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BRITISH FIRST WORLD WAR TANK MASK
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Sculpture, Paintings & Curiosities

BRITISH FIRST WORLD WAR TANK MASK

Designed to protect the tank crew from flying metal shards

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BRITISH FIRST WORLD WAR TANK MASK

1914 to 1918 The Great War tank mask is of steel faced to the exterior with leather and backed with padded chamois leather for comfort. The viewing panels have slitted eye protection and a chain mail skirt is suspended to protect the mouth. The mask is secured to the head with tapes which are knotted at the back. According to Stuart Halifax of the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, when the tank came under sustained machine gun fire small shards of metal, called 'splashes' would fly around in the inside of the tank which was really just a large metal box fitted with caterpillar tracks. These small sharp metal pieces could do enormous damage to the faces of the tank crews and so these almost medieval looking masks were introduced. Museum Collections: National Army Museum, Chelsea, London Stock No. 1954

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