Talk:Chemical weapons in World War I

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Former featured article Chemical weapons in World War I is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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December 29, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
March 21, 2007 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Chemical weapons in World War I:
  • Finish fact checking and citing article.
  • German use of diphosgene in 1916.
  • US military use of chemical weapons
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Cross Blue, Cross Blue![edit]

Anybody feel a need to mention Blue Cross, the British codename for sneezing agent diphenylchloroarsine (sez Fuller's Military History of the Western World, p277n1) Trekphiler 07:01, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the Blue Cross (Blaukreuz) (or, the "Color Crosses" (Green, Yellow, White) generally) were german codes.-- (talk) 23:47, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


The use of 'tons' in this article needs clarification. If the figures are taken from historical documents the Germans will presumably mean tonnes, (US: metric tons) and the British will mean Imperial long tons and American readers may assume their short tons are being referred to. Blaise (talk) 21:52, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Given that the numbers are aproximate, it does not matter. Over precise converstions are irritating. Tuntable (talk) 04:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


Technically, the chemical warfare agent called "mustard" isn't a gas, it's a liquid that was explosively disseminated as an aerosol. It's a contact hazard and if breathed in, will scorch the esophagus, but it should not be called "mustard gas." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amauroni (talkcontribs) 20:16, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be interesting to add a sentence to clarify this in the article.—RJH (talk) 21:12, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Estimated production of gases (by type)[edit]

The following table from the "1915: More deadly gases" has been tagged as unsourced since June 2008. I haven't been able to find a confirmation for these figures, so I'm moving the table here:

Estimated production of gases (by type)[citation needed]
Nation Production (metric tons)
Irritant Lachrymatory Vesicant Total
Austria-Hungary 5,080 255 5,335
Britain 23,870 1,010 520 25,400
France 34,540 810 2,040 37,390
Germany 55,880 3,050 10,160 69,090
Italy 4,070 205 4,275
Russia 3,550 155 3,705
USA 5,590 5 175 5,770
Total 132,580 5,490 12,895 150,965

Sorry.—RJH (talk) 17:36, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Gas used on Eastern Front[edit]

I am always supprised by the number of casualities listed for the Eastern front, as the Eastern front was much more spread out (less Soldiers per kilometer) than the Western front. In addition to this there was one less year of combat. I have read that the Central Powers tested Chemical Weapons in the Eastern front, but ruled them out as ineffective for use on this front becuase of the distances involved. What I think would aid this article is the amnount used on this front and Emperial Russia's reaction to the use. Paragoalie (talk) 14:27, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Removed inconsistent statement[edit]

I removed the following as in direct contradiction of the phosgene section, and I think is also plain wrong. Tuntable (talk) 04:05, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Mustard gas caused the most gas casualties on the Western Front, despite being produced in smaller quantities than inhalant gases such as chlorine and phosgene.
To me that's fair. The sentence does not appear to reflect the article content and it is not backed up with a reliable citation. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Loos 1915[edit]

The text says the British gas was a disaster but the German official history says that in the 117th Division sector, troops were affected by temporary impairment to "complete eradication of cmbat effectiveness", fifteen companies were destroyed and 22 guns lost, the situation here and on the 7th Division front beoming a crisis. The remnants of the division withdrew to the second position. p288. Could it be that British sources didn't look far enough on the other side of the hill?Keith-264 (talk) 22:10, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Sheldon (GAWF 1915) wrote that it had an effect in the 14th Divison area p208-210 as well as that of the 117th Division p212-224Keith-264 (talk) 22:31, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Did any country use shells to deliver asphyxiating poisonous gases before June 3, 1915?[edit]

Did any country use shells to deliver asphyxiating poisonous gases before June 3, 1915? That is the date that San Marino entered the war, and Hague Conventions of 1899 would no longer have forbidden chemical weapons in shells to be used as San Marino was not, and still is not, a signer. Zginder 2013-10-10T06:12:27Z

Correction San Marino was and still is neutral. The "declaration" on June 3, 1915 was Ally propaganda. The US entered the war on 6 April, 1917. The US did not and still has not ratified part IV,2 of the 1899 convention, but by that time the treaty was already broken. Zginder 2015-03-03T01:20:23Z

Second Battle of Ypres[edit]

The Germans released Chlorine gas in huge volumes at this battle, again using the prevailing winds to carry the gas across the battle lines. It proved very successful and opened a huge gap in the battle lines..... why is it not mentioned? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

One of the worst gases is called B.B.C. !!![edit]

In a letter from WW2 that I am transcribing, my Father, writing to my Mother in 1941about his training in Gas Warfare, writes "One of the worst gases is called B.B.C. !!!" ( he was a writer!) I cannot find information about this gas to insert as a link, because of the "Noise" created by "BBC"! Can anyone let me have information about this gas? Dan93c — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dan93c (talkcontribs) 17:21, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

This may be a joke on his part - "gassing" being a roughly contemporary slang term for talking a lot (talk) 10:26, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Did the US use chemical weapons?[edit]

- United States 1,400 tons (although they also used French stocks)

- Though the United States had never used chemical weapons in World War I

The first statement implies that the US did use chemical weapons. One of these inconsistent statements needs to be corrected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:20, 14 March 2014 (UTC)