- Note: this article is about the German World War I and World War II army helmet. For the German paramilitary organization after World War I, see: Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten and for the 1951 war film See: The Steel Helmet.
Stahlhelm (plural Stahlhelme) is German for "steel helm\steel helmet". The Imperial German Army began to replace the traditional boiled leather Pickelhaube (spiked combat helmet) with the Stahlhelm during World War I in 1916. The term Stahlhelm refers both to a generic steel helmet, and more specifically to the distinctive (and iconic) German design.
The Stahlhelm, with its distinctive "coal scuttle" shape, was instantly recognizable and became a common element of military propaganda on both sides, just like the Pickelhaube before it. Its name was also used by the Stahlhelm, a paramilitary nationalist organization established at the end of 1918.
After the war, the German Bundeswehr continued to call their standard helmet Stahlhelm, but the design was based on the American M1 helmet. The Bundesgrenzschutz, however, continued to use the original German design, until either troop switched to the new M92 Aramid helmet.
Many were still in uses with both halves in Germany until the mid-1950s. W. Germany made a updated version with American help and E. Germany partly copied the Soviet helmet of the time.
- Sources: https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/wwii-equipment-of-the-bundesgrenzschutz/, https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/wwii-equipment-of-the-bundesgrenzschutz/, https://nazi.wikia.com/wiki/Stahlhelm_(helmet), http://www.german-helmets.com/, https://1991-new-world-order.wikia.com/wiki/Stahlhelm_(helmet), http://nazi.wikia.com/wiki/Stahlhelm_(helmet)], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stahlhelm and https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FclpM5Zq9osC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=stahlhelm&source=bl&ots=dsIV9nEcqj&sig=WSvFVcdw7NWanx52cbzbML3LUkc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj53_ivx_rUAhWWF8AKHUmGAuwQ6AEIaDAN#v=onepage&q=stahlhelm&f=false