French M15 Artillery

French soldiers with artillery helmets*

General Information: There were eight statutory badges authorized for use by different branches of the French armed forces in the First World War. The badge with crossed cannons was for artillery troops. (See French Model 1915)

Displayed Example: I purchased this helmet this helmet from a French collector friend. The private purchase chinstrap was a type sometimes used by officers. The hand painted matte blue grey paint is the type mandated by the French army in mid-1916. It covers the original “horizon blue” paint that was applied in the factory at the time of manufacture. Etablissements Reflex of Paris made this particular helmet.[1] The helmets produced by this company had an ink stamp on the interior with the words “Reflex Paris” inside a circle and surrounding a diamond shape encasing the shell size, which in this case was a “B” which corresponds to medium. The helmet size is repeated with an ink stamp on the liner that reads B2[?] with the last character not legible. “B2” indicates a medium size shell with a medium sized liner that corresponded to a head size 58cm.

Collector Notes: French artillery helmets are not very difficult things to find, although you may have to be patient to find a complete example in very good condition. They are not very expensive – actually undervalued in my opinion.


* Private collection

[1] Hennequin. 1998. pp65

Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

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