WWII German Army Gas Mask and Carrier -
Chemical warfare (CW) involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together are the three tenets of (NBC), the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical.
The earliest target of chemical warfare agent research was not toxicity, but development of agents that can affect a target through the skin and clothing, rendering protective gas masks useless. In July 1917, the Germans employed mustard gas. Mustard gas easily penetrates leather and fabric to inflict painful burns on the skin.
Chemical warfare agents are divided into lethal and incapacitating categories. A substance is classified as incapacitating if less than 1/100 of the lethal dose causes incapacitation, e.g., through nausea or visual problems. The distinction between lethal and incapacitating substances is not fixed, but relies on a statistical average called the LD50.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German collectibles. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points
that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German collectible worth?". A price
guide is included here to address this question. The value of the collectibles is reviewed
over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German
items in the collector's market is illustrated.
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a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military
antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.
The item featured here is a German WWII gas mask with carrying canister. Even though WWII did not see the
use of chemical weapons every soldier was mindful of the previous war and how bad it is to be the target
of a gas attack. Every soldier was issued a gas mask and carried it into combat with them.
The german gas mask was built of rubber. The lenses were made of glass. The filter was attached to
the lower front of the mask by screwing it in place. Multiple markings were applied to the filter. Some
of them were stamped with black ink while others were built into the metal during the manufacturing process.
The canisted employed to carry the mask is made of metal. Ribbed type construction. The inside has aluminum lining. The lid is hinged at one end. A latch is employed to secure it shut. the inside of
the lid has a small containerwith a hinged lid of its own. This is where the lense cleaner was stowed.
A spring-loaded wire fastener secures the cleaner in place.
It was not unusual for the soldiers to write their names on the equipment. This helped ensure that
nobody else would take what did not belong to them. What is interesting about the example shown here
is that the soldier stiched his name into the shoulder strap. Usually the names were written with
The bottom of the can has an aluminum wire retainer that holds a cleaning rag in place.
The shoulder straps were made of canvis and had leather re-enforcements at each end. The leather
was secured in place via the use of heavy duty cotton thread.