Colonel J's - Pickelhaube and Imperial German Musings
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Trawnik, Randy, Schiffer Military History,  Atglen PA,2005 (English)


If you are an imperial helmet collector, this should be the very first book you should buy. It is well laid out in English, and is a teaching volume. It offers for the collector, text and pictures comparing different types of helmets and the evolution of pickelhauben that is not laid out in any other book. Bowman tried to do it several decades ago, and failed. The author here has succeeded in spades. A humble man, he starts off with a quote "A complete and absolutely correct study of spiked helmets is impossible to do. There will always be corrections to be made in holes to fill. Many thanks for your understanding." So yes, there are mistakes and yes there are holes, but considering it is only the first volume. It is tremendous. Volume 1 of what is to be at least three volumes. This one covers Infantry Regiments, Pioneer Battalions and General Officers. The book is 256 pages long, hardback and contains pictures that you just don't see elsewhere. The chapter breakdown is chapter one: The Story of the German Spiked Helmet. Chapter 2 : Helmets of the Reserve and Landwehr Troops. Chapter 3: Parade Plumes. Chapter 4: General Officers, General Staff, Adjutants, And Aid de Camp. Chapter 5 Imperial German Infantry Regiments. Chapters 6 Imperial German Pioneer Battalions.

Appendix A. is a regulation for officers and medical officers of 1911.
Appendix B. Lists the Infantry Regiments of 1914.
Appendix C. Is the Regulations Related to the Evolution of the Spiked Helmet.
Appendix D. Pioneer battalions.

The book is 6 x 9 in layout, so not the coffee table size of other Schiffer works. Much of the book consists of pictures of helmets, one per page and dominates the central section of the book the organization of the helmet layout and the completeness is wonderful. The printing of the photography leaves a lot to be desired. You really get the impression that the color separation was poor. It is difficult at times to tell the difference between silver and gilt. Knowing the huge problems the author had with quality control, I can understand a frustration here.

There are certain items in this book that are absolutely invaluable. Appendix C. by itself is amazingly valuable. Appendix A is translated into English and considerably shortened from the original, but still provides a wonderful resource of the regulation. The discussion of Parade plumes in Chapter 3 is unique in itself. There is a side-by-side lay down of officer and enlisted helmets-- -- this is extremely useful for less experienced collectors. Lots to find here, and loads to learn whether you are an advanced collector or a beginner, this is the book to buy.


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