World War 1

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Social Studies
World War I

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World War 1

Fritz Harber oversaw and organized the deployment and opening of 6,000 cylinders of chlorine gas. In less that 10 minuets, more than 1,000 and Algerian soldiers were killed by the gasses, and over 4,000 wounded. Harber continued to develop and oversee the deployment of more than 500 tons of deadly gasses.

Immeadiately after the German attack on the western front, France and Britian began developting gas masks, as well as their own chemical weapons. Military strategists defended the use of poison gas by saying "It reduced the enemy’s ability to respond and thus saved lives in offensives." however, by the end of the war both sides were equiped with protective masks and clothing making the actual effectiveness of the gasses very small.

In April of 1915, German soldiers first introduce over 150 tons of lethal chlorine throughout the western front against two French devisions. This attack devastated the Allied line initially, but the use of chlorine as a poison gas didn’t last long, as the gas was easy to spot and soldiers discovered could protect themselves from the gas fairly effectively simply by holding wet rags over their mouths and noses.

Fritz Harber, born in 1868 in Poland, and a winner of the 1918 nobel piece prize for his work synthesized ammonia, from which fertilizer can be made to increase crop production, Harber made a willing decision to begin developing poisonous gasses for mass industrialized killing. He was the first to develop air-dispersed chlorine gasses

Fritz Harber

World War I

Poison Gas

All together over 100,000 tons of chemical weapons were used throughout World War 1, more than 500,000 men were injure and 30,000 died. Since the war chemical weapons have rarely been used in conflicts world wide.


Harber's introduction to poionous gasses changed the corse of the war, and intilled the fear of the gasses in every soilder on every front. Though the use of the gasses was essentually a treaty breach, it opened the flood gates for every country in the war as theythey began with their own feilds of chemical warfare.

Without the advancements poison gases brought to chemical warefare, the number of casualties would have been much smaller in number. Soliders would have suffered from much diffren wounds, the majortiy from machine guns and bombs rather than acids that eat away the skin or fill the lungs with liquid. Though the French used tear gas to incapasitate enemy soldiers eariler in the war, this tactic was very diffrent to the horifying results of the poisonous gasses that would be used throughout the war once poison gas was introduced by the German's.

After the war, Britian, France, and Spain continued the use of poison gas in several colonial stuggles, their action recived internatioal critisem and the use of the gasses was banned in the Geneva Protocol of 1925.


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