German M18

General Information: In July of 1918 the Germans introduced a new steel helmet, the Model 1918.[1] The new helmet was identical to the Model 1916/17 with the exception of the chinstrap configuration. The new chinstraps were made in two pieces with a carbine type clip that connected them. Instead of being connected by lugs riveted to the sides, the new chinstrap was connected directly to the liner band via a pair of loops. The loops were connected to the liner bands with a rivet and washer.  There was a leather flap that fit between the carbine clip and the wearer’s chin. This flap almost always bears the identity of the manufacturer, and the date 1918. The M18s were most commonly fitted with white chrome leather liner pads, but brown leather pads are not uncommon either especially with earlier versions of the helmets. The Model 1918 helmets are most readily distinguished from their predecessors by the absence of external rivets for the chinstrap lugs.

Displayed Example: This helmet came from a woman in the Vancouver area who was in the business of cleaning out homes following estate sales. The helmet was in a shed apart from the house and had been either overlooked or otherwise unclaimed by the surviving kin and the buyers at the estate sale. It is a complete, out-of-the-woodwork piece that had never been in a collection before and had apparently never been modified since being brought back from Europe, likely as a souvenir by a Canadian Commonwealth soldier. This helmet has the classic camouflage pattern incorporating green, rust red, and ochre-colored paints separated by finger width black lines. This type of camouflage scheme was mandated by an order dating July 1918 for all helmets.[2] It is nicely named on the interior skirt in old style cursive writing done in pencil, which is the most typical way German soldiers marked their helmets. The name is not quite legible, but is something like “P. Haffenreffer.” The front liner pad was removed, which was commonly done to accommodate larger head sizes. The white chrome leather pads, which were also used on M17 helmets, often have blue indelible pencil marks that were applied before the hides were cut. The helmet photographed has that feature. The manufacturer and size markings on the wearer’s left side on the skirt is E.T. 64. E.T. was the manufacturer code for Eisenhuttenwerk Thale A.G., which was the largest manufacturer of German steel helmets in both the First and Second World Wars. Sixty-four centimeters was the most common size for German helmets.

Collector Notes: The Model 1918 helmets were issued late in the war and are less common than the Model 1916s and 1917s. A great many were reissued during the Weimar and Third Reich periods. An M18 in its original World War One configuration is can be a relatively difficult thing for a collector to lay hands on, particularly one in good condition.


[1] Baer 1985

[2] Haselgrove 2006, pp243

Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: