Poison Gas- WWI

Topics: World War I, Chemical warfare, Chlorine Pages: 2 (612 words) Published: December 3, 2013


In World War One, chemical weapons became popular. Poison gas, such as mustard and chlorine became the number one thing to use. Gas was invented to cause fear to the soldiers the army was fighting. The gas could cause death quickly over a few days which was why poison gas was the most feared of all the soldiers.

Poison gas could be used when the soldiers wanted to knock out a large amount of people without having to do much. Gun shots from a machine gun were more common but using the gas put the soldiers in more pain which the army liked. Soldiers would have to put on simple gas masks and if these were unsuccessful, an attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally gave up on his injuries.  It was found that the ammonia in the pad neutralized the chlorine. These pads were held over the face until the soldiers could escape from the poisonous fumes. Other soldiers preferred to use handkerchiefs, a sock, a flannel body-belt, dampened with a solution of bicarbonate of soda, and tied across the mouth and nose until the gas passed over (poisongas.org). This technique however didn’t always work.

Mustard gas has been said to be a favorite of the US because it could be easily changed into bombs. Mustard gas could produce wounds looking like burns or blisters when they come into contact with the skin. Symptoms showed between 2-24 hours and if they didn’t you would know that you weren’t exposed. Symptoms included: becoming hoarse, skin start to swell, eye pain, sneezing, and coughing. The most common death of being exposed to the mustard gas was lung failure. The only treatments for being exposed to the gas were removal of all of your clothing and shaving your head because those were mainly the areas that usually got exposed.

Most people believe that the Germans were the first ones to use gas, but really it was the French. The French threw grenades that were full of gas at their enemies. The Germans didn’t do anything to stop...
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