Chemical Warfare Was Introduced To The Essays

Submitted By Cuda71
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Scott Wheeler
History C

Chemical Warfare

Chemical warfare was introduced to the people during the World War I. The French shot tear gas rifle grenades at their enemies to stun them. The first major gas attack was at the second battle of Ypres, Belgium, on April 22,1915 using chorine gas released from cylinders was used by the Germans in an assault in trench wars. The gas was very effective and could kill 5000 people and scaring 10,000 also prevented the assault. At the third battle of Ypres in the late summer of 1917 mustard gas and machine guns in pillboxes were used with more effect to slow the Allied forces. The Germans were pushed back miles killing 400,000 Allied lives. War gases had been used by all participants in the war. All sides used chemical warfare in World War I and all had prepared for it even the United States who developed many chemical warfare agents but mostly too late to use them. Since the United States was involved for only a limited time. War gases proved to be an accessory of limited military effectiveness, and were not used in the World War II for this reason, preparations were made and troops were trained in the use of gas masks. Any moral culpable of chemical warfare was completely trivialized by another hideous development of the war, the aerial bombing of civilian populations, which was executed with gusto in World War II, and brought to a climax by the United States in the horrible annihilation or disfigurement of hundreds of thousands of noncombatants by nuclear explosives.The development of chemical warfare agents during the Second World War led to the so-called "nerve gases," which are quick-acting poisons attacking the nervous system. The first agent of this type, hydrocyanic acid, was used by the French in World War I, and called Vincennite, which also had a little arsenic in it to kill slowly if the cyanide didn't get you at once. It was rather ineffective because the wind diluted it easily, and gas masks were very effective against it. Today's nerve agents, tabun, sarin and soman, are not so volatile, and can be absorbed through the skin. They are acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting organophosphorus compounds which hinder nerve communication. An antidote is an injection of atropine, a powerful drug, which is rather dangerous if you haven't actually had any nerve gas. We'll not speak further of these modern agents, but concentrate on the classical agents.
Chemical warfare agents are now mostly used against rioting civilians, and examples of the most popular agents for this purpose will be given below. Incendiary and smoke agents are considered part of chemical warfare, but will not be discussed here. Although one speaks of "war gases," most of the agents are not gases at all, but liquids or solids in colloidal suspension. "War aerosols" would be a better term.War gases are like Hannibal's elephants. When under control, they are impressive and strike fear into the enemy. When out of control, they are equally dangerous to both sides. War gases make no distinction of friend or enemy, so when they are used, both sides have to don gas masks. If the protective devices are effective, only by surprise can any advantage be achieved, and one's own troops are hindered by gas masks and protective clothing, making them very ineffective in an assault. These are the main reasons that war gases are almost complete failures as tactical elements.A gas dispersion can be thought of as an obstacle, but one which may move unpredictably and irregularly, certainly a disturbing thought to a military commander. If a gas is too persistent, it may remain dangerous after its objective has been achieved. If it is not persistent, its effect may have dissipated before it is needed. Gas is lifted by the convection of a hot summer's day, or even by the heat of the pyrotechnics used to disperse it. A sudden wind can blow the whole cloud to some unfortunate place, or disperse it entirely. The gas cloud may be…