The history of the pickelhaube in the Royal Saxon Army from 1867 - 1918
Unlike for Prussia or Bavaria, I unfortunately do not have access to the Saxon military ordinance sheets. For this reason, I could only trace the changes of the helmets on the basis of Saxon clothing regulations. So I can't provide the exact introduction date of the changes, but I can provide a pretty good overview of how the pickelhaube changed in the Saxon military from 1867 to 1918.
You will find a Link to the most mentioned Clothothing Regulations at my Blog Entry "Helpful books for Pickelhaube collectors". All of these regulations can be downloaded frome the libraries.
The Kingdom of Saxony introduced the Pickelhaube for enlisted men and officers of the infantry, foot artillery and pioneers in 1867. This helmet was similar to the Prussian model M/67 and just like the latter it had no rear spine. According to the Vorschriften über die Bekleidung und Offiziers-Pferde-Equipage der Königlich Sächsischen Armee of that year, the helmet had the following dimensions:
The units were converted to centimeters using the conversion tables from the Royal Saxon Law and Ordinance Sheet of 1869 (pages 150-152): 1' = 28.319 cm / 1'' = 2.3599 cm / 1''' = 1.9666 cm.
- The black lacquered helmet was estimated between 23 cm and 26 cm high, the fittings were the color of the uniform buttons.
- The helmet shell (without visors) had an estimated height of 11 cm - 13.5 cm. With attached visors, the leather hood was 16.5 cm - 18.9 cm (7 - 8 inches) high.
- The round front visor was fitted with a narrow metal trim at the lower edge, which was attached to the helmet at each side with a half-round head pin. In the center, the visor was 6.8 cm - 7.1 cm (2 ⅞ - 3 inches) wide.
- The rear visor had only slightly rounded corners and was otherwise also 6.8 cm - 7.1 cm (2 ⅞ - 3 inches) wide at the center.
- The screw-on spike had a height of 5.9 cm (2.5 inches) and the spikebase was similar in height to Prussia (around 2.5 cm). So overall the spike was around 8.4 cm high. The neck of the spikebase had 2 vent holes and was decorated with a teardrop-shaped pearl ring. For artillery, a ball was screwed on instead of the spike.
- On the front, an eight-pointed, nickel-silver star of 10.5 cm in size was attached as decoration (for officers, the star was 12.0 cm in size). On this was centered an oval Saxon emblem made of brass, surrounded by a laurel wreath and crowned with the Saxon royal crown. In silver fittings it was a brass star with a new silver emblem on it.
- The chinscales in the color of the fittings were attached to the helmet with a steel screw and a threaded bush.
- Under the left chinscale, Saxon enlisted men and officers wore a circular, fluted metal cockade that was only 2 inches (4.7 cm) in diameter. For enlisted men it was white with a green painted ring, for officers it was silver with a recessed green enameled ring.
- The weight of the Saxon helmets M1867 was estimated at 450 g - 600 g.
As in Prussia, the rear spine was introduced in 1871 or 1872 in Saxony to stiffen the helmet. Otherwise, however, the helmet was hardly changed. The measurements were laid down in the Vorschriften über die Bekleidung und Offiziers-Pferde-Equipage für das XII. Königlich Sächsischen Armee-Corps of July 1, 1872, however, the measurements were now given directly in centimeters and were rounded accordingly:
- The height of the helmet remained unchanged; with the visors attached straight, the leather hood was 16.5 cm - 19.0 cm high.
- The helmet visors were also hardly changed. Adapted to the metric system, they were to be 6.5 cm - 7.0 cm wide.
- The screwed-on spike had a height of smooth 6.0 cm, with spikebase thus about 8.5 cm.
- The eight-pointed star with the Saxon emblem, the chinscales or the cockades remained unchanged. As a result, the weight of the M/71 helmet was almost identical to that of the M/67.
- On the back now ran, just like the Prussian helmet M/71, a convex rear spine in fitting color.
To further facilitate the helmet, the new infantry equipment M/87 was also introduced in Saxony in 1887 for the enlisted men of the Saxon infantry. This was quite identical to the Prussian specifications, as the Bekleidungs-Ordnung (Bkl. O.) - Zweiter Theil - Vorschriften für die Beschaffenheit und Unterscheidungszeichen der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung der Mannschaften of October 20, 1893 shows in the following list. Although the regulation is from 1893, the helmets M/87 and M/91 were almost identical. The M/91 had only a modified front visor and a new chinstrap attachment system:
- The black painted helmet was now estimated between 21 cm and 22 cm high. The helmet shell (without visors) had a height of 9.5 cm.
- The round front visor resembled the Prussian M/87 and had a pressed leather bulge at the lower edge instead of the metal visor trim. In the center, the visor was an estimated 5.0 cm wide.
- The rear visor with the only slightly rounded corners was also reduced in width to 5.0 cm.
- The screwed-on spike had a height of 6.3 cm. The spikebase was only 2.2 cm high and now had 5 ventilation holes. Just like the Prussian model, the neck of the spikebase was decorated with a curved ring bead instead of the previously used pearl ring. The disc of the spikebase was 8.0 cm in diameter, while the neck was 3.2 cm in diameter. Overall, the spike was still 8.5 cm high, with ball attachment of the artillery, which was only 4.9 cm high, only 7.1 cm. Inside the helmet, a 10.0 cm metal reinforcing disk was also prescribed under the plate fitting, which was attached with the 4 half-round head pins of the same.
- The eight-pointed star with the Saxon emblem was unchanged at 10.5 cm (for officers 12.0 cm, for generals 13.5 cm).
- The convex rear spine attached at the back was 1.2 cm wide.
- Instead of the chinscales, the chinstrap of the Prussian M/87 was introduced together with the hook attachment system. The chinscale was worn only for parades or service in the garrison.
- On the left side, Saxon enlisted men and officers continued to wear the 4.7 cm cockade.
- The weight of the Saxon helmet M1887 was between 440 g - 550 g.
In this year, the hook fastening of the chinstrap was replaced by the new chinstrap fastening system M/91 due to lack of practicability. In addition, the front visor with a metal visor trim was also reintroduced, as can be taken from the Bekleidungs-Ordnung (Bkl. O.) - Zweiter Theil - Vorschriften für die Beschaffenheit und Unterscheidungszeichen der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung der Mannschaften of October 20, 1893. The helmet corresponded to the helmet M/87 with the following 2 exceptions:
- Instead of the visor with the pressed leather bead, an about 5.0 cm wide visor with a 0.7 cm wide metal visor trim around the lower edge was introduced. For officers, the visor trim was only 0.6 cm wide.
- The chinstrap fastening with a hook, which was intended to make it easier to put on and take off the chinstrap, was abolished again due to lack of practicality, as the straps were too often lost. Instead, the M/91 fastening system with the button was introduced, which was used unchanged until the abolition of the pickelhaube. As before, the chinscales were only worn for parades or service in the garrison.
Unfortunately, I could not find out anything about a new clothing regulation Bekleidungsvorschrift für die Offiziere, Sanitätsoffiziere und Beamten der königlich sächsischen Armee from 1894. Actually, no changes of the officers' helmets between 1871 and 1895 are known, but the measurements from the just mentioned clothing regulation deviate significantly from the measurements of 1872 and they also do not quite correspond to the measurements of the helmet M/95:
- The black lacquered officer's helmet was estimated between 22.5 cm and 25 cm high. The helmet shell without visors was 9.5 cm - 10.0 cm high.
- The front visor had strongly rounded corners (generals: angular) and was 4.0 cm wide in the middle. A 0.6 cm wide metal visor trim ran along the lower edge.
- The rear visor with slightly rounded corners was 4.5 cm wide.
- Unchanged, a metal convex rear spine ran along the back of the helmet.
- The smooth screw-on spike and spikebase together were 9.7 cm - 10.2 cm high (with ball: 6.2 cm - 6.7 cm). Generals wore a fluted spike. The spikebase was 8.0 cm in diameter, 2.2 cm high, and the neck with the perl ring for officers had only 2 vent holes.
- The eight-pointed star with the Saxon emblem on the front was 12.0 cm, and 13.5 cm for generals.
- The officers kept the chinscales with the splitt pin rosettes. The cockade still had a diameter of only 4.7 cm.
- The weight of the helmet was estimated at 400 g - 550 g.
As in Bavaria, the specifications of the Saxon helmet M/95 were pretty much the same as the Prussian model M/95. According to the Bekleidungs-Ordnung (Bkl. O.) - Zweiter Theil - Vorschriften für die Beschaffenheit und Unterscheidungszeichen der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung der Mannschaften of 17 June 1904, the helmet had the following dimensions:
- The black painted helmet was between 21.0 cm - 21.3 cm high. The helmet shell without visors was 9.5 cm - 10.5 cm high. „Jäger zu Pferd“ and staff ordnance kept helmets with stronger leather.
- The rounded front visor was 4.1 cm wide. „Jäger zu Pferd“ and staff ordnance wore a 4,7 cm wide squared front visor. (Officers: 4.0 cm; Generals: squared front visor with 3.8 cm width). A 0.7 cm wide metal fascia rail ran along the lower edge (officers: 0.6 cm).
- The rear visor with slightly rounded corners was 4.5 cm wide, for „Jäger zu Pferd“ and staff ordnance the rear visor was 5.1 cm wide (Officers: 4.3 cm).
- The fittings were made of aluminum bronze or nickel silver. The star was made of tombac or nickel silver.
- The smooth screw-on spike and the spikebase were together 8.7 cm high, with ball: 8.0 cm (officers: 9.5 cm, with ball: 7.0 cm; generals: fluted spike). The spikebase was 7.6 cm in diameter and 2.5 cm high. Inside the helmet, under the spikebase, a black metal disk 9.5 cm in diameter was prescribed to reinforce the helmet. For „Jäger zu Pferd“ and staff ordnance, the spike with spikebase was: 11.3 cm high.
- The eight-pointed star with the Saxon emblem on the front now measured 12.0 cm, and 12.7 cm for „Jäger zu Pferd“ and staff ordnance (officers: 12.0 cm; generals: 13.5 cm).
- Like its Prussian counterpart, the curved metal rear spine of the enlisted men's helmets was fitted with a ventilation slider in the upper third. Field artillery wore a rear spine without a venting device.
- The chinstrap from the M/91 was adopted unchanged (officers retained the chinscales), but a small "V"-shaped cutout was now prescribed at the hole of the still 4.7 cm cockade, which fitted over the small arrow of the M91 button. The diameter of the officer's cockade was now 5.5 cm. However, Saxon cockades in Prussian shape with the serrated edge were sometimes used.
- The weight of the helmet was 360 g - 575 g.