Pickelhaube Characteristics & Rank Guide
Chinscales & Chinstraps
Convex brass or silver chinscales were worn by all ranks up to 1856. From that date, infantry and other foot-troops utilized flat chinscales, while mounted units such as field artillery and cavalry retained the convex pattern. In 1891, all foot troops converted to a M91 leather chinstrap, but Garde units retained the chinscales for parade purposes and only wore the leather chinstrap in the field. Field Artillery, Train, and cavalry, retained the rounded chinscales right up until 1915. Issued chinscales or chinstraps were secured to the helmet with various methods depending on when the helmet was made. More details on these patterns are included by clicking on the thumbnails below. Privately purchased chinscales were secured to the helmets with a Rosette which had two split prongs which were bent back inside the helmet.
The vast majority of units wore brass/gilt chinscales. Flat or rounded silver chinscales were worn by all ranks of the following units:
  • Preußen Schloßgarde-Kompanie (Prussian palace guard company) (rounded)
  • 1. Garde-Regt. zu Fuß (Potsdam) (flat)
  • 5. Garde-Regt. zu Fuß Garde-Korps (Spandau) (flat)
  • Garde-Füsilier-Regt. (Berlin) (flat)
  • Hessen Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regt. (1. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr.115 (Darmstadt) (flat)
  • Hessen Leib-Dragoner-Regt. (Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr.23 and 24. (rounded)
  • Sachsen (Saxony) Kgl. Sächs. 1. (Leib-) Grenadier-Regt. Nr.100 (Dresden) (flat)
  • Sachsen (Saxony) Kgl. Sächs. Telegraphen-Bataillon Nr.7 (Dresden) (flat)
  • Sachsen (Saxony) Flieger-Bataillon Nr.1 (3rd Komp) (Döberitz-Großenhain-Jüterborg) (flat)
  • Württemberg Schlpßgarde-Kompanie ( Württemberg palace guard company) (rounded)
  • Bayern (Bavaria) Infanterie-Leib-Regt.(München) (flat)
  • Bayern (Bavaria) Kgl. Bayer. Chevaulegers-Regiments 2,4,6, and 8. (rounded)
  • Bayer. 1. Schweres Reiter-Regiment Prinz Kark von Bayern (München) (rounded)
  • Kgl. Bayer. 2. Ulanen-Regiment König (Ansbach) (rounded)
  • Bayern Senior officers in the appontment of Flügeladjutant (rounded)
Click on the thumbnail picture for a larger picture and a full explanation.
Pre-1891 Issue
Chinscale Mount
1891 Issue
Chinscale Mount
1891 Issue
Chinstrap Mount
Private Purchase
Chinscale Mount
Unlike the Line Infantry who went to leather M91 (Model 1991) leather chinstraps in 1891, Garde Infantry retained chinscales in Garrison and only removed them in the field, where a leather chinstrap was worn. Mounted troops (Ulanen, Husaren, Feld Artillerie, Train etc) retained chinscales right up until 1915 when they were replaced by the M91 leather chinstrap.

An indicator of this, are M91 strap mounts that are extremely wide. The M91 "hook" on these helmets is the same thickness as M91 chinscales. Subsequently, this type of strap will only fit on the Pickelhaube of Field Artillery, Cavalry, Train, and some Garde units. The strap mounts are too wide for any other helmet. A Cavalry/Artillery/Garde Infantry M1891 leather strap will not fit on a line Infantry M91 mount, and a line Infantry M91 chinstrap placed on the wider Cavalry/Artillery/Garde Infantry mount practically falls off.
To the right is a photo showing a wider M91 chinstrap hook on a Model 1895 Preußen Mannschaften issued Pickelhaube for a Feldartillerie (Field Artillery) Regt. The photo shows that the wider Cavalry/Artillery/Garde Infantry M91 mount will accommodate both a M91 leather chinstrap and a M91 brass chinscale.
Click to Enlarge
Bayern Pattern M91 Chinstrap
When Bayern Reserve Troops adopted the M1896 Foot troops Pickelhaube, a large number of chinscales from the M1886 Pickelhaube were converted into leather chinstraps to fit the new chinstrap mounts. Where the Line Foot Troops had brass or silver squared buckles, the initial Bayern Reserve M1896 straps had single buckle with a leather slide and different mounts where it attached to the helmet lugs. This handsome fellow is wearing an early Bayern Reserve 1896 Foot Troops Pickelhaube with the first pattern Bayern Reserve M1896 chinstrap.