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The Crusader helmet provided maximum protection and excellent comfort to wear. Because of its cylindrical shape and flat top it also earned the name "Barrel Helmet". Due to its imposing design some also dubbed it the "Great Helm".
Manufactured by using three separate pieces of steel, the blacksmith forged each carefully and molded them into a rather simple shape. A padded lining was set inside for comfort and when this material combined with natural body humidity and sweat, it acted as a cooling agent. Thus despite the helmet's uncomfortable appearance it was actually favored by many who wore it.
The design of the helmet was dual. Naturally the primary concern was maximum protection which the headgear offered, however its narrow vision slit did not provide ample peripherals. But what was sacrificed in sight was compensated for in security. The scondary reason for its chosen design was to cover the entire head and face of the knight for another purpose. As the men who fought the Crusades were pious and devout Christians, the covering of the face was a personal act of humility of not being worthy to show one's self before the presence of God.
Appearing in the early 13th Century, the Barrel Helmet was one of the first 'close helmets' invented. After its broad success in battle it became a standard piece of armor for many knights. With the later development of full platemail armor and visored headgear, this helmet never really lost its popularity and was used in great abundance up until the middle of the 16th Century.
Often during the Crusades the helmet was adorned with crosses and other religious icons and insignia.