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German Uniforms and Equipment

Gas Mask M30/M38 (Gasmaske Modell 1930/38)


After the examination of the gas mask cases (Gasmaskenbüchse) it is time 
to take a closer look at the masks themselves.

Basically there are 2 type of masks, the M30 and M38

First the differences between the 2 masks will be shown

The M 30 was made of rubberized cloth with a frame of soft leather while the M 38 was made entirely of rubber.
Also the straps and eye pieces are different.

Below left the M 30 and on the right the M 38







Below, the left and right side of the Model 30 are compared to the Model 38.



Model 30 (1st model)



Model 30 (1st model)



Model 38



Model 38



Below, the front and back side of the Model 30 and 38 are shown.
Also shown is a top view which gives a clear vision on the strapping.



Model 30 (front)



Model 30 (back)



Model 38 (front)



Model 38 (back)



Model 30 (top view)



Model 38 (top view)



Next, the differences in the Model 30 Masks will be shown

The following "snouts" were encontered:



GM30 - first model snout



GM30 - second model snout (which is in fact 1st model with an additional rear piece)



GM30 - third (and last) model snout (also used on GM38)



Size indication

The gas masks came in three different sizes: 1, 2 and 3.
1 was the largest size and 3 the smallest.
The size indication can be seen between the eye pieces 
(on older M30 masks the size markings are only on the inside of the mask
and readable on the snout)

Below, from left to right M30 size 1, M30 size 2 and M38 size 3





Below, a M30 mask without size indication on the outside.
on the picture on the right the size indication "2" can be seen on the inside.






Stamps and other indication found on the inside

If we examine the inside of the mask we encounter a lot of codes and stamps

Here some examples of the codes found


Maker code "flr" which stands for :
Dräger-Gesellschaft mbH, Wien



Waffen Amt (WaA) stamps



Maker code "bwz" and date "43" which stands for :
Auer-Gesellschaft AG, Werk Oranienburg



Waffen Amt (WaA) stamp




Like with so many items, there is ofcourse a lot of variation in masks.
The M38 was produced in green and black, and sometimes both M30 and M38 masks are
encountered with blue metal parts.

This blue painted metal is somewhat confusing: some believe it  to be a sign that the metal parts have a high concentration of iron,
while others believe it to be a sign that these masks were given to german uniformed organisations other than the Army.

- addition -

After long search and with the help of a serious collector friend, the riddle is solved.

Below the text he send me.. The text is not a Heeres Mitteilung (H.M.) but probably published in the
Heeres Verordnungsblätter (H.V.Bl.)


Original Text



Rough Translation


171. Magnetical Gasmasks

  1. For raw material resons, in the future the bulk of gasmasks will be produced in magnetic form (Eye pieces and other metal parts will be made out of iron in stead of until now from non-ferrous metals).


  2. Identification of the magnetical gasmask:

    a. Fitting, protective screen, clamp to mount the connector and eye pieces will be painted in a dark blue colour

    b. Retaining rings, ground rings, threaded ring for the exhaust valve, rivet eyelets, buckles and hooks are galvanized and unpainted.


  3. Facilities

    The magnetic gas mask is provided for units not equipped with directional circuits and optical instruments with magnetic needle (except the marching compass).

    Units with magnetic needle instruments retain the previously non-magnetic gas mask.

    The operators of these instruments also receive the non-magnetic filter. This filter is to remain with the unit in case of dropping out of the operator and is to be given to the replacement operator. The drop-out is to be given the normal filter from the replacement instead


  4. Moment of delivery

    The moment of delivery with the magnetic gasmasks and the exchange of current gasmasks for the units in question will be announced seperately.


Army High Command, July 5th 1943


GM 30 with blue painted parts



Black GM 38 with blue painted parts



Below, another M30 variation with connection for Microphone (Kriegsmarine)








Gasmask with original Microphone attached




One final small alteration on the M38 mask was made in 1944:

The way to attach the straps on the mask was changed

Below left the old variant, and on the right the new one











The next page will cover the different types of Filters.


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