Draeger Heeresatmer


 Home Main Database German DatabasePage up Fotos Heeresatmer



Date: 16 June 2002

  “ARMY BREATHER” not for underwater purposes (SCBA)
KG 120 = kreislauf geräte

JW. Bech







Land of origin



Special Note: 

Deutsche Civilen Luftschutzes /Fire


User group



Part no:

 Draegerwerk 759 / KG120


Working principle

Constant Mass Flow

1,5 ltr/min

Gas type

Oxygen 100%


Cylinder volume

1 liter


Max. cylinder pressure

150 bar

IP 3 bar

Material of cylinder



Counterlung inspire

5.5 liter


Counterlung exhale



Dive time duration

1 hour


Operating temperature

Not specified


Magnetic signature



Weight ready to use in Air



Weight ready to use in water




Land operations only


Scrubber material

Alkali (Bariumhydroxid?)












No on/off valve









Fullface mask





 Bypass by means of lever directly connected to counterlung (fysical), operating bypass valve for extra oxygen supply! Surplus; Manual Bypass button operated.Also there is a acoustic warning signal when the oxygen bottle is not opened!


Fotos Heeresatmer


If you have any information to add this sheet please mail it to jw.bech@quicknet.nl References to source and names will always be added!  


Info found:


Origin: http://www.therebreathersite.nl


Info: I have a PDF file on the unit. Please send an email and I will inform you



Der Heeresatmer


First World War Origins

The use of oxygen breathing apparatus for use against gas in the German Army dates back to 1915, when Dräger-Tübben Modell 1914 30-minute oxygen sets were issued in small numbers to certain font line troops.  The British had issued Siebe Gorman Salvus oxygen sets to their machine gunners and artillerymen, but realised that such equipment was too clumsy and required special training. 

While planning their first gas attack for Loos in 1915, the British took the German oxygen apparatus into consideration:

"It was also ascertained that German officers and machine-gunners were equipped with oxygen mine-rescue sets which were effective for half an hour at most; so that in planning our first gas attack it was hoped that unless an improved pattern of German mask was introduced in the meantime, a gas discharge of forty minutes might find some of the enemy without a mask at all;...while the oxygen sets would be useless, at any rate for the last ten minutes of the attack."

The Dräger-Tübben apparatus was later supplemented by the issue of Dräger's one-hour Heeres Sauerstoff Schutzgerät (HSS-Gerät) or 'Army Oxygen Equipment' of 1916. More than 100,000 Dräger-Tübben and 16,000 HSS sets were eventually issued during the war.  The HSS saw service through to the end of the war and after the introduction of the more complex and heavier Heeresatmer.

The Heeresatmer (HA) (Army Breathing Apparatus) was a self-contained oxygen breathing apparatus developed from a series of sets manufactured by Dräger. Visually and mechanically quite similar to the Dräger Modell 1923 apparatus, the HA actually seems to have been adapted and simplified from a later civilian type used by fire brigades, in mine rescue and other industrial tasks. Referred to in early civil defence literature as the "Preß-Sauerstoff-Atmungsgerät mit Regeneration" (Pressurized Oxygen Regenerating Breathing Apparatus) this apparatus appears to be the same as the Dräger Modell 160 apparatus. The German Luftschutzdienst (Air Defence Service) were probably issued this civilian model for rescue work initially, but were later issued with the military Heeresatmer.

The HA was issued for use in atmospheres where an ordinary filter respirator was insufficient, namely in confined spaces with a deficiency of oxygen, in very high concentrations of toxic air or in the presence of poison gas that filters could not protect against. The danger of such atmospheres was such that German regulations specified that the Heeresatmer was to be "always used with two, preferably three men, each similarly equipped" in case one of the team was injured or his apparatus failed for whatever reason.


Weighing in at 11.8kg, the Heeresatmer consisted of a lightweight metal two-piece casing carried on the back using two leather shoulder staps and a waist belt. Ribs were raised on the outer surface of the back panel of the casing, allowing the apparatus to be pushed along ahead of the wearer should he need to remove the set from his back (whilst still wearing the mask) to negociate a low or narrow obstacle.

The back panel could be removed by the use of a spring-loaded catch at the bottom of the casing. (Move your mouse over the image at left to do this!) Inside, mounted on the main part of the casing were the main components: the oxygen control group, oxygen bottle and breathing bag, with the necessary connecting tubes and hoses. On a shelf near the top of the casing sat the CO2 regeneration filter.

Running through holes in the casing were a pressure gauge for the oxygen supply and a twin hose assembly that led to the wearer's facepiece.

Those using the Heeresatmer wore their normal respirator facepiece with it; this was so that the facepiece would be guarenteed to provide a proper fit for the individual. Facepieces fitted with outlet valves required a slight adjustment before they could be used; the screw-cap used to seal the twin hose manifold whilst it was stored in the transit chest was fitted over the valve from inside the mask, in order to keep the circuit sealed off from the outside atmosphere when the apparatus was in use.

Any mask fitted with an inlet valve needed it to be removed, as air had to be both inhaled and exhaled through the filter attachment housing. Tools were provided so that the older GM-17, GM-18 and GM-24 facepieces could be adapted and used as well as the newer GM-30 and GM-38 types. The Russians found a Heeresatmer set in Hitler's bunker when they searched it in May 1945. There is no direct evidence that it was actually for the Führer's personal use, but it is quite possible: "A door led to Hitler's bedroom...here was a bed with a night table...a safe in which he kept secret papers...and oxygen apparatus."  Cabinets in a nearby corridor contained ordinary gas masks and other air-raid equipment.

After the war, Czechoslovakian manufacturer Chirana (who had probably been producing equipment for the Germans during occupation) manufactured a copy of the Heeresatmer, known as the E-146.

Published with the permission of Peter Hubbs. Homepage of Peter: http://www.nbcd.org.uk




Top of page

Please sign my Guestbook