Gasmaske M30/M38

The most evident difference in these models is the material used for the mask itself, the M38's being in rubber, and placement of the straps.
Both have a number painted on by the soldiers to retrieve their personal mask quickly from storage, the "2" on the forehead stands for medium size.

Both have the third type of snout used, the M30's is marked with a company logo and "39", the M38's uses the 3 letter code "btc" as it's dated "42".

[3 Letter codes]

Left the M30 mask, covered inside with markings used by the production line sections, while the M38 has significantly less.

Both are "FE41" filters but with a few differences, only the left one is maker marked ("gnh" for Auer Gesellschaft AG, Danzig) and has a extra raised ring on top.
Both have "Fe" marks (indicating iron), Waffenamt inkstamps and inkstamps with year of manufacture and a serialnumber below it.

Carbon pellets, from the damaged filter on the right, which do the actual filtering.

Looking inside the "büchse" explains why the M30 and especially it's filter were much better preserved in the last 70 years.
It has a aluminium insert showing oxidation (white residue). It does not have the "D" (for "Dicht") on the bottom like the right one has.

Same type of büchse (27,5cm long), but the contrast can hardly be greater. The M30's retains it's original field grey while the M38's received a post-war metallic coating.
Straps all present on the M30's, the leather parts (2-hole variant) are marked A. Waldhausen from Cologne, 1939.

[Waldhausen firm]

Makers logo (beautifully incorporating the 4 elements) on the latch. The boxcover for the spare lenses bares the makers initials, year and WaA inkstamp.
The M38's büchse is marked 42 on the latch but the metallic paint has obscured the three letter code in front of it, the spare lens boxcover is not present.

The cloth for cleaning the lenses and its spring retainer suffered from spending 70 years at the rusty bottom of the M38's büchse.
The cap was screwed on the filter but im unsure wether it was normally discarded after the filter was used for the 1st time, or used again for storage.

The (single) packet of spare lenses that came with the M30 was made in 1938 by Drägerwerke.


The M38 had 2 of these packets with it, made in 1942 by "kug" or "Langheck & Co., Zellglas- u Pliaphanfolien-Fabriken" in Esslingen.
They have additional instructions on them for use with the M38 mask.

[1944 "kug" packet]