Unusual GM-38 Gas Mask with additional filter port
I took delivery of this unusual WW2 German GM-38 a few months back, I've only just got round to taking some photographs of it and I felt it was worth sharing and discussing. It is yet another mystery in my collection which I am hoping someone out there might be able to help me solve as German items are far from my area of expertise. There are a few ideas floating around on the internet as to why these unusual masks have the additional filter port on the side of the facepiece. These include that it was for use by the Luftwaffe, with the intention of allowing for the attachment of an oxygen supply as well as the standard filter or even for attachment of some form of microphone which I think would be very unlikely as such a mask already existed as well as the fact there is a one way valve in place. Another idea, which I personally think might be quite possible is that these masks were for evaluating having a filter fitted to the side of the facepiece like the British Lightweight Respirator and the American M5 Assault Gas Mask, which also were to a degree essentially modifications of an existing design. The reason I am siding with this idea at the moment is because another example of this mask, which can be seen on the late Johannes Möller's website (gasmasklexikon) has a blanking plug screwed into the original filter port. This to me says that the intention may have been to make the original filter port redundant, this is purely speculation though and I hope that somebody reading will have a definite answer. It's also worth mentioning that GM-30's also exist with this same modification, but instead having the additional port on the opposite side of the facepiece in all cases, one of these can also be seen on gasmasklexikon.
Shown below are a couple of photographs of the example in my collection, with and without the filter.
12-24-2015 12:18 AM