Hat Lore

To Protect and to Terrify: Military Headwear

Militia shako, 13th Canadian Militia,
Canadian War Museum,

Military headwear is designed for both practicality and display. These two functions have often been interwoven. For example, the Prussian-style helmet in this exhibit was worn both to protect the head from sword blows and to impress, and inspire fear in, the enemy.

Some military head-dresses are associated with a particular nation or army, such as the Scottish feathered bonnet. However, a few styles, such as the Prussian helmet, have been copied by armies around the world, because their wearers were admired for being particularly fierce, courageous or victorious in battle.

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