Poison Gas in World War One: Chlorine Gas (Research Paper Sample)
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Poison Gas in World War One
Less than nine months after the First World War had begun, the Germans unleashed a deadly weapon that changed the entire landscape of warfare completely. This was a toxic gas that resulted into large noxious yellow clouds of smoke enveloping the allied positions and also momentarily five thousand soldiers had already died while almost ten thousand soldiers injured as the toxic gas ate away into their respiratory organs (Sondhaus 131). The paper will focus on how that poison gas was utilized during the First World War and also highlight the consequences resulting from the use of poison gas during this period.
In 1915 during the First World War, the German forces surprised the Allied forces along the western front through firing over one hundred and fifty tons of toxic chlorine gas. This attack was directed towards the two French colonial divisions stationed at Ypres, Belgium (Hughes 3). This was the initial gas attack by the Germans which significantly devastated the Allied army.
Since this occurrence, toxic gas has sometimes been used n warfare such as in 115 whereby the French customarily utilized small amounts of tear gas during their policing operations. During World War One, the Germans began creating chemical weapons actively. By 1917, they placed some tear gas canisters and fired against the French (Hughes 7). Eventually the German fired even more lethal gas at Russian forces situated at the eastern front. However, the climatic conditions of that area were poor, and the gas froze, but some reports from the Russian camp suggested that one thousand soldiers had been killed due to this chemical weapon.
The main poison gases utilized during the First World War include Chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas.
When chorine as utilized by the Germans, it produced a greenish-yellow could that had the smell of bleach which only led to irritation of the eyes, nose, lungs and throats of the exposed victims (Compound Interest 5). At high enough doses, the gas killed numerous soldiers by asphyxiation.
Phosgene is an irritant which is six times more harmful than chlorine gas. This weapon is much stealthier as it is colorless and soldiers initially did not recognize that they had already inhaled a fatal dose. After almost a day, the lungs of the victim filled with fluid and eventually suffocated in agony until they died (Compound Interest 7-8). The Germans were the first to utilize phosgene in the war but beam the primary chem
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