Chemical Weaponry: A Continuing Challenge by Edward M. Spiers

By Edward M. Spiers

Chemical guns are nonetheless a manageable army alternative. This booklet assesses their allure by means of analyzing how the brokers, munitions and protecting apparatus of chemical war have developed on the grounds that 1915; how technological thoughts 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 warfare. the writer argues that the weapon know-how has proved inherently dynamic, new iteration of biochemical brokers might quickly be on hand, and that fingers keep an eye on will not be in a position to slash those advancements.

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66 The British and Americans examined the feasibility of base ejection, by which the chemical bomb, as it embedded itself in the ground, ejected through its tail canisters of agent which then exploded in the airY Of most significance, though, was the development of the cluster bomb as a method of reducing the problem of over-dosage around the point of burst. Over-dosage was not only uneconomical but it wasted the capacity of the agent. The British had perceived this problem in connection with their incendiary bombs (as it was more productive to ignite small fires over a wide area than to start one massive fire in the middle of the area) and originated the idea of dropping a large number of small-unit bombs instead of one large bomb.

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. The first period reflected the earliest experiments by the Germans, and later by the French, to devise an effective gas shell. Neither of the early attacks by the Germans - the 3000 rounds of Ni-Schrapnell fired at the French (27 October 1914) nor the 18 000 T-Stoff shells fired at the Russians (31 January 1915) - were particularly successful.

Against modern air defences, which force modern ground attack aircraft, like the Tornado GR1 to fly at high speed and at very low level (800 knots at 200 feet), 'such tactics would be ineffective and suicidal'. 11 In addition the spray tanks, once opened, are likely to contaminate the aircraft carrying them and they cannot be fitted on any aircraft more modern than the F-4, which is being phased out by the US Air Force. During the First World War all three types of chemicai munitions Chemical Munitions 23 were developed and employed.

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