Back to the Imperial German Pickelhaube Index Uniform Details of all Feldartillerie (Field Artillery) Regts Uniform Details of all Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) Regts Feld Artillerie
Plate 1
Artillerie (Artillery) Pickelhaube 1844 - 1916
In 1842, the King of Preußia (Prussia), Friedrich Wilhelm IV introduced the spiked helmet for the majority of Preußen Foot Troops. The helmet was almost 38 cm tall (15 inches) with a cruciform spike base and squared front visor. From 1842 to 1844 the Preußen Artillerie (Prussian Artillery) wore a line infantry Pickelhaube with spike which was replaced in 1844 with a Kugel (ball) to represent a cannon ball. From this point on, the helmet was known as a "Kugelhelm". Like all Pickelhaube, the Artillerie Kugelhelm underwent numerous modifications from 1844 to 1915. As the history of the Artillerie Kugelhelm so closely matches that of the Preußen Line Pickelhaube, for information on the evolution of the Preußen Mannschaften (Other Ranks) Kugelhelm please refer to the "Preußen Pickelhaube Evolution" page in the main references. The Gunner in this photograph poses beside his M1860 Artillerie Kugelhelm with cruciform spike base and squared front visors.
The Wappen (front plate) and other characteristics on Artillerie Pickelhaube vary widely and are best explained by the Imperial German Pickelhaube and Rank Identification Guide available through the index. Additionally, for your convenience, overall uniform descriptions for all Artillerie Regiments and Battalions (Except Bavaria) are detailed (for 1914 only) in the "Uniform Details Charts" links at the top or bottom of this page.

Below is an abbreviated list of contingents that adopted the Artillerie Pickelhaube after 1844:
  • 1844 - Preußen (Prussia);
  • 1846 - Hesse-Darmstadt;
  • 1867 - Baden;
  • 1867 - Oldenburg;
  • 1867 - Mecklenburg-Schwerin;
  • 1867 - Sachsen (Saxony);
  • 1871 - Württemberg; and
  • 1916 - Bayern (Bavaria).
1867 - 1871
In 1867 the cruciform spike base and squared front visor that were worn on the M1843, M1856, and M1860 Kugelhelm, were changed to a rounded spike base and rounded front visor. Several modifications done in 1867 proved to be unacceptable and resulted in the Model 1871 shown here for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Fußartillerie Regiments. The helmet was still very tall, but now had features such as rounded Kugel (ball top) base, a brass rear spine, curved mounted-troops brass chinscales for the Feld Artillerie (Field Artillery) and flat brass chinscales for the Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery). The Wappen (front plate) for all contingents was now secured to the helmet shell with screw posts. Garde Artillerie wore a Garde pattern eagle Wappen, (front plate) while all other contingents wore their state Wappens in gilt.
The Mannschaften (Other Ranks) Artillerie Kugelhelm reached its final pre-war shape in 1894 with the adoption of the Foot-Troops M1891 chinscale mounts. The Feld Artillerie (Field Artillery) did not adopt the leather chinstrap in 1894 and wore curved Mounted-Troops brass chinscales at all times (including the field), right up to 1915.

Unlike the Infantry, the Artillerie did not adopt the rear vent on the rear spine in 1894. However, original examples exist with the rear spine vent, indicating that at some point (probably 1915), possibly to standardize helmet fittings, the rear vent was adopted.
Unlike the Feld Artillerie (Field Artillery) the Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) did not retain their flat brass chinscales and in 1894 adopted the leather M1891 chinstrap as did all Foot-Troops.

This photograph shows a Gunner in the Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) wearing the leather Foot-Troops M1891 chinstrap which was worn by Fußartillerie from 1894 to the end of the Pickelhaube era.
In 1897, all helmets in use at the time were updated with a Reichs Kokarde. In 1915 leather chinstraps with wider M1891 mounting ends were introduced to replace the gilt chinscales for the Friedens-Uniform (Future Peacetime Uniform) as shown by the extremely wide M1891 chinstrap mounts on this M1915 example. The "hook" on the mount is the same thickness as M1891 chinscales and only a mounted-troops leather strap will fit on this example from 2. Lothringisches Feldartill. - Regt Nr. 34.
Many units (not all) were authorized to wear a helmet Trichter and Haarbusch (parade plume) on parade. Mannschaften (Other Ranks) utilized horse-hair in white, black, or red (for musicians), while officers utilized white or black yak-hair. The Kugel (ball) tops for these helmets for all ranks, are removable to enable a Trichter to be mounted. This photograph shows a Gunner in the Garde Feld Artillerie (Field Artillery) wearing the M1895 Kugelhelm with Trichter and Haarbusch (parade plume).
Preußen (Prussian) Garde Kugelhelm carried a distinctive swept-wing eagle Wappen (front plate). Four basic patterns of Wappen can be found on Garde Pickelhaube: issued, and several levels of Eigentums-helm, (privately purchased). All of the patterns are shown in the "Pickelhaube Characteristics & Rank Guide" available through the index. The example shown here is a Model 1895 Preußen Garde Artillery Eigentums Kugelhelm.
1871/1897 Officer
The Kugelhelm of commissioned officers holding a rank from Lieutenant to Colonel are all identical in features. As expected, officer helmets were of a much higher quality than the issued version and utilized the "squared finger" liners until 1880 when the internal leather sweatband and silk skull-cap came into use. Regardless of the unit, officer Kugelhelm share common features such as: the undersides of visors are lined, Officer Kokarden are carried, an "egg & dart" Perlring was matched with star-pattern spike base brads, and chinscales were worn. This officer example is from Preußen (Hannover) Field Artillery Regt 10.
Mannschaften (Other Ranks) were allowed to purchase Eigentumsstück (Private purchase) Kugelhelm for wear. Eigentumsstück Kugelhelm are a much higher quality than the issued helmets as illustrated by this period photo of a Württemberg Einjährig-Freiwilliger (One-Year Volunteer) wearing an Eigentumsstück Kugelhelm.
Photo used with the kind permission of
Stephen Case-Pall
In accordance with the 1915 regulations Artillerie Kugelhelm would no longer would use brass, silver, or Tombak. All issued Artillerie Pickelhaube would now use grey oxidized steel fittings for all Regiments and the brass or Tombak chinscales were replaced with a M91 leather chinstrap. The Kugel (balltop) was now removable and fit into a corresponding bayonet-style lug on the round spike base. This Model 1915 example is marked to Hessen Feld Artillerie Regt. Nr. 25, Darmstadt in the XVIII. Armee-Korps. As on all Model 1915 helmets, the Kugel (ball) top is removable.
A gunner wears in this photograph wears a M1915 Artillerie Kugelhelm with grey-painted steel fittings and removabe Kugel (balltop).
Uniform Details Charts

The following links will present charts listing the majority of Artillerie Regiments of the Pre-1914 Imperial German Army (except Bavarian units). Each chart will present specific details of the uniform and helmet for each unit. These charts will all open in a new window.
Back to the Imperial German Pickelhaube Index Uniform Details of all Feldartillerie (Field Artillery) Regts Uniform Details of all Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) Regts Feld Artillerie
Plate 1