1908 DATED PRUSSIAN RESERVE INFANTRY PICKELHAUBE

JohnS3rd

Active member
This Pickelhaube is a war trophy brought back to England by British Army Veteran. I was immediately attracted to it because it has the field worn and captured look about it. Of course, my first inclination was to clean off the dirt accumulated on it over the years. But my attraction to it was that it genuinely represented something brought back from the battlefield and not from a war bonds drive, occupation purchased helmet or found later in a European flea market.

The rear visor provides a fascinating history; the first stamping outlined in a rectangle: BA VI with 1908 immediately underneath represents Bekleidungs Amt VI, or Clothing Depot, of the (German), VI Army Corps purchased and issued the helmet in 1908; the stamp adjacent to it is R 10 indicating that it was issued to Grenadier Regiment “King Frederick Wilhelm II” (1st Silesian) Nr. 10. The helmet has a removable spike that confirms this helmet for a unit authorized to wear a Trichter or Parade Plume; the 10th wore a black plume. Before a Tommy picked it up, another rectangle stamp with R16 11 2B denotes the helmet was in Regiment 16 or Infantry Regiment “Freiherr von Sparr” (3rd Westphalian) No. 16. The other numbers indicate the helmet was in the 11th Kompanie and the 2D Battalion of the 16th Regiment. This regiment was assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade, 14th Division in the VII Army Corps. The 16th and its parent units fought against the BEF through most of the war.

Should I clean the outside of my latest purchase or leave it just as is?

I want to show the helmet in its current condition while protecting it from the elements. So, I purchased a basketball trophy case at our local Hobby Lobby store* to keep the dust, dog, and cat hair, as well as the occasional child or adult’s fingers off it. You can see that large portions of the leather shell are visible because the original laquear has come off parts of the Pickelhaube.

Because I am concerned about preserving this battlefield relic for history, I am torn between leaving the helmet or cleaning the dust and dirt off to prevent possible contamination that can lead to detrition. I have considered possibly spraying it with a flat lacquer to prevent further deterioration. However, I believe that is not a good option.

I trust that you have enjoyed the post.
Best regards,

John

Library - 20 of 21.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 2.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 3.jpeg1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 4.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 5.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 6.jpeg1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 7.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 9.jpeg
1908 Pickelhaube 16th Reg 8.jpeg
References consulted

Chris Dale’s Traditions of the Imperial German Infantry Regiments: their Histories, Uniforms & Pickelhauben

Joseph Robinson and Maxime Chaffotte’s web page Depot Marks https://pickelhauben.net/depot-marks/

14th Division (German Empire) https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/14._Division_(Deutsches_Kaiserreich)

* Basketball & Soccer Ball Display Case: Dimensions: Length: 10" Width: 10" Height: 10"


https://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Frames-Photo-Albums/Shadow-Boxes-Display-Cases/Basketball-Soccer-Ball-Display-Case/p/81011632

 

911car

Well-known member
Nice untouched trophy helmet, John. The regimental stamp is probably not R16, but RJR11 2B (Reserve Infanterie Regiment 11, 2nd Bataillon). Much better to have a reserve regiment mark on a reserve helmet!
Besides, you are correct, as an active helmet it was probably worn in GR10, a grenadier unit, although one would expect to read GR10 (and why such a gap between R and 10?). The helmet would have been later used in RJR 11. GR11 was also a grenadier regiment. Both GR10 and GR11 belonged to BAVI, and both were awarded the grenadier eagle in 1913 only. Adherence to standards was not always so strict in the Reserve/Landwehr, therefore it is possible that reserve grenadier helmets with pre-1913 plates went to war in 1914.
Were Reserve Grenadier regiments normally identified as RJR? RGR is indeed seldom seen. I realized I do not have a clear answer to this...
 

JohnS3rd

Active member
Bruno,
Thank you, the first helmet like this for me. Your take on the unit marking makes a lot of sense, primarily because of the helmet's condition and fading of the markings stamped on it110 to 113 years ago. I am new to interpreting the stamping on pickelhaube. Thanks for your insight.
Best regards,
John
 

argonne

Member
Hello,
Bruno nailed it very well (y)
We have here a helmet of the 2B / RJR11. This second bataillon was created in Schweidnitz through GR10, which garrison was Schweidnitz.

Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 11 (+MG.-Kp.)
Aufgestellt in Glatz (R.Stb., I.), Schweidnitz (II.) und Münsterberg (III.)
Unterstellung: 11. Res.Div.
Kommandeur: Oberstleutnant Fricke (Füs.R.Nr. 38)
I.: Major Hoffmann (Füs.R.Nr. 38)
II.: Major v. Bülow (Gren.R.Nr. 10) gef.: 20.9.14
III.: Major Petiskus (I.R.Nr. 63)

RJR11 first was in the 11. Reserve Division, till March 1915 and fought there:

  • Gefechtskalender der 11. Reserve-Division 1914/18 (nur an der Westfront):
  • 22.-27.8.1914: Schlacht bei Longwy-Longuyon und am Othain-Abschnitt
  • 28.8.-1.9.1914: Schlacht am Maasübergang
  • 2.-3.9.1914: Schlacht bei Varennes-Mountfaucon
  • 6.-12.9.1914: Schlacht bei Vaubecourt-Fleury
  • 13.9.14-20.2.1916: Stellungskämpfe um Verdun
  • 17.-24.9.1914: Schlacht bei Varennes
  • 14.12.1914: Gefecht bei Ornes-Flabas
  • 16.-19.2.1915: Schlacht bei Perthes les Hurlus und Beauséjour (4. Schlacht bei Perthes)

Then RJR11 was in the 117. Reserve Division and fought as follow:

1915 Westfront

02.04.1915 - 13.04.1915: Reserve der O.H.L.
17.04.1915 - 07.05.1915: Stellungskämpfe in der Champagne
09.05.1915 - 23.07.1915: Schlacht bei La Bassèe und Arras (Schlacht an der Lorrettohöhe)
24.07.1915 - 24.09.1915: Stellungskämpfe in Flandern und Artois
25.09.1915 - 13.10.1915: Herbstschlacht bei La Bassèe und Arras
14.10.1915 - 28.02.1916: Stellungskämpfe in Flandern und Artois
1916

28.02.1916 - 15.07.1916: Stellungskämpfe an der Yser
02.06.1916 - 03.06.1916: Kämpfe um Doppelhöhe 60 und Hooge
19.07.1916 - 10.08.1916: Schlacht an der Somme
10.08.1916 - 17.08.1916: Reserve der 1. Armee
17.08.1916 - 22.08.1916: Transport nach dem Osten
Ostfront (Rumänien)
22.08.1916 - 31.08.1916: Augustkämpfe auf dem Tartarenpaß und im Ludowa-Gebiet
01.09.1916 - 29.09.1916: Septemberschlacht in den Karpathen
01.10.1916 - 30.07.1917: Stellungskämpfe in den Waldkarpathen
15.10.1916: auf Smotrec-Höhe
04.12.1916: Gefecht auf der Hryhoriwka
1917

30.07.1917 - 01.08.1917: Abwehr der russisch-rumänischen Offensive im Soveja-Becken (Teile)
06.08.1917 - 07.08.1917: Stellungskämpfe in den siebenbürgischen Grenzkarpathen
08.08.1917 - 26.08.1917: Kämpfe um die Gebirgsausgänge in die westliche Moldau
27.08.1917 - 30.09.1917: Stellungskämpfe in den siebenbürgisch-rumänischen Grenzkarpathen
01.10.1917 - 03.10.1917: Transport aus Rumänien nach Oberitalien
Italien
03.10.1917 - 23.10.1917: Aufmarsch hinter der Isonzofront und Stellungskämpfe am Isonzo
24.10.1917 - 27.10.1917: Durchbruch durch die Julischen Alpen
28.10.1917 - 03.11.1917: Schlacht bei Udine
04.11.1917 - 11.11.1917: Verfolgung vom Tagliamento bis zur Piave
06.11.1917 - 07.11.1917: Kämpfe um die Livenza-Übergänge
12.11.1917 - 22.01.1918: Stellungskämpfe an der unteren Piave
1918

23.01.1918 - 06.02.1918: Stellungskämpfe an der unteren Piave
06.02.1918 - 01.03.1918: Ausbildung hinter der k.u.k. Südwestfront in Friaul und Venezien
01.03.1918 - 19.03.1918: Transport aus Oberitalien nach Lothringen
Westfront
19.03.1918 - 02.04.1918: Reserve der O.H.L. bei der 19. Armee
09.04.1918 - 14.04.1918: Schlacht bei Armentières
15.04.1918 - 29.04.1918: Schlacht um den Kemmel
30.04.1918 - 01.08.1918: Stellungskrieg in Flandern
02.08.1918 - 07.08.1918: Kämpfe an der Ancre, Somme und Avre
08.08.1918 - 09.08.1918: Die Tankschlacht zwischen Ancre und Avre
08.08.1918 - 20.08.1918: Anwehrschlacht zwischen Somme und Avre
10.08.1918 - 12.08.1918: Schlacht an der Römerstraße
22.08.1918 - 02.09.1918: Schlacht Albert-Péronne
02.09.1918 - 12.09.1918: Stellungskämpfe in den Argonnen
12.09.1918 - 25.09.1918: Stellungskämpfe vor Verdun
26.09.1918 - 11.11.1918: Abwehrschlacht in der Champagne und an der Maas 1918
26.09.1918 - 31.10.1918: Abwehrkämpfe zwischen Argonnen und Maas
08.10.1918 - 11.11.1918: Abwehrkämpfe zwischen Maas und Beaumont
ab 12.11.1918: Räumung des besetzten Gebietes und Marsch in die Heimat


Philippe
;)
 
Last edited:

aicusv

Active member
You've raised a question that I recently encountered on another board. Was the Reserve Regiment of a Grenadier Regiment, also a classified as a Grenadier Regiment or were they just considered "Line" regiments?
 

argonne

Member
To my opinion, just line Reserve Regiment (RJR11 and not RGR11).
However there is one famous exception! This is also documented through regimental stamps on helmets. The I and II Bataillon of the RJR109 (Reserve Infanterie Regiment 109) were Grenadier Bataillons. Possible explanation: both were formed in Karlsruhe, garrison of the LGR109 (Leib Grenadier Regiment 109).

Here we have I.G.B.R.R.109 (I. Grenadier Bataillon Reserve Regiment 109):

Marquage RIR109.jpg


And here: II.G.B.R.R.109 (II Grenadier Bataillon Reserve Regiment 109):

RJR109.jpg

The III Bataillon of RJR109 was formed in Bruchsal and I never saw such a marking of this special pattern.
Helmets which are showing this I or II Grenadier bataillon stamps are most of the time (but not only!) older M91 helmets of the LGR109 such as those two helmets (note the 6 ventilation holes in the spike neck):


rjr109a.jpgrjr109b.jpgrjr109c.jpg

leib109 2011,-.jpgleib109 2011,-.jpg1.jpgleib109 2011,-.jpg7.jpg

Philippe
;)
 

poniatowski

Active member
Love the helmet! I'm glad you're leaving it as is, because it really tells a story. Second, the knowledge of members here is phenomenal, isn't it? (I'm not referring to myself!)

:D Ron
 
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