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Encyclopedia > Use of poison gas in World War I
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A poison gas attack in World War I.
A poison gas attack in World War I.

The use of poison gas was a major military innovation of the First World War. The gases used ranged from tear gas to disabling chemicals such as mustard gas and killing agents like phosgene. This chemical warfare was a major component of the first global war and first total war of the 20th century. The killing capacity of gas was limited — only 3% of combat deaths were due to gas — however, the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high and gas remained one of the soldiers' greatest fears. Unlike most other weapons of the period, it was possible to develop effective countermeasures to gas. Hence in the later stages of the war as the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was diminished. Use of poison gas in World War I This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Use of poison gas in World War I This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Jump to: navigation, search World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ... Jump to: navigation, search World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ... A gas is one of the phases of matter. ... A riot control agent is a type of lachrymatory agent (or lacrimatory agent). ... A chemical substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry: A chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more chemical elements that are chemically combined in fixed proportions. ... Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ... Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. It has no color, but is detectable in air by its odor, which resembles moldy hay. ... Jump to: navigation, search Dressing the wounded during a gas attack by Austin O. Spare, 1918. ... Jump to: navigation, search A world war is a war involving many important nations. ... Jump to: navigation, search Total War is the name of a strategy game series developed by The Creative Assembly. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The bayonet, still used in war as both knife and spearpoint. ... A countermeasure is a system (usually for a military application) designed to prevent weapons from acquiring and/or destroying a target. ...

Contents


History

The early uses of chemicals as weapons were as a tear inducing irritant (lachrymatory), rather than fatal or disabling poisons. Although many believe that gases were first used in World War I, there are accounts that sulfur gas was used in the 5th century B.C. by the Spartans. During World War I, the French were the first to employ gas, using grenades filled with tear gas (xylyl bromide) in August 1914. Germany retaliated in kind in October 1914, firing shrapnel shells filled with a chemical irritant against French positions at Neuve Chapelle though the concentration achieved was so small it was barely noticed. Jump to: navigation, search Tears trickling down the cheeks Lacrimation is the bodys process of producing tears, which are a liquid to clean and lubricate the eyes. ... Categories: Stub | Chemical weapons ... Jump to: navigation, search The skull and crossbones symbol traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Jump to: navigation, search Sparta (Greek Σπάρτη) was a city in ancient Greece, whose territory included, in Classical times, all Laconia and Messenia, and which was the most powerful state of the Peloponnesus. ... Grenade may refer to: The well-known hand grenade commonly used by soldiers. ... Xylyl Bromide was used as a tear gas in World War I. See also Use of poison gas in World War I Categories: Chemistry stubs ... Jump to: navigation, search 1914 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Jump to: navigation, search Shrapnel is the collective term for fragments and debris thrown out by an exploding shell or landmine. ... Jump to: navigation, search A shell is a projectile, which, as opposed to a bullet, is not solid but contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage includes large projectiles without a filling. ... The Battles of Neuve Chapelle and Artois was a battle in the First World War. ...


Germany was the first to make large scale use of gas as a weapon. On 31 January 1915, 18,000 artillery shells containing liquid xylyl bromide tear gas (known as T-Stoff) were fired on Russian positions on the Rawka River, west of Warsaw during the Battle of Bolimov. Instead of vaporizing, the chemical froze, completely failing to have an impact. January 31 is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ... The Rawka river is a river in Poland. ... Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Warsaw (disambiguation) and Warszawa (disambiguation). ...


Chlorine became the first killing agent to be employed. German chemical conglomerate IG Farben had been producing chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing. In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches. By 22 April 1915, the German Army had 160 tons of chlorine deployed in 5,730 cylinders opposite Langemarck, north of Ypres. At 17:00, in a slight easterly breeze, the gas was released, forming a grey-green cloud that drifted across positions held by French Colonial troops who broke, abandoning their trenches and creating an 8,000 yard (7 km) gap in the Allied line. However, the German infantry were also wary of the gas and failed to exploit the break before Canadian and British reinforcements arrived. Jump to: navigation, search General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) was a German conglomerate of companies formed in 1925 and even earlier during World War I. IG Farben held nearly a total monopoly on the chemical production, later during the time of Nazi Germany. ... Jump to: navigation, search Yarn drying after being dyed in the early American tradition, at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... Jump to: navigation, search Fritz Haber in 1918. ... Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (in German Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft) was the name of a number of scientific institutes in Germany before World War II. After 1945 they were re-organised and renamed as Max Planck Institutes. ... Berlin ( ♫), IPA: , is the capital of Germany and its largest city; down from 4. ... A ditch with water can be used for drainage and irrigation. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 22 is the 112th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (113th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 wine gallons, which holds approximately 2100 pounds of water. ... Langemark is a town in the Belgian province of West Flanders. ... The Bellfry of Ypres Ypres (French, generally used in English;1 Ieper official name in the local Dutch) is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ...


In what became the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans used gas on three more occasions; on 24 April against the Canadian 1st Division, on 2 May near Mouse Trap Farm and on 5 May against the British at Hill 60. At this stage, defences against gas were non-existent; the British Official History stated that at Hill 60: The Second Battle of Ypres was the first time Germany used chemical weapons on a large scale on the Western Front in World War I and the first time a colonial force (Canadians) forced back a major European power (Germans) on European soil. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 24 is the 114th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (115th in leap years). ... List of military divisions — List of Canadian divisions in WWII The Canadian 1st Infantry Division was formed at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. ... Jump to: navigation, search May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ...

"90 men died from gas poisoning in the trenches; of the 207 brought to the nearest dressing stations, 46 died almost immediately and 12 after long suffering."

Chlorine was inefficient as a weapon. It produced a visible greenish cloud and strong odour, making it easy to detect. It was water-soluble so the simple expedient of covering the mouth and nose with a damp cloth was effective at reducing the impact of the gas. Chlorine required a concentration of 1,000 parts per million in order to be fatal, destroying tissue in the lungs. Despite its limitations, chlorine was an effective terror weapon, and the sight of an oncoming cloud of the gas was a continual source of dread for the infantry. Look up Green on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Green is a color seen commonly in nature. ... Biological tissue is a substance made up of cells that perform a similar function. ... Jump to: navigation, search The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ...


The British expressed outrage at Germany's use of poison gas at Ypres but responded by developing their own gas warfare capability. The commander of British II Corps, Lt.Gen. Ferguson said of gas: The British II Corps was formed in both World War I and World War II. During WWII its first assignment was to the British Expeditionary Force. ...

British infantry advancing through gas at Loos, 25 September 1915.
British infantry advancing through gas at Loos, 25 September 1915.
"It is a cowardly form of warfare which does not commend itself to me or other English soldiers. We cannot win this war unless we kill or incapacitate more of our enemies than they do of us, and if this can only be done by our copying the enemy in his choice of weapons, we must not refuse to do so."

In the end, the British Army embraced gas with enthusiasm and mounted more gas attacks than any other combatant. This was due partly to the fact that the British spent most of the latter years of the war on the offensive. Also the prevailing wind on the Western Front was from the west which meant the British more frequently had favourable conditions for a gas release than the Germans. The first use of gas by the British was at the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915 but the attempt was a disaster. Chlorine, codenamed Red Star, was the agent to be used (150 tons arrayed in 5,500 cylinders), and the attack was dependent on a favourable wind. However, on this occasion the wind proved fickle, and the gas either lingered in no man's land or, in places, blew back on the British trenches. Download high resolution version (1200x725, 118 KB)British infantry advancing into a gas cloud during the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915. ... Download high resolution version (1200x725, 118 KB)British infantry advancing into a gas cloud during the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915. ... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ... Jump to: navigation, search September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search Wind is the quasi-horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by Howard Sterns asshole. ... For most of World War I, Allied Forces, predominantly those of France and the United Kingdom, were stalled at trenches on the Western Front. ... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ... Jump to: navigation, search September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Note: No mans land may also be understood as Terra nullius. ...


The deficiencies of chlorine were overcome with the introduction of phosgene, first used by Germany in December 1915. Phosgene was a potent killing agent, deadlier than chlorine and difficult to detect, being colourless and having an odour likened to "mouldy hay". Phosgene's disadvantage was that it was light-weight and readily dissipated, so it was initially mixed with the heavier chlorine. The other drawback was that the symptoms of exposure took 24 hours or more to manifest, meaning that the victims were initially still capable of putting up a fight. Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. It has no color, but is detectable in air by its odor, which resembles moldy hay. ...

Estimated production of gases (by type)
Nation Production (metric tons)
Irritant Lachrymatory Vesicant Total
Austria-Hungary 5,080 255 5,335
Britain 23,870 1,010 520 25,400
France 34,540 810 2,040 37,390
Germany 55,880 3,050 10,160 69,090
Italy 4,070 205 4,275
Russia 3,550 155 3,705
USA 5,590 5 175 5,770
Total 132,580 5,490 12,895 150,965

The most famous and effective gas of the First World War was mustard gas, a vesicant, which was introduced by Germany in July 1917 prior to the Third Battle of Ypres. Known to the British as HS (or Hun Stuff), mustard gas was not intended as a killing agent (though in high enough doses it was fatal) but instead was used to harass and disable the enemy and pollute the battlefield. Delivered in artillery shells, mustard gas was heavier than air, settled to the ground as an oily sherry-looking liquid and evaporated slowly without sunlight. The word irritant may refer to: Something that causes irritation, often a chemical substance. ... Categories: Stub | Chemical weapons ... A vesicant (also known as a blister agent) is a chemical agent that causes blistering of the skin. ... Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ... A vesicant (also known as a blister agent) is a chemical agent that causes blistering of the skin. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1917 was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... Passchendaele village, before and after the Battle of Passchendaele The Battle of Passchendaele, otherwise known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British, ANZAC, and Canadian soldiers against the German army near Ypres (Ieper in Flemish) in West Flanders... Jump to: navigation, search Sherry solera Sherry is a type of wine originally produced in and around the town of Jerez, Spain. ...


The polluting nature of mustard gas meant that it was not always suitable for supporting an attack as the assaulting infantry would be exposed to the gas when they advanced. When Germany launched Operation Michael on 21 March 1918, they saturated the Flesquières salient with mustard gas instead of attacking it directly, believing that the harassing effect of the gas, coupled with threats to the salient's flanks, would make the British position untenable. The Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) was a German offensive along the Western Front during the First World War which marked the deepest advance by any side since 1914. ... Jump to: navigation, search March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ...


Gas never reproduced the dramatic success of 22 April 1915; however, it became a standard weapon which, combined with conventional artillery, was used to support most attacks in the later stages of the war. The Western Front was the main theatre in which gas was employed — the static, confined trench system was ideal for achieving an effective concentration — however, Germany made use of gas against Russia on the Eastern Front, where the lack of effective countermeasures would result in deaths of thousands of Russian infantry, while Britain experimented with gas in Palestine during the Second Battle of Gaza. Jump to: navigation, search April 22 is the 112th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (113th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1915 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... For most of World War I, Allied Forces, predominantly those of France and the United Kingdom, were stalled at trenches on the Western Front. ... Jump to: navigation, search Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of fortifications dug into the ground, facing each other. ... The Eastern Front refers to a theatre of war during the first World War in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. ... Jump to: navigation, search Map of the British Mandate of Palestine. ... Second Battle of Gaza Conflict First World War Date 19 April 1917 Place Gaza, southern Palestine Result Turkish victory The Second Battle of Gaza, fought in southern Palestine during World War I, was the second attempt mounted by the British to break the Turkish defences along the Gaza-Beersheba line. ...


The universal horror with which gas was viewed led to the Geneva Protocol, a post-war treaty banning the use of lethal gas which was signed in 1925 (though not ratified by some countries until many decades later). No subsequent war has made such large-scale use of poison gas as the First World War, though poison gas technology played an important role in the Holocaust and has been widely used as a method of execution. The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty to ban the use of chemical and biological weapons. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1925 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... A gas chamber is a means of execution whereby a poisonous gas is introduced into a hermetically sealed chamber. ... Jump to: navigation, search Children survivors of the Holocaust before their liberation The Holocaust is the name applied to the systematic state-sponsored persecution and genocide of various ethnic, religious and political groups during World War II by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. ...


Gas casualties

British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918.
British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918.

The contribution of gas weapons to the total casualty figures was relatively minor. British figures, which were accurately maintained from 1916, recorded that only 3% of gas casualties were fatal, 2% were permanently invalid and 70% were fit for duty again within six weeks. All gas casualties were mentally scarred by exposure, and gas remained one of the great fears of the front-line soldier. Download high resolution version (1200x743, 127 KB)British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas await treatment at a dressing station near Bethune during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April, 1918, part of the German offensive in Flanders. ... Download high resolution version (1200x743, 127 KB)British 55th (West Lancashire) Division troops blinded by tear gas await treatment at a dressing station near Bethune during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April, 1918, part of the German offensive in Flanders. ... The British 55th (West Lancashire) Division was a Territorial Force division which served on the Western Front during the First World War. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...

"It was remarked as a joke that if someone yelled 'Gas', everyone in France would put on a mask. ... Gas shock was as frequent as shell shock." (H. Allen, Towards the Flame, 1934)
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
(Wilfred Owen, "Dulce Et Decorum Est", 1917)

Death by gas was particularly horrific. According to Denis Winter (Death's Men, 1978), a fatal dose of phosgene eventually led to "shallow breathing and retching, pulse up to 120, an ashen face and the discharge of four pints (2 litres) of yellow liquid from the lungs each hour for the 48 of the drowning spasm." The military term combat stress reaction (CSR) comprises the range of adverse behaviours in reaction to the stress of combat and combat related activities. ... Jump to: navigation, search Wilfred Owen Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, MC (March 18, 1893 – November 4, 1918) was an English poet. ... Dulce Et Decorum Est (written in 1917 and published posthumously in 1921) is a poem written by English poet and World War I soldier Wilfred Owen. ...


A common fate of those exposed to gas was blindness, tear gas or mustard gas being the main causes. It became a frequent spectacle to see lines of blinded soldiers, hand on the shoulder of the man in front, being guided by a sighted man to a dressing station. One of the most famous First World War paintings, Gassed by John Singer Sargent, captures such a scene of mustard gas casualties which he witnessed at a dressing station at Le Bac-du-Sud near Arras in July 1918. A riot control agent is a type of lachrymatory agent (or lacrimatory agent). ... Self Portrait, oil painting, 1907 John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was a painter known for his portraits. ... Arras is a city and commune in northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Pas-de-Calais département. ...

Nation Gas casualties (estimated)
Fatal Non-fatal
Russia 50,000 400,000
Germany 10,000 190,000
France 8,000 182,000
Britain 8,000 181,000
Austria-Hungary 3,000 97,000
USA 1,500 71,500
Italy 4,500 55,000
Total 85,000 1,176,500

Mustard gas caused the most gas casualties on the Western Front, despite being produced in smaller quantities than irritant gases such as chlorine and phosgene. The proportion of mustard gas fatalities to total casualties was low; only 2% of mustard gas casualties died and many of these succumbed to secondary infections rather than the gas itself. Once it was introduced at Ypres, mustard gas produced 90% of all British gas casualties and 14% of battle casualties of any type. Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. ...


Mustard gas was a source of extreme dread. In The Anatomy of Courage (1945), Lord Moran, who had been a medical officer during the war, wrote: "After July 1917 gas partly usurped the role of high explosive in bringing to head a natural unfitness for war. The gassed men were an expression of trench fatigue, a menace when the manhood of the nation had been picked over." This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ...


Mustard gas did not need to be inhaled to be effective — any contact with skin was sufficient. Exposure to 0.1 ppm was enough to cause massive blisters. Higher concentrations could burn flesh to the bone. It was particularly effective against the soft skin of the face and genitals. Typical exposure would result in swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelids, forcing them closed and rendering the victim temporarily blind. Where it contacted the skin, moist red patches would immediately appear which after 24 hours would have formed into blisters. Other symptoms included severe headache, elevated pulse and temperature, and pneumonia. Parts per million (ppm) is a measure of concentration that is used where low levels of concentration are significant. ... Jump to: navigation, search A blister caused by a second-degree burn. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis... The conjunctiva is a membrane that covers the sclera (white part of the eye) and lines the inside of the eyelids. ... A headache (medically known as cephalalgia) is a condition of mild to severe pain in the head; sometimes upper back or neck pain may also be interpreted as a headache. ... Jump to: navigation, search In medicine, a persons pulse is the throbbing of their arteries as an effect of the heart beat. ... Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs. ...


Death by mustard gas, when it came, was dreadful. A post-mortem account from the British official medical history records one of the first British casualties: The term post mortem means after death. It is also short for postmortem examination, or autopsy. ...

Case four. Aged 39 years. Gassed 29 July 1917. Admitted to casualty clearing station the same day. Died about ten days later. Brownish pigmentation present over large surfaces of the body. A white ring of skin where the wrist watch was. Marked superficial burning of the face and scrotum. The larynx much congested. The whole of the trachea was covered by a yellow membrane. The bronchi contained abundant gas. The lungs fairly voluminous. The right lung showing extensive collapse at the base. Liver congested and fatty. Stomach showed numerous submucous haemorrhages. The brain substance was unduly wet and very congested.

A British nurse treating mustard gas cases recorded: The scrotum (human variant shown) is a thin extension of the abdomen that contains the testes and helps regulate their temperature. ... The larynx (IPA læɹɪŋks) is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in control of breathing, protection of the trachea and sound production. ... The trachea (IPA /treikiÉ™/), or windpipe, is a tube extending from the larynx to the bronchi in mammals, and from the pharynx to the syrinx in birds, carrying air to the lungs. ... A bronchus (plural bronchi, adjective bronchial) is a caliber of airways in the the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs. ...

"They cannot be bandaged or touched. We cover them with a tent of propped-up sheets. Gas burns must be agonizing because usually the other cases do not complain even with the worst wounds but gas cases are invariably beyond endurance and they cannot help crying out."
British gas casualties on the Western Front
Date Agent Casualties (official)
Fatal Non-fatal
April – May 1915 Chlorine 350 7,000
May 1915 – June 1916 Lachrymants 0 0
December 1915 – August 1916 Chlorine 1,013 4,207
July 1916 – July 1917 Various 532 8,806
July 1917 – November 1918 Mustard gas 4,086 160,526
April 1915 – November 1918 Total 5,981 180,539

Many of those who survived a gas attack were scarred for life. Respiratory disease and failing eye sight were common post-war afflictions. Of the Canadians who, without any effective protection, had withstood the first chlorine attacks during 2nd Ypres, 60% of the casualties had to be repatriated and half of these were still unfit by the end of the war, over three years later. For most of World War I, Allied Forces, predominantly those of France and the United Kingdom, were stalled at trenches on the Western Front. ... Categories: Stub | Chemical weapons ... Jump to: navigation, search General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ... The Second Battle of Ypres was the first time Germany used chemical weapons on a large scale on the Western Front in World War I and the first time a colonial force (Canadians) forced back a major European power (Germans) on European soil. ...


In reading the statistics of the time, one should bear the longer term in mind. Many of those who were fairly soon recorded as fit for service were left with scar tissue in their lungs. This tissue was susceptible to tuberculosis attack. It was from this that many of the 1918 casualties died, around the time of the Second World War, shortly before the sulfa drugs became widely available for its treatment.
Jump to: navigation, search Statistics is a type of data analysis which includes the planning, summarizing, and interpreting of observations of a system possibly followed by predicting or forecasting of future events based on a mathematical model of the system being observed. ... Jump to: navigation, search Tuberculous lungs show up on an X-ray image Tuberculosis is an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (miliary TB), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... Sulfonamides, also known as sulfa drugs, are synthetic antimicrobial agents derived from sulfonic acid. ...


Countermeasures

German infantry wearing improvised gas masks, 1915.
German infantry wearing improvised gas masks, 1915.

None of the First World War combatants were prepared for the introduction of poison gas as a weapon. Once gas had appeared, development of gas protection began and the process continued for much of the war producing a series of increasingly effective gas masks. Download high resolution version (1200x896, 194 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1200x896, 194 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...


Even at 2nd Ypres Germany, still unsure of the weapon's effectiveness, only issued breathing masks to the engineers handling the gas. At Ypres a Canadian medical officer, who was also a chemist, quickly identified the gas as chlorine and recommended that the troops urinate on a cloth and hold it over their mouth and nose, the theory being the uric acid would crystallise the chlorine. The first official equipment issued was similarly crude; a pad of material, usually impregnated with a chemical, tied over the lower face. To protect the eyes from tear gas, soldiers were issued with gas goggles. Look up chemist on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Jump to: navigation, search General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... Urine is liquid waste excreted by the kidneys and eventually expelled from the body in a process known as urination. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A riot control agent is a type of lachrymatory agent (or lacrimatory agent). ... Watersport goggles Blowtorching goggles and safety helmet Goggles are a form of protective eyewear that usually enclose the eye area to prevent particulates or chemicals from striking the eyes. ...

British Vickers machine gun crew wearing PH gas helmets with exhaust tubes.
British Vickers machine gun crew wearing PH gas helmets with exhaust tubes.

The next advance was the introduction of the gas helmet — basically a bag placed over the head. The fabric of the bag was impregnated with a chemical to neutralise the gas — whenever it rained, the chemical would wash out into the soldier's eyes. Eye-pieces, which were prone to fog up, were initially made from talc. When going into combat, gas helmets were typically worn rolled up on top of the head, to be pulled down and secured about the neck when the gas alarm was given. The first British version was the Hypo helmet, the fabric of which was soaked in calcium hypochlorite. The British PH gas helmet, effective against phosgene and with which all infantry were equipped with at Loos, was impregnated with phenate hexamine. A mouthpiece was added through which the wearer would breathe out to prevent carbon dioxide build-up. The adjutant of the 1/23rd Battalion, The London Regiment, recalled his experience of the PH helmet at Loos: Download high resolution version (1243x773, 201 KB)A British Vickers machine gun crew on the Oise sector, Marne, 1916. ... Download high resolution version (1243x773, 201 KB)A British Vickers machine gun crew on the Oise sector, Marne, 1916. ... The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled . ... Jump to: navigation, search Talc block Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. ... Jump to: navigation, search Calcium Hypochlorite, Ca(ClO)2 is a widely used water treatment chemical. ... Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. It has no color, but is detectable in air by its odor, which resembles moldy hay. ... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ... Jump to: navigation, search Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric gas composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. ... In the military, an adjutant is a regimental staff officer, who assists the colonel, or commanding officer of a garrison or regiment, in the details of regimental and garrison duty. ... Battalions of the London Regiment early 1900s by Richard Caton Woodville (1856-1927) The London Regiment is a Territorial Army regiment in the British Army. ...

"The goggles rapidly dimmed over, and the air came through in such suffocatingly small quantities as to demand a continuous exercise of will-power on the part of the wearers."
Australian infantry wearing Small Box Respirators, Ypres, September 1917.
Australian infantry wearing Small Box Respirators, Ypres, September 1917.

Self-contained box respirators represented the culmination of gas mask development during the First World War. Box respirators used a two-piece design; a mouthpiece connected via a hose to a box filter. The box filter contained granules of chemicals that neutralised the gas, delivering clean air to the wearer. Separating the filter from the mask enabled a bulky but efficient filter to be supplied. Nevertheless, the first version, known as the Large Box Respirator (LBR) or "Harrison's Tower", was deemed too bulky — the "box" canister needed to be carried on the back. The LBR had no mask, just a mouthpiece and nose clip; separate gas goggles had to be worn. It continued to be issued to the artillery gun crews but the infantry were supplied with the "Small Box Respirator" (SBR). Download high resolution version (800x1071, 226 KB)Australian infantry wearing Small Box Respirators (SBR). ... Download high resolution version (800x1071, 226 KB)Australian infantry wearing Small Box Respirators (SBR). ... The Bellfry of Ypres Ypres (French, generally used in English;1 Ieper official name in the local Dutch) is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ... The term filter may refer to: A device to separate mixtures. ... An assortment of grains The word grain has a great many meanings, most being descriptive of a small piece or particle. ... Jump to: navigation, search Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ...


The Small Box Respirator featured a single-piece, close-fitting rubberised mask with eye-pieces. The box filter was compact and could be worn around the neck. The SBR could be readily upgraded as more effective filter technology was developed. The British-designed SBR was also adopted for use by the American Expeditionary Force. The SBR was the prized possession of the ordinary infantryman; when the British were forced to retreat during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, it was found that while some troops had discarded their rifles, hardly any had left behind their respirators. Rubber is an elastic hydrocarbon polymer which occurs as a milky emulsion (known as latex) in the sap of a number of plants but can also be produced synthetically. ... Officers of the American Expeditionary Force and the Baker mission The American Expeditionary Force or AEF was the United States military force in World War I. The AEF helped the French defend the Western Front during the Aisne Offensive in May. ... Jump to: navigation, search The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... A rifle is a firearm that uses a spiral groove cut into the barrel to spin a projectile (usually a bullet), thus improving accuracy and range of the projectile. ...

German soldier and horses wearing gas masks.
German soldier and horses wearing gas masks.

It was not only humans that needed protection from gas; horses and mules, which were the main means of transport, were also vulnerable to gas and needed to be provided with protection. As animals were never used near the front-line, protection from gas only became necessary when the practice of firing gas shells into rear areas was adopted. Download high resolution version (700x950, 122 KB)First World War-era German gas masks. ... Download high resolution version (700x950, 122 KB)First World War-era German gas masks. ... Jump to: navigation, search Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Jump to: navigation, search Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Jump to: navigation, search For other uses of the word mule, see mule (disambiguation). ...


For mustard gas, which did not need to be inhaled in order to inflict casualties, no effective countermeasure was ever found. The kilt-wearing Highland regiments of Scotland were especially vulnerable to mustard gas injuries due to their bare legs. At Nieuport some Scots battalions took to wearing women's tights beneath the kilt as a form of protection. Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ... Jump to: navigation, search The kilt is seen as an item of traditional Scottish Highland dress, although the origin of that tradition is more recent than is commonly believed. ... Highland (a Ghaidhealtachd in Gaelic) is the name of the largest administrative region in Scotland. ... Timeline of Scottish history Caledonia List of not fully sovereign nations Subdivisions of Scotland National parks (Scotland) Traditional music of Scotland Flower of Scotland Wars of Scottish Independence National Trust for Scotland Historic houses in Scotland Castles in Scotland Scottish sundial — the ancient renaissance sundials of Scotland. ... Nieuwpoort is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of West Flanders. ... Three women wearing different styles of tights Tights are a type of leg coverings fabric extending from the waist to feet. ...

Gas alert by Arthur Streeton, 1918.

Gas alert procedure became a routine for the front-line soldier. To warn of a gas attack, a bell would be rung, often made from a spent artillery shell. At the noisy batteries of the siege guns, a compressed air strombus horn was used, which could be heard nine miles away. Notices would be posted on all approaches to an affected area, warning people to take precautions. Download high resolution version (1200x805, 208 KB)Watercolour painting by Arthur Streeton while an official war artist with the First Australian Imperial Force, 1918. ... Download high resolution version (1200x805, 208 KB)Watercolour painting by Arthur Streeton while an official war artist with the First Australian Imperial Force, 1918. ... Sunlight Sweet, Coogee by Arthur Streeton (1890). ... In military science, a battery is a group of artillery cannons or rockets, so grouped in order to facilitate battlefield communication and the organization of barrages. ... Pneumatics, from the Greek πνευματικός (pneumatikos, coming from the wind) is the use of pressurized air in science and technology. ... See mile - unit of measurement (distance) Miles Aircraft Ltd - UK manufacturer of light and military aircraft Miles Tails Prower - a fictional fox Miles Davis was an American jazz composer and trumpeter and was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. ...


Other British attempts at countermeasures were not so effective. An early plan was to use 100,000 fans to disperse the gas. Burning coal or carborundum dust was tried. A proposal was made to equip front-line sentries with diving helmets, air being pumped to them through a 100 ft (30 m) hose. Household Electric Fan A fan has two purposes – to move air for creature comfort or for ventilation and to move air or gas from one location to another for industrial purposes. ... Jump to: navigation, search Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by deep mining, coal mining (open-pit mining or strip mining). ... Silicon carbide (SiC) or moissanite is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon. ... Diving helmets are worn by divers who need to speak and hear underwater. ...


However, the effectiveness of all countermeasures is apparent. In 1915, when poison gas was relatively new, less than 3% of British gas casualties died. In 1916, the proportion of fatalities jumped to 17%. By 1918, the figure was back below 3%, though the total number of British gas casualties was now nine times the 1915 levels.


Delivery systems

A British cylinder release at Montauban on the Somme, June 1916 — part of the preparation for the Battle of the Somme.
A British cylinder release at Montauban on the Somme, June 1916 — part of the preparation for the Battle of the Somme.

The first system employed for the mass delivery of gas involved releasing the gas from cylinders in a favourable wind such that it was carried over the enemy's trenches. The main advantage of this method was that it was relatively simple and, in suitable atmospheric conditions, produced a concentrated cloud capable of overwhelming the gas mask defences. The disadvantages of cylinder releases were numerous. First and foremost, delivery was at the mercy of the wind. If the wind was fickle, as was the case at Loos, the gas could backfire, causing friendly casualties. Gas clouds gave plenty of warning, allowing the enemy time to protect themselves, though many soldiers found the sight of a creeping gas cloud unnerving. Also gas clouds had limited penetration, only capable of affecting the front-line trenches before dissipating. Download high resolution version (671x1000, 105 KB)As part of the preparations for the Battle of the Somme, the British launch a gas attack against German trenches in front of Montauban on the Somme, June 1916. ... Download high resolution version (671x1000, 105 KB)As part of the preparations for the Battle of the Somme, the British launch a gas attack against German trenches in front of Montauban on the Somme, June 1916. ... Montauban-de-Picardie is a village in the Somme département, Picardy region of Northern France. ... Somme is a French département, named after the Somme River, located in the north of France. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1916 is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January-February January 1 -The first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. ... Jump to: navigation, search The 1916 Battle for Nick was one of the largest battles of the First World War, with more than one million casualties. ... The word cylinder has several meanings. ... Jump to: navigation, search Wind is the quasi-horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by Howard Sterns asshole. ... The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. The battle was the British component of the combined Anglo-French offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. ...


Finally, the cylinders had to be emplaced at the very front of the trench system so that the gas was released directly over no man's land. This meant that the cylinders had to be manhandled through communication trenches, often clogged and sodden, and stored at the front where there was always the risk that cylinders would be prematurely breached during a bombardment. A leaking cylinder could issue a telltale wisp of gas that, if spotted, would be sure to attract shellfire. Note: No mans land may also be understood as Terra nullius. ...


A British chlorine cylinder, known as an "oojah", weighed 190 lb (86 kg), of which only 60 lb (27 kg) was chlorine gas, and required two men to carry. Phosgene gas was introduced later in a cylinder, known as a "mouse", that only weighed 50 lb (23 kg). Jump to: navigation, search General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... Jump to: navigation, search The pound is the name of a number of units of mass or weight, all in the range of 300 to 600 grams. ... Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. It has no color, but is detectable in air by its odor, which resembles moldy hay. ... Jump to: navigation, search Feral mouse A mouse is a mammal that belongs to one of numerous species of small rodents in the genus Mus and various related genera of the family Muridæ (Old World Mice). ...


Delivering gas via artillery shell overcame many of the risks of dealing with gas in cylinders. Gas shells were independent of the wind and increased the effective range of gas, making anywhere within reach of the guns vulnerable. Gas shells could be delivered without warning, especially the clear, nearly odourless phosgene — there are numerous accounts of gas shells, landing with a "plop" rather than exploding, being initially dismissed as dud HE or shrapnel shells, giving the gas time to work before the soldiers were alerted and took precautions. Jump to: navigation, search Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... Jump to: navigation, search Shrapnel is the collective term for fragments and debris thrown out by an exploding shell or landmine. ...

Loading a battery of Livens gas projectors.
Loading a battery of Livens gas projectors.

The main flaw associated with delivering gas via artillery was the difficulty of achieving a killing concentration. Each shell had a small gas payload and an area would have to be subjected to a saturation bombardment to produce a cloud to match cylinder delivery. Mustard gas, however, did not need to form a concentrated cloud and hence artillery was the ideal vehicle for delivery of this battlefield pollutant. British soldiers loading a battery of Livens gas projectors during the First World War. ... British soldiers loading a battery of Livens gas projectors during the First World War. ... Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ...


The solution to achieving a lethal concentration without releasing from cylinders was the "gas projector", essentially a large-bore mortar that fired the entire cylinder as a missile. The British Livens projector (invented by Captain W.H. Livens in 1917) was a simple device; an 8-inch diameter tube sunk into the ground at an angle, a propellant was ignited by an electrical signal, firing the cylinder containing 30 or 40 lb (14 or 18 kg) of gas up to 1,900 metres. By arranging a battery of these projectors and firing them simultaneously, a dense concentration of gas could be achieved. The Livens was first used at Arras on 4 April 1917. On 31 March 1918 the British conducted their largest ever "gas shoot", firing 3,728 cylinders at Lens. Mortar has several meanings: A mortar is a military weapon into which is dropped a mortar shell, which is then fired in a high ballistic trajectory. ... A propellant is a material that is used to move an object by applying a motive force. ... In military science, a battery is a group of artillery cannons or rockets, so grouped in order to facilitate battlefield communication and the organization of barrages. ... Arras is a city and commune in northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Pas-de-Calais département. ... April 4 is the 94th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (95th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1917 was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining, as the final day of March. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1918 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Lens is commune in northern France, in the Pas-de-Calais département. ...


Unexploded weapons

Unexploded WWI ammunition, including chemical ammunition, was a major problem in former battle areas after the end of the War, and has ever since been present. Shells may be, for instance, uncovered when farmers plough their fields; more importantly, shells are regularly discovered when public works or construction work is done. While classical shells pose a risk of explosion, their disposal is relatively easy. It is not the case with chemical shells.


An additional difficulty is the current stringency of environmental legislation. In the past, a common method of getting rid of unexploded chemical ammunition was to detonate or dump it at sea; this is nowadays prohibited in most countries. This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ...


The problems are especially acute in some northern regions of France. The French government no longer disposes of chemical weapons at sea. For this reason, piles of untreated chemical weapons accumulated. In 2001, it became evident that the pile stored at a depot in Vimy was unsafe; the inhabitants of the neighbouring town were evacuated, and the pile moved, using refrigerated trucks and under heavy guard, to a military camp in Suippes. [1] [2] The French government announced the construction of an automated plant for the dismantling of chemical munitions inherited from previous wars; this factory, codenamed SECOIA, is to be operational in 2007.[3] The capacity of the plant is meant to be 25 tons per year (extensible to 80 tons at the beginning), for a lifetime of 30 years.[4] Jump to: navigation, search 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... Vimy is city in northern France, in the Pas-de-Calais département. ... Jump to: navigation, search Refrigeration (from the Latin frigus, frost) is generally the cooling of a body by the transfer of a portion of its heat away from it. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2007 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In Belgium, a similar plant was planned in 1993 and brought in service in 1999, two years late, indicating the difficulties in disposal of such wastes. Germany, too, has to deal with unexploded ammunition and polluted lands resulting from the explosion of an ammunition train in 1919.[5] Jump to: navigation, search 1919 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Gases used

A=Allies, C=Central Powers
Name First use Type Used by
Chlorine 1915 Irritant/Lung Both
Phosgene 1915 Irritant/Skin and mucous membranes, corrosive, toxic Both
Chloromethyl chloroformate 1915 Irritant/Eyes, skin, lungs Both
Trichloromethyl chloroformate 1916 Severe irritant, causes burns Both
Chloropicrin 1916 Irritant, lachrymatory, toxic Both
Stannic chloride 1916 Severe irritant, causes burns A
a-Chlorotoluene (Benzyl chloride) 1917 Irritant, lachrymatory C
Bis(chloromethyl) ether (Dichloromethyl ether) 1918 Irritant, can blur vision C
Diphenylchloroarsine (Diphenyl chlorasine) 1917 Irritant/Sternutatory C
Ethyldichloroarsine 1918 Vesicant C
N-Ethylcarbazole 1918 Irritant C
Benzyl bromide 1915 Lachrymatory C
Xylyl bromide 1915 Lachrymatory, toxic C
Methyl chlorosulfonate 1915 C
Ethyl iodoacetate 1916 Lachrymatory A
Bromoacetone 1916 Lachrymatory, irritant Both
Bromomethyl ethyl ketone 1916 Irritant/Skin, eyes C
Acrolein 1916 Lachrymatory, toxic A
Hydrocyanic acid (Prussic acid) 1916 Paralysing A
Hydrogen sulfide (Sulphuretted hydrogen) 1916 Irritant, toxic A
Mustard gas (Bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide) 1917 Vesicant Both

Jump to: navigation, search General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. It has no color, but is detectable in air by its odor, which resembles moldy hay. ... Categories: Stub | Chemical weapons ... Diphosgene (ClCO2CCl3) Diphosgene (Trichloromethyl chloroformate, ClCO2CCl3) is a chemical originally developed for chemical warfare, a few months after the first use of phosgene. ... Chloropicrin is a slightly oily, colorless liquid of the formula CCl3NO2. ... Categories: Chemistry stubs | Chlorides | Metal halides | Halides ... Xylyl Bromide was used as a tear gas in World War I. See also Use of poison gas in World War I Categories: Chemistry stubs ... In organic chemistry, Acrolein or Propenal is the simplest unsaturated aldehyde, and it has a chemical formula of CH2=CHCHO. CAS number is 107-02-8. ... Hydrogen cyanide is a chemical compound with chemical formula H-C≡N. A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water is called hydrocyanic acid or prussic acid. ... Jump to: navigation, search Hydrogen sulfide (hydrogen sulphide in British English), H2S, is a colorless, toxic, flammable gas that is responsible for the foul odor of rotten eggs. ... Chemical Structure of Mustard Gas Compound Mustard gas (HD) is a chemical compound that was first used as a chemical weapon in World War I. In pure form, it is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid at room temperature and causes blistering of the skin. ...

Effect on World War II

In the Geneva Gas Protocol of the Third Geneva Convention, signed in 1925, the signatory nations agreed not to use poison gas in the future, stating "the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilised world." The Third Geneva Convention (GCIII) primarily regarded the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs), and also touched on other topics. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1925 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Nevertheless, precautions were taken in World War II. In both Axis and Allied nations, children in school were taught to wear gas masks in case of gas attack. Italy did use poison gas against Ethiopia in 1935 and 1936, and Japan used gas against China in 1941. Germany developed the poison gases tabun, sarin, and soman during the war, and, infamously, used Zyklon-B in Nazi extermination camps. Germany did not use any of these gases in combat, possibly heeding Allied warnings of awful retaliation. Jump to: navigation, search World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th-century conflict that... Jump to: navigation, search 1935 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1936 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1941 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Tabun or GA (Ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate) is an extremely toxic substance that is one of the worlds most dangerous weapons of war. ... Jump to: navigation, search Sarin or GB (O-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate) is an extremely toxic substance. ... Jump to: navigation, search Boiling point 198 °C (388 °F) Freezing/melting point −42 °C (−44 °F) Vapor pressure 0. ... Zyklon B Cannister atop diatomaceous earth substrate. ... Majdanek - crematorium Extermination camp (German Vernichtungslager) was the term applied to a group of death camps set up by Nazi Germany during World War II for the express purpose of killing the Jews of Europe, although members of some other groups whom the Nazis wished to exterminate, such as Roma...


References

  • Winter, Denis (1978). Death's Men: Soldiers of the Great War, Penguin Books. ISBN 0140168222
  • Bull, Stephen (2003). Trench warfare, PRC Publishing. ISBN 1856486575
  • Harris, Robert and Paxman, Jeremy (2002). A Higher Form of Killing : The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Random House Trade Paperbacks. ISBN 0812966538 (first published 1982)

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Use of poison gas in World War I - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3895 words)
The first use of gas by the British was at the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915 but the attempt was a disaster.
Gas never reproduced the dramatic success of 22 April 1915; however, it became a standard weapon which, combined with conventional artillery, was used to support most attacks in the later stages of the war.
Gas shells could be delivered without warning, especially the clear, nearly odourless phosgene — there are numerous accounts of gas shells, landing with a "plop" rather than exploding, being initially dismissed as dud HE or shrapnel shells, giving the gas time to work before the soldiers were alerted and took precautions.
Use of poison gas in World War I - definition of Use of poison gas in World War I in Encyclopedia (3615 words)
The killing capacity of gas was limited — only 3% of combat deaths were due to gas — however, the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high and gas remained one of the soldier's greatest fears.
Unlike most other weapons of the period, it was possible to develop effective countermeasures to gas and hence in the latter stages of the war, as the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was diminished.
Gas shells could be delivered without warning, especially the clear, nearly odourless phosgene — there are numerous accounts of gas shells, landing with a "plop" rather than exploding, being initially dismissed as dud HE or shrapnel shells, giving the gas time to work before the soldiers were alerted and took precautions.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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