By Marion Leslie Girard
The arrival of poison fuel in international warfare I stunned Britons in any respect degrees of society, but by way of the top of the clash their country was once a pacesetter in chemical battle. even supposing by no means used at the domestic entrance, poison fuel affected virtually each phase of British society bodily, mentally, or emotionally, proving to be an armament of overall struggle. via cartoons, army documents, novels, treaties, and different resources, Marion Girard examines the numerous methods assorted sectors of British society seen chemical battle, from the industrialists who promoted their poisonous guns whereas preserving deepest 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 so much Britons thought of gasoline a vile weapon and a symptom of the enemy’s inhumanity, many ultimately condoned its use. The public debates in regards to the way forward for fuel prolonged to the interwar years, and proof finds that the taboo opposed to poison fuel was once faraway from inevitable. an odd and ambitious Weapon uncovers the advanced heritage of this weapon of overall conflict and illustrates the widening involvement of society in battle. (20090401)
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Extra resources for A Strange and Formidable Weapon: British Responses to World War I Poison Gas (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
Indd 21 2/29/2008 9:31:18 AM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 | Introduction is nearly as effective as the actual deployment of it. In other words, gas was a psychological weapon, a tool of terror, as much as a physical one. Gas can also be used as an auxiliary weapon. In this situation, it is part of a larger attack and its goal is to demoralize or disrupt the enemy before an infantry assault.
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 .
37 The former allowed Britain to continue to portray herself to her citizens and to the world as brave and victimized without being weak. It also prevented any secrets about the army’s new weapons from leaking to the enemy. The latter stories emphasized the enemy’s atrocities and the justness of the British ﬁght. 38 As a belligerent exercising retribution or retaliation, Britain appeared almost biblical in behavior. Consider that the British could merely have declared The Hague treaty void because the enemy broke the contract that bound Britain to avoid gas.
A Strange and Formidable Weapon: British Responses to World War I Poison Gas (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar) by Marion Leslie Girard