German Helmets
June 15, 2004 6:40 PM   Subscribe

The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945.
posted by starscream (31 comments total)
I came across this site while searching for tips on painting camouflage with spray paint. Needless to say, I stopped searching for a while ;)
posted by starscream at 6:41 PM on June 15, 2004

posted by Peter H at 7:07 PM on June 15, 2004

file also under: ugly and poisonous propaganda.
posted by Peter H at 7:10 PM on June 15, 2004

lot of good pics to masturbate to though.
posted by mokujin at 7:15 PM on June 15, 2004

What strange reactions. How is this any better or worse than, say, a page devoted to cowboy boots or Pez dispensers? The site doesn't appear to have a political axe to grind. It's simply an historical reference.
posted by SPrintF at 7:25 PM on June 15, 2004

Thanks SPrintF, that's all I was going for! It was some interesting reading of some small history that I would not have thought of searching for otherwise.

Apologies to those offended about documentation of equipment of war...
posted by starscream at 7:41 PM on June 15, 2004

I agree with SPrintF; this seems like a site devoted to providing lots of relevant historical information to a narrow group of collectors. I don't see any poison or propaganda. I guess that it doesn't stridently condemn the Nazis at every possibly turn, but is that really necessary? I mean, it's pretty well-known that the Nazis were bad, right? And it does refer to the SS with the word "infamous" rather that something like "heroic", which seems to put it pretty well in the mainstream.

Also, I would guess that many of the people visiting this site are relatives of Allied soldiers who returned home with "captured" helmets as souvenirs. I know my grandfather came back with a few things (a copy of "Mein Kampf", a Luftwaffe insignia) that would have been creepy when divorced from their historical context.

Did you see this page?
posted by mr_roboto at 7:41 PM on June 15, 2004

I must say, that is the best website about german helmets I've ever seen. Thanks for the link.
posted by lazy-ville at 7:45 PM on June 15, 2004

Seriously. From the disclaimer linked right at the top right of the page:

"This website (to include its author and contributors) does not support the politics, motives, or actions of World War II Nazi Germany, the government of the Third Reich or its leaders and political supporters."

This is the sort of site that, if I were writing a novel and wanted a crazy little bit of fake expertise to build into a character, I would totally love to rely on.

And the above responses would probably provide good fodder for developing said character. Jesus on a stick, people.

On preview, yeah.
posted by cortex at 7:47 PM on June 15, 2004

Great link, don't mind those who post the first simple thought that pops into their minds.
posted by Mick at 7:55 PM on June 15, 2004

My favorite part was all the helmets.
posted by dhoyt at 8:19 PM on June 15, 2004

John 3:16
posted by eastlakestandard at 8:26 PM on June 15, 2004

strangley enough, I've seen this site before. A friend is working on a play which involves Nazis. We used this site as reference to make paper-mache costume helmets.....
posted by anastasiav at 9:31 PM on June 15, 2004

Is the play called "Springtime for Hitler"?
posted by naxosaxur at 9:45 PM on June 15, 2004

naxosaxur: Anne Frank II: Payback
posted by phong3d at 10:52 PM on June 15, 2004

you are all missing the point.
posted by Peter H at 10:55 PM on June 15, 2004

No, the helmets are missing the point. They had points in WW1 and lost them later.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2004

I love pretty shit as much as the next guy. And, in fact up until a few years ago I would have a half/half opinion about nazi shit. "Sure they were demons and these outfits inspired fear of rape and death for generations of europeans .... (but, looking solely at aesthetics) BUT DAMN ARE THEY SHARP LOOKIN!"

I've grown up.

If someone wore a helmet to rape and kill your family would it matter how cool it looked? I know I'm opening myself up for a couple jokes here, and I welcome them. (I have a good sense of humor)

But I do offer that as an opinion to people, snipes aside. I'm not trying to bait anyone. Propaganda is a beautiful thing. But these helmets just say death rape and hatred to me, no matter how cute and decorated with decals.

[/soapbox] ... learn though. It's not all Empire Strikes Back. Shit.
posted by Peter H at 11:04 PM on June 15, 2004

I have to apologize for that post, but it just pisses me off to high f-kng heaven when people glamourize the costumes of Hitler's shit.

It isn't intended to, but it confirms how empty a world we can live in. It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you wear it well.

Goodnight. xo, Peter.
posted by Peter H at 11:11 PM on June 15, 2004

Peter: Where are you getting this "BUT DAMN ARE THEY SHARP LOOKIN!!" thing from? No one here has written anything like that. The site doesn't say anything like that. Where the hell do you see "glamour"? Did you take the words "This site is dedicated to the victims of all wars, both civilian and military, as remembrance of the tragedy of war. " as a glamorization of war, or of the Nazis? The site is a resource for collectors, researchers, and people interested in military history. It's also very well executed.

Personally, I think you're projecting.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:30 PM on June 15, 2004

Oh, one thing. I'm trying to get to bed but this lingers in my head.

There is no website disclaimer possible to keep the obvious fact from being seen that whoever made this website love nazis. It would take hours and months to compile all this info.


wife (from above the steps) "honey, come to bed"
husband (in basement, on computer) "I will honey, just one minute, I have another jew-hating helmet to photoshop!"
wife: "okay, ha! ... you and your jew-hating helmets!"

(wife goes to bed)

husband: (gazing lovingly at photoshop scan of helmet) "ah ... but they hated faggots too, and niggers! .... ah ... sweet hitler, you were so pretty in your hating. so equal."

(end scene)

july 15, 2004 - a dumb young metafilter user finds a website and decides to post a link. Later, a self-hating man in his basement reads his website referrals. Not only are there thousands of hits from one normal website but a flurry of other hits elsewhere, from all over the world... His duty to the past continues.

Thanks starscream. You're awesome. Good night.

(ha, on preview I just noticed mr roboto - projecting? hold on a sec, butterfly)
posted by Peter H at 11:32 PM on June 15, 2004

mr roboto

Hey man - I'd love to talk this out but i have to take the defense in saying i truthfully have work tomorrow and have to cut this short. but i'll gladly jump in tomorrow if you want.

To your one point:

The site is a resource for collectors, researchers, and people interested in military history. It's also very well executed.

Again, what responsibility to the past do you, personally consider valuable? There is no worse definition of evil other than nazis. They are the stereotype. They are sterile, sanitized, costumed evil. That's it, that's all. We all know it. Shit. Any resource (however clouded in disclaimers) that aims to objectively display their bullshit is not operating on a fair deck; the largest of majority of people who take value in a site like this are neo-nazis. Is that silly to consider?

The only way to properly display these things would be to show photos along with commentary. I'm sorry, but they've become icons. In the same way it's impossible to not show any murder weapon or murderers outfit without fucking honesty.

If there was a website on the shroud of the zodiac killer, or hood and rifle of a klansmen without criticism, would you not see it as a stacked deck? It amazes me how much nazi shit is forgiven since it's attractive.

Personally, I think you're projecting.

Ha. yeah, you're right.

(new screenplay)

Peter, alone in bed: I wish I wish ....nazi nazi nazi. (sighs) so pretty. Like a daffodil. I only wish I could admit it to myself. DAMMIT WHY CAN'T I ADMIT TO METAFILTER MY TRUE FEELINGS


Who the fuck accuses people of projection anymore? isn't that pop-psyche forum discourse, circa may 1997? I offered the opinion that you've taken appearances for sake of appearances. You said "nuh uh"

now seriously, good night. But I'll be happy to continue later, skater.

xo, Peter
posted by Peter H at 11:50 PM on June 15, 2004

Peter, you are overreacting (lots of that round here these days). There are tonnes of collectors and history buffs of WWII. The Germans, the Allies, the Japanese, the Russians....people collect uniforms and pieces from all armies. This is a collector who runs a site about something of interest.

You know who brought back a lot of this stuff that collectors now have? The soldiers who were over there fighting the nazis. And a lot of people have held onto these items as heirlooms, as reminders of the lives their parents and grandparents lived. I don't think these people need a history lesson about what happened. I think a reference site for them to use is fine. The guy offers appraisals for owners.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:05 AM on June 16, 2004

They're just helmets, man. You're the only person who's suggested any fetishization. And now, frankly, you seem obsessed with the idea.

It amazes me how much nazi shit is forgiven since it's attractive.

What?!? Where the hell do you see any "nazi shit" being forgiven? Nazi apologists, Holocaust deniers, etc. typically have things other than aesthetics in mind. No one here has suggested that any nazi shit be forgiven. I think we can all agree not to forgive the nazi shit, no matter how "pretty" (again, where are you getting this from?) we might find their helmets.

Have you seen Das Boot? I'd recommend avoiding it; you might go completely unhinged.

The "projection" thing was mostly tongue-in-cheek. Sorry.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:37 AM on June 16, 2004

That site must have changed before I got to have a look at it, it's just about WWII German helmets now.
posted by chrid at 1:17 AM on June 16, 2004

frankly I am disappointed, the promise of german helmets, and umm a big let down to find out they meant the headgear.
posted by johnnyboy at 1:31 AM on June 16, 2004

I was expecting German blokes called Helmut. A hugel disappointment, obviously, but interesting all the same.
posted by vbfg at 4:26 AM on June 16, 2004

(wakes up, remembers overblown posts immediately, oops)

Yeah, excuse me .... Was over-reacting, and poorly too!
mr roboto - apologies for that. Heh, no real idea where that came from. Very sincerely.

Salmonberry - good point.

I suppose what I was trying to say was, while these things are history to some, they are trophies to others, or something. I know they're just helmets, dunno. Everything in this world becomes popular culture and it can be upsetting at points. I found it frustrating that everyone thought a page like this is cool, whereas if this was some case full of helmets in some guys living room it'd be impossible to not get a mild chill up your back ... And my point about the imagery of nazi costumes as a large continuing influence and inspiration for hate groups stands, though I didn't explain myself too well on that in previous posts. There is a responsibility to people when they choose to keep this stuff alive in public thought. Am I wrong to think that?

But yeah, extremely bad form on my part! Apologies.
posted by Peter H at 6:14 AM on June 16, 2004

Hell, Peter, there is a responsibility of good people to keep even the nasty, awful memories of the past alive and well in the public view -- remember that bit about those who forget history, doomed to repetition, all that good stuff?

Which has fucking nothing to do with this site. You see objective, engineering/aesthetic commentary on a variety of german helmets from WWII, and you filter it down to some sort of goddam Nazi lovefest. Have ever seen a real Nazi hate site? You were so off target it's scary.

This site differs from a site carefully cataloging Allied helmets in WWII by one factor -- the country in question. Germans were not all Nazis -- German armed forces were not all Nazis. By and large, the folks involved were just a bunch of Germans, and it was goddam war, and THEY HAD HELMETS.
posted by cortex at 6:53 AM on June 16, 2004

I just misread the above comment as beginning "Heil, Peter, there is a responsibility..."

I blame you all.
posted by Vidiot at 7:56 AM on June 16, 2004

cortex - I all ready acknowledged i was off my cuff.

I also say (pleasantly as possible, no longer spouting like a dickhead) that anyone who chooses to make a website like this can't avoid knowing that they're giving some currency to propaganda, fueling some kid's romantic fodder for a time in germany's past that I don't feel like forgiving. Be it for personal reasons or not.

But it's a well-done site, both well-written, researched and presented.

I think anyone saying I'm acting pissy based on the concept and not the actual website itself, you're right. Any angry sentiments on my part have nothing to do with the helmets, or the website about the helmets. It's just a time of year that german stuff like this hits me personally and I lashed out. Again, sorry for that.
posted by Peter H at 8:29 AM on June 16, 2004

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