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

    Reichswehr: German Army 1921-1935

Photo:  Prussian Reichswehr soldiers stand guard at a military base in Germany.  Their helmets bear the black and white shield of Prussia.

On 1 January 1921 the Weimar Republic formed what became known as the Reichswehr and Reichsmarine respectively.  The Reichswehr would continue to exist until 1935 when Adolf Hitler formed the Wehrmacht, which then incorporated the fledgling German Air Force. During the early years of the Reichwehr, equipment that had been left over from World War I continued to be used.  Bearing in mind the need to maintain an adequate military, in the mid and late 1920ís the German government authorized the remanufacture of a number of steel helmets utilizing the older World War I patterns.  These included variations that resembled the Model 1918 Steel Helmet (M1918) and the unique M1918 "ear cut-out," the latter of which was popular with cavalry troops as well as specialized infantry units.  These early transitional helmets were eventually phased out in favor of the newer Model 1935 Steel Helmet (M1935) introduced in large numbers in 1937.

During the 1920's and 1930's Reichswehr era troops serving in both the Reichsheer and Reichsmarine were issued Model 1916 (M1916), Model 1917 (M1917), and M1918 pattern helmets.  These included a small number of World War I M1918 "ear cut-outs" as wells as remanufactured M1918 helmets in slightly larger sizes.  The liner systems used in these helmets continued to be patterned after the three-pad type introduced with the M1917 model helmet.  In an effort to standardize the overall look of the Reichswehr, most of the helmets were repainted using newer colors.  These colors were lighter in shade than those used during World War I and were void of their former camouflaged patterns. 

Helmets worn by Reichswehr members also bore hand painted shields on the sides to denote the German state to which the unit was garrisoned.  In 1924 the Reichsmarine adopted a similar design that depicted a shield with crossed anchors.  Many of the helmets formerly used by the Reichswehr were repainted in 1940 when shortages in military equipment necessitated that older models be upgraded and reissued to the Wehrmacht.



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 steel helmets worn by the Reichswehr and Reichsmarine from 1921-1935.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

Main Tracks

Helmet Insignia

Wehrmacht Helmets Worn After 1935




The M1918 Ear Cut-Out.  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

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