Brodie helmet

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British Vickers machine gun crew wearing the Brodie helmet during the Battle of Menin Road Ridge.

The Brodie helmet is a steel combat helmet designed and patented in London in 1915 by John Leopold Brodie. In modified form it became the Helmet, steel, Mark I in Britain and the M1917 Helmet in the U.S. Colloquially, it was called the shrapnel helmet, Tommy helmet, tin hat, and in the United States the doughboy helmet. Worn by Australians during the Second World War and sometimes known as Panic Hat. It was also known as the dishpan hat, tin pan hat, washbasin, battle bowler (when worn by officers), and Kelly helmet. The US version, the M1917, was copied from the British Mk 1 steel helmet of 1916. The German Army called it the Salatschüssel (salad bowl). The term Brodie is often mis-used. It is correctly applied only to the original 1915 Brodie's Steel Helmet, War Office Pattern.

At the outbreak of the First World War, none of the combatants provided steel helmets to their troops. Soldiers of most nations went into battle wearing cloth, felt, or leather headgear that offered no protection from modern weapons. The huge number of lethal head wounds that modern artillery weapons inflicted upon the French Army led them to introduce the first modern steel helmets in the summer of 1915. The first French helmets were bowl-shaped steel "skullcaps" worn under the cloth caps. These rudimentary helmets were soon replaced by the Model 1915 Adrian helmet, designed by August-Louis Adrian. The Germans were already using the Pickelhaube (spiked combat helmet) but this was replaced with the Stahlhelm, which means "steel helmet". The idea of providing better head protection was later adopted by most other combatant nations.[1]

References / notes[edit]

  1. Brodie helmet. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Accessed 23 April, 2017.

Glossary of terms and customs[edit]

This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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