There is evidence for the use of toxic weapons dating back to ancient times in the form of poisoned tips arrows and incendiary devices. Even Leonardo DaVinci suggested the use of certain cocktail of powders to asphyxiate attacking sailors. But chemical weapons in the sense we know now were first widely used during WWI in the form of mustard gas and the like.
Chemical warfare as we know it today was first used during World War 1 by the Germans. The German military developed a more potent tear gas that employed chlorine, and had devastating effects. Once the yellowish-green gas was inhaled, it decimated the victim’s lungs and respiratory system; this effect caused major throat trauma, and victims virtually died by choking to death. This toxic chlorine gas was first used against the Allied troops in April 1915, and cause massive hysteria and devastation to infantry in the trenches. Later gas weapons used during the war were phosgene and the famed “mustard gas” that caused blisters all over the body. Unfortunately the Allied forced employed the use of poisonous gas later in the war as well. Gas masks became standard issue after that, and the use of chemical weapons became outlawed in 1925.
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