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The Australian Light Anti-Gas Respirator or better know as ALAG was based on the British Respirator, Anti-Gas, Light Mk IIA but with many differences.
Australian Army Respirator, Anti-Gas, Light, is a unique variant of the British Light Anti-Gas Respirator. Produced in Australia, the respirator was the worlds first camouflaged gas mask, an innovation intended to aid the mask user during jungle warfare in the Pacific. The mask achieved this camouflaged effect by mixing three different coloured rubber batches together, with the different colours being black, green and brown.
Australian Light Anti-Gas Respirators were primarily based on the Mk. IIA facepiece, however, as with the British Mk. IIA, the Mk. IA was also used due to the Mk. IIA only being made in one size. All known ALAG examples, as of now, are Mk. IIA based, however, the only documented photograph of one was actually based on the IA.
Whilst both Mk. IA and IIA LAG bases were used for the ALAGs, there were three further variants of the design in regards to the harness, paint and eyepieces.
As no indication of any change in the designation of the Respirator has been uncovered, for now, the three accepted models of Australian Light Anti-Gas Respirator will simply be referred to as the First, Second and Third Models, with the Third Model being, by far, the most common example seen on the collectors market today.
The first model used the Mk. III eyepieces and the L1 harness (similar to that of the GSR). The L2 valve holder features an all-black paint job, making the rubber and tape the only clear identifiers of this facepiece.
The second model used the same eyepieces (Mk. III) as the first model, however, features a new 7 strap head harness, which was based off the British L2 harness, with the additional 7th strap connecting to the filter intake to act as a filter support. This harness was designated L3. The valve holders on these variants will be painted part green, part black.
For the final, and most common model, the same eyepieces seen with the Mk III GSR, without the threading were used. This improvement was not unlike what was seen between the Mk. 6 to Mk. 7 Light Anti-Gas Respirator. The final ALAG model will feature a fully painted valve holder, it will retain the newer L3 harness with the 7th strap and hook around the band holding the container mount in place, and lastly, will be the first model to featured painted eyepieces.
The ALAG was issued with two different haversacks, which were both different from the traditional British Light Anti-Gas Respirator Light I & II carriers. They differed from the British counterpart by featuring a Lift-A-Dot system instead of a simple canvas or webbing pull tab.
The two Australian haversacks were:
The "All Brown" haversack: As the name suggests the haversack is made in an all-brown colour. The haversack also features similar ring styled hip strap connectors to the regular LAG haversack, however, the rings on the ALAG haversack are not as thick. "Tropical" Two-Tone haversack: Different parts of the haversack are made in two different colours. Also uses a new hip strap connector.
Note: The "Tropical" or "Two-Tone" Haversack uses the same colouring used with the Mk. II Canadian Light Haversack.
Three different manufacturers produced the ALAG facepiece, being Kenworth, Spalding and Ansell. The mask would be both fully assembled and upgraded at the Munitions Supply Laboratories, Maribyrnong (Now known as Defence Site Maribyrnong) in Melbourne, Australia.
The L3 harness, identified by it's 7th strap, as well as the haversack were made by Michaelis, Hallenstein & Company, more commonly known as MH & Co. An unknown company called "S.M & Co" also made the upgraded head harness. The L3 head harness are dated from 1944, with the haversacks being made in 1943
Two-tone Dark and Light Green painted cylindrical Container, Light Mk. II filter with Plugs, Sealing Mk. I for sealing the filter and mouthpiece openings are connected by a short length of fabric tape. The Light Green was the first coat of paint, with the Dark green following afterwards. Some filters appear to have somewhat of a camouflage pattern, however, this could also be because the second layer of paint wearing off over time