Today the sun helmets and other tropical headgear utilized by the Ottoman Empire before and during World War I remains somewhat of a mystery. One factor that is so few pieces have survived and the photographic evidence suggests that a variety of patterns were used.
Our colleague and friend Dr. Chris Flaherty chronicled the various patterns for these, but now a new photo and some insight from the Imperial War Museum may shed a bit more light on the Ottoman “Sun Helmet.” Continue reading →
Less well-known than the Australian slouch hat, the New Zealand campaign hat – known as the “Lemon Squeezer” – has since World War I been closely linked to the Kiwi soldier. The iconic hat was introduced by William George Malone, an officer in the New Zealand Military Forces, and issued to soldiers serving under his command in the 4th Battalion of the Wellington (Taranaki) Rifle Volunteers. The hat was adopted by Malone’s unit as it was meant to mirror the outline of Mount Taranaki on New Zealand’s north island.
The hat, with its tall peak allowed “run off” in the rain, proved popular with the Wellington Regiment. It was then adopted by the rest of the New Zealand Infantry Division on January 1, 1916 – by which time it had already seen its baptism of fire half way around the world. Continue reading →
Chris Flaherty, lives in London, and has a long-term interest in militaria collecting, curation, preservation and research. He has written extensively on World War I Ottoman Turkish military history for the UK Armourer magazine and Soldier of the Queen (journal).
To discuss the Turkish Kabalak, we must firstly dispel a few myths; some 40 years ago a book on German steel helmets accidentally transposed the Ottoman Turkish contracted M18 helmet, with a visorless version (which made its first appearance after World War I in the hands of the German Freikorps units), both of which had been made by Eisenhüttenwerk Thale.1Continue reading →