The Effect Chemical Warfare on the Soldier

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  • Topic: World War I, Chemical warfare, Poison gas in World War I
  • Pages : 2 (649 words )
  • Download(s) : 322
  • Published : August 20, 2012
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Analyze the effect chemical warfare in WW1 had on the soldier.

In World War 1, the development and use of poison gases were created mainly to end the stalemate risen by the unexpected trench warfare . These poisonous gases, such as mustard gas, were close to impossible to avoid in or out of a trench because they were denser near the ground when released, causing greater suffering to those ducking for cover. It wasn't until World War 1 that chemical warfare was given a definition, the use of chemical munitions designed to incapacitate. But as the use of gases increased, the overall effectiveness decreased due to developments in protection. Nevertheless, these gases took serious tolls on the victims both physically as well as mentally.

The poison gases used in World War I ranged from disabling chemicals, such as tear gas and the severe mustard gas, to lethal agents like phosgene and chlorine, and they all were equally as terrifying to the average soldier. One of the earliest military uses of chemicals were by the French in 1914. These chemicals were first used as an irritating substance rather than a fatal or disabling poison, until the Germans began experimenting with chemicals. The Germans began the large-scale use of the killing agent chlorine, which was more of a psychological weapon. It was easily avoidable due to its easy visibility. The ineffectiveness led to the creation of mustard gas. The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, their eyes became very sore and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. Fatally injured victims sometimes took four or five weeks to die of mustard gas exposure. The effects of these weapons had horrific results.
With these new weapons, new developments in protection and medical treatment became essential. Due to the development of chemical weapons, One of the most indispensable items for the Allied soldier...
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