Austrian M-16/17 Steel Helmets

The Austrian Model 1916/1917 steel helmet differs from its German twin in the construction and placement of the chinstrap. The Austrian model, when compared to the German M-16, shows a rivet and swivel ring construction instead of the German M-1891 chinstrap lugs. Austrian models were also equipped with a mesh chinstrap instead of leather.1

Historical Context

The Austrian Model 1916/1917 helmet was first produced in large numbers during the latter years of World War I. The Austrian government took the basic helmet designs from their neighbor and wartime ally, Imperial Germany and made a few minor changes. M-17s continued to find use after WWI. Members of Austrian Freikorps and Austrian Army continued to use the M-17 into the 1930s and even 1940s. Before and after the Anschluss, the unification of Germany and Austria, in March of 1938 many National Socialist Party members and members of the Austrian military retrofitted their helmets to comply with the symbols of the new regime. This was specifically the case for members of the new Austrian State Police and members of Reich’s Luftshutz units. These civil units used the old helmets while members of the Wehrmacht were assigned newer models.1

Infantry Helmet 1916 — 1918