Chemical Warfare World War I

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World War I

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Chemical Warfare World War I

Historical Background

Chemical warfare was used as a weapon druing World War I. It was effective because of the fact you could release it from a distance, without having to get too close to enemy lines. Also because it was heavier than the air, so it would sink to the bottom of trenches. Trenches were extremely common in World War I as a means of shelter. The chemicals would sink to the bottom of the trenches, killing or woudning everyone inside. Once it was discovered how effective it was, it quickly become the most used (and deadly) tpype of weapon.

There were four main types of chemical weapons used, tear gas, chlorine gas, phosgene, and mustard gas. tear gas causes crying, coughing, breathing difficulties, and temporary blindness. It was first used by the French.Chlorine gas reacts with water in lungs, forming acid. It leads to coughing,irritation of the eyes, vomitting, and death. It was first used by the Germans.Phosgene was a brutal gas that caused suffocation, the victim would usually be dead within 48 hours. It was first used by the Germans.Mustard gas caused blistering, chemical burns on skin, and leads to death. It was first used by the Germans.All these types of chemical weapons wuickly becam the most frequently used and most effective. It lead to millions of casualties and changes the way the war was fought.

Work Cited

1. "Chemical Warfare: Poison Gases in World War 1." Compound Interest. N.p., 17 May 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. This was a website, created after the war, making it a secondary source. It is credible because it is on a reliable website.2."Chemical Weapons in World War I." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. This is a website, created after the war, so it is a secindary document. It is credible becuase it was on a reliable website, with correct information. 3. This is a primary source document because it was written uring the time of the war by British commander-in-chief, Sir John French.

Chemical Warfare in World War I


Soldiers in chemical gases


What Chemical weapons were used in World War I?

Effects of mustard gas

Trenches in Worl War I

"What follows almost defies description. The effect of these poisonous gases was so virulent as to render the whole of the line held by the French Division mentioned above practically incapable of any action at all. It was at first impossible for any one to realize what had actually happened. The smoke and fumes hid everything from sight, and hundreds of men were thrown into a comatose or dying condition, and within an hour the whole position had to be abandoned, together with about fifty guns." -Commander-in-chief, SirJohnFrench


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