Klink's helmet is a pickelhaube or spiked helmet that was originally worn by German military forces in the 19th Century. The helmet is said to have been originally created to protect infantrymen from sabre-blows by cavalry troops. In the series it is always shown inside Klink's office on his desk. It is also shown before the official start of each episode and during the show's ending credits with Hogan's pilot cap placed atop the helmet's metal point.
The pickelhaube was orignally designed in 1842 by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, slowly spreading to the other German principalities. In 1887, the Kingdom of Bavaria was the last of the German states to adopt the pickelhaube for its military. Several other states also adopted it, or something similar in design.
The basic pickelhaube was made of leather with metal reinforcements and the metal point. All-metal versions were also made, mainly worn by cuirassiers, and often appear in portraits of high-ranking German military and political figures, such as Otto von Bismarck.
During World War I it was found that the leather helmet offered soldiers little protection when they were in the trenches. Starting in 1916 it was slowly replaced by the Stahlhelm or 'steel helmet' that would still be worn by German troops during World War II. The pickelhaube was then reduced to ceremonial wear. With the German Empire's collapse in 1918, the pickelhaube fell into disuse. But, it is today still seen as part of the clichéd mental image of Germans, especially in Britain. The Pickelhaube is currently part of the uniform of the Swedish Royal Guard.