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Unloading broken spike-helmets photo

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Interesting photo for all who love spike-helmets:


The photo was taken at the main station at G?rlitz, but no date on it.




I have no idea what they are doing.

Could it be, that when the troops were issued with new steel-helmets, they had to return their older spike-helmets to the supply forces ?

Any ideas ?

Kind regards


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"Could it be, that when the troops were issued with new steel-helmets, they had to return their older spike-helmets to the supply forces ?"

I think so - notice that all the chin straps are missing they were transferred to the new steel helmets


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VERY interesting-- those do not appear to be getting careful handling-- which suggests they were going to be scrapped/junked and not returned to depots for storage.

I always thought these were shipped back to each unit for storage-- going to be used again after peace came, so they thought.

Bags of partially stripped helmets tossed on the ground suggests trashing them instead. What use could that hard corved leather or silly "Ersatz" felt have served, even in mass bulk?

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Another thought that came into my mind is, that these are helmets from fallen or wounded soldiers with battle damages.

But why did they collect them and send them back to germany ? Most of them were "buried" on the battlefields I guess.

And what is in those big sacks ?? What do You think ?

More helmets ?

Maybe these sacks are full with uniforms - also from wounded men ?

If a soldier was wounded and brought to hospital his uniform was full of blood, torn, dirty. After his recovery ( or not ) he would get a new uniform.

Normally I would say that these torn clothes and equipment and helmets could be set to fire near the hospitals, but maybe germany needed the resources and an order was given not to destroy these "imperial properties" but send them back to the home garrison.

However, only a few ideas.

I like photos that make you think about them.

Kind regards


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what a superb picture! I think Robert hit it on the head. There were actually company sized organizations that went to the battlefield and picked up debris that could be reused. From there it was sent to the BIA. It would seem to me that that would be fairly roughly handled. Once the helmet went to the BIA it was inspected, repaired, reinspected and when found to be good to go it was marked [in theory] and sent back out to unit. Every once in awhile you will find one that was repaired by a different corps. This is the first picture I have seen of this type and would love to have a copy of this scan. Based on the mixture of helmets I would think this is 1915.

The helmets that were sent back to the depot for storage were indeed kept nice. Many of these helmets were liberated after the war by the Americans -- shipped back to America and used as incentives to buy war bonds.

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