The T.32 was an Italian gas mask used during the early 30s' by various non-combatant forces and organizations. This was the first territorial mask for Italy, it was made to fill the gap between the expensive military mask and short-lasting civilian ones.
Mask overview Edit
The mask is composed of the following parts:
The faceblank, made of moulded rubber, has the following parts attached to it:
- the housing for the exhale valve
- the metal threaded piece that allows the filter to be screwed in and houses the intake valve
- the eyepieces
- the straps
The inhale valve allows filtered air in from the filter and does not allow exhaled air to go back out from the filter again. Said rubber valve is housed in the metal threaded piece.
The VD 25 exhale valve allows exhaled air to go outside and prevents poisoned air to get in. It's made of rubber, it opens under the light pressure of exhaling and closes hermetically under the negative pressure produced by the inhalation. It can be easily inspected and possibly replaced by unscrewing the lid of its housing. In particular, its shape resembles that of the P.C. 30 ones.
The eyepieces are made of "Triplex" glass, which itself is composed of two glass layers and a thin sheet of cellulose. This kind of glass prevents poisoned air to get into the mask even after being hit, as only the outside layer of glass would be shattered and the other two layers would maintain the seal. The glasses are affixed to the mask through aluminium frames.
The elastic harness has the goal to keep the mask tightly onto the face. It is composed of 5 adjustable straps (a top one, two elastic temple ones and two elastic cheek ones) attached to the facepiece, and they gather into a nape pad.
The anti-fogging disks are kept tightly onto the lenses by metal inserts and serve the purpose of maintaining good visibility.
Kit EditThe T.32 came with a dark coloured Dirin filter and possibly a spare exhale valve and either anti-fogging soap or anti-fogging lenses; all of the above were carried using its dedicated carrier.
During the early '30s, there was a need for a gas mask suitable for territorial non-combatant forces, a need that was satisfied with the adoption of the T.32. This mask was cheaper than the military type but sturdier than the civilian mask, making it ideal for this role as a "maschera territoriale" (territorial mask).
The T.32 saw some use, and a year later an exact copy of this mask, the Pr.C.33, was adopted as a propaganda mask. Around 1935, both of these masks were replaced by the T.35, the newer and improved territorial mask.
- Air-raid training, Rome, 1931. From 9:42 it's possible to see what seems to be T.32s or its industrial variant from which it derives
- Air-raid training, Rome, 1932. From 1:32 several people wearing T.32s are visible and there are some close-ups
- P.C. 30 and T.32 in action used by Balillas, unspecified date