The M69 was first introduced into trials during late 1968, being fully adopted in 1969, making it the Chinese Military Gas Mask model of 1969. The mask was brought into production to attempt to replace all MF4 and M65 Gas masks in service ( this was never fully carried out as the MF4/M65/M69) are all in use today in the PLA. This was China’s first attempt at making a truly modern mask. The mask featured Tissot tubes, a rubber voice diaphragm, large triangular eye pieces ( almost certainly derived from the M9A1), and a 40mm plastic side loaded filter. The mask never really made any sort of mark on history, like most other Chinese masks of the cold war. It saw heavy use in the Chinese military, and almost certainly saw use in the North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces. The mask is a clear sign of the late, but giant leap into the modern age of masks in Asia. The mask still uses a “helmet style” configuration, but uses oddly placed ventilation holes, one for the top of your head, and 2 that allow your ears to stick out. These holes expose a great deal of a humans head, and would require a hood to be used in any sort of Skin/Blister agent based gas attack. The face piece is made of an off tan, slightly smooth rubber. The rubber on the M69 series is very notable for its very apparent stench, and tendency to cling very hard to talcum powder. The voice diaphragm and exhale assembly are combined into one oval shaped grey plastic assembly on the forward lower section of the mask. The mask does show many Soviet like features, with their fabric tape and metal clamp seals, and the plain interior. One very interesting feature of this mask is the small grey, fabric tape sealed container in one of the inner pouches. This small tin co
ntains replacement parts for the entire front assembly (functioning pieces only). It contains an entire internal exhale valve assembly, and an entire replacement voice diaphragm assembly. These tins are seen in almost all Cold War era Chinese masks.
The mask has a 40mm plastic filter input, sealed with fabric tape and a rubber band. The lack of metal on Chinese masks is astonishing, only counting 3 metal pieces on the m69, which makes the mask extraordinarily light. The filter that comes with all of the masks is about twice as small as a normal 40mm filter, total plastic assembly, and is very light. The masks come in a wide array of sizes, from 0-4