For what reason did German helmets have spikes on top?
The pickelhaube was originally designed by William Frederick IV of Prussia in 1842 and popularity rose with the beginning of the nationalist movement within the Germanic states. Many German states began to adopt the design into their armies’ uniforms as a sign of nationalist pride and to show their connection as a cultural people. There is no specific purpose for the spike and it served only as a cultural symbol of German pride. It later became associated with German Imperialism, particularly upon the outbreak of World War One, and has since fallen out of favor.