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Virtual tour 19 - Duitsland 1917

The German Empire was established in 1871 as a union of different states. As an ally of Austria-Hungary, it attacked Russia and France in 1914. During teh war, the German army tried to force a breakthrough several times, mainly at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915 and at the Battle of Verdun in 1916. The commanding staff then decided to change tactics and focus on defense. Despite their defensive strategy, even the Germans suffered huge losses during the Third Battle of Ypres, with their darkest day on 4  October 1917.

Object 1: Pickelhaube

The typical German "Pickelhaube” is made of leather and finished with copper or silver-plated parts. The emblem at the front refers to the German federal state or a specific unit. The pin served to protect the head from a blow from a saber. In addition, it also enlarged the soldier to impress the opponent and made men more recognizable by their own troops. The Pickelhaube offered protection, but not enough for trench warfare. From 1916 it was replaced by a steel helmet. (MMP1917, MZ 00643)

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Object 2: Sappenpanzer

The German army adopted a defensive strategy from 1916. This Sappenpanzer, with a plate to attach on a helmet, offered extra protection, but was almost exclusively used to stand guard due to its weight. (MMP1917, MZ 00841)

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Object 3: Wasserdichter Kriegs-Beutel

"German waterproof cloth bag with black stamp labeled “Wasserdichter / Kriegs-beutel / 1915”. The top hem is lined with the German tricolor. The cord to tie the knot consist of 3 strings, also coloured black-yellow-red. (MMP1917, MZ 06169)"

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