See Article History Chemical weapon, any of several chemical compoundsusually toxic agents, that are intended to kill, injure, or incapacitate enemy personnel.
Introduction to Chemical Weapons Chemical weapons use the toxic properties of chemical substances rather than their explosive properties to produce physical or physiological effects on an enemy.
Although instances of what might be styled as chemical weapons date to antiquity, much of the lore of chemical weapons as viewed today has its origins in World War I. During that conflict "gas" actually an aerosol or vapor was used effectively on numerous occasions by both sides to alter the outcome of battles.
A significant number of battlefield casualties were sustained. The Geneva Protocol, prohibiting use of chemical weapons in warfare, was signed in Several nations, the United States included, signed with a reservation forswearing only the first use of the weapons and reserved the right to retaliate in kind if chemical weapons were used against them the United States did not ratify the Protocol until Chemical weapons were employed in the intervening period by Italy in Ethiopia and Japan in Manchuria and China.
Both nations were signatories to the Geneva Convention. Chemical weapons were never deliberately employed by the Allies or the Axis during World War II, despite the accumulation of enormous stockpiles by both sides.
Instances of employment of chemical weapons in local wars since then are arguable, although they were definitely used in the Iran-Iraq conflict of Development of chemical weapons in World War I was predominantly the adaptation of a chemical "fill" to a standard munition.
The chemicals were commercial chemicals or variants. Their properties were, for the most part, well known. The Germans simply opened canisters of chlorine and let the prevailing winds do the dissemination.
Shortly thereafter the French put phosgene in a projectile and this method became the principal means of delivery. In Julythe Germans employed mustard shells for the first time and simultaneously attempted to use a solid particulate emetic, diphenyl chloroarsine, as a mask breaker.
Mustard, an insidious material, penetrates leather and fabrics and inflicts painful burns on the skin. These two themes, along with significant increases in toxicity, represent a large segment of the research and development of chemical weapons that nations have pursued over the years.
There is first the concept of agents that attack the body through the skin, preferably also through clothing, and more preferably through protective clothing.
Along with that concept is the idea of penetrating or "breaking" the protective mask so that it no longer offers protection for the respiratory system. Increasing the toxicity of the chemical agent used would theoretically lower the amounts required to produce a battlefield effect.
Unless this increase is significant, however, it can be masked by the inefficiencies of disseminating the agent. Consequently, later development has focused on the methods for delivering the agent efficiently to the target.
The chemicals employed before World War II can be styled as the "classic" chemical weapons. They are relatively simple substances, most of which were either common industrial chemicals or their derivatives.
An example is phosgene, a choking agent irritates the eyes and respiratory tract. Phosgene is important in industry as a chlorinating material. A second example is hydrogen cyanide, a so-called blood agent prevents transfer of oxygen to the tissuesnow used worldwide in the manufacture of acrylic polymers.
The classic chemical agents would be only marginally useful in modern warfare and generally only against an unsophisticated opponent.
Moreover, large quantities would be required to produce militarily significant effects, thus complicating logistics.
Blister agents or vesicants are an exception to the limited utility of classic agents. Although these materials have a relatively low lethality, they are effective casualty agents that inflict painful burns and blisters requiring medical attention even at low doses.
The classic mustard is the most popular among proliferant nations since it is relatively easy to make. Mustard is generally referred to as the "king" of agents because of its ease of production, low cost, predictable properties, persistence, and ability to cause resource-devouring casualties rather than fatalities.
Its insidious nature is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Mustard on the skin causes no immediate sensation and symptoms normally do not appear until several hours after exposure. At incapacitating levels this may be as long as 12 hours. Contrary to the normal expectation, horrible fatalities occurred in the Iran-Iraq War because Iranian soldiers, feeling no effects, continued to wear mustard soaked clothing and inhale its fumes.
To produce immediate effects, an arsenical vesicant known as lewisite was developed in the United States. Much of the former Soviet Union vesicant stocks were mixtures of lewisite and sulfur mustard.
Between the world wars the development of chemical weapons included adaptation to aircraft delivery bombs and exploitation of lewisite, since the more potent mustard was, from a battlefield perspective, slow in producing casualties. Nerve gases are liquids, not gases, which block an enzyme acetylcholinesterase that is necessary for functions of the central nervous system.Sep 30, · Sulfur mustard gas (dichlorodiethylsulfide) is the prototypical vesicant alkylating agent used in the fabrication of chemical weapons.
2 It was first used by the Germans during World War I () causing over , casualties. Mustard gas is an irritant, and also a strong vesicant (blister-forming agent).
It causes chemical burns on contact with the skin, leading to large blisters with yellow fluid.
Initially, exposure is symptomless, and by the time skin irritation begins, it is to late to take preventative measures. INTRODUCTION CHEMICAL CONCOCTIONS USED IN BATTLE CHEMICAL WARFARE PROPOSALS IN THE US CIvIL WAR WORLD WAR I Medical Aspects of Chemical Warfare INTRODUCTION years.
Some scholars suggest that the English colonists synthetic compound or material designed and used. Obviously, they'd much rather be learning chemistry, so I've been reading up on the different chemical agents used during World War 1, and this graphic is a byproduct of that.
As it turns out, several of them were used for the first time at Ypres, so it'll even be topical! the most commonly known poison gas used in the conflict is mustard. Mustard gas, or bis(β-chloroethyl) sulfide, (ClCH 2 CH 2) 2 S, is a potent chemical warfare agent, whereas other sulfur compounds such as sulfanilamide (a sulfa drug), penicillin, and cephalosporin are valued antibiotics.
Synthetic organosulfur compounds include polysulfones, inert polymers used in. An Introduction to Chemical Warfare By.
development, and modern use of chemical weapons. A chemical agent, she said, is a chemical compound used in tactical warfare.
Some people consider anthrax a chemical weapon, but it is actually a biological one. which saw the introduction of several types of poisonous gases. Sulfur mustard gas is.