Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
I'd argue that if you are making shrapnel shells, and you know that your enemy is using them against you (or will do) then it isn't a huge leap of the imagination to see that your soldiers' pates will be sadly exposed. After all, the pickelhaube was designed to protect against threats to the bonce.
Back to the old oxymoron 'military intelligence'.
(Did you know that the British helmets were that shape because that's all the British pressing dies could make? The more complex German helmets reflected more sophisticated metal pressing industries?)
The need for helmets also arose from trench warfare and the high number of head wounds incurred through peering over the parapet (if a man is standing in the open he is more likely to be shot in his torso as that is the biggest target). The French were the first army to introduce them (the Casque Adrian). The British evaluated the French design but found it too weak and also more time consuming to make. Mark 1 Brodie design was based on the medieval infantry kettle hat or chapel-de-fer pressed from a single sheet of steel which made it stronger, cheaper and quicker to make. The German's took a similar approach, a simple single pressing, cheap, effective and quick for their Stahlhelm* the design of which was based upon the medieval sallet.
* The pickelhaube was the leather spiked helmet of 1842 - 1915 designed for show, not protection and a liability in trench warfare.