Wednesday, April 10, 2013

German stormtrooper officer portrait, c. 1918.

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It looks like a Thousand yard stare, it's like there's nothing there. The rank insignia indicates that he is Austrian, not German, he's a Lance-Corporal. In case you're wondering, those lugs on the side of his 'Stahlhelm' helmet were combination air vents and mounting lugs for an extra armor plate for nervous soldiers. Few solders used these 'Stirnpanzer' plates and lugs were deleted from later helmets. Those plates were issued for specialized roles, not to nervous troops. Snipers, machine gun crews, raiding parties, people that might have to expose the top of their head more often.

The German WW1 Stahlhelm is a masterpiece of engineering. Actually, the shape provided optimal bullet protection while maintaining great usability (a decorated Doctor and a university engineer designed it, so it had to be good). It was the best helmet around the trenches in WW1,  it's distinct design influenced modern helmets, for example the helmet of today's German Bundeswehr. Hope this answers your questions.

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