Q:

How was poison gas used in World War I?

A:

Quick Answer

During WWI, poison gas was used as a type of chemical warfare to attack large armies. The gas was delivered either by using the wind to carry the poisonous gas to the enemy's front line or by placing the gas into artillery and aerial bombs and firing them at the enemy's front lines.

Know More
How was poison gas used in World War I?
Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP Getty Images

Full Answer

The Germans first successfully used lethal poison gas during WWI in 1915, when German soldiers fired ammunition shells filled with xylyl bromide at Russian troops at Bolimov. Due to the cold temperatures, most of the gas froze before hitting the Russian troops. Despite this, Russians reported the loss of more than 1,000 men as a result of this new weapon. The Germans also attempted to use tear gas on French soldiers nearly a year earlier, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

Despite the fact that the Germans were the first to use lethal gas during WWI, it was the French army that started chemical warfare. The first account of chemical warfare happened in 1912, nearly three years before the Germans' first successful attempt, when the French used tear gas on the battlefield. However, this tear gas was more of an irritant than anything deadly. After witnessing this type of warfare, the Germans started the development of their own chemical weapons.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why was WWI called the "war to end all wars"?

    A:

    After it was over, World War I was called "the war to end all wars" because it was so destructive that the nations of the world wanted to prevent such slaughter from ever happening again. This prompted prolonged negotiations over proposed solutions like the League of Nations. Unfortunately, rather than end war, the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 set the stage for World War II.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Was mustard gas used in WWI?

    A:

    Mustard gas was used during World War I; the Germans were the first to use the gas as a chemical warfare weapon in 1917. Mustard gas was a useful method for breaking the deadlock resulting from trench warfare, where soldiers avoided "no man's land," the area between two trenches.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Were U-boats used in World War I?

    A:

    The U-boat was used during World War I and helped the Germans destroy many Allied ships. These naval battles mostly took place around the British Isles and in the Mediterranean Sea. The primary targets were trade routes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What caused the stalemate in WWI?

    A:

    According to PBS, there were two main causes of the stalemate during WWI: the failed military tactics of The Schlieffen Plan, and the new war tactics required for trench warfare.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore