A Little Bit Of History: Camouflage Face Masks (Gesichstarnmasken)

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12.10.2012
Sifting through an old book today, Camouflage Uniforms of the Waffen-SS, we came across a nice section on headgear. One of the pieces was a camouflaged face mask that was really only in use at the beginnings of World War II by the Waffen-SS (Armed-SS). "The camouflaged face mask was one of the early pieces tested beginning in December 1936. Originally the face mask was called "face camouflage" (gesichtstarnung). In 1938 it was referred to as "face veil" (gesichtsschleier). Then in 1940 the term "camouflage veil" (tarnschleier) was applied before its final label as "camouflage face masks" (gesichstarnmasken) appeared in 1942." The mask was more or less discontinued when soldiers discovered that while it was efficient in concealing the face, a vulnerable body part in combat, it also restricted their vision and hindered their ability to fully engage in combat especially when moving.