Essay on European Helmets Through History Throughout History

Essay on European Helmets Through History Throughout History

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Sean Douglas
1/13/15
European Helmets Through History


Throughout history, people have needed protection for their head. As time went on, as what a helmet had to be able to protect from changed, so did the design and material. This has created many varied designs, from bronze, to iron, to steel, protecting against blades, bullets, and bombs. In this paper you are currently reading, I’ll go over various designs of helmets in Europe from the Bronze Age to the 20th Century.



The Viksø helmets, from Viksø, Denmark.
The Bronze Age yielded many odd helmets. Several designs sported horns, or various other decorations. The Viksø helmets are such an example of odd Bronze Age era helmets. These are mostly ceremonial, rather than practical, as having horns on ones’ helmet could be fatal in combat, as they could be used as a weapon against the wearer. More practical helmets were in use for actual combat. Many were made of leather or wood, some out of bronze. Later in the Bronze age, more covering helmets of Bronze began to be used, such as the Greek Corinthian Helmet.



Sutton Hoo Helmet, England
The Iron Age had several new designs in helmets as well. This, as the name suggests, is when Iron began to be used in helmets and weaponry. In addition to the superior material, Iron Age helmets were generally designed in a more protective manner than earlier helmets. The Roman Galea is a testament to this. It has the iron material, a neck-guard, and cheek guards, unlike many Bronze Age helmets that sported only a guard for the top of the head. Many helmets also sported nose and faceguards. Viking helmets generally have a guard around the eyes and over the nose. Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo helmets had an entire face-guard, in addition to cheek guards....


... middle of paper ...


...I, a helmet that offered much more protection than the older designs. The Adrian helmet was updated once along the way as well. The Stahlhelm went under several modifications, losing weight and size, losing the two bolts on the front and changing color a few times. The Soviets used several different helmets over the course of WWII. Firstly the M-36, then the SSh-39, followed by the SSh-40.



M56 Stahlhelm.
Post-World War II, helmet design changed quite a bit. West Germany removed the Stahlhelm from use in favor of the American M1. East Germany used an updated model of the Stahlhelm, that was far drastically changed. The Soviets put the SSh-68 into use, which was also used by many of the Warsaw Pact states. In the 80’s, most of the Western powers replaced their steel helmets with ones made from Kevlar or Ballistic Nylon.

That about does it for helmets, I suppose.

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