By 1917, World War I was the most brutal conflict that had ever been seen on the world stage. It was no longer a war that only involved the European powers, but also countries from all over the world including the United States. During the war, the total number of casualties reached over 37 million and over eight million lives were lost (“WWI Casualty and Death Tables” 1). The extremely high number of casualties was mostly caused by new developments in warfare technology. One of the most well remembered weapons of World War I was mustard gas. Mustard gas caused the soldiers’ skin and internal organs to blister and could be fatal, but could take anywhere from a week to an entire month to claim the lives of its victims from the inside out. Mustard gas has gone down in history as one of the most dreaded elements of the war. This horrific example of chemical weaponry is just one of the numerous amounts of new warfare technology used during the First World War, including other types of chemical weapons, machine guns, bombing techniques, airplanes, submarines and radio.
Mustard gas was not the only example of chemical weaponry used during World War I. The first example of this was the Germans use of a gas called phosgene in mid-1915, which caused drastic damage to the lungs (Mack 2). The Germans began using mustard gas in 1916 and soon both sides began to use poison gas as a weapon. At a lab at American University, which at its peak employed over 1,200 scientists specifically to create chemical weapons for the war, a new gas called Lewisite was developed. Lewisite poisoned its victims through the skin and rendered gas masks useless against it. During the war as many as 50 different gases were used by both sides (Mack 2). When the war e...
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Looking back at how the chemical weaponry expanded starting in the beginning of World War 1, it all began with Tear gas which was used by the French in August of 1914. Those techniques have been used in ancient times. Moving forward eight months in to the war the Germans have been giving great study in to the development of chemical weapons due to the first usage from the French and witnessed its great effectiveness and were the first to use it in a large scale.
Trueman, Chris. "Chemical Warfare and World War Two." Chemical Warfare and World War Two. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. .
"Queen's University Archives - World War I." Queen's University Archives - Home. Web. 23 July 2010.
Seth Schonwald M.D. A.B.M.T. (1992, July). Mustard Gas. The PSR Quarterly Vol. 2 No. 2
The purpose of this essay is to deal with the fact that chemical warfare should be brought back to modern warfare strategies. As Warren Rudman said, “And they will tell you unequivocally that if we have a chemical or biological attack or a nuclear attack anywhere in this country, they are unprepared to deal with it today, and that is of high urgency.” Rudman’s words are true in what they say and that we should do everything to counter-act his statement. Biological weapons are a key to outstanding success in war and therefore, I strongly suggest that chemical warfare is an effective and producible weapon tactic that can be used on today’s battlefield.
Poison gas was perhaps the most feared weapon out of all. Created to overcome the long stalemate style of trench warfare, its purpose was to draw out soldiers hiding in the trenches. One side would throw the poison gas into the enemy trenches and they would either wait for their enemy to come out into open fire or perish in the trenches. The first poison gas used in battle was chlorine at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915 by the Germans. Shortly after, followed the phosgene. The effects of these gases were ghastly. Chlorine was the most deadly as "within seconds of inhaling its vapor, it destroys the victim's respiratory organs, bringing on choking attacks" (Duffy). Phosgene had similar effects, except the fact that the effects started kicking in after 48 hours of inhalation. In September 1917, the Germans introduced the mustard gas or Yperite which was contained in artillery shells against the Russians at Riga. Those exposed t...
Chemical warfare is the use of chemical agents to injure, incapacitate, or kill enemy combatants. First seen during World War I (WWI), the devastating effects of widespread chemical warfare were eventually deemed inhumane by an international consensus and chemical agents were subsequently banned from use. Still, despite the tendency of the modern warrior to overlook antiquated tactics, the threat of chemical agents in the theater of war cannot be entirely discounted by today's Soldier. By analyzing the application, evolution, and overall legacy of chemical weapons in the Great War we can work to minimize the danger they pose in current conflicts and those of the near future. For it is only by understanding the past that we can understand the present and shape tomorrow.
Mustard gas is a poison gas best known for being used in World War I against rival countries. The poison gas was given its name because of the rotten mustard and onion odor it had. In the article “The Five Most Deadly Chemical Weapons of war” by Dina Esfandiary the author discusses some of the most dangerous gases used in wars. The author talked about the horrible effects of mustard gas in the First World War. Mustard gas targets mostly the eyes, skin and respiratory system. The side effects of the gas might start out slow but worsen as time go on. When the skin of the body comes in contact with the gas it will get red and hurt for a couple hours. As results of skin contact large blisters might start to appear. Exposed of the gas to the eyes
In The Great War (WW1) mustard gas was one of many technologies that changed the nature of the war. The Germans introduced the chemical mustard gas in 1917. Fritz Haber, a German chemist, was thought to be the ‘father of chemical warfare’ for his years of developing the poisonous gas weapons during the era of World War 1. Haber did not only develop the deadly gasses but he also helped develop gas masks to help protect people against these poisons. Haber was not the only person responsible for developing mustard gas, there were other inventors credible for the establishment as well. Different people tweaked the creation with their own methods throughout the whole process, such as Depretz, Levinstein, Clarke and Meyer. Normally, in its gaseous
As students of history in the 21st century, we have many comprehensive resources pertaining to the First World War that are readily available for study purposes. The origin of these primary, secondary and fictional sources affect the credibility, perspective and factual information resulting in varying strengths and weaknesses of these sources. These sources include propaganda, photographs, newspapers, journals, books, magazine articles and letters. These compilations allow individuals to better understand the facts, feeling and context of the home front and battlefield of World War One.
German forces launched nearly one-hundred-ninety tons of Mustard Gas into the battlefield of Ypres, Belgium, marking a new chapter in gas warfare. Previously, gas was used to gain tactical advantage or suppress enemy forces. Mustard gas was designed with more malicious intent. It was used in coordination with another gas known as “Blue Cross”. Blue cross was created with the intention of penetrating charcoal filters in gas masks. The chemical would then cause such severe irritation to the nose and throat, that soldiers would tear off their gas masks to cough or vomit. Subsequently, they would be exposed to the more caustic mustard
The Geneva Convention drastically changed how war was fought. “The Geneva Conventions is a body of Public International Law, whose purpose is to provide minimum protections, standards of humane treatment, and fundamental guarantees of respect to individuals who become victims of armed conflicts.” The Geneva Convention banned gases like mustard, phosphine, nerve gas. Mustard gas gets its name from its yellow-brown color it also smells faintly of horseradish. Mustard gas is more dense than air, therefore it proved very efficient in clearing trenches. Mustard Gas causes the lungs to fill with fluid and causes soldiers to drown in their own fluids.