Oberstleutnant Hesse.

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Post by Wyliecoyote » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:02 am

Robert wrote:I always found that instead of a helmet they rather resemble Stirnpanzers with straps. May be nearly bullet-proof from point blank but shrapnell protection was not in the focus at all.

In 1915 the design was shown in the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, not very preceicely though.

Image
Robert

There is a photo or two about this helmet in an older thread, it might have been started by Otto. I believe this one here is Italian.

A Gaede helmet just sold on ebay, look at the price:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3DWatching

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Post by Robert » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:48 pm

That´s a really nice piece - complete and in normal used shape, actually the price is about what I would expect. From what I know there were two versions that differ mainly by the strap and lining.

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Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:01 pm

On the Ebay picture it looks like the nose cover is too wide.
This a reconstruction from the book of Nigel Thomas.
Image

Some Dutch friends attended me on www.worldwar1.com to find this picture:
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Helmet or mask?

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 pm

The helmet in the Italian newspaper, George, looks more like the steel mask some sentries or snipers used under their Stahlhelm in combination with a body armour, where the right shoulder was left open to shoulder the rifle. I don't have picture now right at hand (I will of course look for it later), but I have seen it in some private collections along the front.
These snipers masks and body armour seem to be also quite exptional to have in a collection. The ones I have seen, were found by the farmers collectors on their own land along the former front and conserved in their private collection.
The question is, was the mask there before the introduction of the Stahlhelm in 1916? Or does the Mask came later after the introduction of the Stahlhelm?
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Post by Khukri » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:52 pm

"Elephant mask ?"

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More pics of Gaede skull plate and leather cap beneath it.

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:41 am

Image

Today I found these two period images, in a remarkable, richly illustrated booklet, written by Monsieur Jean-Claude Laparra & Pascal Hesse: “The German Infantryman – Michael Goes To War”, translated from French in English.

In 2009 I met in person the kind Mr. Laparra, the Mayor of Bezonvaux, at his destroyed village near Verdun. (see also my website; http://pierreswesternfront.punt.nl/inde ... _archief=0 ). Mr. Laparra is also the author of a lot of French, historic books, concerning the Great War.

This book is written on the base of a series of eight notebooks, which a still unknown German soldier kept about his war experiences during the years ’14-’18. When a notebook was completed, he did send it home to his family.
After these notebooks of “Michael”, as the authors baptised this anonymous soldier, the authors reconstructed the daily life and career of a German soldier, mentioning for instance the change in uniforms, equipments and weapons, illustrated with very interesting period photos, many of these from Mr. Laparra’s personal collection.
This book is clearly also written in alanguage to interest young people. Besides, the book forms a good point of departure for people, who start to study the German Imperial Army. Editor: www.histoireetcollections.com , France. ISBN: 9 782352 500711 .
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Post by drakegoodman » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:34 pm

Thanks Pierre, I had seen that book for sale a couple of times and was wondering if it was worth getting. I think you have answered my question. Cheers!
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:58 am

You are welcome, Brett! :D
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by chrispaulodale » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:50 am

Image

On display at the DEUTSCHES HISTORISCHES MUSEUM
Zeughaus und Ausstellungshalle
Unter den Linden 2
10117 Berlin

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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:36 am

Thanks Chris! :)
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by drakegoodman » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:51 am

Tony Meldahl sent me these pics from his files a while back. Clearly the same helmets as those in "La Curiosita".

Image
Gaede face shield by drakegoodman, on Flickr

Image
Gaede face shield by drakegoodman, on Flickr
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Wyliecoyote » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:05 pm

Even though you might be able to sustain a hit and come out all right wearing this get up, I bet it would still ring your bell! Haben Sie Bayer, bitte?

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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:59 am

drakegoodman wrote:Tony Meldahl sent me these pics from his files a while back. Clearly the same helmets as those in "La Curiosita".
Fine pictures of this face protection mask.
Are you sure that this face mask is named after Gen. von Gaede, Brett? Did the General introduced these masks or is naming a mask after a general just a question of paying honour to a man? I understood that these masks were introduced in 1916, or did these arrive earlier? Gen. Hans von Gaede died at 16 September 1916 after an operation for an illness, which is still unknown for me.
Anyway the almost forgotten General von Gaede was a very important general considering his contribution to the development of early war tactics. I would not be amazed, if you are right , Drake. This would be even good news for me, as I am trying to write a study about this von Gaede. :)
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by chrispaulodale » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:50 am

Some good close up photos from several angles of a Gaede helmet here-
http://www.militaryheadgear.com/items/10422" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:02 am

Indeed good photo's, Chris, thanks.
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by drakegoodman » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:15 am

[-o<
Pierre Grande Guerre wrote:
drakegoodman wrote:Tony Meldahl sent me these pics from his files a while back. Clearly the same helmets as those in "La Curiosita".
Fine pictures of this face protection mask.
Are you sure that this face mask is named after Gen. von Gaede, Brett? Did the General introduced these masks or is naming a mask after a general just a question of paying honour to a man? I understood that these masks were introduced in 1916, or did these arrive earlier? Gen. Hans von Gaede died at 16 September 1916 after an operation for an illness, which is still unknown for me.
Anyway the almost forgotten General von Gaede was a very important general considering his contribution to the development of early war tactics. I would not be amazed, if you are right , Drake. This would be even good news for me, as I am trying to write a study about this von Gaede. :)
The title of the photos are from Tony. He said he took the photos of the helmet at an auction years ago. I'll send him an email asking for further and better details.
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:37 am

Thanks in advance for all your efforts, Brett! If von Gaede himself introduced also these sniper / sentry masks, it will be another one of his many merits. I am curious! :!:
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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by drakegoodman » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:23 am

Tony wasn't able to expand further on his pictures. But take a look at this ...

La Plaque Eléphant

http://humanbonb.free.fr/indexProtegesfaciauxall.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And this ...

http://www.militaryheadgear.com/items/5732" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
We can't all be heroes, someone has to sit on the kerb and clap as they go by.

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Re: Gaede headpiece Vosges

Post by Pierre Grande Guerre » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:51 am

Thanks Brett, for your effort! A few months ago I already also published some pictures of this elephant mask on my facebook page, remarkable inventions of WW1. In both links about the elephant mask, you offered, von Gaede is not mentioned at all for the initiative of introducing the elephant mask. In the first French link is mentiond only the OHL.
In the marvellous book of Dr. Bashford Dean, “Helmets And Body Armour In Modern Warfare”(1920), von Gaede is also not mentioned in relation to this mask. In spite of all your efforts, Brett, I am still not sure, alas.
Perhaps this elephant mask deserves its own topic instead of being mixed with the Geade headpiece?
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