Kaskett was the name for various military headgear.
While in French the word casque or casquet actually referred to all helmet shapes , in German-speaking countries the term was mostly only used for leather helmets from the late 18th century . After the uniform style had remained largely the same during the Frederician era, some armies began to experiment with new types of uniform. In addition to standard uniforms, material savings should also minimize costs. In addition, the new uniforms should be practical and stylish. Simple leather helmets were often chosen as headgear, which offered more protection against saber blows than the three-cornered hat , but were cheaper than the elaborate grenadier hats . These helmets had z. B. in Württemberg and Bavaria (there as "Rumford-Kaskett") a horsehair tail based on ancient models, in Hanover a caterpillar or a horsehair tail and in Austria a leather front shield. The term Kaskett has become established for these types of helmets. However, all of these headgear turned out to be aesthetically rather unsatisfactory and often also extremely impractical, so that during the coalition wars they were mostly replaced by hats and newly designed grenadier caps or immediately switched to the easier to manufacture shako . Officers in most armies had kept hats anyway. Only in Bavaria did the Kaskett, which was further developed into a caterpillar helmet, last for almost the entire army until 1886.
Left: Russian infantryman in Potemkin uniform . Right: Officer in traditional uniform (1786–96)
Bavarian troops with the so-called Rumford casket (1790), color plate by Richard Knötel
English Dragoons (1775), color plate by Richard Knötel
In the Prussian army, on the other hand, a small, cross- hatched bicorn hat made of felt, introduced in 1787, was called a casket. The front brim showed different badges or the royal monogram, depending on the type of weapon, while the rear brim could be turned down to protect the neck when it rained. Here, too, at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, people had already returned to general hat fashion, which the officers' uniform followed anyway.
- Richard Knötel , Herbert Knötel and Herbert Sieg: Colored Handbook of Uniform Studies. (2 volumes), Augsburg 1997