A Letter Leads to Discovery of 100-Year-Old Helmets

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World War 1 was a devastating time for a lot of people all over the world. The war took place between 1914 and 1918 with more than 70 million troops involved. Over 16 million people perished in the wars making it one of the deadliest of all time.

Fighting took place all over Europe and as a result, there are near constant discoveries of war relics from the time period all over the place. And the crazy thing is, these are still being discovered today, even around 100 or more years after the war.

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One such discovery was an amazing find of a giant haul of World War 1 helmets that were found in 2011 in France. The helmets, though found in France, belonged to German soldiers. The way the haul was found was also fairly interesting as well. The haul was first discovered after reading a letter written by a French soldier. The letter contained conversation about a dump that was full of old equipment from prisoners. The dump had actually been drowned for decades, which was actually good for the helmets. This meant that the helmets weren’t exposed to the air and thus, were in better condition. And once the digger saw how solid their condition was, he did something that would cause a lot of people to be angry.

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While most people who find old war relics in such good condition often donate them to museums, the digger who found these helmets has plans to sell them as opposed to donating them. However, while you may not agree with the digger, it is his right to sell them or donate them. Now, enough about him, let’s get to the haul. The helmets that were found were the Stahlhelm M1916, which was introduced into battle in 1916. The helmets were built very well and offered great protection for soldiers at the time. The helmet was a big step up from what was worn before and could deflect a bullet to the head with ease, leaving nothing but a dent. However, the helmet wasn’t without its flaws. First of all, the sides were ventilated to allow more air, but in the winter, this would leave the soldiers ears extremely cold. And also, the flared skirt on the side of the helmet made it tough for soldiers to hear. And the helmet was not only effective for the soldiers but also effective for the war as a whole. A lot of progress was made in 1916 as fewer men were killed due to its increase in protection and effectiveness. There were subsequent updates to the helmet the following two years, but it was mainly the M1916’s found in the haul. Whether you agree with the diggers choice to sell them or not, there is no doubting that this was a huge and amazing find. Check out the pictures to see the haul and get an up-close look at these amazing pieces of history.

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