- The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Heer (Army):  Austrian Guard Helmets (Unattributed)

Austrian Guard Helmets

An unusual helmet that has not been fully attributed to any single unit or purpose is one that exhibits both the standard German Armed Forces eagle insignia (Wehrmachtsadler) in combination with an Austro-Hungarian traditional shield.  This decal combination is found on Austrian pattern World War I helmets which are painted the usual smooth finished early period field-gray color common to transitional model helmets.  Preliminary research has indicated several possibilities for this helmet although all remain speculative until additional information can be discovered.  Initial thoughts have held that the helmet was utilized by the Vienna Guard Battalion for non-ceremonial duties at the time of (or just following) the Anschluss (1938).  However, Gardebataillon helmets used for ceremonial purposes generally bore a large metal Austrian eagle attached to the front of the helmet rather than a decal insignia on the right side.  In some cases, helmets with metal eagles also bore the twin decal insignia of the German Army as confirmed by period photographs. 

Additional research indicates that the Austrian shield decal is one that is better associated with the traditional insignia of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of World War I.  This decal image has been positively identified as one which is identical to the traditional Imperial eagle found on some Austrian military flags used between 1868 and 1918.  Further confirmation of the continued use of the Imperial Austro-Hungarian eagle (on behalf of the Austrian state) following World War I has been established on a particular Third Reich era flag (Brian L. Davis (1975), "Flags and Standards of the Third Reich 1933-1945", pp. 94 and 115-117).  This flag was held by "Hoch- und Deutschmeister Regiment Nr.4", a German regiment formed after the 1938 Anschluss.  This particular unit was entrusted with the responsibility of carrying on the heritage of the Austrian regiment of the same name within the Wehrmacht.  Further information is needed to fully identify this unique, one-of-a-kind helmet.  Inquires are currently being made at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna.

Austrian Guard Variant (Left Side)

Austrian Guard Variant (Right Side)


Each section of is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides historical facts pertaining to Austrian Guard Helmets.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

     Primary Topics

Helmet Insignia

Helmet Photos

    Related Topics

Heer Main

Transitional Model Helmets

Austrian Transitional Helmets

Austrian Reissued Helmets

M1918 Ear Cut-Out Helmets

Reissued World War I Helmets




Period Photographs

Rare and Unusual Main



This unknown decal features an Austro-Hungarian eagle common to flags and insignia used by the Austrian Military prior to 1938.  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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