Mustard Gas, WW I

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Social Studies
World War I

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Mustard Gas, WW I

What is mustard gas, and how was it used in WWI?

A Recollection onMustard Gas -- WWI

There is still over 13000 tons of Mustard Gas left in stockpiles throughout 5 countries: The United States, Russia, Libya, Iraq, and Japan.

Sometimes in the middle of the night we have to turn people out of bed and make them sleep on the floor to make room for the more seriously ill ones who have come down from the line. We have heaps of gassed cases at present : there are 10 in this ward alone. I wish those people who write so glibly about this being a holy war, and the orators who talk so much about going on no matter how long the war lasts and what it may mean, could see a case - to say nothing of 10 cases of mustard gas in its early stages - could see the poor things all burnt and blistered all over with great suppurating blisters, with blind eyes - sometimes temporally, some times permanently - all sticky and stuck together, and always fighting for breath, their voices a whisper, saying their throats are closing and they know they are going to choke.The strain is very, very great. The enemy is within shelling distance - refugee sisters crowding in with nerves all awry - bright moonlight, and aeroplanes carrying machine guns - ambulance trains jolting into the siding, all day, all night - gassed men on stretchers clawing the air - dying men reeking with mud and foul green stained bandages, shrieking and writhing in a grotesque travesty of manhood - dead men with fixed empty eyes and shiny yellow faces.

Historical Question

Mustard Gas, also known as Sulfur Mustard, was used as a method of driving out enemy troops, often with the intent to kill. Similarly to Chlorine Gas, Mustard Gas was efficent in means of destroynig the enemy with suffication and blindness. Mustard Gas was actually more efficent at killing than Chlorine was, because of its ability to be launched from artillery shells. The casualties of Mustard Gas were much smaller than the injuries aquired from it. Between 1914-1918, over 20000 troops were injured due to mustard gas; over 4000 were left dead. Another effect of mustard gas was soil contamination. After the gas was exposed, it remained active for a few weeks in the ground. This meant that the gassed territory was practically worthless, and limited the available soil used for farming many years after the war had ended, causing futhermore economic cuasualties for France and Belgium. Today nearly every country has outlawed chemical weapons in war because of the terrible destruction these gases can do to people. It's a very inhumane way to die, and that is why it is terminated from future warfare.


1. Brittain, Vera. "A Testament of the Youth." An Excert From Primary Source(1918): n. pag. Spartacus Educational. 1 Sept. 1997. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.2. "Facts About Sulfur Mustard." CDC. National Center for Environmental Health, 2 May 2013. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. .3. Walton, L. Perharic, Dr. "Mustard Gas." Mustard Gas. N.p., Sept. 1996. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. .

Mustard Gas WWI Logan Dihel


Sulfur Mustard CompositionS(CH2 CH2 Cl)2

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Source Credibility

1. This is a very reliable source becuase it is an actual jornal entry from a feild nurse in WWI. Primary sources are always an accurate source. 2. This source is from the National Enviornmental Health website. It contains government-approved information and is very reliable because of that.3. This is an chapter from a chemistry textbook on the properties of Sulfur Mustard. This textbook was checked by many experienced and knowledgable professors when it was published.


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