Skin decontamination ointment container
Roughly, 10cm tall, 6.5cm wide and 2cm thick, molded orange bakelite construction, flask like, container with an extended, 3cm tall, pointed tip spout with a screw cap closure to the top edge. The bottom edge of the container is well marked with embossed script, "Hautentgiftungsalbe", (Skin Decontamination Ointment), the manufacturers three letter code and date, "gbj" "1942". The bottom also has the burnt in numerals, "3/43", possibly indicating the ointments issue or expiry date. The container is in overall very good condition with minor surface scratching and age toning
With the development of poisonous gasses used as offensive weapons in WWI appropriate defensive gasmasks and accessories also had to be developed. The German WWI M1915 and M1917 gasmasks evolved into the Reichswehr era M24 gasmask and eventually into the M30 and M38 gasmasks used in WWII. All German Army personnel were issued with a gasmask, carrying canister and accessories and were required to have them readily available at all times. Although the use of chemical warfare agents was considered by the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), fear of the Allies retribution forced them to reconsider and shelf the idea. In 1941 a new skin decontamination ointment was introduced that was designed to replace the earlier established skin decontamination tablets. The ointment was issued ready to use while the tablets required preparation before usage. The changeover from the decontamination tablets to the decontamination ointment was never fully achieved, and both were issued from 1941 to the end of the war.