In my world, it is a mix of Renaissance and 17th century style. For soldiers, they wear helmets as part of their uniform and armor. However, even into their version of the 1700s and 1800s, they continue to wear iron helmets for protection. What conditions would allow them to continue wearing metal helmets into their version of the 1700s and 1800s, like before, rather than changing to hats, like in real history?

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Source: Richard in a Hat Blog

For extra notes:

  • A zombie virus starts to rise. It does not end civilization, but it is difficult to get rid of, and technology can still progress

  • Gun technology also progresses, and does not stay stagnant

  • While there are a few breech-loading guns, the majority only use muzzle-loading

  • When I say "soldiers", that goes for all of them. I am aware of the cavalry still continuously wearing helmets, but I am also talking about foot soldiers as well. In addition, these helmets are not for decoration or ceremony, but mainly for actual protection

  • For battle tactics, it is a mix of medieval warfare, volley gunfire, and elements of modern warfare (with the exception of some technological limits)

  • I know that in history, they went back to using helmets, but I am talking about for the 1700s and 1800s. From there, in my world, they continue to use the helmets, not hats

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Worldbuilding is the creation and consistent use of rules for an imaginary world wherein an infinite number of stories can be told. Storybuilding is the devleopment of plot, character/organization choices, and circumstances. This feels like the latter. Please see the help center page for rules discouraging brainstorming. A way to avoid the problem this causes is to edit your Q and explain why ignoring the issue isn't a valid answer? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 21, 2022 at 5:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A worthwhile consideration is this: One VTC reason is "too story-based." That means the issue depends too much on the needs of the story (called narrative necessity). If you already know what that need is, you can tell us what it is and it becomes a condition for selecting a best answer, thereby removing the problem of "too story-based" (and the issues of my previous comment). The difference between worlbuilding and overcoming writer's block is knowing the outcome you need... or not. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 21, 2022 at 5:16
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    $\begingroup$ And then there's still the help center problem: "Questions must be specific as well as answerable. If you are looking for discussion, brainstorming, or an overall process rather than specific questions and answers, the Worldbuilding Stack Exchange might not be a good place for your question." $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Nov 21, 2022 at 5:24
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    $\begingroup$ So apparently you're unaware of and don't believe that practically all modern armies still use, wear and issue 'helmets' to their front line troops to this day and expect them to wear them for personal protection? that would seem to be breathtaking ignorance but I see that your current question appears to be the result of some editing to address previous concerns? You might want to give the current question a proof read, the edits may not have left you with a sensible question. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Nov 21, 2022 at 7:11
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    $\begingroup$ They did wear helmets back then, so this is a pretty easy question to answer, like "Give me a real irl reason why the egyptians would build giant triangular tombs." $\endgroup$
    – Nepene Nep
    Nov 21, 2022 at 9:40

3 Answers 3


They didn't stop wearing helmets irl history

While armor fell out of fashion with the advancement of guns, metal helmets remained popular throughout since without a head you die.

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What they looked like is up to you and fashion in your story.

  • $\begingroup$ +1, cuirassiers often wore helmets through 1700s, and then Dragoon helmet was introduced. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Nov 21, 2022 at 18:05

Zombie Bite Neck

In Season 8 Episode 13 of The Walking Dead, a zombie bites Herman on the neck. This is the number one move for zombies. Zombie like bite. Zombie bite neck.

Unfortunately Herman was only wearing his Renaissance-style Morion. The iconic metal hat you see in depictions of pikemen. The hat did not save him.

enter image description here

This was doubly tragic because, earlier that day, Herman had been bitten by the very same zombie, while wearing his full Corinthian helmet with the extra long neck guards.

As you see the zombie did not stand a chance.

enter image description here

Thumbs up.

  • Hand grenades are significant. Perhaps as part of anti-zombie defenses? But also between human troops. Possibly more howitzer shells. More splinters flying around.
  • Developments in antisepsis/antibiotics make injuries to the abdominal cavity more survivable. That increases the relative importance of head and brain injuries (i.e. the importance of preventing them).
  • Leaders find that raising new troops is not as cheap as it used to be. They cannot offer the King's shilling to a vagrant and get a new soldier. That makes caring for existing ones more important.

Then one early scientist takes a look at injuries, and takes some counter-intuitive leaps like analyzing survivorship bias. That isn't more complicated than inventing calculus for artillery trajectories.


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