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Effectiveness of Chemical Warfare in WWI
Transcript of Effectiveness of Chemical Warfare in WWI
By Michael Miller
Although initially chemical warfare in World War I was very successful, and an effective weapon to inflict mass casualties, as the war progressed it served as psychological weapon to deplete morale instead of tool to take the lives of the enemy.
Types of Chemical Weapons
-destroyed lung tissue
-formation of HCl in lungs
-Success at Battle of Ypres
First protection against gas
-colorless smell of musty hay
-no coughing (more inhalation)
-symptomless for 24 hrs
-Battle of Wieltje
-P Helmet only slightly effective
-PH Helmet was very effective
-severe blistering of the skin
-vapor spreads easily, penetrating clothing
-need to wash skin and receive new uniforms
-30% of war casualties were from chemical agents, 80% of the chemical agent casualties were from mustard gas.
Further Protection from Chemical Agents
-protection was inefficient until chlorine was identified
-the P Helmet, the first "gas mask" was rather affective against chlorine gas, it was soaked in sodium phenate solution
-the PH Helmet was dipped in phenate hexamine solution, necessary to protect against phosgene.
-gas masks for animals
-effectiveness of the small box respirator
-when chemical agents were first used the surprising affect was effective
-As defensive measures improved, gas, for the most part, became ineffective
-As the war progressed gas became a weapon to deplete the morale of the enemy
-Much like the tank, chemical agents were a psychological weapon rather than a weapon intended to kill.
Works Cited (Cont)