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In World War 1, chemical weapons were first used. More specifically, they were used August 1914 the first month of the war. The French were first to use chemical weapons in the form of grenades. The Germans were the first to put a serious study and development into chemical weapons. Moreover, chemical weapons were and still is a deadly weapon used in war. Only to some extent and conditions. Such as weather, defence and effective use.
To start, the first use of chemical weapons was the French and they used tear gas grenades in the first month of the war. In fact, the Germans were waiting for the French to do this so they break the poison gas treaty made before the war started. When the French broke the treaty, Germany thought it was the perfect time to use their own chemical weapons. They thought it was the perfect time because if anyone accused them of breaking the treaty then they have proof that the French broke it first. The Germans used chemical gases such as, chlorine and phosgene which killed many soldiers. No one thought that chemical weapons were going to be used so they had no time or preparation to defend themselves from the deadly gas. Later on in the war, the Ypres found a way of protection. This protection was to use urine on a handkerchief to neutralize the gas. Ammonia was found in urine which cancels out the chlorine gas. Afterwards, they invented gas masks which were a much more efficient way of protecting themselves from chemical gas. Since gas masks were made and other forms of defence from the gas were made, it made chemical gas less deadly and inefficient. This is because if the enemies are able to protect themselves from attacks then there is not a use for using chemical gases. Also, it was really difficult to predict the wind direction which is very useful information to know. This is because if the Germans did not know the wind direction, then the gas they sent out would come right back to them. Not only that, but it was an inconvenience to transport the chemical weapons and to also put it into its own shell without any spillage and leakage. If the chemicals did spill it would be a disaster. In other words, chemical weapons quickly become inefficient and an inconvenience. Now the gases used were chlorine, phosgene, mustard gas and tear gases. Chlorine gas appears as a yellow-green gas that has a strong smell of pineapple and pepper. The chlorine reacts with the water in the lungs causing coughing, vomiting, irritation of the eyes and even death. Phosgene is colourless and the smell can be compared to grass. The effects of phosgene are coughing, irritation of the throat and eyes, and leads to death. Effects can be delayed to 48 hours. Next, tear gases are a light yellow colour with a fruity type of smell. Effect of tear gases can be crying, coughing, difficulty breathing, and even temporary blindness. Additionally, mustard gas is colourless and odourless which makes it harder to tell if it is in the air or not. Effects include blistering, damages to eyes and skin, and chemical burns if come to contact with skin. Also, effects can be delayed by hours. All of these chemical gases were all first used in World War 1. Due to the use of chemical weapons, it changed the future. It did this by making the next world war include them, it invented the use of gas masks and overall made history. Chemical weapons definitely added to the war but it did not do much as expected. Chemical weapons at first were deadly due to how unpredictable it was to be used but when the gas mask was made it was not a good weapon at all. In fact, chemical weapons were responsible for only 1% of deaths in the war.
In conclusion, chemical gases were only effective in its first mass attack by the Germans. Due to surprise and having no information and defence to the gases. Then damaging gases quickly became almost useless. In World War 1, guns, grenades and artillery were much more useful and destructive compared to chemical gases.

Post Author: admin