The T.35 was the standard military gas mask of the R.E.I. (Regio esercito italiano, royal Italian army) from 1935 until the adoption of the M59.
Mask overview Edit
The face piece was made with stamped rubber of varying colours, which was more resistant to wear and aging than its predecessor. It has two "unbreakable" glass eye pieces that sport a metal ring each for putting on anti-fogging lenses. The exhale valve is in the front and it's covered by a removable lid for protection. The filter intake is at the bottom. The inhale valve is a rubber disc just above the filter intake. The mask uses the standard Italian five straps system, four of which are elastic.
The T.35 was produced by various companies and during multiple years. On the left side of the mask, beside the mask name, there is the company's marking and sometimes a series of dots, each one representing how many years later was the mask produced (although every mask with x dots was produced in the year 1935 + x, not all masks without dots were produced in 1935; some T.35 variants like the Rs and the post-war types follow a similar marking scheme, with the first production date different). On the right of the mask there is the register number, and on the inside, under the right eye piece there is another register number.
The main producers of the T.35 were:
- I.A.C. (Industrie Articoli Caucciù, rubber items industries)
- S.I.G.L.A. (also referred to as Sacic incorrectly, as its a different branch of Pirelli located in Belgium)
The exhale valve on the T.35-style masks tends to spoil over time because of the very thin rubber they are made of. To preserve the aforementioned, the field pamphlet recommends wetting the front with a solution of 10-30 % of glycerine. If this solution is not possible, it's better to keep the mask in a dark, dry and cool place.
The standard T.35 filter was a brown-painted metal box containing the various filtering substances.
In 1941, Italian soldiers fighting in Africa were issued with the special SCM-41 filter, designed to work best under torrid environments. It sported an external rubber seal that allowed it to be used with Italian masks.
In 1942 a new type of filter made and issued, the M.42 filter: it was lighter and a bit more efficient, and it would be used alongside the older T.35 filters until the M58 filter came along much later.
Satchel and kit Edit
The kit came in a simple mono-strap hemp bag containing the filter, the pamphlet, the anti-fogging lenses, the anti-fogging soap and the mask itself. Sometimes there was also a small box containing a spare exhale valve. After 1942, the masks were provided with the M42 filter and the new M42 satchel, which had a large pocket in the back and two smaller pockets in the front to allow better storage of the rest of the kit.
This variant had a trumpet in front of the exhale valve to enhance the voice of the user and was provided with a tissot system to prevent fogging. The mask was mainly used by the navy. I.A.C. masks were marked as T.35F.
P.C.35 Protezione civile 35, civil protection type 35 Edit9th gas mask approved by the S.C.M. (Servizio Chimico Militare, chemical military service) on 17 May 1935.This variant was almost the same as the normal T.35, the only differences being the markings and that it was issued with a civilian filter and either the civilian cylindrical box or the T.35 satchel.
Pir. 35 Pirelli 35 Edit
10th gas mask approved by the S.C.M. (Servizio Chimico Militare, chemical military service) on 23 November 1935.This variant was almost the same as the normal T.35, the only differences being the markings and that it was issued with a civilian filter and either the civilian cylindrical box or the T.35 satchel.
The T.35R and the T.35Rs used a special kind of rubber. Apart from that, there is no difference between the T.35 and these two variants.
T.35-SIR EditThis variant of the T.35 was made using a new kind of black rubber and sported an M42 filter and the upgraded M42 satchel.
T.35 post-war variants Edit
This T.35 variant was made using the same rubber as the later M59 and sported an M42 filter. Some parts were changed through the years, but the base idea was kept.
First version Edit
The first type of post-war Pirelli T.35 production was almost the same as the original, just made to a better standard with the newly implemented rubber compound.
Second version Edit
After the first production run of the new T.35, Pirelli made some modification to the straps: the standard Italian system was replaced by a French-inspired hook system and those new straps were made of rubber instead of cloth.
Service life Edit
This mask entered service in 1935 and became the standard issue gas mask of the Regio Esercito Italiano.
This mask saw two major conflicts, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. During the first mentioned there were no officially exported gas masks, hence no type designation and no service regulations or instructions. The Italian troops fighting there usually had an I.A.C. T.35 (because of its special intake that allowed both italian and German filters to be used, the last one only if a rubber seal was added) or an M33 with a GM-30 intake-outtake piece with either a Spanish or a German filter and satchel. Some of those masks were also issued to local Spanish groups. Some non-I.A.C. T.35 was issued with an adaptor to use German filters (Italian and German filters are both 40 mm, but the Italian filters use an external rubber seal while the German ones seal internally, as previously mentioned). During World War Two, the T.35 was brought in every battlefield, but it never saw use because gas was never dropped during the conflict. After the war, the mask was still used by the Italian army and some industries; it was produced using a new kind of rubber. The mask was also used by the French army with an adaptor to use the french 42 mm filters. After the introduction of the M59, the mask was used only with training purpose until there where enough M59s to arm the entire army.
- Around the time of the Spanish civil war, some local shops made knockoff versions of the T.35.
- Some T.35 copies are rumoured to have been made in Yugoslavia, though no proof has been found yet.
T.35 and the Media Edit
- 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 total atomic annihilation.
- The T.35 can be seen worn by Cristina Blackwater (model) in the Blood Shake musical video by Dope D.O.D and Salmo.
- The T.35 can be seen worn by various actors in the Tapparella musical video by Elio e le Storie Tese.