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ww1 gas mask
By AndreaSilva60   |   Watch
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Published: June 7, 2015
© 2015 - 2019 AndreaSilva60
WWI Technical Reference table

In world war I were used three class of poison gas:  Tear gas - Chocking - Blister/Vescicant

At the beginning were used tear gas like bromine and chloroacetone since 1914, then chocking agent in 1915,
like Chlorine and Phosgene. Chlorine was easy detected, because its evident green color and its strong smell.
The countermeasure was to cover mouth and nose with a cloath dumped with water or urine, because the gas
is water-soluble and it react with the urea contained in urine. The first gas maskes given to the troop were
canvas funnel cointaing gauzes soaked with  neutralizing substance, or gas helmet, like the british P Helmet, soaked
in sodium hyposulfite.
Then during 1915 come the Phosgene, the main agent of fatalities due to gas during the great war.
The Phosgene was invisible and quite odorless, just an inkling of hay.  Unseen and undetected it could act for hours,
without evidence of effect on the exposed men, then appeared the effect, irritation of eyes, dyspnea and bronchospasm.
Against the phosgene were added more gauzes soaked with different neutralizing substances, but the chemical
neutralizing masks and pad were not  completely reliable, furthermore, if the mask was bathing neutralizing agents
were washed away.

In 1917 appeared the Mustard Gas, or Yperite, it was a blister-vescicant gas, it wasn't as deadly
as Phosgene, but it was the more invalidant agent of the war, and it persisted after the launch  for days,
and sometimes for weeks in the trenches.

Thus they were introduced new maskes to physical absorption, rather than chemical
neutralization. These maskes possessed of external filters containing layers of active
carbon, usually produced from seeds of fruit, and layers of gauze containing neutralizing
substances. These maskes proved very effective and  were  usually made of rubber or rubberized fabric,
not all maskes were equipped with escape valve, and this forced the wearer to breathe the same air,
or make great efforts to expel it from the filter. Mustard gas tended to infiltrate
the rubber maskes, so the German army, so parsimonious in materials, produced from 1917 the
leather mask impregnated with reagents neutralizing rather than rubber.
The filter could last about 5 hours, during attack, so the soldier had often an old chemical
neutralization mask for back-up or a spare filter.
The maskes were very wide, especially below the viewers, so the soldier could insert forefingers  
externally in the folds of the mask and clean inside the condensation that formed on the lenses.

The gas maskes were the most precious assets of the soldiers.
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anonymous's avatar
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Ihadonetry's avatar
Where is the English corrected model
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Ok, you are right, I made a choice, of course I missed the ASBR and the CEM, the various types of mouth pad and the various fannel mask,
or the last type type of the German leather mask with the escape valve...
Liamera's avatar
I hope it's okay to write this. I was here to give a llama in return and checed your gallery as I always do when somebody give me a llama. -^^-
The "GummiSchutzeMask" would be "Gummischutzmaske" in german and the "LederSchutzeMask" would be a "Lederschutzmaske".
I think your translator had some problems with thies really special words. As german I'm 100% sure about this and only want to let you know this. (:
I'm endless sorry if I annoy you with this. :S
AndreaSilva60's avatar
My blame, not due to translator, I'm not annoyed at all, thank you, I have made notes and corrected the mistakes :)
Thank you for pay attention!
Danubium's avatar
Did Austria-Hungary ever issue its own gasmask?
AndreaSilva60's avatar
I thing they issued the first funnel, or pad mask since 1915, but then they adopted the German one.
henryissweg122's avatar
Is there a lot of info on the Italian mask?
AndreaSilva60's avatar
The Italian anti-gas mask was the Polivalente Z. Distributed to the Italian Armed Forces since January 1917, it consisted of a waxed cloath facial with eye holes and under a gauze system (32 layers) soaked with soda. It was contained in a tin or wooden box and was carried by the shoulder strap; they existed in three sizes. The mask did not protect all gas so much that in the Conca di Plezzo in October of 1917 did not guarantee the safety of our infants. It was therefore replaced between the end of 1917 and the beginning of 1918 by the English respirator S.B.R.

It was translated from this site:…
lunageek520's avatar
lunageek520Hobbyist General Artist
what is the difference between the GummiSchutze and LederSchutze?
AndreaSilva60's avatar
The LederSchutze was a more modern type, it was made of leather, while the Gummi was made of rubber.
The last models of the Leder type had an exalation valve too.  It was made of Leather so that it could be impregnated with neutralizing substances.
We must bera in mind that in those times  Gemany  had a few raw materials, because of the naval blockade, but they found it necessary to use precious leather to do better mask for the soldiers.
lunageek520's avatar
lunageek520Hobbyist General Artist
ok, thanks. 
you have any idea what one would be more common in surplus stores?
i'm trying to find some WWI masks.
one of ther germans and an American Corrected English.
AndreaSilva60's avatar
I've seen that there are some real Leder and Gummy sold in web-auction sites, the cost is quite high, about 500-800 Dollars!!!!!!!
lunageek520's avatar
lunageek520Hobbyist General Artist
I saw an american training mask on ebay for $95, not th eworst price i've ever seen...
found a $300 M40 once.
jack476's avatar
jack476Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The early gas mask designs were pretty creepy as I recall
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Oh very creepy indeed!
Gmatty's avatar
A matter of life and death!   Clap Clap Clap 
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Oh yes,  thank you :)
menapia's avatar
Yeah, I've read about the urine trick, as if warfare wasn't dreadful enough
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Ehehe, WW1 was a really nightmare, but nevertheless my uncle that was in North Africa during WW2 told me that he used to drink his urine, and one night a comrad of him stole his urine's bottle.
menapia's avatar
War has yet another horror
dangerousair's avatar
dangerousairHobbyist Digital Artist
Really excellent work, worthy of an Osprey book or a similar illustrated professional history.
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Thank you very much, you made my day :)
Captain-Torr's avatar
Captain-TorrHobbyist Traditional Artist
Gas a horrifying weapon. Excellent work Old Boy see there was a little bit of difference in gas mask design, but not much. Takes me back to the time when I was a younger man in basic training, I had to put my mask on for an exercise, once inside the gas chamber they made us take them off. CS riot gas is rather nasty and it did burn my eyes and throat, however I had every confidence in my mask after that. Also interesting to note in World War One, a soldier only needed a mask to survive a gas attack, however when I was in the US Army we were issued an entire suit not just a mask, the suit was rather bulky and heavy and in the hot sun it added an extra 10 degrees at least to my body temperature. I think newer models are lighter materials, the ones I was issued were almost like winter gear. Excellent work as always Old Boy.
AndreaSilva60's avatar
Oh my God, yes, when I was in the army I was horrified durind NCB training, We tested just the mask,  then  a false test syringe of antidote for nerve gas.  The only think that there might be something like, filled me with horror.
Now Assad launched it on his countrymen, including children, what can i say?!
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