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  • WW1 Weapons: Gas

    This thread will be devoted to talk about gas in WW1. When people think about WW1 one of the first things that pops into their minds is the gas. First used by the Germans at Ypres it was quickly adapted by the Allies and turned against the Germans. What are people's thoughts on gas? Did it accomplish anything? Do you think it is a legitamate weapon of war?
    There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

  • #2
    I don't think it accomplished anything other than wholesale pointless slaughter. After one side started using gas, it meant that the other side were bound to start using it themselves - and of course everyone on the front lines would be prepared for the next time it was used.

    The use of gas may have achieved a temporary advantage on the battlefield, but not a long-term one.

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

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    • #3
      The stuff was so terrible even Hitler wouldn't use it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
        I don't think it accomplished anything other than wholesale pointless slaughter. After one side started using gas, it meant that the other side were bound to start using it themselves - and of course everyone on the front lines would be prepared for the next time it was used.

        The use of gas may have achieved a temporary advantage on the battlefield, but not a long-term one.

        Dr. S.
        The German's use of gas was unwise. First, as you stated, it just let everyone else use it. Second, prevailing winds in Europe are from west to east, so the gas will naturally drift from allies lines to the Germans. While gas is, IMHO, still stupid, we generally have the second point beat now through better knowledge of meteorology.

        JS
        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tiger1
          The stuff was so terrible even Hitler wouldn't use it.
          Of course, since he was one of the victims.

          JS
          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


          "Never pet a burning dog."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Janos
            Of course, since he was one of the victims.

            JS
            He also knew what war as a whole was like, that didn't stop him from doing that all over again.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tiger1
              The stuff was so terrible even Hitler wouldn't use it.
              Well, that's not strictly true. He didn't use it on the battlefield...

              Dr. S.
              Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

              www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

              www.tabletown.co.uk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tiger1
                He also knew what war as a whole was like, that didn't stop him from doing that all over again.
                As I think I've stated in another thread, I just don't understand why Hitler didn't use gas in WWII, at least on the Eastern Front.

                Firstly, he was very probably insane.

                Secondly, he regarded the Soviets as "sub-human" - witness the treatment of the conquered population by the extermination squads as the German Army swept across the Russian steppes. It was a war of annihilation.

                Thirdly, when the tide turned, it soon became obvious that he was facing utter defeat and that he and his entire country/Reich were going to be destroyed.

                So why didn't he use the gas?

                It's always been a mystery to me. I know he was injured by gas in WWI, but as you've just said, he knew how horrible war itself could be.

                Dr. S.
                Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                www.tabletown.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doctor Sinister
                  So why didn't he use the gas?

                  It's always been a mystery to me. I know he was injured by gas in WWI, but as you've just said, he knew how horrible war itself could be.

                  Dr. S.
                  I have read (many years ago, source now forgotten) that the Americans threatened to outproduce his poison gas, should he have decided to use it. With our industrial output, he knew we could make more it, more quickly than he could.

                  Of course, no other threats seemed to have worked much on him....

                  JS
                  Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                  Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                  "Never pet a burning dog."

                  RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                  http://www.sca.org
                  http://www.scv.org/
                  http://www.scouting.org/

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                  • #10
                    I don't know about that. He was stupid enough to invade Russia, I dont think he would have cared about that as much. I agree with Dr. Sinister, it is a mystery, just as much as why they didn't invade the UK.

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                    • #11
                      i dont think gas was that horrible of a weapon, then again i wasnt there so i cannot say that gas is bad or good, but if i was general or high commander, i would employ the usage of gas on the enemy troops. it also could go either way to, whats worse, a man getting bayonetted in the gut and dying a horrible death, or choking to death on chlorine gas? whats worse, attacking a enemy trench, getting wounded, going into a shellhole and either bleed to death, drown in the water, or being eatin by rats. or everything wet on your body burns, then u die.
                      you cant really compare the weapons and tactics of warfare unless you were really there and saw what can happen. ask a ww1 vetran if it was worse being shelled for days at a time or going over the top.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nreese21
                        I don't know about that. He was stupid enough to invade Russia, I dont think he would have cared about that as much. I agree with Dr. Sinister, it is a mystery, just as much as why they didn't invade the UK.
                        That last one is easy - it's because he didn't have the ships to carry his troops over. He could have flattened the airfields, blown the RAF out of the sky and bombed London to bits - there was still the Royal Navy to get through.

                        I'm digressing - this conversation is one for another Forum (where's it's already been discussed many times) - I agree with your comments about the gas, it just doesn't make any sense to me at all.

                        Someday, I hope we find Hitler's REAL diaries so perhaps we can work this one out.

                        Dr. S.
                        Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                        www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                        www.tabletown.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          An interesting story I read somewhere. A guy way back when was looking for a theme story.. The topic was to find someone famous and write about them, he wanted to find someone with the same last name. The guy looked until he found a name that he shared. The man he had found was the developer of the American advanved gas mask for WWI. He did his report and after it was over found out his grandfather nearly died in a gas attack. If it weren't for his gas mask, he would have died but he made it out with the superficial effects.

                          The irony... His entire family had been racist and it turned out that the developer of said mask was a black man... The man promised to never be racist towards anyone again. His birth had depended on that mask.
                          The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -Carl Jung

                          Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

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                          • #14
                            Re: WW1 Weapons: Gas

                            Originally posted by Napoleon
                            This thread will be devoted to talk about gas in WW1. When people think about WW1 one of the first things that pops into their minds is the gas. First used by the Germans at Ypres it was quickly adapted by the Allies and turned against the Germans. What are people's thoughts on gas? Did it accomplish anything?

                            My first thought is that it was essentially a nuisance, rather than a very effective weapon of war.

                            Do you think it is a legitamate weapon of war?
                            No, it has no place in warfare because, more than most weapons, it kills indiscriminately. If you shoot and hit your target. only he dies, even artillery, if correctly fired, has a relatively small radius of destruction. Gas however, is subject to temperature, wind, humidity, and may drift far from its aimpoint. As well, an enemy may deliberately spread the gas overa wide area, irrespective of the hazard to civilian. The, as we have seen several times, it can be used as a weapon of terror, specifically targeting civilians.
                            Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                            (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                            • #15
                              On an interesting side note, neither Japan nor USA signed a document at the Geneve convention banning the use of gas. So theoretically we could have been gassing each other in ww2
                              "If my theory of realitivity is proved true, then France will declare me a citizen of the world and Germany will call me a German. However, if it is proved untrue, then France will call me a German, and Germany a jew."

                              -Albert Einstein

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