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The T.35 was the standard territorial and military gas mask of the REI (Regio Esercito Italiano, royal Italian Army) from 1935 until the adoption of the M59. This mask was widely issued from 1935 until the early '60s to soldiers, civil protection, firefighters and industries. The latest T.35s were issued was around the late '70s.
- 1 Mask overview
- 2 Variants
- 2.1 Predecessors
- 2.2 Pirelli license T.35 variants (interwar and early War)
- 2.3 IAC license T.35 variants
- 2.4 Special rubber T.35 variants
- 2.5 Civilian variants (until 1945)
- 2.6 Phonic variants
- 2.7 Post-War production
- 2.8 Hooded variants
- 2.9 Optical variants
- 2.10 Copies
- 3 Kits
- 3.1 Territorial and military kits
- 3.2 Civilian kits
- 3.3 Industry and fire brigade kits
- 3.4 Spanish kits
- 3.5 Hungarian kits
- 4 Service life
- 4.1 Development
- 4.2 Adoption
- 4.3 Conflicts
- 4.4 Post-War military and territorial corps' use
- 4.5 Passive civilian use and further development
- 4.6 Industrial use
- 4.7 Hungarian use
- 4.8 Spanish use after the Spanish Civil War
- 5 Users
- 6 T.35 and the Media
- 7 Videos
- 8 Pirelli T.35 manual
- 9 Spasciani T.35 manual
- 10 Post-War T.35 unit manual
Mask overview[edit | edit source]
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 (outlet)
- the metal threaded piece that allows the filter to be screwed in and houses the inlet valve (inlet)
- 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 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.
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.
Sizes[edit | edit source]
The T.35 comes in three sizes, with 1 (I) being the largest, 3 (III) being the smallest and 2 (II) being the average one. The size is marked on the left side of the mask with a roman number.
Markings[edit | edit source]
On the left side of the mask, besides the mask name and the size, there is the company's marking and sometimes a series of dots of varying meaning, with regular non-post-War T.35 following the same logic as M.31-33 masks: the dots indicated the year of production, following the logic of mask name's year (1935 in this case) + the number of dots (which could also not be there, meaning the mask was made in that exact year). Some other variants have dots after their name, but it's not known whether they follow a similar logic or a different one.
On the right of the mask, there is the kit's register number, on the inside, under the right eyepiece, there is another register number, and on the exhale valve there's the producer's logo.
The T.35 was produced by various companies during multiple years.
The main producers of the T.35 were:
- I.A.C. (Industrie Articoli Caucciù, rubber items industries)
- S.I.G.L.A. (Stabilimento Industria Gomma Lavorazione Affini, Industrial plant for processing rubber and related. It is also referred to as Sacic incorrectly, as it is a different company located in Belgium)
Conservation[edit | edit source]
To preserve the mask, the manual recommends wetting the exhale valve with a solution of 30 % of glycerine and to keep the mask in a dark, dry and cool place, with little temperature range.
Variants[edit | edit source]
The T.35 was produced for numerous years by various companies (not to mention alterations done post-production), resulting in a myriad of variants and derivatives through which is hard to navigate. This section will present all T.35 variants and all the masks that are not properly T.35s but close relatives.
First and foremost it's important to mention that two slightly faceblank designs fall under the T.35 designation:
- S.C.M. license n. 9 of 17th May 1935 released for IAC
- S.C.M. license n. 10 of 23rd November 1935 released for Pirelli
The main differences between these two designs are the shape of the "nose" section and the outline on the sides (see the picture for reference).
Also notable are the different inlet assemblies, with Pirelli types being less deep than IAC ones, and eyepiece frames, as Pirelli used smaller "teeth" than what IAC used.
Predecessors[edit | edit source]
These masks share the same setup of the T.35, with some minor differences. For a detailed description, check the individual articles.
- 30mm variant(s) of the T.33 or T.35. Thes masks are only seen in some ads and books, often improperly listed as T.35s. They sport a T.33/35 style facepiece with 50mm lenses, 30mm inlets and early outlet valve assemblies (see the early S.I.P. 3s for reference), suggesting that this design could have originated as early as the late '20s.
- T.32, the original Italian territorial gas mask. The exhale valve used is a VD 25, completely different compared to the T.35 one; the outlet valve cover differs by having larger holes and a central peg to hold the valve down. The faceblank has the socket for the thread pointing directly down.
- Pr.C.33, identical to the T.32, differing in markings.
- R.M.F., the predecessor of the R.M.F.35 and first user of the phonic device later used in various T.35 variants.
- T.33, the predecessor to the Pirelli license T.35 facepieces. The difference comes down to the outlet valve, which is identical, save for the slightly larger base rubber ring. The exhale valve cover, the straps and the faceblank can vary.
- P.C. 34, the predecessor to IAC's license T.35 facepieces. The difference is in the exhale valve cover, and possibly the exhale valve.
Pirelli license T.35 variants (interwar and early War)[edit | edit source]
The Pirelli license facepieces was the most successful of the two facepiece types, and over the course of the late '30s completely replaced the IAC license production. In general, the later a mask was made the worse the materials, with most having lighter metals used in the exhale valve cover. The companies producing under this license were the following:
- Pirelli, which owned the license. The masks produced were meant for both military/territorial use and industrial use (the latter didn't have a serial number, though some territorial ones were repurposed for industrial use). Later production masks tend to be slightly thinner.
- IAC, which switched to the Pirelli license in the late '30s. These type of masks are always made with a single layer of rubber, and use IAC-style inlets and eyepieces.
- Superga, the masks made by this company are identical to Pirelli ones, save for the marking and the rubber quality
- SIGLA, these masks were made with a rubber blend similar to the one used with IAC masks, and the eyepiece frames were IAC style, too.
- Spasciani, this company produced T.35s with two different rubber types, the earlier type were made with a pretty standard natural rubber blend, while later production suffered a sharp decline in quality. The later type can be distinguished by the colour, which tends to look more brown and is often cracked.
- Pirelli (black), a rare Pirelli T.35 mask with black rubber and no additional marking (like SIR or Rs). Its use and age are unknown, it may be a T.35-SIR pre-series, a wartime industrial variant or an early Post-War production piece.
Pirelli masks can be found with non-standard repairs and IAC furniture and valves. These modifications were made in Spain during and after the Spanish Civli War, they are explored in detail in this section.
IAC license T.35 variants[edit | edit source]
Although completely replaced by the Pirelli license facepieces, the IAC license ones were produced in great number and were relatively as widespread in the ealy years. There are two properly so called IAC license T.35 variants: the earlier type was made with black rubber on the outside and khaki coloured on the inside, while the later ones were made exclusively of the khaki rubber.
The earlier type masks can be found with non-standard repairs and Pirelli furniture and valves. These modifications were made in Spain during and after the Spanish Civli War, they are explored in detail in this section.
Special rubber T.35 variants[edit | edit source]
During the Second World War, the severe lack of natural rubber impaired the production of the regular variants of the T.35, and as a result the production shifted to the use of synthetic and recycled rubber. It's still unclear which variant used which rubber type, though some names like the "cauccital" (similar in structure to Buna-S rubber but produced differently) can be seen in reference to rubber used in that era.
T.35R[edit | edit source]
The T.35R was a variant of the regular T.35 that differed only in the use of a double layer of rubber, with black rubber on the inside and a lighter-toned one on the outside. The companies that produced this variant were Pirelli (gray/walnut brown), IAC (beige), SIGLA (dark brown) and possibly Superga.
T.35Rs[edit | edit source]
The T.35Rs were composed of an double layer of rubber, internally black and light to dark gray on the outside. The nape pad was simplified, and the pad properly said was made of thick canvas. The companies producing this variant were Pirelli, IAC, Superga and SIGLA.
T.35-SIR[edit | edit source]
This variant of the T.35, exclusively produced by Pirelli, was moulded using a special kind of synthetic rubber (likely "cauccital"), and had simplified furniture, those being the previously mentioned simplified straps and an exhale valve cover made with lighter metals.
Civilian variants (until 1945)[edit | edit source]
P.C. 35[edit | edit source]
popolazione civile 35,civilian population 35
main article: P.C. 35
The P.C. 35 was IAC's civilian use of their T.35 facepiece license. It differed from the territorial/military ones by having only by the slightly different pattern of nape pad and by having differnt markings.
Pir. 35[edit | edit source]
main article: Pir. 35
The Pir. 35 was Pirelli's civilian T.35 variant. It was virtually identical to its military counterpart, save for markings. It came with either a dedicated T.35-style bag or a metal tube carrier, depending on the buyer's needs.
R.S. 37[edit | edit source]
Riccardo Spasciani 37
main article: R.S. 37
The R.S. 37 was Spasciani's civilian T.35 variant. It didn't differ from the military model, save for the markings. A post-War variant was made for industrial use.
P.C. 40 (Wartime-production)[edit | edit source]
popolazione civile 40,civilian population 40
main article: P.C. 40
The P.C. 40 was the cheapest variant of the T.35 ever devised, and it was issued for a small price and in certain contexts for free to the civilian population in case of a real threat of chemical attacks. It had thinner rubber, cellulose glasses and exclusively aluminium parts. A post-War variant was made for unknown use.
Phonic variants[edit | edit source]
F.T.35[edit | edit source]
Fonica Territoriale 35, Territorial phonic 35
main article: F.T.35
This variant of the Pirelli license facepiece was moulded with little to no difference in the rubber mask, it had a phonic device in front of the exhale valve to enhance the voice of the user and was provided with a Tissot system to prevent fogging. These kinds of masks were used by the Navy. F.T.35 masks were produced by Pirelli, Spasciani and SIGLA. IAC produced a similar variant. There were two types of "trumpets" used, a larger one for early Pirelli production and a smaller one for all the other masks.
T.35.F.[edit | edit source]
Territoriale 35 Fonica , Territorial 35 phonic
main article: T.35.F.
The T.35F. was IAC's take on the phonic concept, which unlike Pirelli's design was based on a unique mould. It sported a phonic device in front of the exhale valve and a tissot system. There are two variants, an earlier model made with IAC's signature double layer ruber (black outside and beige inside), and a later model made of beige rubber only.
P.C.35.F.[edit | edit source]
Popolazione civile 35 Fonica , Territorial 35 phonic
main article: P.C.35.F. (article pending due to lack of sources)
The P.C.35.F. is the non-military equivalent of the T.35.F., differing only by the marking on the left and the lack of a serial number on the right. Its use is unknown, possibly industrial, civilian, or both, perhaps outside Italy, too.
R.M.F.35[edit | edit source]
Regia Marina Fonica 35, royal navy phonic 35
main article: R.M.F.35
The R.M.F.35 was an improved version of the R.M.F. with a facepiece based on the Pirelli license T.35, much like the F.T.35. Earlier masks are found with the larger "trumpet", while later types have a smaller one. Some masks were issued with a hose and a large filter while others were issued with kits identical to F.T.35 ones (the facepieces in each of those kits would have to have a specific inlet thread, specifically a male 43mm thread for large kits and 40mm female DIN for small kits).
L.F. 40[edit | edit source]
Lanciafiamme 40,flamethrower 40
main article: L.F. 40
The L.F. 40 was an F.T. 35 variant designed for use with flamethrower units. It was coated in asbestos to insulate the user from the heat and provided with hooks to attach a hood.
Post-War production[edit | edit source]
After the end of the War, the T.35 was still widely issued and many masks were used as surplus by industries. But yet, new T.35 variants were made and used, mostly by industries and non-military corps.
Post-War Pirelli T.35 masks[edit | edit source]
After the war, T.35 masks made by Pirelli were manufactured with a new kind of blue-gray rubber and were mostly used by industries and firefighters, but also other territorial organizations and the Army. They all had small rubber studs around the eyepieces that served the purpose of keeping anti-fogging lenses adherent to the glass. The external markings always included Pirelli's new symbol (adopted in 1946) and the ENPI logo. The markings, inlet pieces and rubber shade varied slightly, but the biggest difference in production was the strap systems.
First version[edit | edit source]
The first type of post-War Pirelli T.35 production used the standard strap system used with pre-War T.35 masks. The earliest types used rubber that was more gray than blue, an inlet thread with a single stud going across it and valves made of the same blue rubber. Later models would have rubber with a bluer shade, and some times an inlet piece with a cross formation, like the one used with the M59.
Second version[edit | edit source]
The second type of the post-War Pirelli T.35 used rubber straps and a double hook system instead of the regular one seen in the previous versions. It always included the cross-type inlet piece and a date marking inside the faceblank.
P.C. 40 (Post-War)[edit | edit source]
popolazione civile 40,civilian population 40
main article: P.C. 40
During the '50s and '60s the P.C. 40 started being produced to a higher standard for industrial purposes, while still keeping the designation used for civilian ones (this may imply that at some point they were offered as civilian/civil protection masks). There are two variants, one with gray rubber, a single-stud inlet and a harness identical to the Wartime one, while the other one has blue rubber, a cross-type inlet and a T.35-style head harness.
P.C. 50[edit | edit source]
popolazione civile 50,civilian population 50
main article: P.C. 50
The P.C. 50 was an improved version of the post-War P.C. 40, with an integral Tissot system, meant for the same uses and produced at around the same time. There were two main variants, an earlier type with gray rubber with a hint of blue, an inlet piece with a single stud and a dedicated strap system made of rubber with the top strap made rigid. The later variant was made with bluer rubber, a cross-type inlet piece and a rubber harness with a double hook system. Some masks may have been used by civilians/civil protection.
RS-37 (Post-War)[edit | edit source]
Riccardo Spasciani 37
main article: RS-37
After the end of the war, Spasciani made an updated version of the R.S. 37 with rubber straps, exclusively intended for industrial use.
Hooded variants[edit | edit source]
S.I.P. 6 with T.35 facepiece[edit | edit source]
main article: S.I.P. 6
The S.I.P. 6 was a series of Pirelli masks that had a specific hood type attached to them, along with other modifications. The late variant of the S.I.P. 6 was made using a T.35, and it was made with either white or blue rubber. The mask sported a hook system with rubber straps outside its rubberized hood, which could be covered with "resivite" material if requested. This mask was used by industries when there was a risk of corrosive splashes.
Optical variants[edit | edit source]
During the late '30s Spasciani experimented with optical prototypes of the T.35, possibly as a competitor for the mask that would become the O.39. The company holds all existing pictures and surviving examples (some with 5 straps and some with 7).
Copies[edit | edit source]
Main article: Spanish T.35 copies
After the battle of Guadalajara in March 1937, the Republican Army captured hundreds of Italian gas masks. Some of the captured ones were also sent to the Bilbao and Catalonia to develop copies.
Kits[edit | edit source]
Territorial and military kits[edit | edit source]
Although initially meant for territorial use, most of the early kits were issued to the Army to some degree, with some later ones being exclusively for military use.
Early territorial-military kit[edit | edit source]
The regular kit was standard issue for most territorial and army corps. When unopened, both the filter and the mask were wrapped in paper, and the tab that closes the bag was tied with a string that had the company's seal attached.
The kit included the following:
- Canvas bag, with a size stamp
- T.35 facepiece, made by Pirelli, IAC or Spasciani
- T.35 filter
- Anti-fogging lenses and spare exhale valve
Spasciani kits had their spare exhale valve and anti-fogging lenses in the same small box.
Late territorial-military kit[edit | edit source]
M.42 kit[edit | edit source]
This War-time kit had the same accessories as the regular kit, but it was issued with an M.42 filter (supposedly, as most were issued with a T.35 filter) and an M.42 bag. The M.42 bag had extra pockets at the front that allowed better storage of the kit. Some of these bags sport a large pocket in the bag for keeping a protective sheet, it's unclear whether the bags with this pocket are from the War or not.
Irregular territorial kit[edit | edit source]
Territorial corps that were issued the T.35 sometimes did not receive a regular kit but a variation of it, which include certainly a territorial filter (a T.35, a Pir. 35, or a Dirzepo) and either a canvas bag or a tube carrier. The rest of the kit varied, possibly including none or some of the following: anti-fogging lenses, a manual, a spare exhale valve.
[edit | edit source]
The navy kit did not differ in the content of the bag, the only notable differences are the filter, which has a paper sheet attached to it where the issue number and unit the mask was issued to. On the bag itself, there was a small pocket that allowed a tag to be put in, which showed the name, issue number and unit of the owner of the mask. Early navy kits were issued with a regular T.35 bag.
Cardboard box kit[edit | edit source]
Some SIGLA T.35R were issued with a cardboard box that had a single strap and a cardboard lid. This kit consisted of the mask, the filter, an envelope containing the anti-fogging lenses and a small box containing a spare exhale valve.
U.N.P.A. kit[edit | edit source]
The U.N.P.A. was issued with uniquely marked T.35 masks and T.35 filter, the latter of which could have been either orange or the regular brown. The carrier used was either the metal one for Pirelli masks, the metal one for IAC ones or the regular canvas bag, again for IAC masks.
Post-War kit[edit | edit source]
After the war, the mask was usually issued with the same kit as the regular one.
Civilian kits[edit | edit source]
Industry and fire brigade kits[edit | edit source]
Industrial T.35 masks were issued with a range of different kits, which depended on the customer's choice. The filter was usually a Dirin one specific to the threat faced, but sometimes T.35 masks and their variants used industrially still sported their original filter. Large filters like the Tubin usually had a hose and a cage carrier to carry them around. Sometimes T.35 masks were issued with the regular canvas bag, other times with a metal box. Some kits also had anti-fogging lenses and filter use timers. The T.35 could also be issued with a special hose to attach to a fresh air breathing apparatus.
Fire brigade[edit | edit source]
The pre-War fire brigade T.35 kits usually consisted of a territorial T.35 with a regular T.35 filter and a T.35 bag marked "V.V.F.". After the War, the mask used were mostly Post-War production T.35 mask with Dirin 600U filters.
Spanish kits[edit | edit source]
Recovery kits[edit | edit source]
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, the government set out to gather all of the various gas equipment issued by both sides, in an effort to re-issue said equipment in a standardized way. A lot of T.35 kits went through this recovery process, and after that, some were refurbished and used in the Army. The filters were labelled with a paper that stated the recovery origin of the filter.
These facepieces can sometimes present multiple modifications, which most likely happened during the War:
- Inlet piece replaced with a piece from a different firm (Pirelli with IAC and vice versa)
- Outlet valve replaced with a piece from a different firm
- Different wiring and tape for the connections with the inlet and outlet, most likely done when repaired by the Republicans
- White tape used over the seams between the faceblank and the straps, this modification is possibly post-War
Spanish refurbished variants[edit | edit source]
In the early '50s, the "La Marañosa" firm refurbished a great number of Recovered T.35 masks from the Spanish Civil War to have them issued to the Spanish Army.
First variant[edit | edit source]
The masks and especially their kit were subject to major changes:
The previous kit was completely disposed of, save for the anti-fogging lenses. In place of it, the mask was issued with a CMP filter and a dedicated bag, similar to the regular T.35 one but green and closed with a buckle.
The mask itself had the housings of the inlet and outlet valve resealed with special clamps instead of wire and tape like before; the inlet had a rubber ring added to it to seal with CMP filters, which didn't have external rubber rings like T.35 filters. The inlet valve was some times replaced with one produced by La Marañosa, as was the tape that covers the seams between the faceblank and the straps. The exhale valve was not changed. Note that some Pirelli facepieces can have IAC parts or vice versa, this change probably happened during the recovery process they went through before this refurbishment described here, or even during the War. The furniture of the masks was painted with the Spanish Army's standard green to signify its use with said army and cover the Italian colour.
Second variant[edit | edit source]
In the early '60s, the "La Marañosa" firm again refurbished T.35 masks, this time replacing completely the inlet assembly and heavily modifying the outlet assembly by removing the inside of said assembly, making the outlet valve directly exposed to the user. Other than that, the changes to the facepiece were the same as the previous variant.
Instead of a canvas bag, this variant was issued with a metal container, much like other German-derivative masks of the Spanish Civil War.
Hungarian kits[edit | edit source]
T.35 masks sold to Hungary were often issued with a territorial kit. The filters used were commonly the T.35 filter and in rare occasions Dirzepest filters (Pirelli filter). If there was no dedicated filter available, a rubber ring was added to the thread to be able to mount Hungarian filters (34M, Hungarian industrial filters).
Service life[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
During the late '20s-early '30s the Italian Army was seeking renovation in its chemical protection equipment. The first mask adopted after the Small Box Respirator was the Penna in 1928, which was widely adopted in the Army. Because of its flaws, after 2 years the Army was seeking renovation again. Furthermore, there was a push to prepare the civilian population for possible chemical attacks.
These factors led to the creation of 3 kinds of masks, with different price ranges and purpose:
- The M.31 was adopted as the main military mask, and its price was higher than 80 lire (Italy's currency at the time) per piece, which was a lot, but that kind of mask could protect the wearer for a very long time
- The P.C. 30 was adopted as the main civilian mask, with its price being 30 to 40 lire per piece. Its duration was much shorter, but it still worked well enough for passive use
- The T.32 was developed as an intermediate mask, cheaper than the military type but sturdier than the civilian mask, made for use with trained non-combatant personnel, from which derives its designation as a "maschera territoriale" (territorial mask).
The T.32 saw some use but it was later dropped for newer models. During the Pr.C. 33 was adopted, and it was used in the same manner as the T.32, but mostly for propaganda purposes.
During the following years, the two main companies selling gas masks to the Army (Pirelli and IAC) provided two similar designs for a new territorial/civilian mask with a chin-mounted filter, respectively the P.C. 34 and the T.33. Eventually, a successor was made for each of those, and as both designs were fit for their purpose, in 1935 they would be officially adopted under the same designation, T.35.
Adoption[edit | edit source]
This new territorial mask, lighter than a military mask and more robust than a civilian one, was fit for most purposes, and because of that, it was widely issued to most territorial forces, replacing most respirators used before. In some instances, some civilian variants of the T.35 and other respirators approved by the S.C.M. were used, mostly those suited for active civilian duty.
The Army initially issued T.35 masks only in Ethiopia, as the weight and bulk of a full military respirator were deemed excessive and gas attacks from the enemy were deemed improbable or minute in scale at most. Over the following years, the army would adopt the T.35 for all of its colonies and for a big chunk of the army, especially those that needed lighter equipment (paras and bersaglieri), eventually replacing completely the M.31-33 in 1949.
The Navy, which at the time had issued various masks (R.M.2, R.M.3, R.M.F.), adopted the T.35 only for terrestrial duties. To better fit the Navy's needs, a modified variation of the T.35 incorporating the same phonic device as the R.M.F. was devised and adopted as the F.T. 35. Later, the R.M.F. 35 would be made with features from both the R.M.F. and the F.T. 35.
1937, night-time air-raid protection training[edit | edit source]
1942, UNPA training[edit | edit source]
Various other instances of the T.35 being used[edit | edit source]
Conflicts[edit | edit source]
Ethiopian War[edit | edit source]
The first conflict the mask saw use in was the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, in which, as previously mentioned, the T.35 was preferred to the M.31-33 as it was less of a hindrance and because gas attacks from the enemy were not expected to be grand. Gas has been used by the Italian side, but it's unlikely that the T.35 were actually used.
Spanish Civil War[edit | edit source]
The first European conflict this mask saw use in the Spanish Civil War. During this conflict, there was a really felt fear for gas attacks from both sides, and because of that, there was a rush to get the soldiers ready against this threat. The nationalist faction received aid from Germany and Italy, which supplied respectively 50.692 and 318.908 gas masks. The Italian masks gifted this way were mostly T.35 but also M.31-33 and Penna masks. When Italian soldiers entered the battlefield, they were issued with the same masks previously mentioned.
After the battle of Guadalajara in March 1937, the Republican Army captured hundreds of Italian gas masks, which would be issued against the nationalists during the rest of the war. Some of the captured T.35s and M.31-33s were also sent to Bilbao and Catalonia to develop a copy: these copies were produced in Bilbao, Villanova, La Geltrú and in Catalonia (unknown numbers). The captured T.35s that had damage done to them were repaired with spare parts (often not firm-consistent), sometimes they had rewired inlets and outlets with blue tape, and the seams between the faceblank and the straps were covered by extra tape, white in colour (the latter might have happened after the War).
Second World War[edit | edit source]
During the Second World War, the T.35 was brought in every battlefield alongside the M.31 and the M.33, but it never saw real use, as no gas was ever dropped during the conflict.
Post-War military and territorial corps' use[edit | edit source]
After the end of the War, the Army still issued both T.35 and M.31-33 masks, but as soon as 1949 the latter was ruled out of service due to complexity in maintenance. During the following years, the T.35 was the main military respirator, alongside a small number of M9A1 masks. In 1959 the Army adopted the M59, which slowly replaced the T.35 in the army, the civil defence and the red cross, while other commercial masks replaced the T.35 in other fields (such as the C.60 for the fire brigade). The latest the T.35 was seen being used by any institution for anything different than training was during the late '70s. Some sources claim it was used for training until shortly after the adoption of the M90.
Passive civilian use and further development[edit | edit source]
The T.35, or more precisely, the Pir. 35 and the P.C. 35, were allowed to be sold directly to civilians, as other masks already were. Those models were required to show S.C.M.'s license on the side of the mask. After some time, Spasciani presented its own civilian T.35, which was the R.S. 37, a licensed copy of the Pirelli pattern.
During 1940 a new type of T.35 was sold directly by the State to the civilian population in case of a real threat of chemical attacks, it was much cheaper and had thinner rubber, cellulose glasses and aluminium parts. The designation was P.C. 40 and it was produced by Pirelli, SIGLA and Superga.
After the War, P.C. 40s were produced with a different kind of rubber and Triplex glasses, for an unknown motive. A successor of this was devised and produced, with a rubber harness sporting a hook system and integral Tissot tubes, its designation was P.C. 50 and its use was as mysterious as the post-War P.C. 40.
Industrial use[edit | edit source]
Before the War, T.35 masks weren't used in industry, but some commercial variants were, and they were issued with threat-specific filters. After the War though, there was a great surplus of military masks, and those became widely used in various industries, some times with threat-specific filters, some times with regular T.35 ones or civilian ones. New dedicated industrial variants were devised and used, before and after the War, such as the late S.I.P. 6, the hooded variant of the T.35.
After the years, T.35 masks and their variants were slowly ruled out of industrial use.
Hungarian use[edit | edit source]
The first masks were imported by Mercur Műszaki és Vegyipari Rt. but later this was done by Légoltalmi Kft. (Air defence Co.) alongside with other Italian Pirelli masks like T.33 and S.I.P. 3 with T.35 and Dirzepest filters as early as 1938. After the Bled agreement of 22 August 1938 Italy gifted some masks to Hungary. On 16 January 1939, the T.35 and T.33 with T.35 and Dirzepest filters went into service by Légoltalmi liga (the predecessor of Polgári védelem - Civil Defence), Magyar Királyi Posta (Royal Hungarian Post) and civilians as Mg. gázálarc (Hungarian: Gumi munkgagázálarc - Rubber work gas mask), for the Ruthenians in Hungarian occupied Transcarpathia it was called Рз. противогазъ ("Rz. protivogaz"). The price was the same as the M. gázálarc; 23 Pengő with bag or 18,50 Pengő with cardboard carrier. At some point IAC made masks were imported too, but the circumstances of this import are unknown. After the war, the mask was used in the industry and a lot of masks were converted to use with rebreathers for mine rescue (with Dräger KG rebreather series and Degea Audos MR series).
Spanish use after the Spanish Civil War[edit | edit source]
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, the government set out to gather all of the various gas equipment issued by both sides, in an effort to re-issue said equipment in a standardized way. A lot of T.35 kits went through this recovery process, and after that, some were refurbished and used in the Army. They would get replaced by the M2-73 in the '70s.
Users[edit | edit source]
Italy[edit | edit source]
Esercito Italiano (Italian army). The T.35 was used as the main respirator until the adoption of the M59. It used the T.35 for training supposedly even after the adoption of the M90, and might still be used in some instances to this day
UNPA aka Unione Nazionale Protezione Antiaerea(national union for air-raids defence, fascist). It used the T.35 in its dedicated UNPA variant but also in the regular version and in the other civilian versions
Fire Brigade. Before the war, T.35 issued to this corp had a regular territorial kit. After the war, some were regular T.35 and others were Pirelli industrial variants with Dirin 600U filters
Italian red cross.The red cross used the T.35 to prepare for eventual gas attacks. It was issued until the adoption of the M59, when it started slowly getting replaced
Italian civilians could purchase civilian variants of the T.35 before the widespread sale of P.C. 40
Spain[edit | edit source]
Hungary[edit | edit source]
Légoltalmi liga (pre-Civil Defence).After the Bled agreement of 22 August 1938 Italy gifted some masks to Hungary. On 16 January 1939, the T.35 and T.33 with T.35 and Dirzepest filters went into service by Légoltalmi liga
T.35 and the Media[edit | edit source]
The T.35 was so widespread that if found its way into multiple pieces of media, mostly Italian ones but with a few exceptions, some of which are listed below:
- The T.35 can be commonly found in Fallout 4 as the gas mask with goggles, although its presence there would be unlikely in real life, even without the hindrance of total atomic annihilation.
- A slightly inaccurate representation on the T.35 can be found in Battlefield 5 as the headpiece of the "Alpini" skin set. Note that the filter used is a French civilian one, which would not fit in the thread.
- The T.35 can be seen worn by Cristina Blackwater (model) in the Blood Shake musical video by Dope D.O.D and Salmo.
Videos[edit | edit source]
- 1958 colour video of firefighters training T.35 masks with DIRIN 600U filters can be seen after the 1:16 mark.
- 1935 Chemical protection exhibit The T.35 was shown for the first times in these exhibitions
- 1942 air-raid training T.35 masks can be seen amongst other masks in various scenes.
- Training in the mountains during the Second World War T.35 masks can be seen in the first part of this short video.
- Italian girls of the GIL parading, 1939 in the streets T.35 masks can be seen after 0:42 mark.
- 1973, Porto Maghera's strike to complain about the mandatory use of gas masks Various masks, including the T.35, can be seen being worn by protesters.
- Hungarian World News No. 819 Air defense practice in Budapest, Mg. gázálarc can be seen in use by BSzKRT and Légoltalmi Liga workers after 1:10.
Pirelli T.35 manual[edit | edit source]
The pictures used in this manual are actually of a T.32 and not a T.35, but those two masks don't differ operationally so the same pictures could be used multiple times.
Spasciani T.35 manual[edit | edit source]
Spasciani-made manuals used pictures taken by Pirelli.