User:Carolina wren/German chemical weapons of World War I
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German chemical weapons of World War I were made of a wide variety of chemical agents.
The German Army marked the shells of their chemical munitions with crosses of different colors depending upon the intended effect of the chemicals
The Blue Cross (Blaukreuz) was the generic marker for artillery shells with chemical agents affecting the upper respiratory tract. These agents consisted of diphenylchloroarsine (DA, Clark I), diphenylcyanoarsine (CDA, Clark II), ethyldichloroarsine (Dick), and/or methyldichloroarsine (Methyldick). Clark I and Clark II were the main agents used.
Clark I was used with Green Cross munition earlier; however for the first time it was used as a standalone agent in the night from July 10 to July 11 1917 at Nieuwpoort, Belgium, during the operation Strandfest. The artillery munition used as a delivery vehicle contained a large amount of glass spheres closed with a cork and sealed with trinitrotoluene. Later N-ethylcarbazole was added. Depending on the caliber, the munition contained between 7 and 120 kilograms of the agent.
The Green Cross (Grünkreuz) was the generic marking for artillery shells with pulmonary agents (chemical payload affecting the lungs). These agents primarily consisted of chloropicrin (PS, Aquinite, Klop), phosgene (CG, Collongite) and/or trichloromethyl chloroformate (Surpalite, Perstoff).
The tip of the grenade with the fuse end painted green and a green cross at the bottom of the cartridge.
The first use of the Green Cross was on May 31 1915 in a German offensive in Ypres. The mixture was chlorine-phosgene, with 95% and 5%.
The White Cross (Weisskreuz) was the generic marking for artillery shells with lachrymatory agents (irritant chemicals affecting the eyes and mucous membranes). These shells included one or more of bromoacetone (BA), bromobenzyl cyanide (Camite), bromomethyl ethyl ketone (homomartonite, Bn-stoff), chloroacetone (Tonite, A-stoff), ethyl bromoacetate, or xylyl bromide.
The Yellow Cross (Gelbkreuz) was the generic marking for artillery shells with a chemical payload affecting exposed surfaces of the body. This was usually based on sulfur mustard, which was initially called LOST, after the scientists Wilhelm Lommel and Wilhelm Steinkopf, who developed a method for the large-scale production of mustard gas for the Germans in 1916..
The original Gelbkreuz was a composition of 80-90% of sulfur mustard and 10-20% of tetrachloromethane or chlorobenzene as a solvent which lowered its viscosity and acted as an antifreeze, or, alternatively, 80% sulfur mustard, 10% bis(chloromethyl) ether, and 10% tetrachloromethane. A later formulation, Gelbkreuz 1, was a mixture of 40% ethyldichloroarsine, 40% ethyldibromoarsine, and 20% of bis(chloromethyl) ether. In some cases nitrobenzene was used to mask the material's characteristic odor. French "ypérite no.20" was a similar mixture of 80% sulfur mustard and 20% tetrachloromethane.
The Gasplatz Breloh was a major production and testing facility for German chemical weapons that began operations in 1917.
- "Chemical Weapons in World War I". Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- Fischer, Karin (June 2004). Schattkowsky, Martina, ed. Steinkopf, Georg Wilhelm, in: Sächsische Biografie (in German) (Online ed.). Institut für Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskunde. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
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