Poison Gas During the First World War, there were many technological advances including the tank, flamethrowers, and poisonous gases. The Germans pioneered the large-scale use of chemical weapons with a gas attack on Russian positions on January 31, 191 5, during the Battle of Bolimov, but low temperatures froze the poison in the shells. The first successful use of chemical weapons occurred on April 22, 191 5, near Ypres, when the Germans sprayed chlorine gas from large cylinders towards trenches held by French colonial troops. The results of this attack were devastating and would change warfare.
When gas bombs or grenades were used, they filled trenches and wreaked havoc. With the soldiers pinned in the gas filled trenches they would suffer boils, burns, blindness, and breathing problems, depending on the gas of course. Benefits of these gases included how many people it affected, the serious effects it made on the targets, and the availability. Although these poisonous gases seem like a great idea, there were many negative effects too. The chemicals were hard to control when operating large scale attacks. Gas would end up effecting innocent people and also getting into the wildlife and plants around the targeted area.
Another negative about these gases is that they were fairly easy to counter. For highly effective counter- measurements, gas masks were created, and for a quick fix, a damp rag over the nose and eyes would usually work. Since these chemicals were mostly water soluble, it made them very ineffective if there was rain in the forecast. All in all, the poisonous gases being used were a great idea at first, but the success was short-lived. I think it was a great concept considering enemies would be trapped with the gases in the trenches, or they would leave the trench with the risk f being shot.
Also, despite the countermeasures that were created, poisonous gas still had a large effect on the war. The Germans usually didn’t use gas in warfare, but they used it in extermination camps. The camps were awful places and should have never been created, but, the Germans were smart to use gas in the large scale murders. Using gas was effective, controllable, and they always had a good supply of it. In these regards, the invention of gas was extremely useful for Germans, but in warfare today these methods are not very successful. Weapons of WWII- Poisonous Gas By wcmehring