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German Uniforms and Equipment

Gas Cape and Pouch (Gasplane mit Tasche)


Another item related to the Gas Mask is the Gas Cape which was
introduced by an order (H.M. 210) dated March 15, 1939.

The provissionaly order however was from January 12, 1939

The cape is carried in a pouch: basically there are 2 type of gas cape pouches : rubberized and cloth ones.

The rubberized ones are generaly considered early war while the cloth are later ones. Both types however were produced throughout the war.

Below an overview of different kind of gas cape pouches







On the left the cover of the provisional manual for the handling
of the Gascape,  Gas detection- and decontamination means
of the troops.

Below detail of the manual which shows the date of January 12, 1939

The Manual describes :

- The light gas protection suit (model 1939)
- The Spürbüchse (gas detection powder container)
- The Satz Spürfähnchen (gas detection flags)
- The gascape
- The weapon decontamination pocket bottle
- The weapon decontamination set
- The Entgiftungsbüchse (decontamination powder container)

On this page the Gascape will be covered.

The other items will be covered on other sections


Below a picture of an early 1939 dated gascape pouch with matching 39 dated cape





On the left the 39 dated gascape is shown.

The maker mark C.P. is yet unknown

(Update: The maker mark C.P. can be designated to :

Chepa-Orlik, Fabrik chemischer Papiere, Prag-Schmicnov,

Kartouzska 204 )

The cape is made of impregnated paper with 2 labels on the corners
to indicate the place where to hold the cape when unfolding.

Also visible (the reddish area on top) the reinforcement string to
strengthen the upper part of the cape.

The dimension of the cape itself is aproximately 2 metres x 1,20 metres

Folded together the dimensions are 21 x 15 x 3 cm.




Here the maker mark of the gas cape pouch is shown.

Gustav Winkler
Berlin C(?)2 Wallstraße 13

The 18 probably stands for a batch number

And Wa.A. (Waffen Amt) 182


Below, the front and back of another 1939 dated rubberized example of the pouch is shown.







Here the maker mark (Taifun), batch number (14) and date (39) is shown.

Also the WaA (Waffen Amt) stamp is visible (unfortunately unreadable.)



Here, a recent aquisition, a 40 dated Gascape with pouch.

Cape is also marked C.P. with a 1940 date

Later the factory started to use the 3 letter code cwl as can be seen on the example below (from a fellow collector on the war relics forum)




Below, the pages of the provisional manual that deal with the gascape will be shown.

The complete translation of the pages will be posted as soon as time permits
























Below the Heeres Mitteilung (H.M.) 210 from March, 15, 1939 is shown





210.  Introduction of
means of Gas Defense

After thorough testing the following items are introduced:

Light anti gas suit

--> will be dealt with in another section <--









Gas cape.

It serves

   as cape against liquid poison gas dropped out of airplanes or
   as blanket in poisoned terrain.

The gascape is carried in a pouch. It cannot be detoxified and therefore it can only be used once.

Name: Gas cape
Device class: Ch
Material Classification Number: 38
Request Number
       for Gascape with pouch: Ch 1100
       for Gascape: Ch 1101
       for Gascape Pouch: Ch 1102
Weight of Gascape with pouch: 0,51 Kg


Below left the front and right the back side of a mid war gas cape pouch (Gasplanentasche)

The dimensions of the pouch are aprox. 17 cm. x 22 cm.






Below,  the opened pouch, and the gascape taken out of the pouch.

The paper is of a more heavier kind of paper then the 1939 example

Because the impregnated paper is very brittle it isn't unfolded.





The typical PRYM buttons



The label, indicating 1943






On the left an example without the PRYM pushbuttons, but with normal buttons.

This example also has reinforcements on the corners which are not present on the above shown 1939 example.

Probably this reinforcements were added because the 1st type wasn't sturdy enough.

Unfortunately no date can be be found on this example, although it has a WaA stamp.


Here the back sides are compared. On the left the 39 example without reinforcement, and on the right
the example with the normal buttons with reinforcement on the corners.



Method of wearing the gascape:

The gascape pouch has two loops at the backside, where the gasmask shoulder strap was put through.

The gas cape had to be worn on the chest, as can be seen on the instruction card shown below left.

The Heeresmitteilung from june 1st 1939 (shown below right) tells that there were trials to make the wear of Gasmasks easier but they didn't succeed





In short, the above HM mentions that trials held to make the
wear of gasmasks (and gascapes) easier failed, and the gascapes
should be worn as regulated in the initial orders.


In an order from march 18, 1940 it was dictated that the sling of the gas mask canister had to be put through
the upper loop of the pouch twice to prevent sliding as can be seen below.







This method, however, was still not satisfactory for the soldiers in the field.

A lot of soldiers strapped the gascape pouch to the gas mask canister 
(as can be seen on the right).

This method was strictly prohibited, because the effect of being able to 
get the cape out of the pouch quickly, was nullified, but often practiced.




Finaly an order of december 1942 prescribed the gascape to be worn as can be seen below

The sling was first put through the loop on the canister, then through the loops on the gas cape pouch and finaly secured 
to the bottom loop together with the belt hook strap. This prevented the pouch from sliding.






A variation of the Gasplane is the so called Tp/Ark one (Tropen / Aktisch)
which was developed for use in Tropical or Arctic environments.

A late war example is shown below





Below the front and back of the pouch is shown









On the left, the marking of the pouch is shown.

The maker mark (gdn) can be seen.

gdn stands for:

Stermann, Wilhelm,
Niederrheinische Zelte- und Decken-Fabrik,
Moers a. Rhein, Obere Birk 42

Also, the Tp, which stands for Tropen (Tropical) is visible




Detail shot of the also famous "STOCKO" button


Heeresmitteilung 1079 from november 23, 1942

1079.  Gascapes Op (Tp/Ark).


Gascapes Op (Tp/Ark) are painted brown on one side, and white on the other and are useable in tropical areas as well as during the winter and in areas with permanent snow conditions.
These gascapes can also be used, next to their official purpose as protection agains chemical agents, as waterproof base for camping in tents, snow huts and others, for a short period of time. For this, the Gascape Op (Tp/Ark) has to be spread on the floor, and it has to be covered with straw, blankets etc.
After such use, the gascape has to be carefully wiped clean and dried.

Taking supply and resource problems into consideration, the use as such cannot be left to the individual, but is, after testing all conditions, only allowed by the Company (Battery) Commander, to avoid abuse and to guarantee the battle readyness against chemical agents at all times.

The use of the gascape as carpet in passages and tents etc is stricktly forbidden due to the damage done to the gascape because of the metal boot fittings.

After contamination by chemical agents, the gascapes Op (Tp/Ark) can be sufficiently decontaminated by inserting them into water. The following decontamination times have to be observed:

With a water temperature of  60°  -  12 hours
   "     "     "              "             "  40°  -   24 hours
   "     "     "              "             "  30°  -   48 hours
   "     "     "              "             "  20°  -   96 hours

The Gascapes Op (Tp/Ark) will be assigned to the troops without special requirement.







On the left the maker mark of the gascape

Code pcd is unknown

292 is probably the batch number, and 44/4 indicates april 44

The 80 stands for the times the cape is folded (in 80 segments)

The Ope stands for Oppanol : a transparent versatile polymer, impervious to water and many different gases, resistant to chemicals. Where the "e" stands for is not exactly clear at this moment

The Tp/Ark stand for Tropen/Arktisch (Tropical / Arktic use)


Below :

The gascape can be seen unfolded (20 segments out of a total of 80 can be seen)





Here also the white side is shown



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