Presentation on theme: "Poison Gas Use During WWI. Types of Poison Gas Tearing Agent ( lachrymatory) France used it first in 1914 Causes temporary blindness Inflames the nose."— Presentation transcript:
Poison Gas Use During WWI
Types of Poison Gas
Tearing Agent ( lachrymatory) France used it first in 1914 Causes temporary blindness Inflames the nose and throat Gas mask offered good protection Similar to mace and pepper spray No long term effects if used properly Some forms would freeze in cold weather and not work (Eastern Front)
Asphyxiant First Used by the Germans in 1915 Poisonous gases Chlorine (First developed by Germany) Chlorine is a powerful irritant that can inflict damage to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. At high concentrations and prolonged exposure it can cause death by asphyxiation Gas Masks were effective in filtering Chlorine
British Use of Chlorine Gas Commander of British II Corps, Lt.Gen. Ferguson (officially) said of gas: It is a cowardly form of warfare which does not commend itself to me or other English soldiers.... We cannot win this war unless we kill or incapacitate more of our enemies than they do of us, and if this can only be done by our copying the enemy in his choice of weapons, we must not refuse to do so First attempt was a disaster as wind blew gas back into British Trenches. Also many British troops were not equipped with gas masks
Phosgene First Developed by the French in 1915 Odorless and hard to detect Often used mixed with an equal volume of chlorine, with the chlorine helping to spread the denser phosgene. Some of the symptoms of exposure took 24 hours or more to manifest 85% of the 100,000 deaths caused by chemical weapons during World War I
Blistering Agent Mustard gas Attacks any exposed, moist skin Eyes, lungs, armpits groin, etc…. Caused huge blisters Heavy gas as it laid in areas for hours sometimes days Fatal victims sometimes took four or five weeks to die of mustard gas exposure.
How was poison gas used?
Before gas masks soldiers used socks soaked in urine to filter out poison gas
Poison Gas Victim: It seemed as if my lungs were gradually shutting up and my heart pounded away in my ears like the beat of a drum. On looking at the chap next to me I felt sick, for green stuff was oozing from the side of his mouth
Estimated gas casualties Nation Fatal Non-fatal Russia 56,000 419,340 Germany 9,000 200,000 France 8,000 190,000 British Empire 8,109 188,706 Austria-Hungary 3,000 100,000 USA 1,462 72,807 Italy 4,627 60,000 Total 88,498 1,240,853