Battle of Mons Lobsterback helmet

Hallibag

Member
Stumbled across an article about this helmet, which is said to have been worn by the first German soldier shot and killed by a British soldier in the First World War:

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This is a Kürassier helmet, if I’m not mistaken? The story is the German cavalryman was an officer, but I don’t believe this is an officer’s helmet.

A couple of links:



I’d be interested in what the group thinks about this.
 

argonne

Well-known member
Bullet hole? :unsure: Dragoon helmet? :unsure: Officer helmet? Let allow me to have some doubts about the story...

Philippe
;)
 

Hallibag

Member
Not an officer helmet for sure, but I think the damage could be from a bullet that passed through the underside of the neck guard from behind, reentered the helmet at the neck and then finally exited out the top.

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The rider must have been shot from behind, with his head down. Probably trying to ride away.

Grim, and sad.
 

Sandmann

Well-known member
I don’t doubt the story itself. The story with the 1st fallen German soldiers is correct, in the regimental history of JZP Regiment No. 5 a Lt. Albert Mayer listed as the 1st victim. Unfortunately I couldn’t read the book, so it was not possible to check from which side he was shot. The book is not publicly visible in Google Books, but if you use the search terms „Albert Mayer„and „Jäger zu Pferd“ you will find the regimantal story of the JzP-Reg. No. 5 with a mention of him. But I still doubt that this was his helmet, sorry.
 

Neil Young

Active member
It is difficult to tell from the excellent photo, but I will speculate that from the apparent trajectory of the bullet that the wearer of this helmet might have escaped with a glancing blow to the left rear of his skull producing a superficial wound and a nasty headache. Of course, that is just a guess thrown out for discussion. Have at it.:unsure:
 

JohnM

Active member
While it's a very nice story, I believe it's just that. There is no doubt that JzP Lt. Mayer was the 1st German casualty he would not have been wearing an EM Kurrasier Helmet. So we can rule that out right off the bat. I believe that Private Sambrooks account is true but who knows how this helmet was obtained. As for the helmet itself look at the trajectory of the bullet entrance into the lobster tail it comes in from an angle from almost directly below and at an angle. This would mean that if the rider was on horseback he would need to have been riding with his face parallel to the ground and with his head at or below shoulder level of the horse. Unless you are a trick rider or a cossack, a nearly impossible way to ride a horse.
The only other position that the shooter could be in was directly below which means he was run over by the horse and rider then managed to stand up and fire a shot at the rider above him. Implausible.

Finally, look at the helmet. The bullet enter the helmet twice then shattered and/or started to spin. If someone was wearing that helmet I think they would have been brained.

John
 

argonne

Well-known member
Here is a direct link to the book:


The Regimentgeschichte tells a lot about the patrol of Leutnant Mayer and mentions that he has been hit bei bullets: in the temple and in the upper leg. First german officer KIA, not first german soldier! It is also told, that the french soldiers were so surprised that they did not fired while the german riders charged. They fired in the back of them.
Mayer was in the 3. Escadron. While charging and before he was KIA, he hit with his saber the head of the first dead French soldier of WWI, Caporal Peugeot. Peugeot was then found later with three bullets in his body, obviously shot down by error from other french soldiers. Gefreiter Heinze from the same german patrol is reporting in the book that none of the riders did a single shot with his fire arm...He is also telling that a few Jäger zu Pferd have been wounded and then made prisoner...(Jäger Platt and Jäger Peters). As the helmet is a Kürassier helmet, it seems to be impossible that it could has been worn by another guy of this patrol...

Philippe
;)

mayer.jpgmayer1.jpg
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911car

Well-known member
I am confused. Peugeot was killed by Mayer on August 2nd, and Mayer was then killed on the same day.
The story about the Kurassier helmet with bullet holes refers to a fight that took place on August 22nd...
 

911car

Well-known member
On August 2nd, there were no British soldiers fighting. They had not even declared war. So what does Leut. Mayer have to do with a fight in Mons against the Brits on August 22nd? Did I miss something?
 

911car

Well-known member
An article from 2014 in a local newspaper claiming this is Leut. Mayer's sword (?), saved by one of the French soldiers.

SabresouslieutenantMayer.jpg
 

Sandmann

Well-known member
It seems to be his blade. I was confused first, because of the wrong engraving with „C. Mayer“, but I then saw that it is explained in the article.
Btw, Lt. Mayer wore a „Pallasch“, like it is written in the text of the regimental history shown above, which has in contrast to a sabre a straight blade.
 

argonne

Well-known member
Excellent newspaper article!
It is also talked about that the Jäger Platt has been taken prisoner, as told in the J.z.Pf.5 Regimentsgeschichte. And yes, Sandy, the Pallasch is a very important detail too!
Philippe
;)
 

argonne

Well-known member
Other sources are saying that Paul Grun, J.z.Pf. was the first german killed in action (Tarnowitz, eastern front). One hour before Leutnant A. Mayer...

Philippe
;)

grun.jpg
 

911car

Well-known member
Interesting.
Since there seems to be interest in such commemorative items, here are memories from Leutnant der Reserve Albrecht, who was the first DR26 officer killed in WW1: helmet with Ueberzug, broken sword, spur (this was already shown a long time ago).
Leut. Albrecht was fatally injured in Rixinger Wald (nowadays foret de Rechicourt) on August 21st, 1914 when confronting a French cavalry patrol.

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argonne

Well-known member
Bruno, private message in your inbox to buy "ce convolut"!😁
More seriously, interesting to see that Albrecht came from Riga (Latvia) and Sergeant Wolsdorff was from Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Did you get it from the Albrecht family? It does not seem to be a vet bring back. Do you have a pict of Leutnant Rudolf Albrecht?
I really love those named things, for me, it´s the coolest way to collect!

Philippe
😉


albrecht.jpg
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