Chemical troops in the World War.

First World War 1914-1918 from the German perspective.

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Chemical troops in the World War.

Post by tigre » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:22 pm

Hello to all :D; a new topic dealing with this subject.....................

GASPIONIERE IM WELTKRIEGE. [Chemical troops in the World War].

At the beginning of the World War there was no chemical armament in the German Army. Not only had there been no technical preparation and research, but there was also lacking a military organization for chemical warfare. Faith in existing armament was so great at this time as to preclude thought of the necessity of chemical aids to combat. Very quickly, however, it was found that entrenched adversaries had excellent protection in the ground against infantry bullets and splinters of bursting shells. It was obviously necessary to develop a means of forcing the enemy into the open.

The first experiments with a 15-cm. gas grenade and the "B-mine" proved unsatisfactory from the _standpoint of mass employment; as it was not believed a sufficient concentration could be laid down to produce a definite tactical effect. It was therefore decided to employ the force of the wind to carry the gas against the enemy's positions, and the 35th Pioneer Regiment was fitted out as a chemical regiment. These were the first chemical warfare troops.

The first gas attack was made on 22 April, 1915, at 6:00 PM at Ypres. Six thousand gas containers, set in batteries of twenty each, were released in a period of five minutes over a four-mile front. A cloud of chlorine gas 600 to 900 yards deep was thus formed, and as a result, 5,000 prisoners and 60 guns were taken.

In the subsequent employment of gas mines, however, some disadvantages of chemical warfare began to be revealed. Great dependence had to be placed upon the weather, and changing wind conditions could make the gas dangerous to the troops releasing it. Also, considerable time was required for the emplacement of mines, which then stood as a threatening danger to friendly troops until they could be released. In many cases it was necessary to wait a week for a suitable opportunity to release the gas.

In 1916, the 35th Pioneer Regiment was augmented by the 36th for employment in chemical warfare. Also, the position of Gas Regiment Inspector was created in GHQ. Developments in materiel quickly followed and, in the spring of 1917, one hundred gas mines were exploded simultaneously, causing great loss among adversaries not yet experienced in gas discipline. A 20-cm. projector, with walls 1-cm. thick, was next developed to throw a thin-walled cylinder containing 12 to 15 liters of gas. This projector was designed to be embedded in the earth and exploded by electricity. Many hundreds could be-placed in batteries of twenty each and discharged simultaneously.

In playing the role of chemical troops throughout the World War, German engineers lived up to their honored traditions, continuing to lead the way in battle.

Source: Periodical Articles—Catalog. Review of Military Literature. March 1935.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
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image014.jpg
1916, WWI German western front, 18cm "Gaswerfer". Gaswerfer were mortar-like devices designed to throw poisonous gas canisters at the enemy.......................
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Re: Chemical troops in the World War.

Post by tigre » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:44 am

Hello to all :D; a little more about this subject.....................

DER GASWERFERANGRIFF BEl FLITSCH AM 24. OKTOBER 1917. [The gas attack at Flitsch, 24 October, 1917.] Major Heydendorff.

Major Heydendorff gives credit for the first gas attack by means of projectors to the British, near Arras, on 24 April, 1917. The simultaneous discharge of a large number of gas drums, obtained by this method, flooded the trenches with gas to such an extent that respirators failed to keep it out, and the German losses in this and in the succeeding attacks were heavy. German headquarters at once decided to adopt the projector method, and the 15-cm. gas projector was soon produced. It consisted of a smooth tube with hemispherical end, without a mounting, for burying in the ground. The charge was fired electrically, and threw a gas drum containing 3 to 4 gallons of phosgene (COCl2), or Green-Cross, a distance of about 1,400 yards; ordinary bombs could be used instead of the gas drums.

An opportunity for the first trial of this new weapon was afforded in the autumn of the same year in the great Austro-German offensive, which resulted in the Italian disaster at Caporetto. The 35th Pioneer Battalion of the German Army, trained in gas-projector work, was allotted to the forces selected for the attack, the Fourteenth Army under General von Below. The area chosen for gas bombardment lay south of Flitsch and included deep ravines with steep sides, which had served the Italians well as covered positions for reserves. Of 1,000 projectors arranged for, 894 arrived and were dug in.

At 2:00 AM, 24 October, the artillery started a gas-shell bombardment, and five minutes later the whole of the projectors were fired, of which 47 failed to explode. There were also 29 prematures. The latter, by gassing the firing positions, spoiled to a great extent the rest of the program. It had been intended that each projector should fire one gas drum and then one ordinary bomb. Actually, by nearly 9:00 AM, it had only been possible to fire a second time with 269 of the projectors.

At 9:00 AM, the infantry went over the top, 63 German battalions and 72 Austro-Hungarian battalions advancing on a front of about 20 miles. The Italian lines were penetrated at Flitsch, at Karfreit (Caporetto) and at Tolmein.

Major Heydendorff states that the whole Italian garrison in the ravines, between 500 and 600 men, were found to have been killed by gas, and that the gas-projector bombardment, by thus eliminating all flanking fire from the ravines against the Austrians advancing on Flitsch, had doubtless influenced the events of the day.

Source: Periodical Articles-Catalog. Review of Military Literature. Dec 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image008.jpg
Gas projectors...........................
http://www.isonzo-gruppodiricercastorica.it/articoli/807-ottobre-1917-caporetto-l-ultima-battaglia-sull-isonzo.html
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Re: Chemical troops in the World War.

Post by tigre » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:55 am

Hello to all :D; something more..............................

LES ANIMAUX DANS LA GUERRE CHIMIQUE. [Animals in warfare by chemicals.] Abstract from "Revue Veterinaire," March, 1931, and June, 1934,
Veterinary General von Richter's study in Germany.

Tear gases affect animals less than men.

Suffocants require the use of animal masks. Gassed animals should be removed from the gassed area at a slow pace, and then kept warm, and allowed complete rest.

Vesicants cause death in 24 to 36 hours if the exposure is severe. Lighter cases usually recover in several weeks. Animals are particularly sensitive to eye burns. Full treatment is described in brief.

Sternulator chemicals (agentes convulsivos) have less effect on animals than on men. Heavy concentrations, however, have severe effects, which are produced in about 20 minutes. Removal from the immediate gassed area is ordinarily the only treatment necessary. Eyes may require special treatment.

The effect of other toxic agents is briefly described.

As regards general protection, the German authority recommends:

"careful selection of bivouac areas, covering the areas with cut grass, moss, double tentage, or impregnated tentage. Animals should be kept out of gassed areas; contaminated harness must be cleaned as soon as possible; chloride of lime, is used on contaminated ground. For individual protection little can be done. Masks afford a degree of protection, but good masks are not available". The author describes the type of masks desirable. He concludes with a brief discussion of dogs and pigeons in warfare by chemical agents.

Source: Periodical Articles – Catalog. RML Nº 57. September 1935.

Curious about the effectiveness of chemical protection in animals. Is there any data on that? Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Attachments
image002.jpg
Two german soldiers with a mule wearing gas-masks-WWI 1916......................
http://rarehistoricalphotos.com
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image004.jpg
German soldiers with dogs wearing gas-masks......................
http://newsfisher.io/article/JWQxH8RFpWm6WLRd9
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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