Spike position of EM helmets

gardist22

Member
I have a question about the position of spike bases. I know that the "normal" position is like picture 2 shows (one hole in the middle of the front). But by so many helmets it is not (like picture 1 shows).
Are by these helmets the spike added in "wrong" position in modern times? I could not believe it, because there are so many of it.a.jpg
 

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argonne

Well-known member
This interesting point was already discussed many times on French forums...
The rule is: for pre war M95 helmets, the best is always one hole at the front. A lot of helmets have been manipulated after the war (brought back helmets that have been disassembled and then wrong reassembled). But there are a lot of helmets (part helmets) that are showing the "wrong position". Important is to look at the inside of helmet, to see if the four retaining latches of the spike studs show some evident traces of fresh manipulation. They must show patina and must be very tight to the Teller.
There are some period picts which are showing some pre war M95 helmets with "wrong position" of spike. But they are proportional very few...
Some period learning manual for german military recruts are telling, that it was sometimes allowed to dissassemble the spike when it was very dirty, to clean it apart (and not to soil the shell and its lacquer) and to reassemble it to helmet after the "cleaning work". One can imagine that not all those spikes were reassembled on the "right way".

Philippe
;)
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Speaking as one who restores these helmets and as such “takes them apart” I always put a pencil mark on the underside of the spike base to indicate the “front” hole. I do this because after 100+ years the top of the shell and base have moulded together. If you want them to look right when you reassemble, you have to go with the original position whether it might be technically wrong or not. I would also add a question...... was there ever a correct position followed by manufacturers?? Are there documents showing these regulations? Or is this something that collectors have come up with?
 

SkipperJohn

Well-known member
Speaking as one who restores these helmets and as such “takes them apart” I always put a pencil mark on the underside of the spike base to indicate the “front” hole. I do this because after 100+ years the top of the shell and base have moulded together. If you want them to look right when you reassemble, you have to go with the original position whether it might be technically wrong or not. I would also add a question...... was there ever a correct position followed by manufacturers?? Are there documents showing these regulations? Or is this something that collectors have come up with?
That is a good question.
I, frankly, never paid attention.
I looked at my helmets and I am at about 70% with the hole directly in front, and 30% with the hole slightly offset.
None of the split pins on these helmets look like they have been messed with --- at least not for many, many years.

John
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Like you John, I have never even bothered to consider this issue. Experienced collectors who have handled a lot of helmets can tell when a support disc and spike pins have been removed. As hard as I try when putting them back after restoration, I can’t get the pins as tight as the factory. Originally, the prongs must have been “pressed” in using a triangular shaped fitting to spread the prongs flat. We all have to remember that when new, these helmets and fittings were flexible and easy to assemble mostly by hand.
 

aicusv

Well-known member
I assume that the holes were originally laid out using some type of template. That alined the four pin holes correctly to the center vent hole. The tec. who laid these out may or may alined it correctly to the front center line.
Also remember that leather shrinkage may move the alignment slightly.
 

Sandmann

Well-known member
The regulation is quite detailed in its specifications, but I have found no rule that the split pins have to be placed in a special position. Maybe due to the position of the upper head split pin of the rear spine, which grips through the flat shallow?
Regarding the holes in the plate fitting, the following is written (dress code for EM‘s from 1903):
….
b) Rear Spine shall be 10.5mm wide and 6mm high, bended to match the shape of the helmet. It grips at the top with a flat shallow under the plate fitting and is attached here by a head split pin, which grips through the flat shallow. Between the air holes in the helmet bomb with a double split pin, and at the bottom of the rear visor with a screw. Above, about 1cm below the plate fitting, an elongated opening that can be closed by a slider (the "ventilation device").
c) The Plate, attached with 4 split pins, has a Diameter of 7,6cm. In the middle a circular cutout in which the attachment is soldered. All around the cutout and around the outer edge of the plate, it has a bulge-like elevation, both rest on the leather of the helmet bomb….
 

argonne

Well-known member
When you look at period picts (I think it´s a better source as our helmets that could have been touched in the last 100 years), you will see that more than 90 % of helmets have the front hole in the "right position" ;) No official rules, but a concrete observation.

Philippe
;)
 

gardist22

Member
Thank you all for your engagement!
Maybe some of you have a picture, who shows a soldier wearing a M95 with this "wrong" position?

have a nice weekend
torsten
 
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