Chemical Warfare

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by GearZ, May 10, 2015.

  1. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    I came across this documentary recently and found it interesting. As such, I thought I'd pass it along. It covers chemical weapons in the Great War and afterward.

  2. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Thank you for the find. Like most every source I have seen in English it has a glaring error. It fails to mention the reason for using Clorine Gas, but it almost does.

    It focuses on Fritz Haber, rightly so. It explains he was a master chemist, and invented the method used in fixing Nitrogen from the air on an industrial scale. And they point out how nitrogen is essential to make explosives. And they point out the Clorine is a waste product of this process. So close.

    In order to conduct the war Germany needed a steady supply of munitons -- explosives -- meaning they needed lots of fixed nitrogen -- meaning lots and lots of waste Clorine. Before the war Germany could import fixed nitrogen from Chile, but as Britain controlled the seas, their production of munitions almost ceased until Haber's method could be achieved by building industrial plants. Again, build the plants, make fixed nitrogen and lots and lots of waste clorine.

    The Great War had gone stalemate. The normal procedure was to proceed was to break the stalemate by an offensive preceeded by a massive bombardment, but that took more munitions than Germany could make in 1914-15 due to a shortage of fixed nitrogen, which they were rapidly trying to remedy.

    Haber figured correctly that Clorine waste used on a mass scale would have virtually the same impact as a mass bombardment. The General Staff was not sure, but they had so much waste clorine they allowed an experiment, but they expected it to fail and so failed in turn to have the proper explotation troops ready.
  3. machineryman

    machineryman New Member

    Awesome documentary that I had already seen. It shows perfectly how chemical weapons were used in the war and it shows even better why the nations used it. If you think about using them, it's terrifying.. Even now in scenarios like Syria chemcial warfrare is still active sadly.

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