By Edward M. Spiers
Chemical guns are nonetheless a workable army choice. This ebook assesses their allure by way of interpreting how the brokers, munitions and protecting gear of chemical war have developed because 1915; how technological strategies and refinements in weaponry have altered tactical assumptions; and the way those guns were hired in conflicts from the 1st international battle to the Gulf battle. the writer argues that the weapon expertise has proved inherently dynamic, new new release of biochemical brokers might quickly be to be had, and that fingers keep watch over will not be capable of scale down those developments.
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Extra info for Chemical Weaponry: A Continuing Challenge
54 per cent of the artillery ammunition expended in the conflict, the proportion of gas shells rose steadily from a negligible percentage in 1915 until it consumed about fifty per cent of the German, thirty-five per cent of the French, twenty-five per cent of the British, and fifteen per cent of the American ammunition expenditures at the time of the Armistice. Had the war continued into 1919, the principal belligerents had plans to expand their use of chemical shell considerably. 22 The gas shell war had three distinct phases; a lachrymatory shell period from October 1914 to January 1916; a lethal shell period from February 1916 to July 1917; and a vesicant shell period from July 1917 to the end of the war- November 1918.
13 Cylinder operations, though, had many disadvantages as methods of attack. They required a laborious and labour-intensive preparation; the cylinders were cumbersome to carry, had to be installed at night (as there was no practical means of denying enemy observation of the front-line trenches), and then had to remain in the parapet until 24 Chemical Weaponry a favourable wind appeared. Infantry loathed the task of bringing the cylinders forward for their installation by the specialist gas units.
If belts of ground in front of defensive positions were saturated with Yellow Cross liquid it might be necessary to assemble troops for the assault very far back. Such contaminated zones would present tactical problems similar to those encountered in negotiating flooded areas. 27 In the aftermath of the First World War, efforts were made to correct some of the defects and deficiencies of the chemical shell. The introduction of time-and-percussion superquick fuses greatly enhanced the ability of artillery gas shells to disseminate their fillings.