WWI was the first occasion where poison gas was used as a weapon. Explain and elaborate.

Kendall Montgomery, Emily Boltz

(^Above^) Soldiers wore uncomfortable gas masks to breath without being injured by poison gases.

Poison gas was probably the most feared weapon in World War One. It was used in trenches even when there was no attack in progress. Tear gas was used by France mostly as an irritant to keep the German Army from advancing through Belgium and Northeastern France. Both Germany and France used mustard gas (a most definitely fatal gas) for normal war purposes. Most think Germany was the first to use poison gas, but that is inaccurate. The first recorded gas attack was by the French on Germany. These gases forced the soldiers into wearing very crude masks that most times were unsuccessful. One single gas attack can leave a soldier in agony for days or weeks before they succumb to their injuries.

What type of medical care was available during WWI?

Stretcher bearers (^above^) carry a wounded soldier to an ambulance.

Medical care in World War One was fairly new. The United States had the best medical care. Most medics were female, allowing them to take part in the agonizing war. Blood transfusions and X-Rays were used (in order to remove shrapnel and bullets). Stretcher-bearers carried wounded soldiers from trenches to waiting ambulances. Cases included gas injuries, shell shock, diseases, and bullet and shrapnel wounds. Gas injuries (burned skin, irritated noses, throats, and lungs) were treated by bathing and changing clothes immediately, but this didn't always work. Lice was treated by constant bathing, but when the soldiers went back out to battle, the pests would just come back. Trench foot would mostly lead to amputation of the foot or even whole leg.

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