PH helmet

PH helmet

The P helmet, PH helmet and PHG helmet were early types of gas mask issued by the British Army in the First World War, to protect troops against chlorine, phosgene and tear gases. Rather than having a separate filter for removing the toxic chemicals, they consisted of a gas-permeable hood worn over the head which was treated with chemicals.

The P (or Phenate) Helmet, officially called the Tube Helmet, [cite web | url = http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/thegreatwar/articles/weapons/gasapparatus.htm | title = The Apparatus Of Gas Warfare On The Western Front In The Great War | work = The Western Front Association | accessdate=2008-01-21] appeared in July 1915, [cite_journal | journal =Chemical warfare | title=Gas mask development | author = CWS Barker | volume=12 | issue = 7 | pages=11–15 | year=1926 | url=http://www33.brinkster.com/iiiii/gasmask/development.html] replacing the simpler Hypo Helmet. It featured two mica eyepieces instead of the single visor of its predecessor, and added an exhaust valve fed from a metal tube which the wearer held in his mouth. The exhaust valve was needed because a double layer of flannel – one treated and one not – was needed because the solution attacked the fabric.

It had flannel layers of cloth-dipped in sodium phenolate and glycerin and protected against chlorine and phosgene, but not against tear gas. Around 9 million were made.

The PH Helmet (Phenate Hexamine) replaced it in October 1915, and added hexamethylene tetramine, which greatly improved protection against phosgene [ [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/rrhin10.txt The Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War] , Victor LeFebure, at Project Gutenberg] and added protection against hydrocyanic acid. [ [http://www.eustis.army.mil/dtpmsec/NBC_School/Mask%20History.pdf History of the U.S. Army's protective mask] ] Around 14 million were made and it remained in service until the end of the war by which time it was relegated to second line use.

The PHG Helmet appeared in January 1916 and was similar to the PH Helmet but had a facepiece made of rubber sponge to add protection against tear gas. Around one and a half million were produced in 1916-1917.

It was finally superseded by the small box respirator in February 1916, which was much more satisfactory against high concentrationsof phosgene or lachrymators.

References

External links

* [http://www.gasmasks.net/database/uk/uk.htm The gas mask database: The UK]


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