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Impact of World War I On the Environment

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of World War I On the Environment"— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of World War I On the Environment
Fatma Al Malki Sara Al Misned IB History

2 Human Cost

3 Statistics

4 Attack Methods

5 Gas Warfare Gasses used in World War One:
Tear gas (aerosols causing eye irritation), Mustard gas (cell toxic gas causing blistering and bleeding), Carbonyl chloride (carcinogenic gas). CASUALTIES OF GASE WARFARE ADDED UP TO A TOTAL OF 100,000 DEATHS.

6 Mustard Gas It was fired into the trenches in shells. It is colorless and takes 12 hours to take effect. The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, the eyes became very sore and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. This was extremely painful and most soldiers had to be strapped to their beds. It usually took a person four or five weeks to die of mustard gas poisoning.

7 Chlorine Gas The German army were the first to use chlorine gas at the battle of Ypres in Chlorine gas causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest pains. Death is painful - you suffocate! The problem with chlorine gas is that the weather must be right. If the wind is in the wrong direction it could end up killing your own troops rather than the enemy.

8 More Info ... The first full-scale deployment of chemical warfare agents was during World War I, originating in the Second Battle of Ypres, April 22, 1915, when the Germans attacked French, Canadian and Algerian troops with chlorine gas. Deaths were light, though casualties relatively heavy. A total 50,965 tons of pulmonary, lachrymatory, and vesicant agents were deployed by both sides of the conflict, including chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas. Official figures declare about 1,176,500 non-fatal casualties and 85,000 fatalities directly caused by chemical warfare agents during the course of the war.

9 Damages To this day unexploded WWI-era chemical ammunition is still frequently uncovered when the ground is dug in former battle or depot areas and continues to pose a threat to the civilian population in Belgium and France and less commonly in other countries. The French and Belgian governments have had to launch special programs for treating discovered ammunition.[citation needed] After the war, most of the unused German chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea, a common disposal method among all the participants in several bodies of water. Over time, the salt water causes the shell casings to corrode, and mustard gas occasionally leaks from these containers and washes onto shore as a wax-like solid resembling ambergris. Even in this solidified form, the agent is active enough to cause severe contact burns to anybody coming into contact with it. Wednesday, 12 March 2008: Parts of Coventry's city centre were closed after the discovery of this 18-inch World War I bomb. More than 124,000 tons of gas were produced by the end of World War I.

10 Soldiers & Disease

11 Typhus Typhus has a number of colloquial names, including "war fever" and "General Typhus." People become infected with typhus when feces from body lice that are infected with the organism Rickettsia prowazeki are inhaled or enter the skin through open wounds. In 1489 in Spain, during fighting between the Christians and Muslims at Granada, the Spanish reportedly lost 3,000 to war casualties and 20,000 to typhus. And typhus is said to have been a decisive factor in the failure of Napoleon's Russian campaign of It, along with dysentery (see below), reduced Napoleon's army by 80,000 men in just one month. At the beginning of the First World War, typhus broke out along the eastern front, decimating the soldier and civilian populations of Serbia, and the Austrian soldiers that had been captured. But in the Second World War, preventatives such as louse powder and DDT significantly cut cases among soldiers. And by the time of the Korean War, thanks to preventive measures like pesticides and vaccination, typhus among soldiers was almost non-existent.

12 Syphilis Primary Stage
Typically, during this stage a single sore erupts on the genitals, vagina, or anus. Usually this occurs about 10 to 90 days after infection. The round painless sore typically appears at the point where syphilis entered the body. This sore will last from 3-6 weeks and heals without treatment. However, treatment is suggested because without it, the syphilis can enter the secondary stage. Secondary Stage The secondary stage of syphilis is characterized by: Mucous membrane lesions A red rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet that does not itch Fever Swollen lymph nodes Sore throat Hair loss Height loss Muscle aches Fatigue With or without treatment, the symptoms of secondary syphilis will heal. But as is the case in the primary stage, if no treatment is given the infection can progress to the late stage. Late Stage This stage is also known as the "hidden stage", starting when the symptoms of the secondary stage have resolved. It's this stage that untreated syphilis can cause damage to internal organs, the central nervous system, and to bones and joints. In some cases, death can occur. For this reason, treatment of syphilis is important regardless of what stage of the infection a person is in.

13 Malaria Malaria is primarily, but not exclusively, a tropical disease. Like smallpox, malaria has a history of being used as a biological weapon. In Macedonia during World War I, malaria immobilized British, French, and German armies for 3 years. On one occasion, when the French commanding general was ordered to attack, he replied: 'Regret that my army is in hospital with malaria.'" Additionally, in that area during World War I, "…nearly 80 percent of 120,000 French troops … were hospitalized with malaria. In an average British strength of 124,000, there were 162,512 admissions to hospital for malaria during the years 1916 to 1918, in contrast to 23,762 killed, wounded, prisoner, and missing in action."

14 Dysentery Dysentery is a disease involving the inflammation of the lining of the large intestines. The inflammation causes stomach pains and diarrhea. Dysentery caused by contaminated water was especially a problem in the early stages of the war. The main reason for this was that it was some time before regular supplies of water to the trenches could be organized. Soldiers were supplied with water bottles, that could be refilled when they returned to reserve lines. However, the water-bottle supply was rarely enough for their needs and soldiers in the trenches often depended on impure water collected from shell- holes or other cavities. Later, to purify it, chloride of lime was added to the water. This was not popular with the soldiers as they disliked the taste of the purified water.

15 Influenza Pandemic Over 9 million people had died, most of which perished from influenza after the outbreak of the Spanish Flu . The war did not directly cause the influenza outbreak, but it was amplified. Mass movement of troops and close quarters caused the Spanish Flu to spread quickly. Furthermore, stresses of war may have increased the susceptibility of soldiers to the disease.

16 Iron Harvest The iron harvest is the annual harvest of unexploded ordnance, barbed wire, shrapnel balls, bullets and congruent trench supports collected by Belgian and French farmers after ploughing their fields. These were used in WW1 and are still found in large quantities across what used to be the Western Front. For every square meter of territory on the Western Front, nearly a tonne of explosives were dropped. One in every four did not detonate. The rusting of the shells pollutes the land and the water table - the land around the Ypres Salient and the Somme are being intensively farmed whilst having excess iron (the metal from shells) in the soil, trees and vegetation over 90 years later. There have been reports of gas from unexploded chemical weapons seeping from buried caches underneath war cemeteries, requiring the closure and evacuation of the surrounding area, especially mills, where the oil used to lubricate the grinders was especially vulnerable to the gas.

17 Rape of Belgium In Belgium, German troops, in fear of French and Belgian guerrilla fighters, or francs-tireurs, massacred townspeople in: Andenne (211 dead), Tamines (384 dead), Dinant (612 dead). On 25 August 1914, the Germans set fire to the town of Leuven, burned the library containing about 230,000 books, killed 209 civilians and forced 42,000 to evacuate. These actions brought worldwide condemnation.

18 Trench Rats Many men killed in the trenches were buried almost where they fell. If a trench subsided, or new trenches or dugouts were needed, large numbers of decomposing bodies would be found just below the surface. These corpses, as well as the food scraps that littered the trenches, attracted rats. One pair of rats can produce 880 offspring in a year and so the trenches were soon swarming with them. Robert Graves remarked in his book, Goodbye to All That: "Rats came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welch. a new officer joined the company and, in token of welcome, was given a dug-out containing a spring-bed. When he turned in that night he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand."

19 Environmental Damages
Digging trenches caused trampling of grassland, crushing of plants and animals, and churning of soil. Erosion resulted from forest logging to expand the network of trenches. Soil structures were altered severely, and if the war was never fought, in all likelihood the landscape would have looked very differently today. Gases were spread throughout the trenches to kill soldiers of the opposite front. Battlefields were polluted, and most of the gas evaporates into the atmosphere. After the war, unexploded ammunition caused major problems in former battle areas. Environmental legislation prohibits detonation or dumping chemical weapons at sea, therefore the cleanup was and still remains a costly operation. In 1925, most WWI participants signed a treaty banning the application of gaseous chemical weapons. Chemical disarmament plants are planned in France and Belgium.

20 Environmental Damages/Clean-up ...
A German officer in 1918 described ‘dumb, black stumps of shattered trees which still stick up where there used to be villages. Flayed by splinters of bursting shells, they stand like corpses upright. Not a blade of grass anywhere. Just miles of flat, empty, broken and tumbled stone.’ The ploughs in Flanders fields still turn up human bones every year. Clearing mines is laborious, dangerous, and 30 times the cost of the weapon itself. So is clearing unexploded ordnance of all kinds (including worldwide munitions dumps which leak toxic wastes). The most severe UXO contamination in the world is in Laos. Bomb disposal teams have no records to work from. ‘It was America’s secret war and we can’t get the information,’ says a team leader. ‘All you can do is teach people to live with the bomb.’

21 Bibliography

22 Images Bibliography ators_ypres_1917.jpg gas.jpg

23 Images Bibliography

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