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VM 44 Gas Mask

Article about: Hello folks. Landed this one for a very good price. It's missing the instruction leaflet, but is otherwise complete and in very good condition. These masks were produced in the latter months

  1. #1

    Default VM 44 Gas Mask

    Hello folks.

    Landed this one for a very good price. It's missing the instruction leaflet, but is otherwise complete and in very good condition. An example of the VM 44 gas mask (Volksgasmaske 1944), with carry box.

    These masks were produced in the latter months of the war in Europe, as a more economical alternative to the earlier VM 37 and VM 40 respirators. Although inferior in fit and finish, they were perfectly functional, and were issued to the civilian population in significant quantities. The container was a thin plywood box, with a string attached for carrying purposes. In comparison to the flat cardboard boxes issued with earlier masks, these containers were much more practical and robust, although they are not particularly attractive to look at.

    The mask itself is made of a canvas material with an inner rubberized coating, very similar to the GM 30 gas masks made for the armed forces. It features a simple exhale valve, with a stamped sheet-metal cover, and celluloid eyepieces affixed directly into the mask lining. The filter seen with this one is an earlier example, made from stamped aluminium. Later on, the filters issued with these masks were manufactured from pressed cardboard, in light of worsening material shortages.

    Not the most attractive respirator in the world, but exemplary of German manufacturing standards in the last months of World War II.

    VM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas MaskVM 44 Gas Mask

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

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  3. #2
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    Didn’t the civil German gas masks contain asbestos? Raul

  4. #3

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    Quote by Raul View Post
    Didn’t the civil German gas masks contain asbestos? Raul
    Yes, they did. I will take a closer look at the filter tomorrow, and seal it with glue if I deem it necessary. As far as I know they used white asbestos, the same kind used in British civilian respirators. VM 37 and VM 40 masks also had a pad of asbestos around the valve, as seen in the image below. However, this isn't present in VM 44 masks, probably as a result of cost-cutting in regards to materials.

    VM 44 Gas Mask

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  5. #4

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    VM 44 Gas MaskNice find BB, you just got to find the manual now. Here is the WaA mark on my own VM44.

  6. #5
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    Great condition. You can still see thru the lenses and they haven't yellowed with age!

    Congrat's.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  7. #6

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    Quote by AZPhil View Post
    Great condition. You can still see thru the lenses and they haven't yellowed with age!

    Congrat's.

    Semper Fi
    Phil
    That does seem to be a common problem with these masks. The celluloid simply doesn't hold up all that well. I can only assume that this one was stored in ideal conditions, as there's no sign of perishing on the rubber, and everything looks almost 'as-new'.

    I am currently trying to locate a manual, but they're one of those things that are rather frustrating to find individually.

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  8. #7

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    If any members are looking for an example I just found this seller on eBay has some, minus filters for sale. item number:283665622142

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