Modern Chemical Warfare

Topics: Chemical warfare, World War II, World War I Pages: 7 (1144 words) Published: June 11, 2013

Chemical Warfare is using the chemical properties of a substance to your advantage during war. This has been going on for centuries. Even the most basic forms of weapons were used. People have been putting poison on the end of their spears and arrows since they have been around. Over the years, it has also developed into much more advanced chemistry. In this article, I am going to focus on the more advanced, modern uses of chemical warfare in World War I and World War II.

World War I

In World War I, the French were the first to use chemical weapons, even though this usage was banned. They used tear gases to immobilize the enemy. The two main tear gases that the French used were ethyl bromoacetate (CH2BrCO2C2H5) and chloroacetone (CH3COCH2Cl). In 1917, Germany began to use chemicals with artillery shells containing the chemical, dianisidine chlorosulfonate. Since this weapon was easily made, it was used to save supplies so they didn’t have to use so many explosives. They then began to use xylyl bromide (C8H9Br) in weapons. These were both small-scale attacks. The first large-scale chemical warfare attack was on April 22, 1915 in the Second Battle of Ypres, when the Germans attacked the allies with chlorine gas. It did not kill very many people, but did injure a lot. There were a couple other gases that were used by countries including phosgene (COCl2), and mustard gas (2(Cl-CH2CH2)S). Towards the end of World War I, the chemicals were becoming less and less useful because of the development of defenses against them such as the gas mask. They became less popular throughout the war, but regained its usefulness in World War II.

World War II

As World War II started in the late 1930s, modern technology had sprouted, and so did the chemical weapons. Because of the Japanese, in 1938, there was The Treaty of Versailles, which tried to ban the use of noxious gases and submarines, but just like with World War I, it was disobeyed.

The Japanese never used chemical weapons against Westerners but they did use it against people in their reign of terror throughout Southeastern Asia. Some of the gases that they used were sneezing gas, chemically called diphenylchlorarsine (2(C6H5)AsC), and mustard gas (C4H8Cl2S).

During World War II, Germany discovered three new chemical weapons: tabun (C5H11N2O2P), soman (C7H16FO2P), and sarin (C4H10FO2P). However, the Germans never used these weapons against the allies.

Some chemical weapons the Germans did use in World War II were against many of their own people in Concentration Camps. The two gases mainly used were carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen cyanide (HCN).

The ending on World War II was caused wholeheartedly by chemical warfare. The first Atomic Bombs, and the only ever used against humans were deployed on August 6 and 9, 1945, when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. -------------------------------------------------

Ethyl Bromoacetate

It is a clear, colorless substance with a fruity odor. Its reacts with acids to produce heat, is flammable, and insoluble in water. It is harmful when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed in the skin. If that happens, it results in major injury and even death. -------------------------------------------------




It is a dark yellow color with a pungent odor that can dissolve in water. It is much denser than air and if inhaled or ingested, it could be very harmful. It is also very flammable. -------------------------------------------------...

Cited: "A Brief History of Chemical Warfare." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 10 June 2013.
"Chemical Warfare." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 June 2013.
Croddy, Eric. Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, Technology and History. N.p.: ABC-CLIO, n.d. Google Books. Web. 10 June 2013.
"UNODA - Chemical Weapons." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 10 June 2013.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Chemical Warfare Essay
  • Chemical Warfare Essay
  • Research on Chemical Warfare Essay
  • World War I: Chemical Warfare Essay
  • Chemical Weapons Convention Essay
  • Essay about Bio-Chemical Weapons
  • Life in the Trenches: World War II Essay
  • Science and Modern Warfare Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free