Bereitschaftbüchse (or ready-to-use single container, known among collectors as Type M1916)
DATE OF INTRODUCTION
March 1916 (KM n.5200/ 3.16)
It was the first container made from a single piece of pressed steel to be used as a container for the Rahmenmaske (frame gas mask) and also for the older Linienmaske (line gas mask), both of which came with a gas filter already screwed on: before this container was introduced, the mask and two spare filters were stored in separate tin containers.
Its main features are a cylindrical body with a groove in the middle of the body, a closing lid with a small iron tab to open it and with a paper disc with instructions on how to use the gas mask on the inside. On the inner bottom, two crossed steel springs were used to lock the gas mask filter when the mask was stored inside to prevent the mask from accidentally falling out of the container, as the closing lid did not have any retention hooks.
On the outside, two upper steel loops were used for fastening the carrying strap, while a third on the bottom was used for a strap to fasten the buttons of the soldier's tunic.
Some variants are known due to technical improvements, for example those with a wire cross on the inside of the closing lid, or the type that is lacquered all black on the inside.
The manufacturers were unknown until now, but it is assumed that there were many steel companies that produced it, considering the presence of many different acronyms stamped on them.
Every soldier and officer at the front had to carry his gas mask with him. The carrying can was usually hung from the neck and put on the breast or on the side. When the gas alarm was given, he must quickly open the can, extract the gas mask and fit it to the wearer’s head. Filters could be easily changed by unscrewing the first and screwing on the new one. After use, the mask had to be cleaned, checked if damaged or not, and put completely dry inside the carrying can.