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”

US AFS M15

Historical Background: The American Ambulance Field Service was organized in 1915 in France and served under French command. The function of the organization was to drive ambulances for the French Army. It was staffed by American expatriates and volunteers recruited from American colleges. After the entry of the United States into the First World WarContinue reading “US AFS M15”

Czechoslovakian M15/18

General Information: From August 1914 soldiers from the regions that eventually formed the state of Czechoslovakia – Bohemia, Slovakia, Moravia and Czech Silesia – served in the French Foreign Legion. At the end of 1917 a Czechoslovakian army within the French army was officially formed. These soldiers came from Czechs and Slovaks living in France,**Continue reading “Czechoslovakian M15/18”

Polish M15

General Information: During the First World War the French equipped Polish volunteers with French equipment including Model 1915 Adrian style helmets. These were fitted with pressed metal badges following the pattern of French chasseurs units, but with a Polish eagle in the center of the disk rather than “RF.” A less common badge was largerContinue reading “Polish M15”

Greek M15/18

General Information: The Greeks formally adopted the French Adrian model helmet in 1918. In collector circles it is usually referred to as the “Greek Model 1915/18.” The helmets were generally painted brown, but less commonly were painted green as well. Based on period photographs, it appears that most of the helmets supplied to the GreeksContinue reading “Greek M15/18”

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”

Romanian M15

General Information: In late 1916 the Romanians ordered 200,000 Model 1915 helmets from the French, but only 90,000 were delivered. The helmets were painted blue and had the cipher of King Ferdinand I. The cipher consisted of a crown on top of two “Fs” placed back-to-back with a Roman numeral “I” in the middle.  InContinue reading “Romanian M15”

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”