This is a very fascinating original steel container for the German Reizkörper, a relatively unknown teargas device. It is not well known largely because it was not really considered a weapon (just an obscure gas mask accessory), so it normally holds little interest for collectors. If this had not been found on a major battle field, that would probably hold true but, because it was discovered in Stalingrad, it could shed new light on the use of teargas. Reizkörper were originally used for testing the correct fitting of gas masks but the chemical was later understood to be lethal depending on exposure. This leaves the question, what was it doing in Stalingrad? I am sure they had better things to do than test gas masks and I am sure tear gas would be useful for clearing out buildings, basements, and sewers. It is almost evidence of chemical warfare, not quite, almost. The device itself was a small glass ampule with a bursting charge in the center and a fuse. I am sure this container would have held several. It measures about 6 3/8" tall and 4 3/8" diameter.
The can is not in great condition, there are several small areas of rust through holes and there are many bubbles in the paint. This is quite common for German equipment. There is a large dent in one side as well. The edge of the lid is very rough from the steel decaying. Despite the condition, I believe this to be historically significant because it indicates the use of, or at least the presence of, tear gas in Stalingrad.