100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

German Military Plans Massive Chemical Weapon Attack


Upon signing the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, all nations now involved in the current European war agreed with the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons in warfare. After the First Battle of Ypres (November 1914) ended with a stalemate and entrenchment of troops, the German plan was to maintain the stalemate with the French and British while planning the Second Battle of Ypres. which was hoped to divert attention from offensives in the Eastern Front and defeat Franco-British forces.

The German High Command decided that this was an opportunity to test a new weapon. Tear gas grenades or shells had been used but this attack was going to be different. It was going to be a large scale lethal attack. The gas was chlorine and was contained in cylinders which will be placed in predetermined areas, linked by a simple pipe arrangement with a funnel pointing towards the enemy lines. Some 6,000 cylinders are ready to be placed at various points along the front lines near Ypres.

On 25th January 1915 General von Deimling the commander of the German XV Corps was summoned to GHQ and informed that his area of command had been chosen for an attack using gas.


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