Camician-Pesci from the front

The Ciamician-Pesci was a simple pad made in such shape to fit the lower face, held onto the face by a couple of strings. This pad contained a sheet wet with a solution of water, sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate and sodium hyposulphite. The eyes were covered using a pair of air-tight goggles.

The mask and goggles were complemented with a spare sheet and a phial with spare blocking solution.

History Edit

After the first use of gas at Ypres, every European country needed to develop protection from chemical attacks.


Camician-Pesci reproduction


Camician-Pesci reproduction

The Italian Army staff ordered for the Commissione Gas Asfissianti (asphyxiating gasses commission) to be formed in 1915. Other than working on gasses to be used, the commission worked on protective devices against those aforementioned agents. Many designs were discussed, including the idea of professor Icilio Guareschi and Amedeo Herlitzka, who proposed a full face mask with a filter made of solid blocking substances, but this design wasn't developed further. When gas was first used on the Italian front, the soldiers were not prepared, and they coped by filling a handkerchief with earth and dry grass, which somewhat helped filtering air, but not much, and the casualties were numerous: up to 5000 men died in merely 20 minutes from the first attack. Because of that, development was rushed and the first mask approved was the Camician-Pesci (designed by Giacomo Ciamician and Leone Pesci, chemists who took part in the commission). After the battle of Caporetto, this design was ditched: in fact, the very short duration of the filtrating solution did not allow for soldiers to stay in the trenches and the moment they got out they'd be mowed down by machinegun fire.

Gallery Edit

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