Chlorine Gas & Gas Masks From World War I!
In 1914, a chemist called Fritz Haber offered his knowledge to the German Army. He soon began experimenting with chlorine gas to be used in trench warfare. In April of 1915, 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas was used by the German forces against the French Army at Ypres. The French soldiers witnessed yellow line clouds with a distinctive smell of pineapple and pepper slowly drifting toward their trenches. The French infantry assumed that the Germans were merely using a smokescreen at first until they started to complain about pains in their chest and a burning sensation in their throat. As the realization of a gas attack became apparent, the French ran away from the area, putting a gap in the Allied line. The German Army was hesitant to advance forward due to concerns about the chlorine gas would do to them. This enabled Canadian and British troops to recapture the position before German forces could breakthrough. Chlorine gas would destroy the respiratory organs of the unfortunate victim and lead to a slow death by asphyxiation, whether it was an important factor in gas attacks. When the British Army launched a gas attack on the 25th September 1915, the wind blew it back into the faces of British troops. This was solved in 1916 when gas shells were used with heavy artillery, increasing the range of attack. So, how would you counter a gas attack? At first, Allied troops used cotton pad masks or even handkerchief that had been soaked in urine. The ammonia in the pad it was discovered would neutralize the chlorine. As the war progressed, soldiers were equipped with gas masks and anti- asphyxiation respirators, which were more efficient means of protection from gas.