A German tanker’s winter crash helmet for the Russian Front

By Clement V. Kelly

The usual German panzer crash helmet, (Schutzmütze)—sans beret—was used to construct this winter helmet for a tanker on the Russian front. It was made by sewing it inside of the regular issue Russian Front fur cap (Pelzmütze).

This particular fur cap was made of brown rabbit fur. An army style eagle cap badge in bright aluminum adorns the turned-up brim. The eagle is secured by three prongs and thread sewn across the legs of the eagle just above the wreath in its talons.

The photo of the interior shows the black oilcloth lining of the panzer crash helmet. Most are familiar with how exposed skin will stick to very cold metal. This improvised helmet would serve to keep the tanker’s heads—especially their ears—from adhering to the extremely cold interior metal of their tank.

These helmets are seldom seen, as most, along with much of the German Army, were lost on the bitter cold plains of the Russian Front.

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