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Chemical Weapons in World War I
Transcript of Chemical Weapons in World War I
Although this is uncertain the first recorded gas attack was issued by the French on August 1914 and it consisted of mortar shells loaded with xylyl bromide (tear gas)
Early chemical weapons were generally used as trench breakers and a irritant rather than a method of wiping out large populations of soldiers.
In the months following the first gas attack chemical weapons were being developed that could kill in less than a minute. The Development of Chemical Weapons Chlorine gas was used in april 22 by the Germans against the French trenches.
The attack contained 5,700 cylinders of gas and Completely cover the 4 miles of trenches causing the 10,000 affected troops to flee resulting in a complete victory for the germans.
Chlorine gas causes uper respiratory system by attacking the lungs. Since chlorine gas is heavier that air it can accumulate in low areas such as trenches making it a deadly weapon. The Delivery of Chemical Weapons Chemical weapons were generally deployed on the battlefield in one of two ways
Canisters were set up along trench lines which would then be activated when the wind was heading towards the opposing sides front
Canisters could also be launched from artillery cannons which proved to be a more reliable method with increased range and accuracy Soldiers prepare to deploy a chemical weapon. The affects of Mustard gas- One of the most devastating gases WWI The first gas-masks were very bulky and restricted view British soldiers wearing gas masks in the trenches. Mustard Gas Mustard gas was used for the first time by the Germans in 1917
When exposed to mustard gas soldiers began to expierence pain and swelling on any exposed areas
If inhaled after a direct attack it would cause blisters to develop in your throat which would then block your airway.
By the end of the war more than two dozen chemical agents had injured 1 million soldiers and civilians and killed 100,000 people earning them the title of "weapons of mass destruction"