By Marion Leslie Girard
The arrival of poison fuel in global struggle I stunned Britons in any respect degrees of society, but through the top of the clash their country used to be a pace-setter in chemical battle. even supposing by no means used at the domestic entrance, poison gasoline affected virtually each phase of British society bodily, mentally, or emotionally, proving to be an armament of overall conflict. via cartoons, army files, novels, treaties, and different resources, Marion Girard examines the various methods diversified sectors of British society considered chemical conflict, from the industrialists who promoted their poisonous guns whereas preserving inner most keep an eye on of production, to the politicians who used gasoline whereas balancing the necessity for victory with the danger of constructing a name for barbarity. even supposing such a lot Britons thought of fuel a vile weapon and a symptom of the enemy’s inhumanity, many ultimately condoned its use. The public debates concerning the way forward for fuel prolonged to the interwar years, and proof finds that the taboo opposed to poison fuel used to be faraway from inevitable. a wierd and bold Weapon uncovers the complex historical past of this weapon of overall warfare and illustrates the widening involvement of society in conflict. (20090401)
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Additional resources for A Strange and Formidable Weapon: British Responses to World War I Poison Gas (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
He also had the luxury of resources and time that French did not. He could think clearly about bringing the might of Britain’s scientiﬁc resources to bear in order to make the nation’s response as strong as possible. His primary remark addressed the legal implications of the Germans’ actions. In the ﬁrst place, in his mind, the recent events were illegal; in the second place, they were beyond the pale of civilized behavior. He did not rule out the possibility of offensive actions by the army, but neither did he condone or even refer to French’s request for them.
Shells, however, were projectiles speciﬁcally outlawed by The Hague Conventions, although they were more accurate than canisters. indd 38 2/29/2008 9:31:20 AM Descent to Atrocities? | ing it as one of the ﬁrst lethal British gases in shells, therefore, was a serious escalation in the war, legally as well as militarily. 50 Soon reports of enemy activity went further, suggesting that Germany would actually use hydrocyanic acid, “particularly in the event of his line . . 54 On the offensive side, British scientists in the Admiralty and the Ministry of Munitions, those under Brigadier General Jackson’s aegis, began to compare their experiments in March .
This has not always been the case, but even World War I soldiers acknowledged, as Pvt. A. L. Robins, later a clergyman, noted in his memoirs, that although gas “was a severe afﬂiction,” masks became “highly effective. ”64 An Effective Weapon? It is hard to determine how effective gas really was during World War I. Was it such a useful weapon that it justiﬁed all of the uproar after the war about its nature and the belief that another conﬂict would certainly entail chemicals? As with many fascinating questions, there is no clear-cut answer.
A Strange and Formidable Weapon: British Responses to World War I Poison Gas (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar) by Marion Leslie Girard
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