The Germans are equipped with sets of warning
markers for use in any area which may be contaminated
by gas. Each set consists of 20 marking flags
with rods, a roll of marking tape, and a carrying case.
The total weight is approximately 3.3 pounds.
The carrying case is shaped like a long pistol holster,
and is about 23 inches long. A side pocket is stitched
on for holding the marking tape. The case is provided
with an adjustable carrying strap. The marking tape
is reported to be about 3/4 inch wide, and to be dyed
with a coloring matter which is resistant to light and
water. Two bands of the tape, each about 27 yards
long, are wound on a cardboard spool.
The steel rods for the marking flags are about 20
inches high, and are painted red. The lower tip is
pointed, while the upper part is bent at a right angle.
The horizontal portion of the rod is 4 inches long;
attached to it is a triangular piece of yellow fabric
printed with black skull and bones. A lengthening
device, consisting of two metal clips attached one above
another to the vertical part of the rod, permits one rod
to be mounted on top of another.
According to the German Army document, "Gas
Protection—All Arms," these warning markers for
contaminated areas are used in the following manner:
When a gas scout (Gasspürer) discovers that terrain is
contaminated, he goes back approximately 15 feet and sets a
marking flag in the uncontaminated ground in such a manner
that the warning signal points to the area of contamination.
Gas scouts then reconnoiter further, as directed. If the
farthest edge of the contaminated area can be reached, it is marked
with contamination flags and marking tape. The distance
between flags varies according to local visibility conditions.
As a rule, it will be between 60 and 150 feet. The position
of the flags must always give the approaching troops clear
information as to the limits of the contaminated area. In
terrain covered with tall vegetation (such as underbrush, crops,
or tall grass) the lengthening device must be used.
When the foremost boundaries of contamination have been
determined and have been marked with flags, the dangerous
area can be indicated more clearly if marking tape is spread
out and held in place by stones or fastened to trees or bushes.
This is especially necessary in terrain where, because of
brushwood and so forth, the flags may be overlooked.
The German contamination markers are light, compact,
and simple. It is believed that they are satisfactory
for use in the field, in spite of the fact that the
smallness of the flags limits the range at which they