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"German and Italian Individual Antigas Equipment" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on German and Italian gas masks and anti-gas equipment originally appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 29, July 15, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The following information briefly outlines the antigas equipment carried by the individual German and Italian soldier; it is based on the most recent information available.

a. German Army

(1) Gas Mask

The gas mask is always on the soldier's person, both in active theaters of war and elsewhere. German regulations give clear instructions to this effect. There has been some evidence that German soldiers in occupied countries only carry them when on duty. Recent information, however, indicates that German soldiers in Paris always carry gas masks.

(2) Personal Decontaminant

This consists of a box containing 10 tablets of Losantin carried by every soldier in the pocket of his uniform.

Losantin tablets are stabilized bleach, with an available chlorine content of 39.8 percent. They are used for treating skin contaminated with a vesicant. A tablet is made into paste with water or saliva which is then applied to the affected part; after 10 minutes it is washed or wiped off. The example of the incautious experimenter who ate several tablets under the impression that he was eating "[German] food tablets" should NOT be followed.

(3) Antigas Sheet

The so-called antigas sheet it is carried in all operational theaters by every soldier in a satchel slung on the chest. These sheets, about 6 by 4 feet, are made of a rubberized fabric. They are designed primarily for protection of the person in surprise attacks with liquid vesicants.

b. Italian Army

(1) Gas Mask

The gas mask is always carried on the man.

(2) Personal Decontaminant

An "antivesicant packet" is carried by every soldier. It contains absorbent pads which are saturated with carbon tetrachloride from an ampoule which has to be broken. The contamination is then dabbed off with the moistened pad.

(3) Antigas Sheet

There has been no reference in any Italian manuals or orders to the existence of an antigas sheet, and none have been reported as having been captured. It is presumed that none have been introduced.


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