Gabriel Voisin was of the most productive aircraft designers of theFirstWorldWar. On 5th October, 1914 the Voisin III, became the first Allied plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft.
Voisin became the standard Allied bomber in the early years of the war. Successive models were more powerful and over 800 were purchased by the frencArmyAirService. The Royal fkying corpsand the Russian and Belgian airforces also used them in the war. The Voisin V first appeared in 1915. It was the first bomber to be armed with a cannon instead of a machine-gun. henrifarman and his brothermauricefarman, started their aviation company at Boulogne-sur-Seine in 1912. Two of their planes, the Farman MF-7 and the Farman MF-II, were popular Allied reconnaissance craft during the early stages of the war. They were purchased by both the FrenchArmyAirServiceand the royalNavalAir before the outbreak of the First World war. They were also used by the Belgian and Italian air forces. The royalNavalAirService used the Farman MF-II for its first night bombing mission when it attacked a German artillery installation on 21st December, 1914.
The problem of how to fire through the propeller was engaging everyone's attention at this time. The question was solved for the moment by having a deflector on the propeller, of which the bullet ricocheted, when it would, without a deflector, have hit the propeller. This system was invented by Garros, the French pilot, and copied by the Germans. They then adopted a gun which fired through the propeller, by virtue of an interrupter gear, a system which was definitely proposed by the Royal Aircraft Factory before the war, although it did not then get as far as the drawing stage. Our synchronizing gear first came into existence in 1916.
The German Army first used chlorine gas cylinders in April 1915 against the French Army at Ypres. French soldiers reported seeing yellow-green clouds drifting slowly towards the Allied trenches. They also noticed its distinctive smell which was like a mixture of pineapple and pepper. At first the French officers assumed that the German infantry were advancing behind a smoke screen and orders were given to prepare for an armed attack. When the gas arrived at the Allied front-trenches soldiers began to complain about pains in the chests and a burning sensation in their throats.
Most soldiers now realised they were being gassed and many ran as fast as they could away from the scene. An hour after the attack had started there was a four-mile gap in the Allied line. As the German soldiers were concerned about what the chlorine gas would do to them, they hesitated about moving forward in large numbers. This delayed attack enabled Canadian and British troops to retake the position before the Germans burst through the gap that the chlorine gas had created.
Chlorine gas destroyed the respiratory organs of its victims and this led to a slow death by asphyxiation. One nurse described the death of one soldier who had been in the trenches during a chlorine gas attack. “He was sitting on the bed, fighting for breath, his lips plum coloured. He was a magnificent young Canadian past all hope in the asphyxia of chlorine. I shall never forget the look in his eyes as he turned to me and gasped: I…