Full story and photos at link below. :facepalm:
Charging head-long into battle! The experimental 'bayonet hat' that would have allowed British First World War soldiers to attack the enemy with their heads
Hat with six inch blade on top was brainchild of British solicitor Philip Baker
Soldiers could have used it to attack enemy by charging head first at them
Prototype cap was rejected by War Office which deemed it too dangerous
Rare item is now expected to sell for £3,000 when it is auctioned on June 25
Published: 11:27 GMT, 10 June 2014
This extraordinary ‘bayonet hat’ would have allowed British soldiers in the First World War to attack the enemy with their heads if it was given the go-ahead, it has emerged. However, the incredibly rare prototype cap - which comes with a sharp six inch blade fixed to the top of it - was deemed too dangerous for soldiers after being considered by the War Office.
It has now been discovered nearly 100 years after the war and is expected to sell for more than £3,000.
The item was the brainchild of British solicitor Philip Baker who patented the invention in 1916 and offered it up to the War Office for consideration. He gave them a prototype cap along with drawings showing how it worked. It is thought the idea was for the wearer to stab the enemy with the knife on the top of the hat, either by ramming their head at them or by removing the hat and using it as a conventional knife.
It was one of numerous quirky weapon inventions that were produced during the First World War in a bid to give the British soldiers on the Western Front the upper hand. Now the prototype hat, complete with knife fixed in position, has emerged for sale and is expected to sell for more than £3,000 when it is auctioned on June 25.
The original patent document is being sold with it, along with the basic drawings. Matthew Tredwin, of C&T Auctioneers in Kent which is selling the item, said: ‘Many inventors and members of the public came up with ideas for items of uniform that may have helped protect the soldiers at the front.
‘This bayonet hat was meant for hand-to-hand combat and would have quite a barbaric weapon when you think about it. ‘We can only assume this item was made to present to the War Office to gain approval, but obviously was not considered as was not by any means practical.
‘It is very rare however to find any examples of items that were created but never put into production. It is truly a unique item, that you will never find another example of.’ The prototype has been held by the Wilson Military Headgear History Research Centre in the US for many years.
The centre was set up by the late philanthropist Robert Wilson. He died last year from cancer and the hat has now returned to Britain where it is now being sold. Terry Charman, of the Imperial War Museum, said: ‘After the war settled down into trench warfare, uniforms and weapons were tailored for hand-to-hand fighting.
‘This hat is one of the weird and wonderful inventions that people produced to give the British the upper hand over their opponents.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2653834/Charging-head-long-battle-The-experimental-bayonet-hat-allowed-British-First-World-War-soldiers-attack-enemy-heads.html#ixzz34G3UaTZC
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