the Gas Cape Pouch
memory of the First World War and it's use of
poisonous gas, all German Army personnel were issued
& required to have with them a gasmask, gasmask
canister, and accessories. Use of chemical warfare was
considered by the German High Command, but fear of
Allied retribution made them rethink this course of
action and sustain from its use. Nevertheless, fear of
possible chemical attacks made the gasmask and gas
cape a constant companion of the German Landser
through-out the war.
the gas cap pouch was to be worn on the chest of the
soldier, suspended on the shoulder sling of the
gasmask canister. Of course this was and seen to
be very impractical to the frontline soldier,
especially since the item never saw much use. In
short, it got in the way. So what did the
frontline troops do to rid themselves of such a
nuisance? Just tossing it off into a ditch was
not an option for in the German Wehrmacht, everyone
was held accountable for all items issued to them.
alternative was to fasten the pouch directly to the
gasmask canister using equipment straps or rubber
inner tube bands. This of course was not an
official way of attaching the gas cape pouch and was
often prohibited. It was thought that the
tension from the strap used to hold the gas cape pouch
tightly against the canister would cause the gas cape
in the pouch to crack under harsh winter conditions.
This would render the cape useless against chemical
"official" method of wear was ordered by the
German High Command on December 11, 1942 (HM 42. No.
1130). The shoulder sling was attached to the
sling loop closest to the hinge spring. Then it
was passed through the other top loop and fed through
the gas cape pouch attachment loops. It was
finally buttoned to the bottom loop along with the
hook strap (see figure above). This allowed the
gas cape to be attached to the canister with out
sliding or use of equipment straps that may damage the
cape (see image below).
difficult for some to connect the hook strap with the
shoulder strap at the bottom. This is due to the
post-war or repro straps being to thick for the lug.
If this is the case with your canister sling, the
below image shows another option to get the same
effect of the official method of wear.
- Uniforms & Traditions of the
German Army Vol. 3 by J.R. Angolia & A.