World War I: Chemical Warfare

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World War I
Chemical Warfare

On April the 22, 1915 at the start of the Second Battle of the Ypres, the first poison gas attack and the first use of chlorine gas in a battlefield started, even though the Hague declaration and Convention forbade the use of poison weapons in the warfare. The Germans attacked France with the chlorine gas, but the French were not prepared at all for this attack. The effects of the chlorine gas to the soldiers was very severe; within seconds it destroyed their respiratory organs and it gave them choking attacks. Right after the Chlorine gas, came the Phosgene. Phosgene was more potent than the Chlorine gas, since it caused less coughing resulting that more of it was inhaled. In 1917, the Germans aware the odds of winning the war were against them, they deployed the Mustard Gas, which created more chemical causalities than all the other gasses combined. The warfare started becoming not only a physical weapon, but also a physiological one. The fear of getting gassed kept soldiers on edge, which lead to anomie, gas fright and mental breakdowns. By 1918, the use of poison gasses had been widespread. The number causalities quickly started diminishing and deaths because of gas attacks became rare, even though the causalities where very high in their early use.

It all started with one gas attack. The Germans were the first ones to ever use chlorine gas in a battlefield, of course, the French did not even had a clue this could had happened. The use of chlorine gas affected severely their victims, especially since none of them knew how to protect themselves from these gasses. Because of it, every army started looking for ways to protect their troops. Then, other armies created more potent gasses since the other ones no longer affected them as much since everyone knew how to evade the effect. So that was when the phosgene was deployed. This was more potent than the chlorine gas, since it caused less coughing; which meant more of...
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