French Air Force M15/24

General Information: Strictly speaking, this is not a First World War helmet. The helmet may have been used during the war, but the elegant air force badge was not issued until 1923 and was officially adopted in 1924.[1] The same badge was used on Model 1926 and Model 1937 helmets. On the official, statutory versionContinue reading “French Air Force M15/24”

French M15 North African

General Information: The soldiers who wore these helmets were part of the French 19th Army Corps, referred to as the Army of Africa. Its headquarters was in Algiers. The people serving in this army came mostly from French colonies of Algeria, Tunesia, and Morocco. These troops included zouaves, light infantry famous for their colorful uniforms,Continue reading “French M15 North African”

Yugoslavian M23

General Information: The Model 1923 French helmets exported to Yugoslavia were distinct from the M23 helmets produced for the French army in the interwar years.  Like the Spanish export French M26s they were made with inferior non-manganese, magnetic steel.  The export M23s also had a rolled rim, rather than a separate rim piece welded toContinue reading “Yugoslavian M23”

French Export M26

General Information: The French produced an export version of the Model 1926 helmet that was used by Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. The was nearly identical in appearance to the domestic version but for the lack of holes in the front for a badge. The export M26s were made of mild, magnetic steel,Continue reading “French Export M26”

French M15 Chasseur

General Information: The chasseur’s badge was one of eight statutory badges used on the French Model 1915 helmet by various branches of the French armed forces during the First World War. The chasseur helmets are sometimes referred to by collectors somewhat erroneously as “cavalry” or “sharpshooter” helmets. So, who were the chasseurs? The word “chasseur”Continue reading “French M15 Chasseur”

French M15 Engineer

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 a breast plate and helmet was for engineers (“genie”). (See French Model 1915) Displayed Example: I purchased this helmet this helmet in 2007 from Le Beret Vert in France.Continue reading “French M15 Engineer”

French M15 Medical

General Information: The badge with the rod of Asclepius was for medical services (service de santé). (See French Model 1915). This badge was one of eight statutory badges authorized for use by different branches of the French armed forces. An interesting side note is that the French medical services used the rod of Asclepius, theContinue reading “French M15 Medical”

French M15 Artillery

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 aContinue reading “French M15 Artillery”

Serbian M15

General Information: The French supplied Serbian armed forces with 123,000 Model 1915 helmets.[1] The Serbian helmets were painted brown like other foreign-used M15s. They had a frontal badge that was the coat of arms for Peter I, the King of Serbia from 1903 to 1918. The double headed eagle was adopted from the Nemanjic dynasty thatContinue reading “Serbian M15”

French M15 Colonial/Navy

General Information: The French Model 1915 with a flaming bomb and anchor badge was issued to navy and French colonial troops. The helmets used by colonial troops were sometimes painted brown. French colonial troops from Islamic countries were issued helmets with a crescent moon and the letters “RF.” I presume the helmets with the anchorContinue reading “French M15 Colonial/Navy”