This is a consignment item. It is a pre war enlisted man’s Jäger-Regiment zu Pferde helmet. Literally translated, Jäger-zu-Pferde means “Hunter on Horse (back).” Jäger-Regiments zu Pferde were an early 20th Century creation, although Kavallerie units were already outmoded. The last major cavalry charge came during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, some thirty years before the first Jäger zu Pferde-Regiment was established. Changes in military tactics, along with the advent of automatic rifles and machine guns, rendered cavalry charges obsolete, although all WW I’s participants were slow to acknowledge the change. Mounted troops’ actions in early WW I usually were limited to scouting missions. [Manfred von Richthofen began the war as a Ulanen-Regiment officer and quickly transferred to the Imperial German Air Service to see more action]. The first Jäger-Regiments zu Pferde (JzP) were raised in 1905 and the last in 1913 (seven in that year)! Before 1914’s end, virtually all participating cavalry regiments had turned in their horses (which were put to use transporting artillery pieces). They fought as dismounted troops, joining their infantry “brothers” in the trenches.
The JzP sported metal helmets with long back visors (often referred to as “lobstertails”), similar to those worn by Küraßier-Regiments. [The lengthy visors were relics from the Küraßiers heavy-armor days, meant to protect their wearers’ necks from sword slashes during combat. By the time the JzP arrived on the scene, their use was primarily decorative]. The JzP’s helmet color also differed from that of the Küraßier-Regiments. The Küraßiers helmets were either gold or silver-toned, while those of the JzP troops were gunmetal gray.
Today’s helmet is a fine prewar example dating from 1913. It exhibits a fine exterior without any real damage, except approximately three small dimple-like depressions. All of the helmet’s furniture (the wappen, the cruciform, the cruciform’s enlisted men’s bolts, the spike, the front and rear visors’ bolts, and the front and back visors’ trim) is silver. Its gold-toned chin scales are curved (correctly so for cavalry helmets). The oversized Küraßier-style state and Reich’s kokarden are both present.
The helmet’s interior sports a typical black leather liner. All of its tongues are intact and connected by a leather thong/string. The rest of its original hardware is also present. The date, 1913, appears in the area where the spike is attached, as does its size, 56 (above average), and the manufacturer’s name, “Maschke.” The information “7. JzP 1913” appears on the rear visor. This indicates it is a depot-issued helmet for a trooper from Jäger-Regiment zu Pferde Nr 7. It was the first of the seven regiments raised during 1913. It was garrisoned at Trier in Western Germany and attached to the VIII. Armeekorps.
[One final interesting point: Of the thirteen Jäger-Regiments zu Pferde, eleven used gold-toned chin straps, while only two (the 5th and 6th Regiments) sported black chin scales].
This is a fine example of a depot-issued Jäger-Regiment zu Pferde helmet.