Poison Gas

Jillian & Lexi

Invented By The Germans

Two German scientists by the name of Lommel and Steinkopf invented the mustard poison gas. The gas was introduced by the Germans, but were used by both sides during World War I. The gas was meant to make the men of war unable to defend their positions by causing severe and painful blister or blindness. The gas was not made to kill, but in some cases, it did cause death due to choking on the gas. Soldiers used masks to defend themselves from the harmful substance.

Types of Poison Gas

  • Chlorine Gas - Low-lying gas that is greenish-yellow in color. Not terribly harmful due to the chlorine being used in a household cleaner. Used in the Second Battle of Ypres.
  • Mustard Gas- Yellow-brown in color with an odor like a mustard plant. Made from sulfur mustard that causes mustard colored blisters and can cause throat to swell which could cause death by choking.

Battles That Used Poison Gas

  • October, 1914 - Germans attacked Neuve Chapelle where they shot off gas shells which contained the poison gas inside. This caused the Frenchmen to go into terrible sneezing tantrums.
  • The Second Battle of Ypres - April, 1915 - During the battle, a yellow-green gas cloud emerged from pressurized cylinders which moved towards the French and Algerian soldiers.

The poison gas was used throughout the battles of World War I from 1914 to 1918, but was used heavily by the Western front.

How poison Gas Impacted the Battles of WW1

The poison gas impacted World War I and the battle because it led to advancement while inflicting the victims with pain and suffering.

What The War Would Have Been Like Without Poison Gas

The poison gas was used to distract people so they could move on to conquer other areas faster. Without poison gas used as a distraction, it could have been an even deadlier battle because it would have been more head-on. Some battles could have had a different outcome if the poison gas had not been invented. Poison gas was not as deadly as other weapons. The death toll of the poison gas was 191,198 soldiers, while the injured rate was much higher with a total of 1,240,853 soldiers.