Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt
Infantry Pickelhaube M1849

Bavarian Army Museum, Ingolstadt 

  Hessen-Darmstadt Infantry Officers Pickelhaube M1849

The Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt introduced a Pickelhaube for their infantry in 1849 to replace the previous shako.  Like the Prussian M1842 Pickelhaube, it had a cruciform base and yellow metal fittings, the main difference being its rounded peak and fluted spike.

The front plate was the crowned Hessian Lion rampant with a sword in its right hand, two tails and oak and laurel wreaths on the left and right sides. This same design was worn by all four of the Grand Duchy's infantry regiments (regimental scrolls and suchlike were added from 1871 onwards).

The Hessian white-red cockade was worn under the right side chin-scale boss. A black horsehair plume was worn on parade for all arms, except for generals who wore red/white horsehair plume. Another curiosity is that only artillery officers had a pearl ring and stars on their cruciform base.

This example of an officer's helmet is displayed at the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt. It weighs 620g and is 322mm high.

During the Austro-Prussian War, Hessen-Darmstadt supported Austria. Prince Alexander of Hessen commanded the Federal VIII Army Corps. The Hessian soldiers went to war without their Pickelhauben and were defeated by the Prussian army with heavy casualties at the Battle of Fronhofen.



Illustration by Richard Knötel from 'Uniformkunde'