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Strange Conspiracy in a Land of Freedom, Honor and Integrity 4 – Washington and what human rights and civil rights are? Have our leaders ever had integrity, decency and honor?


Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

P2OG stands for Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, a U.S. intelligence agency that would employ black world (black operations) tactics.


* 1 General information
* 2 See also
* 3 References
* 4 External links

General information

The Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a 2002 DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism. [1] Excerpts from that study, dated August 16, 2002, recommend the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception.[2] For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT), forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.[3] Concerning the tactics P2OG would use,

Among other things, this body would launch secret operations aimed at stimulating reactions among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction—that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to quick-response attacks by U.S. forces.

Such tactics would hold states/sub-state actors accountable and signal to harboring states that their sovereignty will be at risk , the briefing paper declares.[2]

See also

Operation Northwoods

1. ^ Defense Science Board, DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, U.S. Department of Defense, Final Outbrief, August 16, 2002; 78 pages (in PowerPoint format). Text of the document in HTML format. Here is a 30-page excerpt from the foregoing (in PowerPoint format). This is the publicly published U.S. government document which proposes P2OG.
2. ^ a b William M. Arkin, The Secret War: Frustrated by intelligence failures, the Defense Department is dramatically expanding its ‘black world’ of covert operations, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2002. Also available here.
3. ^ David Isenberg, ‘P2OG’ allows Pentagon to fight dirty, Asia Times, November 5, 2002.

External links

* Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government Secrecy, DOD Examines ‘Preemptive’ Intelligence Operations, Secrecy News, Vol. 2002, Issue No. 107, October 28, 2002.
* Chris Floyd, Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks, CounterPunch, November 1, 2002. Also appeared in Moscow Times, November 1, 2002, pg. XXIV; St. Petersburg Times, November 5, 2002; and under the title Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism, Collected Writings: Past Articles by Chris Floyd, April 15, 2005. This article was chosen number four in Project Censored’s Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2002-2003, (#4) Rumsfeld’s Plan to Provoke Terrorists.
* Seymour M. Hersh, The Coming Wars: What the Pentagon can now do in secret, The New Yorker, January 24, 2005 edition. Referenced by the below Chris Floyd article.
* Chris Floyd, Global Eye, Moscow Times, January 21, 2005, Issue 3089, pg. 112; also appeared as Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism is Now in Operation, Collected Writings: Past Articles by Chris Floyd, April 15, 2005.

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactive,_Preemptive_Operations_Group
Categories: Espionage | Official documents of the United States | United States intelligence agencies | United States intelligence operations | 2002 works | Counter-terrorism




(They’ve been finding these WWI munitions, arsenic, lewisite and other chemical weapons components on Washington, D.C.’s American University campus and the surrounding neighborhood since 1993, including some Lewisite and buried lab contents recently in September and October of 2009. The area is still filled with arsenic from the WWI chemical weapons lab and test firing compound that were originally in the area. – my note)

Washington D.C. Chemical Munitions

EPA ID# DCD983971136

NPL Status: Not on NPL

50th and Massachusettes
Washington, DC 20015
District of Columbia

Remedial Project Manager
Steven Hirsh

Community Involvement Coordinator
William Hudson

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s PDF page to learn more.

Current Site Information

Site Actions

ATSDR’s Health Consultation September 2005 (PDF) (138 pp, 980K)

* Figure 1 (PDF) (1 p, 538K)
* Figure 2 (PDF) (1 p, 895K)
* Figure 3 (PDF) (1p, 147K)
* Figure 4 (PDF) (1 p, 905K)
* Brochure (PDF) (5 pp, 246K)

ATSDR’s Health Consultation February 2005 (PDF) (74 pp, 233K)

* Figure 1 (PDF) (2 pp, 534K)
* Figure 2 (PDF) (1 p, 895K)
* Figure 3 (PDF) (1 p, 147K)
* Figure 4 (PDF) (1 p, 905K)
* Appendices A – G (PDF) (84 pp, 480K)

ATSDR’s Health Consultation December 2003

ATSDR’s Health Consultation June 2003

ATSDR’s Health Consultation March 2001

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage



Washington, D.C. Army Chemical Munitions (Spring Valley)
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
New Castle County
2 miles southwest of the City of New Castle
EPA ID# DCD983971136

1st Congressional District

Last Update: January 2009
Other Names
Spring Valley
Current Site Status

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provides minutes of the latest partnering, Remediation Advisory Board (RAB) and community meetings on their web site accessible on the website link below. The Army Corps also routinely updates this website with project progress reports and notifications of future meetings and events. The Restoration Advisory Board (the local community group) meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month (except December and August) and are open to the public with public comment solicited at the end of each session.

The USACE completed excavation of a a munitions pit on a residential property adjacent to, and owned by the American University. USACE is completing test trenching and arsenic contaminated soil removal at this and the adjoining property. All work at these two properties is expected to be complete in the fall of 2009. USACE is planning for destruction of recovered chemical and conventional munitions.

The USACE has sampled approximately 1,500 for arsenic to date. Twenty seven additional properties were added to the site in 2006 based on a review of real estate records. Sampling of these properties and land owned by the District within the site is complete. EPA and the District Department of Environment are issuing comfort letters to property owners where sampling and any required remediation has been completed. USACE is attempting to gain access to all properties not previously sampled (approximately 10), and 5 properties where sampling revealed arsenic above 20ppm, the site cleanup goal.

In September of 2005 ATSDR issued a Health Consultation for the Spring Valley Site. ATSDR recommended additional sampling of soil, groundwater and air in specific locations within the Spring Valley Site. The DC Council approved funding for a health study and a contract was awarded to Johns Hopkins for that study, and a report was released in 2007. The report concludes that the health of Spring Valley residents is good; better than National averages and consistent with a reference community with similar demographics. Additional DC funding may be allocated for follow-on work in FY’2010.

In late 2003 perchlorate was discovered in groundwater at the site. A groundwater study is underway. Thirty nine monitoring wells have been installed near the Dalecarlia reservoir, adjacent to waste and munition disposal sites in the Spring Valley neighborhood and in other selected locations. Groundwater sampling data collected between 2005 and 2007 has identified two locations in the site where groundwater is contaminated with perchlorate, and one location where groundwater is contaminated with arsenic at elevated levels. The groundwater study continues in 2009 and 2010 with installation of additional monitoring wells including four deep wells and another round of well and surface water sampling.

District Of Columbia Council held a Public Roundtable in May 2009 to discuss issues at the site. EPA testified at the Roundtable. In June of 2009 the Congressional ‘COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia’ held a hearing on the site. Members of the public, Army, EPA, District Department of Environment, GAO, and American University provided testimony and answered questions.

RAB meetings over the past year have focused the arsenic clean-up; disposal of recovered munitions, chemical sampling other than arsenic, completing site work and pursuit of additional funding to accelerate the cleanup. For more detailed information and updates on RAB issues, public meetings, and background, please access USACE’s web site by clicking on the Spring Valley internet site below:

The Army maintains a Spring Valley internet site.
Site Description

Spring Valley is located in the Northwest section of the District of Columbia, including the American University. During WWI this area was known as the American University Experimental Station and Camp Leach, a 660-acre facility used as a research and test center for chemical weapons. The experimental station and chemical laboratories were located on American University property.
In January, 1993 a contractor who was digging a utility trench unearthed World War I munitions in the Spring Valley area of the District of Columbia. During further investigations, munitions were discovered in pits located on the Korean Ambassador property, adjacent to American University and additional pits were also found on the adjacent residential property. The pit excavation and other work at the Korean property has been completed. An additional pit on the adjacent residence found numerous additional munitions and the work has not been completed yet. That work began in 2007 and was completed in 2009.

Arsenic-contaminated soil has been removed from the Child Development Center play area on American University. Soil removal actions have been completed on several American University Lots and at approximately 90 residential properties. Approximately 50 residential properties still require soil removal. All soil removal at residential properties should be complete in 2009. Soil remediation at Federal and District owned property is scheduled for 2010.

The site-wide soil cleanup standard for arsenic has been finalized at 20 ppm by EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the DC Health Department. The Mayor’s Science Advisory Panel has approved this standard. The arsenic contamination is the result of chemical warfare research carried out at the American University Experimental Station during WWI.

The Army Corps of Engineers budget for this site is approximately $11 million dollars per year. Site work is expected to continue thru 2011.

The USACE has completed excavation of lab waste and debris in an area near the boundary of the American University known as Lot 18. Numerous empty (scrap) munition and several intact bottles were removed from the site. One of the bottles was found to contain a small amount of Lewisite, a blister agent used at the site; a second bottle was found to contain mustard gas. Other chemical agent degradation products have been found in sealed containers. The USACE began excavation of additional lab debris in an adjacent area of the American University in 2008 and will complete the action in 2009.

The USACE intends to destroy recovered munitions currently stored at the site in 2009.

Site Responsibility
USACE is the lead agency at this site.

NPL Listing History
Not listed on the NPL.
Threats and Contaminants
The primary threats at the site are buried munitions and elevated arsenic in site soils and threats posed by buried munitions and lab waste.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
Cleanup Progress
The pit excavation and other work at the Korean property has been completed. An additional pit on the adjacent residence is currently being addressed. Arsenic contaminated soil has been removed from the Child Development Center play area on American University. Soil removal actions on several American University Lots and at approximately 70 homes have been completed. The site-wide soil cleanup standard for arsenic has been finalized at 20 parts per million (ppm) by EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington DC Health Department. The Mayor’s Science Advisory Panel has approved this standard. The American University intramural fields have been returned to the University and are back in use and the University is preparing to reoccupy the Child Development Center. To date the Army Corps of Engineers has spent over $160 million on investigation and removal work. Also see the Spring Valley web address above.
Contact Us
Administrative Record Locations

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage



South Korean embassy residence on Glenbrook Road

Map of Washington, D.C., with Spring Valley in red.





Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour

Kent Slowinski leads a tour of the Spring Valley World War I munitions site in Northwest Washington, which the Army Corps of Engineers has been working for years to clean up. (By Katherine Frey — The Washington Post)

A groundwater monitoring well registers high levels of perchlorate. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)

Visitors on a WalkingTownDC tour of Spring Valley hear how, 90 years after scientists ended their experiments, remnants of toxic munitions remain. It’s terrifying, says Chris Cottrell, 22, a senior at American University. (Photos By Katherine Frey — The Washington Post)
By Yamiche Alcindor
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 21, 2009

The manicured lawns and beautiful brick homes that line the streets of Spring Valley look like those in most affluent District neighborhoods.
This Story

Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour
SPRING VALLEY: Norton Tries to Reassure Residents Over Chemical Weapons Cleanup
More Questions on Buried Munitions
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY EXPERIMENT STATION: Vial Used for Chemical Agent Mustard Is Uncovered

View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

But the area looked much different during World War I, when the Army was using it as a testing ground for chemical weapons.

On Sunday, visitors on a tour of the neighborhood heard how, 90 years after scientists ended their experiments, the remnants of toxic munitions remain.

The purpose of the tour is to encourage more historical research, investigation and cleanup here, said Kent Slowinski, who led more than a dozen people on the walk. We want to raise awareness in both Spring Valley and nationwide.

He and Allen Hengst co-founded Environmental Health Group: Spring Valley, a group that advocates for more research into the locations and health effects of the chemicals.

The one-mile walk was part of more than 120 free WalkingTownDC tours, presented by Cultural Tourism DC, that took place across the District over the weekend.

During World War I, 661 acres of forested land around the American University campus were used for Army tests. The range became known as the American University Experiment Station.

In 1993, a construction crew’s discovery of an artillery round triggered an evacuation and cleanup of the area. Experts have since been scouring the neighborhood for buried munitions and chemicals. Workers have found several toxins, such as arsine, a vomiting agent called DA or Clark 1 and liquid mustard, a type of blistering agent.

Slowinski, a landscape architect who grew up in Spring Valley, became interested in 1996 when a stonemason with whom he was working found munitions at a home in Spring Valley. For two hours Sunday, Slowinski, who has given several tours of the area, pointed to various campus buildings and houses where hundreds of chemical munitions might be buried. He began at the university’s Ohio McKinley Hall, the birthplace of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service. He pointed to trees, football fields and green patches around the university and neighborhood where he believes munitions still lie.

Slowinski also talked about homeowners whose health problems might be linked to the neighborhood’s past.

It’s terrifying, said Chris Cottrell, 22, a senior at American University who took the tour. There are dangerous munitions buried on campus, and I don’t think most students even know about it. This is like the first thing the university should tell students about.

Aaron Lloyd, 38, grew up in Spring Valley. Less than a decade ago, his stepfather found munitions buried in the back yard of the home where Lloyd grew up and where his mother had kept a garden. It’s very disturbing, he said. Someone had to have known about these chemical weapons before 1993.

Nan Wells, an advisory neighborhood commissioner from Spring Valley, said she hopes that the tour will help engage the public. We need follow-up studies to know the health effects, she said during the tour. She also hopes that the Army Corps of Engineers, which along with the D.C. Department of the Environment is overseeing the cleanup and destruction of the munitions, will continue to fund the project.

For fiscal 2010, the corps has allotted $11 million to the cleanup effort. The number drops to $3 million in fiscal 2011 and $500,000 the following fiscal year.

Nazzarena Labo, 36, a epidemiologist, said more research needs to be done before health effects from the munitions can be determined. It’s very hard to go from anecdotal evidence to causation, she said. People shouldn’t be scared or anxious. But they should be concerned.

Slowinski ended the tour at 4825 Glenbrook Rd., a vacant house where cleanup workers found a laboratory vial last month that tested positive for the World War I blistering agent mustard. The home’s owner had a brain tumor and eventually moved away, Slowinski said.

American University has since bought the house, where cleanup continues.


A groundwater monitoring well registers high levels of perchlorate. (Katherine Frey – The Washington Post)

Visitors on a WalkingTownDC tour of Spring Valley hear how, 90 years after scientists ended their experiments, remnants of toxic munitions remain. It’s terrifying, says Chris Cottrell, 22, a senior at American University. (Photos By Katherine Frey — The Washington Post)


More Questions on Buried Munitions

Friday, August 14, 2009; 8:53 AM

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said Thursday that she plans to host a community meeting next month at which residents of the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood can question ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. David E. Anderson about the latest discovery of buried World War I chemical munitions in the area.
This Story

Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour
SPRING VALLEY: Norton Tries to Reassure Residents Over Chemical Weapons Cleanup
More Questions on Buried Munitions
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY EXPERIMENT STATION: Vial Used for Chemical Agent Mustard Is Uncovered

On Aug.4, the engineer corps found a glass vial containing traces of the blistering agent mustard during ^ what was thought to be the closing stages of an excavation in the back yard of a vacant house on Glenbrook Road. The corps has been searching on and off for 16 years for munitions buried at what was once a military weapons test site and had been winding down ^ the part of the project the search at the house.

The discovery of the mustard, two feet below the surface, has halted excavation and rekindled residents’ fears of what might still lie undiscovered. Norton said she would set a date for the meeting later, and plans to visit the site one day next week.

Michael E. Ruane



Norton Tries to Reassure Residents Over Chemical Weapons Cleanup

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) speaks at a site where trace amounts of mustard agent were found. (By Michael Ruane — The Washington Post)

By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton toured World War I munitions burial sites in Northwest Washington on Wednesday and sought to reassure the public that the Army Corps of Engineers would continue its search for such materials for as long as it takes.
This Story

Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour
SPRING VALLEY: Norton Tries to Reassure Residents Over Chemical Weapons Cleanup
More Questions on Buried Munitions
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY EXPERIMENT STATION: Vial Used for Chemical Agent Mustard Is Uncovered

Norton (D-D.C.) was given a status report by the corps, which has been directing the $170 million, 16-year cleanup of the munitions that are buried in scattered sites in the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood.

This month, workers were surprised when they found a flask containing residue of the blistering agent mustard buried in the yard of a vacant house in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road NW. Officials said they had thought cleanup at that site was almost finished.

Work there has been halted but will resume soon, Norton said as she stood across the street Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, corps officials said they plan to search with metal detectors in the Dalecarlia woods, along Dalecarlia Parkway, in an area that was once a mortar firing range.
Norton said she has asked the corps to reveal all of the substances that have been found in the area, something the corps has not publicly done.

American University, in what was then a remote part of Washington, served as an experimental site for chemical warfare during World War I.

That was then, Norton said. Our concern now is not to rewrite history but to keep the corps digging until all concerned, including the Congress of the United States, is satisfied that it’s all done.

Our position is that the corps must remain until there is an objective all-clear here, she added. Nobody need move out of this beautiful neighborhood. It really isn’t fair to alarm people. . . . There is no indication that the neighborhood is unsafe.

There are 1,632 suspect properties in the area, she said. Ninety-eight percent of them have been sampled. About 140 have required cleanup of some kind.

Norton said she has been told that the air in the area is safe, and so is the water.

Some residents remain critical of the corps’ work. Give me a backhoe and ground-penetrating radar, and I guarantee I’ll find stuff that they missed, said Kent Slowinski, who said he grew up in the neighborhood.

Others said they are satisfied. I think that the Army corps has done a fairly comprehensive, conscientious job, said Jeff Stern, who has lived around the corner for 20 years. I’m pretty comfortable that they’re going to clean it up, and we’re all going to move on.



Last winter, on the slopes below the Point, a herd of deer, too many to be counted, was grazing, a remnant of the porous boundary between the city and the natural world that made the site so attractive to the founders of St. E’s in the 1850s. The campus was empty, its curving streets — which once invited patients to wander among the trees and grass — quiet. On Wednesday they were full of the usual talismans of the new security society: black Chevy Tahoes with tinted windows, large vans with no markings, men with earpieces and short cropped hair.

Even the promises of public access were beginning to morph slowly into the bland language of the bureaucratic wormhole. During the approval process, there had been talk of public access not just to the Point, but to a theater on the campus and an old Civil War cemetery. There was the sense that Hitchcock Hall, which still has the solid bones of a lovely public theater in it, might someday host community gatherings, public lectures, concerts and films. All with DHS approval, of course.

Norton spoke Wednesday as if that were all still true. She hailed a new day,  the first time in memory that residents and visitors will be able to visit the Point, the most panoramic view of the city.

But GSA officials were already muddying up that clear vision.  GSA has been working very closely with DHS and the community to ensure that the operational and security needs of DHS are maintained while allowing public access to the St. Elizabeths campus,  read a GSA statement, released after officials were pressed on comments that seemed to contradict Norton’s sanguine view of wider public access.

The most reasonable view of the plan for St. E’s is a mix of resignation, sadness, skepticism and anger. Resignation, because the pragmatists are probably right, especially in the current economy. Sadness, because the advocates for a better use are certainly right: This will be a fortress with forbidding walls, occupied by commuters who drive in and out and very likely never leave the compound during the work day. Skepticism because it’s impossible to know how seriously anyone pursued other options for the site.

And anger because early design drawings for the first big new building on the campus, a Coast Guard facility — 1.18 million square feet of bland boxiness that looks as if it was found on a World War II-era drafting board — are so desultory. It is supposed to be energy efficient, and it will stretch down the side of a hill on the edge of the campus, thus preserving some of the historic feel of the old landscape. But the design, by Will + Perkins, is ugly.

The best response to the project is vigilance. To be blunt, the promises of public access are probably hollow, perhaps even disingenuous. Even if they were made sincerely, all it will take is for someone in the bureaucracy to utter the magic words  national security  to deny access to the campus, at first on an occasional basis, and eventually forever. Within a few years, no one will even remember the Point, and St. E’s will sit high and impregnable on its hill, bristling with security and black cars and open to nobody but its employees.

Even the promise to rehabilitate the 52 historic structures must be watched very closely. Can we believe it? What will happen if it turns out to be even more expensive than anticipated to return them to life? Security has become the trump card that transcends all other values. We need to spend our money on more important things . . . .

St. E’s reached the point of Wednesday’s groundbreaking relatively quickly for a project of this size, and the process revealed the usual fault lines between idealists and the get-‘er-done crowd, between preservationists and local community leaders hungry for economic revitalization. Marion Barry probably didn’t mean to raise the specter of race, but perhaps that was involved too, in the usual subterranean fashion that it operates in Washington politics.

This is where an architectural obituary ends with a bland statement of  it remains to be seen . . .   But St. E’s deserves better than that. So here’s a test, to be taken 10 or 15 years from now.

Does anyone walk outside its gates to eat lunch? Have property values risen near the site? Do the same people live there? Did GSA in fact save and repair all 52 buildings as planned? Has there ever been an open performance in the old theater? Is the Civil War cemetery on anyone’s tourist map? Do people gather at sunset on the Point and watch the light fade over the city? If you say  Ezra Pound  to anyone leaving the central building, is there a glimmer of recognition?

Or have all the intangibles of cultural landscape been lost?



Weaponry: Lewisite — America’s World War I Chemical Weapon

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In 1903 a young priest working on his doctoral degree at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., was studying the reaction of the gas acetylene and arsenic trichloride in the presence of aluminum chloride. When these compounds were mixed, the flask turned black, and after the mixture was poured into water, a black, gummy mass formed that had a penetrating odor and caused the priest to become seriously ill. He was hospitalized for several days while recovering from the toxic effects of the compound and decided to postpone indefinitely any further investigations of it. However, the priest, Father Julius Arthur Nieuwland, described the reaction in his 1904 dissertation. The toxic substance later became known as lewisite, one of the most deadly poison gases developed until well after World War I. Produced by the United States during the latter part of that war, it had also been independently discovered, although not manufactured, in Germany. During World War II, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan produced lewisite. Since that time other countries have manufactured the compound, including Iraq, North Korea, and perhaps Libya.

In the early evening of April 22, 1915, the first lethal poison gas attack of World War I occurred at Ypres, Belgium. German troops discharged approximately 160 tons of chlorine gas that slowly crept toward the Allied trenches with the aid of a gentle wind. French and Algerian soldiers first noticed two strange yellow clouds approaching, and soon men began to choke, cough, suffocate, and retreat in horror. Smoke and fumes made their panic worse because they could not see around them. Some soldiers buried their faces in the dirt, hoping to protect themselves from the unknown killer. A few officers who were educated in chemistry realized the value of urinating on a cloth and breathing through it to crystallize and neutralize the chlorine, and they instructed others to do so.

The unprecedented attack killed more than 5,000 men and injured 15,000 others. There were between 880,000 and 1,297,000 gas casualties during World War I, and gas warfare may have caused more than 26,000 deaths. American casualties from poison gas totaled almost 72,000, and of these more than 1,200 died. The Central Powers and then the Allies attacked with the weapon even though two separate prewar international conferences had banned the use of weapons and projectiles intended to diffuse asphyxiating, deleterious, or poisonous gases.

The United States did not declare war on Germany until April 2, 1917, but by then it had already begun research into chemical gases. The Bureau of Mines first conducted chemical warfare research early in 1917, under the direction of Van H. Manning. Founded in 1910 to investigate poisonous and asphyxiating gases in mines, the bureau offered its services to the Military Committee of the National Research Council (NRC) on February 8, 1917. On April 3, the committee formed the Subcommittee on Noxious Gases, composed of army and navy officers and members of the Chemical Committee of the NRC, and Manning was appointed as its chairman. George A. Burrell, who worked for the Bureau of Mines, became the director of research on war gases on April 7 and immediately began working on a suitable gas mask for American soldiers.

The need for more chemists quickly arose, and in May the Bureau of Mines was authorized to accept help from laboratories at twenty-one universities, three companies, and three government agencies. Furthermore, in July 1917 a central laboratory was established at American University in Washington, D.C. The weapons development and testing facility would become known as the American University Experimental Station. The War Department began suggesting in September 1917 that the labs at American be militarized, and ten months later, in June 1918, President Woodrow Wilson agreed, transferring the extensive work at the university to a newly formed army subdivision, the Chemical Warfare Service. Eventually, more than 10 percent of all the chemists in the United States became directly involved with chemical warfare research during World War I.

One of them was Winford Lee Lewis, who left Northwestern University in 1918, where he was an associate professor of chemistry, to become the director of the Offensive Branch of the newly formed Chemical Warfare Service unit at Catholic University. This unit, called Organic Unit No. 3, was given the task of developing and producing novel gases, especially compounds containing arsenic. In April 1918, following the suggestion of the Rev. John Griffin, who had been Julius Nieuwland’s chemistry adviser at Catholic, Lewis reviewed the priest’s dissertation and read about his experiments with arsenic trichloride. He further investigated and perfected its reaction with acetylene, with aluminum trichloride acting as a catalyst.

Lewis wrote that the resulting compound ‘…took on a nauseating odor and [caused] marked irritation effect to the mucous surfaces. The headache resulting persists several hours and the material seems to be quite toxic.’ The perfected product was named after him, christened lewisite. The government eventually ordered Lewis to stop working on the compound at Catholic University, under the pretext that it was ineffective. They did this, however, in order to trick German spies into believing that Lewis’ work had not been productive. In truth, other researchers continued evaluating and perfecting lewisite at nearby American University.

Lewis believed in gas warfare and defended its use throughout his life, saying that it would make wars more humane because it would shorten them and innocent civilians would suffer less. He also believed that ‘Providence’ would intervene and give the most advanced people the best gas. Lewis furthermore characterized the horrors of gas warfare as exaggerations and insisted that chemical battles are the most efficient and economical of all fights.

Nieuwland, who became a renowned professor of chemistry at the University of Notre Dame, held similar beliefs. When questioned in 1936 about his discovery of lewisite, he asserted that poison gas rendered warfare more humane:

By the introduction of gas and other modern instruments of warfare, a progressively small percentage of combatants have been killed. In biblical times, thousands of men met in the middle of a plain and slashed one another until only a few were left standing. Today, the primary aim is not to kill but to incapacitate. And poison gas is an ideal method of achieving that aim. If a man goes to a hospital suffering from gas, he is as useless as if he were dead and to care for him, several other persons must be kept out of the battle lines. The chances are that ultimately the victim will recover.

Lewisite, the chemical formula of which is C2H2AsCl3, was given the code names ‘Methyl’ and ‘G-34? during World War I. Perhaps its most enduring pseudonym is ‘Dew of Death.’ General Amos Fries, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces’ Gas Service and later director of the Chemical Warfare Service, so named it because there were plans to spray lewisite over the enemy from airplanes, and the gas was thought to be so deadly that ten planes armed with it could eliminate every trace of life in Berlin.
After the war, many newspaper articles sensationalized lewisite, attaching properties to it that the poison gas did not have. The Cleveland Plain Dealer on June 15, 1919, reported that lewisite was seventy-two times more powerful than mustard gas, considered the king of war gases at that time, and that a single drop on the back of a hand was fatal. Also, on February 26, 1923, the San Francisco Journal stated that lewisite would sterilize the ground so that ‘nothing will grow upon it for at least two years and perhaps longer’ and that one drop of it on living flesh caused ‘mortification.’

Lewisite is primarily a vesicant (causing blisters). It secondarily irritates the lungs and is a systemic poison. Upon contact with the skin, it causes large, painful, fluid-filled blisters, especially on the extremities, back, and scrotum. It also acts as a toxic lung irritant by causing swelling, inflammation, and destruction of the lining of the airways. The lining may subsequently slough off and form an obstruction in the airway, making it difficult to breathe. It is a systemic poison because absorption of arsenic through the skin causes pulmonary swelling, diarrhea, restlessness, weakness, below-normal temperature, and low blood pressure. A victim feels its effects immediately.

Lewisite can be delivered as a vapor, an aerosol, or a liquid and is believed to be most damaging in low-temperature, low-humidity, and dry nonalkaline conditions. It can be fatal in as little as ten minutes when inhaled in high concentrations. Lewisite is also persistent, lasting up to six to eight hours in sunny weather and even longer in cold, dry climates. The poison vapor is about seven times heavier than air and will therefore hover along the ground and enter caves, trenches, and sewers.

Mustard gas, like lewisite, is a vesicant. The two chemicals have many of the same characteristics, but there are also important distinctions. Mustard agents can be composed of sulfur- or nitrogen-based compounds, whereas lewisite is composed of arsenic. Sulfur mustard was the compound used extensively during World War I, first by the Germans and later by the Allies. Similar to lewisite, it is effective as a liquid, vapor, or aerosol, but in contrast to lewisite, its effects are delayed for up to a few hours. They will both form large blisters on the skin, but mustard lesions take about two to three times as long to heal. Whereas lewisite has a lower freezing temperature than mustard agents, both compounds can persist for days, even months under certain conditions. Mustard gas accounted for almost 40 percent of the total gas casualties in World War I.

After lewisite’s transfer to the American University Experimental Station, Captain James Bryant Conant was ordered to find a method to manufacture it in large quantities. Formerly an instructor of chemistry at Harvard University, Conant directed the Organic Research Unit No. 1 of the Offense Research Section at American.
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Weaponry: Lewisite — America’s World War I Chemical Weapon

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The lewisite work at the Experimental Station was dangerous. A huge tub of soapsuds had to be readily available for soldiers to plunge into if gas from leaking pipes or vats of boiling chemicals contaminated them. Soldier-chemists tested human volunteers and animals to determine the effectiveness of the compound. George Temple, the head of the station’s motor maintenance department, repeatedly volunteered to be burned by poisonous gases. When a sample of lewisite was placed on his forearm, it caused redness, swelling, and huge silver-colored blisters that took eight weeks to heal.

One morning in August 1918 an explosion caused by a faulty timer on a bomb sent lewisite gas across a field and toward the homes of residents near the American University campus, including that of former senator Nathan B. Scott. Scott, his wife, and his sister-in-law were gassed while sitting on their porch. Not long after the accident, the lewisite work at the university ceased and the Chemical Warfare Service ordered production moved to a secret plant twenty miles east of Cleveland, in Willoughby, Ohio.

The Willoughby plant was located on the site of the former Ben-Hur Motor Company. Soldiers first arrived at the site at the end of July 1918 and found that, although the office building was mostly completed, the plant floor had never been graded. A plumbing system had been installed, but there were no working sewer or water lines in the facility. The pipes had frozen over the previous winter, so the system had to be removed and totally redone. The electrical wiring was only partially complete and had been installed haphazardly, so it had to be removed and reinstalled.

Finding contractors to remodel the plant was difficult. Most of the nearest ones were located in Cleveland, and transportation, food, and housing for construction workers had to be arranged. Further, the workmen wanted to be reimbursed for the cost and time of traveling. Fortunately, Willoughby contractors were eventually found and hired, but only after appealing to the town’s mayor. The workers took from July 28 to mid-August to remodel the factory. Security was tight. A barbed-wire fence was erected around the facility, and guards maintained a twenty-four-hour watch. Klaxon horns and an alarm system were also installed to warn of the presence of intruders. Eventually the site included four barracks to house the twenty-two officers and 542 soldiers working at the facility, a mess hall, and a forty-eight-bed hospital (neither of the two deaths that occurred at the plant was from the effects of lewisite).
The soldiers working there initially were not allowed to leave the grounds except for meals, and all their mail went through a post office box, No. 426, in Cleveland, without any mention of Willoughby. On August 10, Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert, director of the Chemical Warfare Service, visited the Willoughby plant and told the soldiers that as long as they maintained secrecy about the plant, the army would allow them to enter the town of Willoughby, but they were still not permitted to go to Cleveland due to the fear of espionage.

Each of the soldiers at the facility was issued a gas mask that had to be kept nearby or worn in the alert position at all times. Many of the men worked to the point of complete exhaustion, trying to make the plant operational as soon as possible because the government had ordered three thousand tons of lewisite to be ready for a planned spring 1919 offensive against the Germans.

In September 1918, the War Department realized that, in order to satisfy all its planned uses for lewisite, production had to be doubled. That entailed a large expansion at Willoughby. New equipment was ordered, and the plant layout changed to make room for it. Amazingly, by November, just five months after construction started, the plant had begun full production of ten tons of lewisite per day.

On November 11, however, the war suddenly ended. Early in December, the men began dismantling, inventorying, and disposing of the plant’s equipment and materials. By March 1919, all of the plant’s soldiers were gone.

From the time the soldiers had arrived in Willoughby until the day they left, the town’s government, Red Cross, and residents were all extremely helpful and friendly. They often hosted receptions and gatherings for the soldiers, provided pies for their Thanksgiving dinner, and even donated a grand piano to the boys. When townspeople asked the soldiers what they were doing at the Willoughby plant, the soldiers responded that they were working on a formula for rubber, which explained the strong odors that the plant emitted.

According to Nate A. Simpson, one of the soldiers assigned to the plant, the army did not reassign a single soldier from the top-secret facility until the war was over. The plant became known as the ‘mousetrap’ because once you were there, you knew you were not going to leave until the war was over.

There are different stories pertaining to what happened to the gas produced at Willoughby after the armistice was signed. Some say the plant never produced chemicals, but in 1957 workmen dug up several laboratory bottles containing lewisite on the grounds of the old facility. Others suggested that the army hauled between a few tons and 150 tons of lewisite to the Atlantic Ocean by train in big steel casks that were under guard. There the material was carefully transferred onto barges and dumped at sea. Another account suggests that 150 tons of lewisite was en route to Europe when the war ended, and the ship transporting it was subsequently sunk rather than be allowed to return the deadly chemical to the United States.

Two British scientists, Stanley Green and Thomas Price, published the formula for lewisite in The Journal of the Chemical Society in 1921. According to General Fries in his book Chemical Warfare, the formula’s publication was unfortunate because the highly secret compound became known throughout the world, perhaps allowing Japan and Germany to learn about it and develop manufacturing techniques.

Until 1943 lewisite was thought to be equal to or better than mustard gas. However, U.S. Army tests done during World War II on lewisite found that unless the human subjects were defenseless or unconscious, they immediately felt the pain of exposure and would leave the area and protect themselves. Because mustard does not cause immediate effects, soldiers were more likely to be exposed for longer periods. Army testers also found that it was very difficult to get effective concentrations of lewisite vapor. Furthermore, the development of British anti-lewisite, which can prevent burns caused by lewisite and reverse its systemic effects, was believed to reduce the combat effectiveness of the chemical weapon. For those reasons, the U.S. military has not considered lewisite an effective chemical agent since World War II.

Other countries apparently did not agree with this evaluation. For example, the Soviet Union produced huge quantities of the material, disposing of approximately twenty thousand tons of it in the Arctic Sea during the late 1940s and ’50s. More recently, a plant specifically designed to incinerate lewisite and mustard gas has become operational at Gorny, Russia.

Although chemical weapons were not used in major combat during World War II, the Japanese used lewisite and mustard gas in China during most of the war years. In one horrible experiment, prisoners were forced to drink ‘crude water,’ which was a liquid form of lewisite or mustard gas. In addition, more than thirty-five hundred Chinese died in October 1941 at Ichange in the Yangtze Valley after a suspected lewisite attack. Lewisite artillery shells were found on New Guinea, indicating that the Japanese had planned to use the agent against Allied forces. Germany also conducted lewisite experiments on concentration camp inmates.

From 1940 to ‘43, the United States produced lewisite at a small pilot plant at Edgewood Arsenal and then later at Huntsville, Pine Bluff, and Rocky Mountain arsenals. About twenty thousand tons of the agent had been produced before the plants were shut down. Along with disposing of the enemy stockpiles, the United States also dumped most of its own lewisite into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans after the war. One of the 1948 dumping operations was referred to as Operation Geranium because lewisite has a geraniumlike odor.

More recently, Iraq allegedly used lewisite and a mustard gas-lewisite mixture against Iran in the 1980s. The deadly chemical was detected in three separate 1991 instances during the Persian Gulf War, and at least one Iraqi prisoner of war claimed in February 1991 that Iraq had lewisite-filled munitions in its inventory.

A 1999 article in Environmental Health Perspectives reported that lewisite is still produced in very limited quantities in the United States (presumably just for military preparations) and the country’s remaining stockpile is stored at Desert Chemical Depot in Utah. And recently in Washington, D.C., lewisite and mustard agents, hastily buried and forgotten when the American University Experimental Station closed down, have been discovered in the ground, requiring a hazardous waste cleanup operation by the army’s Corps of Engineers.
Lewisite, the major American contribution to chemical weapons development during World War I, has had an amazing history, from its inadvertent discovery by a priest in 1903 to its presence a hundred years later in the arsenals of some countries. Most notably, North Korea has an estimated twenty-five hundred to five thousand tons stockpiled. Whether lewisite will eventually be used in combat situations or as a terrorist weapon — and, if so, how effective it would be — remains to be determined.

This article was written by Joel A. Vilensky and Pandy R. Sinish and originally published in the Spring 2005 edition of MHQ. Joel A. Vilensky and Pandy R. Sinish are the authors of Dew of Death: The Story of Lewisite, America’s World War I Weapon of Mass Destruction.

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Made in Mass., bomb stirs global debate
Textron seeks to quash cluster munitions pact

By Bryan Bender
Globe Staff / September 20, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a marvel of military technology, says its maker, Textron Defense Systems. An advanced “cluster bomb,’’ it is designed to spray 40 individual projectiles of molten copper, destroying enemy tanks across a 30-acre swath of battlefield.

But the bomb – which is made at a Textron facility in the Boston suburb of Wilmington – violates terms of a landmark international treaty limiting cluster bombs to 10 bomblets or less. The pending treaty, signed by 98 nations last year in Oslo, has been sought for decades by human rights groups, which say that cluster bombs kill indiscriminately and leave behind duds that kill or maim unsuspecting civilians.

Now Textron, with the support of the Pentagon and the State Department, is mounting a campaign to derail the cluster-bomb treaty and write a new set of rules under the United Nations that would make it easier to sell its weapon around the world.

Textron’s primary argument for scrapping the treaty is that 99 percent of the bomblets released by the Sensor Fuzed Weapon will explode in combat, leaving only a tiny amount of unexploded ordinance that could be picked up by a child or hit by a farmer’s plow. Textron calls this capability “clean battlefield operation.’’

“It really is an extremely sophisticated weapon,’’ said Mark D. Rafferty, vice president of business development for Textron Defense Systems, which employs about 1,000 people at its Wilmington plant. Rafferty stood in front of a full-scale mock-up of the bomb, a 6-foot-long cylinder with tail fins, at an arms show in Washington, D.C., last week.

“Knowing that we are in no way, shape or form contributing to [civilian suffering] is really a very satisfying place to be,’’ he said.

The United States is among several major powers including Russia, China, and Israel that have refused to sign the Oslo treaty.

The US Air Force has purchased 4,600 of the new weapons, at a cost of several billion dollars. Textron has also sold them to Turkey, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. And it is in the final stages of reaching a deal with India for 510 of the weapons at an estimated cost of $375 million.

Textron wants the international community to rewrite the treaty to allow weapons with large numbers of bomblets, if they can be shown to avoid the potential for civilian casualties from unexploded components.

The initiative has outraged many arms control advocates, however, who secured signatures from Britain, France, and 96 other countries at last year’s Oslo negotiations. The treaty needs to be ratified by 30 countries to take effect; so far, 17 of them have done so.

“It’s a disgraceful attempt to throw mud at the most important achievement in humanitarian affairs and disarmament in the last decade,’’ said Thomas Nash, coordinator of the London-based Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 400 nongovernmental organizations from about 90 countries.

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Textron Defense Systems is a division of the Providence-based conglomerate Textron Inc., which makes products as diverse as helicopters and passenger planes and defense and intelligence systems. It had annual revenue of more than $14 billion in 2008. The Wilmington facility makes a variety of air-launched munitions, as well as both air and ground surveillance systems.

As part of its public relations push, Textron has established a new website, dontbanthesolution.com, replete with expert testimony and computer-generated battle scenes to demonstrate its weapon’s pinpoint accuracy and fail-safe design. Textron Systems chief executive Frank Tempesta, has penned an oped in a leading international trade magazine contending that the proposed treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, will do more harm than good by leading militaries to use more powerful, and less accurate, weapons to achieve the same effect. And the company has dispatched officials to foreign capitals and the conference rooms of skeptical human rights groups to make their case.

Dropped from a high-flying aircraft, the Textron weapon releases 10 canisters that parachute downward, scanning for the enemy with a built-in sensor. When they reach an optimum altitude, the canisters, spinning at high speed, release four separate bomblets, or “skeets,’’ each with its own rocket motor and targeting system.

Each skeet has a 2.2-kilogram warhead, sufficient to pierce and disable a 70-ton tank, and weighs a little less than 4 kilograms including its motor and electronics.
Just two of the weapons, released from a B-52 bomber, destroyed 24 Iraqi tanks in 2003.

If they don’t find a target, the company says, the 40 bomblets are designed to self-destruct. For example, if the skeet reaches a height of 50 feet without homing in on the heat from a tank or armored vehicle, it will explode in midair. And once armed, the projectile is only capable of exploding for eight seconds before it disarms. As a third safety mechanism, any unexploded skeets lying on the ground will disarm after two minutes.

The Pentagon has certified in testing that the Sensor Fuzed Weapon leaves unexploded bomblets only 1 percent of the time or less. That is a standard that Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has stipulated all cluster munitions must meet by 2018.

Arms control advocates remain unconvinced, however.

“They think technology is the answer,’’ said Nash, the Cluster Munition Coalition coordinator. His group contends that Textron’s claims of accuracy and reliability have historically been overstated.

“It is not reasonable to base your policy on the continued failure of weapons manufacturers to make reliable weapons,’’ he said. “They make money from selling weapons, and I think that compromises to a certain extent the credibility of their humanitarian analysis.’’

Other experts, including supporters of the Oslo treaty, acknowledge that Textron has made significant breakthroughs to minimize harm to civilians. Ove Dullum, chief scientist at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, said in an interview that based on tests he considers the Sensor Fuzed Weapon a minimal risk to civilians.Continued…

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Still, he says that may not hold true under battle conditions.

How an SFW works

“My experience . . . is that even if carefully conducted tests of ammunition show a very low dud rate, that will not represent the dud rate in war,’’ he said, citing the aging of munitions, environmental impact, and the handling of the weapons in a real war environment.

Moreover, even if the weapon can achieve the level of reliability advertised, it is still highly dangerous for civilians on the battlefield, said Jeff Abramson, deputy director of the Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. He said that, depending on how many are used in a future conflict, a 1 percent dud rate could still affect many innocent bystanders.

“If you have 1 percent of 10,000 submunitions, that is 100 left that could possibly explode in the future,’’ he said.

Textron and the US military say that, without the ability to use cluster bombs with 40 bomblets, military forces will inevitably use greater numbers of traditional bombs. That, Gates concluded in a policy memorandum last year, “could result, in some cases, in unacceptable collateral damage and explosive remnants of war.’’

Nations that do not sign the treaty could have trouble selling their weapons. Cluster bombs made by Diehl and Rheinmetall in Germany and by Bofors Defence and GIAT Industries in France meet the requirements of the treaty, with two bomblets contained in each. They would be expected to pick up market share at Textron’s expense if the treaty is ratified as written.

Also, nations that ratify the treaty may place restrictions on cooperating with any military that doesn’t abide by it.

UN negotiations to craft a new agreement are at a standstill. “There is still a wide divergence,’’ said a US defense official involved in the talks who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to do so. Another meeting is scheduled in Geneva in November.

But a State Department spokesman, Jason Greer, argued that a new treaty that takes into account the potential to reduce civilian casualties would be an improvement over the Oslo pact, which merely sets standards for bomblets and their size.

The US government also argues that the current treaty will have little effect if the holdouts – which have the largest militaries and explosive stockpiles – refuse to participate. A new treaty, said Greer, would probably include “more of the countries that actually produce cluster munitions.’’

Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com




EODT Named to Top 200 Government Contractors List

EOD Technology, Inc. logo. (PRNewsFoto/EOD Technology, Inc.)


LENOIR CITY, Tenn., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ — EOD Technology, Inc. (EODT), a global provider of professional support services to a broad range of Federal markets, was ranked as one of the most successful defense and government contractors by Government Executive Magazine in August of 2009.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061218/EODTLOGO)

Specializing in security, critical mission support, munitions response and stabilization and reconstruction operations, EODT ranked 86th on the list of the Top 100 Defense Contractors with more than $406M in business in 2008. Overall, EODT ranked 118th on the list of Top Government Contractors.

We’re pleased to be included on this list alongside other well-respected companies, said Matt Kaye, President and Chief Executive Officer of EODT. It’s a testament to the hard work of our employee-owners, leveraging our critical skills and technology, and our commitment to our customers’ mission success.

EOD Technology, Inc. is headquartered in Lenoir City, TN, with offices in Huntsville, AL; Tucson, AZ; Washington, D.C.; Baghdad, Iraq; Kabul, Afghanistan; Lagos, Nigeria; Pretoria, South Africa, and San Jose, Costa Rica. The employee-owned, ISO 9001:2000-registered company is an industry leader for integrated Munitions Response, Security, Critical Mission Support, and Stabilization and Reconstruction operations worldwide.

Government Executive Magazine is a biweekly business magazine serving senior executives and managers in the federal government’s various departments and agencies. It covers the business of the federal government while serving the individuals who manage those departments and agencies.

For a full listing of http://www.govexec.com/features/0809-15/0809-15s3s1.htm.

For more information on EODT, please visit http://www.eodt.com

SOURCE EOD Technology, Inc.



Top 100 Defense Contractors
Government Executive August 15, 2009

Total Purchases: $377,545,789,635
Rank Parent Company Total DoD Air Force Army Navy
1 Lockheed Martin Corp. $30,051,930,697 $13,402,513,986 $4,673,579,372 $9,994,571,537
2 Northrop Grumman Corp. 23,493,816,066 5,479,989,076 6,716,656,907 10,105,473,396
3 Boeing Co. 23,337,676,385 7,794,047,338 5,731,974,349 7,748,677,940
4 BAE Systems 16,280,496,923 828,059,801 10,089,734,594 4,804,129,315
5 General Dynamics Corp. 14,438,355,290 1,214,774,012 6,405,315,050 6,483,123,733
6 Raytheon Co. 14,219,207,207 2,253,498,433 5,355,002,065 5,065,679,797
7 United Technologies Corp. 8,300,866,917 1,523,796,618 4,688,709,458 1,815,768,432
8 L-3 Communications Holdings 6,708,092,019 2,351,444,344 2,609,680,934 1,002,989,257
9 KBR Inc. 5,997,147,425 0 5,967,705,203 21,562,825
10 Navistar International Corp. 4,755,920,575 0 1,050,487,191 3,661,537,716
11 ITT Corp. 4,361,701,072 792,240,270 2,216,449,782 1,171,466,504
12 Textron Inc. 4,229,341,007 82,694,889 1,877,358,208 2,118,188,994
13 SAIC 3,880,995,968 554,684,641 1,426,224,359 952,845,596
14 General Electric Co. 3,575,099,286 861,623,778 693,192,932 1,554,292,506
15 Computer Sciences Corp. 3,460,070,189 1,051,526,975 1,297,668,833 632,433,336
16 Carlyle Group 3,000,639,282 926,994,813 1,489,905,528 431,919,072
17 Humana Inc. 2,952,008,623 12,773,329 13,847,565 0
18 URS Corp. 2,554,214,043 678,565,777 1,511,131,563 340,533,854
19 Health Net Inc. 2,438,349,117 0 7,738,759 0
20 Triwest Healthcare Alliance Co. 2,366,975,634 3,374,709 3,337,141 0
21 Renco Corp. 2,357,606,472 0 2,246,977,265 882,547
22 MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. 2,357,595,977 0 2,246,966,770 882,547
23 Finmeccanica Group 2,287,550,122 345,506,669 1,676,254,285 166,167,303
24 Public Warehousing Co. KSC 2,150,460,246 0 112,874,687 389,839
25 Hewlett-Packard Co. 1,936,483,484 121,716,498 126,362,722 1,500,647,274
26 Alliant Techsystems Inc. 1,928,045,694 158,596,859 1,545,629,367 214,725,180
27 Bechtel Group Inc. 1,909,722,670 0 362,461,903 1,444,569,802
28 Oshkosh Truck Corp. 1,863,726,822 2,855,688 1,139,848,061 594,806,836
29 Harris Corp. 1,841,470,263 352,496,050 700,433,176 562,796,290
30 BP PLC 1,733,031,788 0 12,479,006 1,335,395
31 Honeywell Inc. 1,722,292,898 422,553,331 917,429,432 226,105,722
32 Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. 1,712,005,958 140,491 87,944 25,050
33 Hensel Phelps Construction Co. 1,385,774,293 0 1,018,601,994 194,751,134
34 Force Protection Inc. 1,360,427,189 0 26,597,104 1,260,999,475
35 CACI International Inc. 1,324,237,903 30,197,348 855,709,364 360,343,915
36 AmerisourceBergen Corp. 1,298,059,841 83,165 260,875 308,840
37 Rockwell Collins 1,290,859,084 773,085,946 126,795,606 311,722,654
38 Shaw Group Inc. 1,162,267,243 58,373,675 1,026,977,507 71,565,167
39 Veritas Capital Inc. 1,088,769,197 32,061,649 886,391,895 50,837,576
40 General Motors Corp. 1,076,904,574 382,648 1,070,195,213 1,535,050
41 General Atomics Technology Corp. 1,074,419,407 579,075,188 356,240,344 122,811,088
42 Red Star Enterprises Ltd. 1,069,266,941 0 0 0
43 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. 1,061,047,715 417,139,704 474,687,169 85,603,024
44 Valero Energy Corp. 1,043,869,551 0 73,781 0
45 Bahrain National Oil Co. 1,017,687,603 0 0 27,711
46 Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. 918,256,500 0 0 0
47 VSE Corp. 910,970,473 1,056,359 770,453,773 139,410,182
48 McKesson Corp. 903,799,326 33,821 3,410,799 165,198
49 Hawker Beechcraft Corp. 873,897,910 823,896,324 150,034 49,663,703
50 Cardinal Health Inc. 856,333,988 1,840,754 5,512,460 3,853,811
Rank Parent Company Total DoD Air Force Army Navy
51 Dell Computer Corp. $853,009,785 $163,188,072 $446,435,698 $137,002,507
52 Exxon Mobil Corp. 836,548,150 0 75,400 0
53 Aerospace Corp. 768,870,625 768,870,624 0 0
54 MITRE Corp. 753,883,279 315,806,923 438,076,355 0
55 Government of Canada 744,892,235 82,814,809 581,150,504 46,126,090
56 Johns Hopkins University 737,152,343 25,557,031 15,509,329 439,160,972
57 Motor Oil Hellas 724,853,533 0 0 0
58 Cerberus Capital Management LLC 699,109,260 272,059,710 321,739,234 101,642,955
59 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 690,979,858 674,214,136 12,723,729 1,766,348
60 ManTech International Corp. 655,579,972 39,750,939 468,587,925 98,302,417
61 Supreme Foodservice AG 647,167,103 0 16,824 0
62 Afognak Native Corp. 625,338,159 33,423,988 380,906,675 209,173,786
63 CH2M Hill Companies Ltd. 590,556,845 272,852,190 233,347,979 84,304,529
64 Rolls Royce PLC 575,055,274 146,721,853 34,043,302 314,030,420
65 Chugach Alaska Corp. 571,049,687 218,447,009 229,500,924 116,923,859
66 Qinetiq Ltd. 544,400,680 22,884,216 295,907,687 156,542,210
67 AECOM Technology Corp. 542,021,197 8,898,669 512,354,481 20,824,644
68 Kongsberg Gruppen ASA 533,417,559 0 519,926,428 7,506,433
69 Clark Enterprises 528,766,858 0 347,436,052 181,330,806
70 Serco Group PLC 523,436,321 117,542,491 250,349,830 154,853,577
71 FLIR Systems Inc. 507,944,847 2,573,732 381,111,835 112,829,953
72 Battelle Memorial Institute 507,253,506 209,188,912 229,049,887 55,835,539
73 Goodrich Corp. 488,566,461 142,087,471 201,966,041 60,550,693
74 Thales Group 475,384,785 24,028,412 182,573,107 206,505,951
75 Tetra Tech Inc. 472,960,770 79,441,485 216,306,216 143,792,111
76 Walsh Group Ltd. 457,810,954 0 381,642,295 76,168,658
77 Balfour Beatty PLC 457,806,604 0 278,568,912 179,237,691
78 Caddell Construction Co. 457,368,091 0 343,711,022 113,657,069
79 International Oil Trading Co. LLC 456,802,653 0 0 0
80 IBM Corp. 438,442,797 32,868,218 139,590,963 135,836,638
81 Perini Corp. 436,363,793 51,409,576 384,954,216 0
82 Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. 435,784,112 10,085,160 190,810,107 11,073,010
83 Fluor Corp. 430,878,065 18,128,045 370,364,360 42,385,659
84 Sierra Nevada Corp. 429,752,561 251,287,811 150,015,314 28,433,902
85 Ceradyne Inc. 417,616,849 0 334,254,377 6,998,076
86 EOD Technology Inc. 406,322,993 0 395,983,226 10,339,766
87 Syracuse Research Corp. 403,733,239 39,350,693 357,559,755 6,822,790
88 Government of Germany 403,511,351 0 403,511,351 0
89 NANA Regional Corp. Inc. 395,526,436 69,496,405 205,891,169 40,818,802
90 Peter Kiewit Sons Inc. 388,739,591 0 340,275,640 48,463,950
91 M.A. Mortenson Cos. 379,601,040 0 353,277,196 26,323,843
92 Environmental Chemical Corp. 372,745,944 211,092,012 145,243,918 16,410,013
93 AT&T Inc. 371,277,191 29,467,353 137,598,235 58,063,591
94 Kraft Foods Inc. 367,840,952 0 0 0
95 Daimler AG 366,016,800 912,666 345,360,235 14,140,454
96 Owens & Minor Inc. 365,861,498 0 0 0
97 Parsons Corp. 356,746,280 27,084,791 296,981,887 30,601,531
98 Cubic Corp. 354,715,998 63,585,514 226,409,732 58,450,192
99 ChevronTexaco Corp. 349,576,353 0 4,268,538 653,480
100 McCann-Erickson Worldwide Inc. 348,696,704 0 348,696,703 0
Rank Parent Company Total DoD Air Force Army Navy


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Papers No.10

Chemical Warfare in World War I:
The American Experience, 1917 – 1918

MAJ(P) Charles E. Heller, USAR

Combat Studies Institute
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

September 1984

Leaveanworth Papers are published by the Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-6900. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and are not neccessarily those of the Department of Defnse or any element thereof. Leavenworth Papers are available from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

Leavenworth Papers US ISSN 0195 3451


This Leavenworth Paper chronicles the introduction of chemical agents in World War I, the U.S. Army’s tentative preparations for gas warfare prior to and after American entry into the war, and the AEF experience with gas on the Western Front.

Chemical warfare affected tactics and almost changed the outcome of World War I. The overwhelming success of the first use of gas caught both sides by suprise. Fortunately, the pace of hostilities permitted the Allies to develop a suitable defense to German gas attacks and eventually to field a considerable offensive chemical capability. Nonetheless, from the introduction of chemical warfare in early 1915 until Armistice Day in November, 1918, the Allies were usually one step behind their German counterparts in the development of gas doctrine and the employment of gas tactics and procedures.
In his final report to Congress on World War I, General John J. Pershing expressed the sentiment of contemporary senior officers when he said, Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture, but the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never afford to neglect the question. General Pershing was the last American field commander actually to confront chemical agents on the battlefield. Today, in light of a significant Soviet chemical threat and solid evidence of chemical warfare in Southeast and Southwest Asia, it is by no means certain he will retain that distinction.

Over 50 percent of the Total Army’s Chemical Corps assets are located within the United States Army Reserve. The Leavenworth Paper was prepared by the USAR Staff Officer serving with the Combat Studies Institute, USACGSC, after a number of request from USAR Chemical Corps officers for a historical study on the nature of chemical warfare in World War I. In fulfilling the needs of the USAR, this Leavenworth Paper also meets the needs of the Total Army in its preparations to fight, if necessary, on a battlefield where chemical agents might be employed.

Lieutenant General, USA

COL Louis D. F. Frashe
John F. Morrison Professor of Military History
Dr. Bruce W. Menning
Curriculum Supervisor
LTC(P) Michael T. Chase
Operations Officer
LTC Patrick H. Gorman
CAC Historical Office
Dr. John W. Partin, CAC Historian
Dr. William G. Roberson, Deputy CAC Historian
Director, Fort Leavenworth Museum
Dr. John P. Langellier
Research Committee
LTC Gary L. Bounds, Chief
LTC Gary H. Wade
Maj (P) Charles E. Heller, USAR
Maj Scott McMichael Dr. Robert H. Berlin
Dr. George Gawrych
Dr. Gary Bjorge
Teaching Committee
LTC John A. Hixson, Chief
LTC George L. Tupa
Maj(P) David R. Durr
Maj(P) Roy R. Stephenson
Maj Roger Cirillo Dr. Robert E. Baumann
Dr. Jerold E. Brown
Dr. Christopher R. Gabel
Dr. Joseph Glatthaar
SFC Robert R. Cordell
Military History Education Committee
LTC Michael E. Hall, Chief
Maj George J. Mordica, II
CPT (P) Don M. Prewitt, ARNG Dr. Jack J. Gifford
Dr. Larry Roberts
Historical Services Committee
Dr. Lawerence A. Yates, Chief
Elizabeth R. Snoke, Librarian
Marilyn A. Edwards, Editor
Donald Gilmore, Editor
Carolyn Brendsel, Editor
SFC Danny G. Carlson
Clara L. Rhoades
Sharon E. Torres SP5 Patricia Clowers
Cynthia L. Teare
Carolyn D. Conway

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Heller, Charles E., 1943 –
Chemical warfare in World War I.

(Leavenworth Papers, ISSN 0195-3451; no. 10)
September 1984
Bibliography: p
1. World War, 1914 – 1918 — Chemical warfare.
2. World War, 1914 – 1918 — United States.
3. Chemical warfare — United States — History — 20th century. I. Title II series.

UG447.H39 1985 940.4’144 84-28527

1. The Introduction of Gas Warfare in World War I
2. The Europeans Face Chemicals on the Battlefield, 1915-1918
3. The U.S. Army’s Response to Chemical Warfare, 1915 – 1917
4. The AEF Organizes for Chemical Warfare
5. The Quick and the Dead : The AEF on the Chemical Battlefield
6. We Can Never Afford to Neglect the Question

1. The stabilized Western Front, 1915
2. Ypres sector in Belgium, 22 April-24 May 1915
3. Varicolored zones of German gas fired in support of a crossing of the Dvina River before Riga, Eastern Front, 1 September 1917 German gas shell bombardment of Armentières
4. German gas shell bombardment of Armentières on 9 April 1918
5. The German spring offensives of 1918 were heavily supported by a variety of gases

1. Side view of gas cylinder emplacement
2. Organization of the Gas Service, AEF, 1917
3. U.S. Gas Regiment, company organization, 1917
4. Entrance, gas-proof dugout

1. Summary of markings for chemical shell and properties of most common gases
2. Hospitalized casualties


The combat experience of World War I provided the U.S. Army with its first significant exposure to chemical warfare. The purpose of this paper is to show how the Army prepared for this kind of warfare and how soldiers in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), from generals to doughboys, adapted or failed to adapt to fighting a war in which chemical weapons played a prominent role. Because no one AEF division experienced every facet of gas warfare, the study will examine information pertaining to many units in order to give a more complete picture of the phenomenon.

In World War I terms, chemical warfare included not only gas, but liquid flammable material, thermite, and smoke (all of which are relevant to the modern battlefield). This study will deal only with what participants referred to as chemicals … gases, or war gases. These included real gases such as phosgene and chlorine, and also weapons that, while referred to as gases, were in fact vaporized liquids (mustard gas, for example) or finely ground solids. In this study the terms chemical agent and gas will be used interchangeably. Smoke will be discussed, but only as a ruse for gas; liquid flame and thermite will not be covered. Because most of the U.S. experience was on the Western Front, that theater of the war will receive detailed treatment.

Despite technological advances in chemical warfare since 1918, many lessons learned on the battlefields of World War I are valid for study today, if only because America’s principal antagonist in world affairs, the Soviet Union, appears to be quite willing to employ chemical agents on today’s battlefield. During the decade of the 1970s persistent accounts of the use of chemical agents by the Russians and their clients caused the U.S. government to pay closer attention to the problem of chemical warfare. Soviet offensive equipment captured by the Israelis in the 1973 October War contained filtration systems for survival on a chemical or biological battlefield. Reports from Laos about Vietnamese using a chemical agent called Yellow Rain on mountain tribesmen prompted a policy review by U.S. government officials. In December, 1979, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with subsequent reports from Afghan refugees that the invaders were using gas during combat operations, again forced the U.S. Army to reassess its chemical warfare doctrine.1

U.S. intelligence estimates indicate that the Russians have between 70,000 and 100,000 chemical warfare troops. Every Soviet line regiment has a Chemical Defense Company. Present Soviet chemical delivery systems include artillery, mortars, multiple rocket launchers, bombs, air spray, and land mines. The blood, blister, and nerve agents in the Russian chemical arsenal include mustard gas (a blister agent) and phosgene (a lung injurant) two of the most effective agents used in World War I.2

There is an abundance of material available for a study of gas warfare during World War 1. Sources include unit reports, the published and unpublished diaries of participants, books written by chemical officers during the interwar period, and a number of secondary historical works of more recent origin. Also, I conducted several interviews with veterans of the First World War to obtain as accurate a picture as possible of what it was like for an AEF doughboy to train for, and to live, work, and fight in, a chemical environment. During the war the newly created Chemical Warfare Service (CWS)* did its best to record its activities and report on the use of chemicals. I relied extensively on these records.

A number of agencies provided a great deal of assistance to me in the preparation of this paper, and I would like to acknowledge the staffs of the following institutions: the Technical Library, Chemical Systems Laboratory, Edgewood Area, Aberdeen Proving Ground;, U.S. Army Chemical Center and School, Fort McClellan, Alabama; National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; and Combined Arms Research Library, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. I especially want to thank members of the 1st Gas Regiment Association for graciously consenting to be interviewed, and Lt. Col. Charles M. Wurm, Chemical Corps, CACDA, Fort Leavenworth, for providing me with a great amount of technical information and advice.

Major(P) Charles Heller, USAR
Combat Studies Institute
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

*The forerunner of the CWS was the Gas Service, set up under AEF General Order 31, 3 September 1917. On 11 May 1918, when the CWS was established as a branch of the National Army, the Gas Service became the Overseas Division, CWS.

The Introduction of Gas
Warfare in World War I

Chapter 1

Of all the weapons employed in World War I, none stimulated public revulsion more than poison gas. The abhorrence of chemical warfare lingered long after the Armistice of 11 November 1918. Gas victims continually reminded the general public of the effect of chemical weapons, as illustrated by the often repeated story of a veteran’s coughing fit being explained by a tap on the chest and an apologetic, Gas you know.

The employment of chemical agents in war, however, did not begin with World War I. The earliest recorded incident occurred in the fifth century B.C. during one of a series of wars between Athens and Sparta.*1 Over the centuries that followed, combatants on several occasions engaged in rudimentary forms of chemical warfare on the battlefield. If by the end of the nineteenth century the use of poison gas was still by far the exception and not the rule in war, there were in all the great powers a number of men who foresaw its widespread use should a general conflagration engulf Europe.2

*Spartan forces besieging an Athenian city placed a lighted mixture of wood, pitch, and sulfur under the walls. The Spartans hoped the fumes would incapacitate the Athenians so that they would not be able to resist the assault that followed.

A concern with poison gas manifested itself at the Hague Conference of 1899. One of the agenda items dealt with prohibiting the use of shells filled with asphyxiating gas. The proposed ban** eventually passed with one dissenting vote, that of the American representative, Naval Capt. Alfred T. Mahan, who declared that it was illogical and not demonstrably humane to be tender about asphyxiating men with gas, when all were prepared to admit that it was allowable to blow the bottom out of an ironclad at midnight, throwing four or five hundred men into the sea, to be choked by water, with scarcely the remotest chance of escape. Secretary of State John Hay, in his instructions to Mahan, argued that the inventiveness of Americans should not be restricted in the development of new weapons. For Hay it made no sense for the United States to deprive itself of the ability to use, at some later date, a weapon that might prove to be more humane and effective than anything then present in the American arsenal. 3
**The declaration stated, The Contracting Powers agree to abstain from the use of projectiles the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gasses.

The Hague Conference declaration did not prevent some nations from discussing the use of chemical weapons, and at least one country, France, experimented publicly with gas. The French Army tested a grenade filled with ethyl bromoacetate, a nontoxic tear, or lachrymatory, agent developed for use in the suppression of small-arms fire from the concrete casements then prevalent in the permanent fortifications that dotted Western Europe. In 1912, French police used 26-mm grenades filled with this agent to capture a notorious gang of Parisian bank robbers. The Germans, unlike the French, did not experiment with chemical agents for military use as such, but at the outbreak of World War I, Germany’s highly advanced dye industry gave it a sophisticated technological base from which to develop weapons of this nature.4

When war erupted in August, 1914, everyone from private citizens to the leaders of the belligerent countries shared a common belief that the economies of the European nations would neither survive nor support a lengthy war. As a result, the war plans of two key protagonists, Germany and France, called for a quick, decisive offensive against one another. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany assured his troops that they would be home before the leaves fall. It was not to be. By the end of 1914, the armies on the Western Front were locked in a deadly form of trench warfare (Map 1),* sustained by the very industrialized economies that, because of their complexity and interdependency, had been thought unable to withstand a long war.5

*One of the misconceptions surrounding World War I is that there existed a continuous, parallel belt of trenches stretching from the English Channel in the north to the Swiss border in the south. In fact, in some sectors along the 470-mile Western Front, soldiers occupied shell holes; in other areas, the terrain caused troops to be dispersed in fortified garrisons or strong points. Some trenches, as in the British sector of Flanders, were actually sandbagged parapets rising from marshy lands, where digging any deeper than a foot or two would have brought water to the surface. There was one factor, however, that was constant along the entire front. Whether in trenches, shell holes, or strongpoints, daily life offered little more than dull routine and boredom for the men of both sides as they waited for their respective high commands to decide their fate.

Unwilling to accept the indecisiveness of trench warfare, army staffs on both sides pondered ways to break the deadlock and return to open or maneuver warfare. Alternatives were proposed, some strategic, others tactical. The British, for example, sought a strategic solution by a seaborne assault against Turkey, an ally of Germany. This attack at Gallipoli in 1915 sought to open the Dardanelles as the first step toward linking up with. Russia and forcing Turkey out of the war. For a variety of reasons, the plan failed, and the deadlock on the Western Front continued.

As their attack at Gallipoli tottered to defeat, the British looked to the application of tactical innovation at Neuve-Chapelle to break the stalemate. On 10 March 1915 British artillery, instead of firing a lengthy bombardment prior to an attack, as doctrine dictated, let loose a brief but intense barrage on a relatively narrow German trench frontage. The fire was then shifted to the German rear in order to create a lethal steel curtain that would block reinforcements. To the surprise of everyone, the British infantry quickly overran the German forward positions. The attack failed, though, primarily because the high command, viewing it as an experiment, did not have sufficient reserves available to exploit a breakthrough.
To View: The stabilized Western Front, 1915

Germany also searched for ways to break the deadlock and decided on a solution involving gas. Early in the war the Germans kept a wary eye out for indications that the French were using their 26-mm gas grenades. Apparently, in August, 1914, France did use this chemical weapon, but in open areas where the gas quickly dispersed with no noticeable effect on the enemy. The French soon discarded the grenades as worthless. At this same time, stories were appearing in Allied newspapers about a new French liquid explosive, turpinite. While claiming that this substance gave off lethal fumes, the articles failed to explain that the gas reached a deadly concentration only in confined spaces. Still, the Germans were apprehensive and became alarmed by the deaths of a number of soldiers asphyxiated during a French bombardment, even though a medical team rushed to the scene concluded that the men died not from poison gas, but from inhaling carbon monoxide fumes while huddled in their dugout.6

In any event such newspaper stories and front-line experiences may have spurred the development of war gases by German scientists. Contributing to that effort, chemistry professor Walter Nernst suggested partially replacing the TNT in a 105-mm shrapnel shell with dianisidine chlorosulphonate, an agent known to cause irritation of the mucous membrane. The new filling would serve two purposes: it would conserve TNT and act as a chemical weapon. The German High Command accepted this new weapon, although it is uncertain which of the two purposes it initially considered more important. On 27 October 1914, 3,000 of these shells fell on British troops near Neuve-Chapelle. The soldiers suffered no ill effects and never suspected they were under chemical attack. The Germans continued to experiment with gas because they were convinced the idea had merit and because intelligence sources could not determine what effect the shells had had at Neuve-Chapelle. This lack of information on the effects of gas attacks was a common occurrence throughout the war.7

The Neuve-Chapelle experiment increased the German High Command’s interest in gas warfare. The German General Staff asked the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin to investigate the possibility of using a more effective agent. The only guideline provided by the military was that the Hague declaration of 1899, banning projectiles used exclusively for delivering poison gases, had to be circumvented. Adhering to the letter if not the spirit of the ban, the Germans devised a gas shell that also contained an explosive charge for producing a shrapnel effect. The Professor von Tappan who designed the shell also solved two technical problems related to emplacing chemicals in an artillery projectile. First, he stabilized the liquid within a shell casing in order to reduce its tumbling in flight, thereby increasing the shell’s accuracy and range. Second, to ensure that two extremely reactive chemical substances did not accidently combine in the shell casing, von Tappan developed a special shell, designated the T-shell by the German Army in his honor. The T-shell was a standard 15-cm howitzer round that contained seven pounds of xylyl bromide and a burster charge for a splinter effect. A lead lining prevented contact between the burster charge and the chemical payload.8

The German High Command decided to use the first T-shells on the Eastern Front. On 31 January 1915, over 18,000 shells were fired at Russian positions at Bolimov. German officers, confident that their new weapon would neutralize the enemy positions, were surprised when their attack was repulsed with severe casualties. The shelling had had little or no effect on the Russians because cold temperatures had prevented vaporization of the xylyl bromide.9

To find a more effective means of employing gas on the battlefield, the German High Command turned to an assistant of von Tappan, Professor Fritz Haber. Haber, a reservist, had shown marked enthusiasm for the potential value of chemicals as weapons. Believing that T-shells did not provide a high enough concentration of chemicals to produce enemy casualties, he suggested the use of large commercial gas cylinders as a delivery system. Cylinders could deliver large amounts of gas and, like the T-shell, did not technically violate the Hague ban on projectiles. Haber also recommended the use of chlorine as an agent because it was commercially produced and readily available in large quantities. Chlorine also satisfied the requirements for military application: it was lethal immediately effective, nonpersistent, and volatile. It was also dense enough to resist dilution in a moderate wind.10

Haber’s gas cylinder project received the approval of the Chief of the German General Staff, General Erich von Falkenhayn, who had the professor appointed Head of the Chemical Warfare Department in the Prussian Ministry of War. The high command selected the front of the Fourth Army facing the French salient at Ypres as the location for an experimental attack. Pioneer Regiment 35 was designated to conduct the gas attack. Haber, assigned as a chemico-technical advisor, assisted Colonel Peterson, the regimental commander, and instructed the troops on the emplacement and use of gas cylinders. By 10 March 1915 the Regiment, with the assistance of infantry labor, had emplaced 1,600 large and 4,130 small cylinders containing a total of 168 tons of chlorine. Then, for one month, the Pioneer troops sat and waited for the winds to shift westerly toward the enemy trenches in the Ypres salient. Only then could they safely unleash the chemicals by opening the cylinder valves.11

Late in the afternoon of 22 April 1915, a setting sun cast long shadows over the battle-scarred terrain around the medieval Belgium city of Ypres. In the distance the faint sound of large-caliber guns could be heard. Birds fluttered and swooped, seeking places to roost on the practically treeless landscape. Suddenly, at 1724, three flares rose from an observation balloon over the German lines and burst against the darkening eastern sky. German artillery commenced a fierce bombardment that landed to the rear of the French and British lines in the Ypres sector. Then, at 1800, an eerie silence fell over the area.
To View: German Pioneer troops opening cylinders for a gas attack, 1916.
Peering across the battlefield, men of two French divisions, the 87th Territorial and the 45th Algerian, saw blue-white wisps of haze rising from the German trenches. The haze swirled about, gathered in a cloud that slowly turned yellow-green and began to drift across the terrain at a height of up to six feet. As the cioud drifted, it settled into every depression in the landscape. Finally, the gentle north .northeasterly wind brought it spilling into the French trenches, silently enveloping the occupants in a misty, deadly embrace.

To the north and southwest of the now mist-enshruded French positions, British and Canadian troops looked into the haze and, to their amazement, saw soldiers, many without weapons, emerge from the cloud, running wildly, and in confusion toward positions to the rear. Terror-stricken Algerians ran by the startled Dominion troops, coughing And clutching their throats. Moments later French soldiers staggered by, blinded, coughing, chests heaving, faces an ugly purple color, lips speechless with agony. One by one, the guns of the French artillery batteries in the sector stoppedfiring, and the two French divisions collapsed. The Ypres front now had a gap over four-miles wide containing hundreds of men in a comatose or dying condition. After half an hour, German troops, equipped with cotton wadding tied over their faces-a primitive form of protective mask-cautiously advanced into the breech created by the discharge of chlorine gas.
To View: Ypres sector in Belgium, 22 April-24 May 1915

Following the initial shock and surprise, Allied commanders began to bring forward reserve troops and to move units from the left and right flank into the gap. The Germans advanced four and one-half miles – until they encountered the ragged edge of a hurriedly organized defensive line (Map 2). The First Canadian Division and assorted French troops manned the line in scattered, hastily prepared positions 1,000 to 3,000 yards apart. This improvised defense, together with the fact that the Germans had lost some of their combat edge during the month-long wait for favorable winds, finally slowed and then halted the attack. As for the German troops who reached their initial objective, they had only the most primitive protective equipment. When they saw the havoc their own gas had wrought, they had no wish to proceed any farther that night.

Two days later, during which time the British and French brought reinforcements into the area, the Germans discharged more gas. Although they did so again four more times throughout May, the element of surprise had been lost. The British and French troops were now equipped with their own primitive masks, and although the defenders suffered severe losses (over 5,900 casualties-nearly double the number of casualties for the attackers), the Germans could gain no more than a few hundred yards beyond the forward limit of their first attack. The German High Command, surprised as its opponents at the success of the new weapon, had no reserves to exploit a possible success. Thus, one of the war’s greatest tactical surprises was dissipated on what amounted to an experimental attack with limited objectives.12
To View: German medics, wearing an early mask, giving oxygen to gas victim, 1915. British, French, and Russian prototype masks were similar in design.

With the battle front at Ypres now stabilized, the British and French had to decide whether or not retaliate in kind. Faced with the Germans’ obvious technological advantage, the Allies at first hesitated to retaliate for fear of inviting the expansion of gas warfare. But when, the British Expeditionary Force commander reported that a lack of an offensive gas capability would seriously impair the morale of his troops, the British cabinet gave its approval to use chemical agents. The French government soon followed suit for basically the same reason.13

On 24 September 1915, at 0550 near Loos, Belgium, the British launched the Allies’ first attack supported by gas. It had taken them five frantic months to reach a point at which a large-scale gas attack was feasible. During that period, several Special Companies of Royal Engineers had been trained in the emplacement and discharge of gas cylinders. Unlike the Germans, the British decided to conduct their gas attack on a wide frontage. This necessitated the deployment of the cylinders clustered in batteries along the front rather than spaced far apart in one continuous line. To accomplish this, the British constructed galleries in front of the first-line trenches and positioned in them 5,500 cylinders containing 150 tons of chlorine.* The frontage was too wide to saturate all of it with gas, so the British decided to utilize smoke candles to simulate gas in those areas where the agent could not be used. By alternating the discharges of gas and smoke, the gas attack could be prolonged over forty minutes. This planned smoke screen was the first used during the war.

*This forward placement was made to protect the cylinders from German artillery, which was zeroed in on the first line of trenches to the rear of the galleries.

Fortune did not favor this first British gas attack. During the evening prior to the attack, the winds died. The following morning the British commander, Gen. Sir Douglas Haig, made a controversial decision to proceed with the attack despite uncertainty as to whether or not the slight breeze that rose in the morning would continue to blow toward the German lines. On the right flank, the gentle winds brought the gas and smoke mixture into the German trench system. There, the mild wind worked to the British advantage, for the cloud lingered and did not dissipate. On the left flank, however, not only did the winds fail, but in several positions the gas wafted back into the British trenches, engulfing the troops waiting to attack.

The Germans were taken by surprise. Their troops had little awareness of the danger posed by gas and were not sufficiently trained in defensive measures. The war diary of the German Sixth Army, the unit that bore the brunt of the attack, described the results. The gas in some instances caused little but momentary confusion, while in other cases entire units lost their ability to resist the follow-up British infantry attack. The German mask, which was essentially the same one used at Ypres, broke down as the gas lingered. The chlorine also caused rifles, machine guns, and even artillery breechblocks to jam. The most effective result of the gas was that it rendered German officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) incapable of shouting commands loud enough to be heard through their masks. The dense clouds of smoke and gas also shrouded positions and precluded officers and NCOs from leading by example.14

In spite of some British gains, the attack fell short of the desired results for three reasons. The first was the decision to proceed with the attack despite the unfavorable wind conditions. Second, the British artillery was hampered in providing support because it lacked sufficient shells. Third, there were no reserve divisions to exploit a breakthrough. In his report, the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French, acknowledged that, although the attack failed to penetrate the German lines, the gas attack met with marked success, and produced a demoralizing effect in some of its opposing units. More important, the major belligerents had accepted and expanded the use of chemicals as weapons of war.15

The ensuing chemical war proved to be one of experimentation with gases and with defensive add offensive equipment. As tactical doctrine and training evolved to reflect technological changes, the availability of gases and the imagination of commanders became the only limits to the employment of this new weapon.

The Europeans Face
Chemicals on the Battlefield,

Chapter 2

During World War I chemists on both sides investigated over 3,000 chemical substances for potential use as weapons. Of these, only thirty agents were used in combat, and only about a dozen achieved the desired military results (Table 1). Most armies grouped war gases according to their physiological effects, that is their effects on the human body.1

One category, lachrymators, was composed of tear gases such as xylyl bromide, an agent that primarily affected the eyes but in large concentrations could also damage the respiratory system. Asphyxiators, such as phosgene, chloropicrin, and chlorine, were in another category. These gases caused fluid to enter the lungs, thereby preventing oxygen from reaching the blood. Toxic gases, yet another category, passed through the lungs to the blood, preventing the circulation and release of oxygen throughout the body. Hydrogen cyanide ( Vincennite to the French) was one of the least effective toxic agents. Sternutators, such as diphenylchlorarsine, were a type of respiratory irritant composed of a very fine dust that caused sneezing, nausea, and vomiting. Some sternutators were systemic poisons that had a delayed toxic effect on the body. The final category held the greatest casualty producer-a vesicant or blister agent that, because of its peculiar odor, the British and later the Americans commonly referred to as mustard gas. *2

*The Germans referred to it as Yellow Cross because of the shell marking, and the French called it Yperite, in recognition of the location where it was first used.

In 1917 the Germans first used mustard against the Allies at Ypres. This was the only persistent agent used during World War I and had effects similar to those produced by a combination of lachrymatory, asphyxiator, and systemic poisons. Although called mustard gas, this chemical was not a gas, but rather a volatile liquid that, several hours after contact with the skin, would cause severe bums and blisters. The introduction of Yellow Cross caught the Allies completely by surprise. During the first attack, British infantry saw the gas shells explode, but were unable to see, smell or taste any agent, nor feel any immediate effects. The soldiers concluded that the Germans were trying to trick them and did not put on their masks. After several hours, to the consternation of officers and medics, the troops began to complain of pain in their eyes, throats, and lungs. Later, blisters appeared on the exposed skin of the British soldiers. The German use of Yellow Cross caused British gas casualties, which had been declining, to increase markedly. Because of its ability to produce large numbers of casualties, mustard was soon being referred to as the King of the war gases.3
TO VIEW: 1. Side view of gas cylinder emplacement

The major combatants realized that the employment of gas called for specially trained troops and, accordingly, formed offensive gas units. Because of the need to emplace gas cylinders, pioneer or engineer troops usually provided the cadre of these special units. The Germans converted two pioneer regiments, the 35th and 36th, into gas units consisting of three battalions each. The regiments would deploy by companies, according to the size of the front of the attack. In addition to these units, the Germans organized a gas mortar (Minenwerfen) battalion. The Austro-Hungarians followed the German model and created their own special gas units.4

As early as July, 1915, the French and British organized gas companies called Special by the British and Z for gaz (gas) by the French; both employed engineer troops as cadre. By 1917 the British had expanded their original four companies to twenty-one and had organized them as a Special Brigade. The French eventually created the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd gas battalions composed of three companies each. The Russians organized gas units and called them Gas Detachments of the Chemical Department, with one detachment assigned to each Russian Army, a total of thirteen.5

In addition to developing gas units and chemical agents, a constant search continued for efficient delivery systems. The cylinders used in the first gas attack at Ypres in 1915 were the major component of a cumbersome, immobile system, It usually took several days of intensive labor,* with infantry providing most of the muscle, to emplace the cylinders for a cloud attack (Figure 1). One can gain an indication of the difficulty of the task by noting that as many as 12,000 cylinders, each weighing over 100 pounds, were sometimes needed for a single operation. Once emplaced, the cylinders were dangerously exposed to enemy high explosive shells and easily damaged, Cylinder discharges always depended on favorable weather conditions.

*The time it took to install individual cylinders varied according to the terrain, weather, available manpower, and enemy harassing fire.
TO VIEW: 1. Summary of markings for chemical shell and properties of most common gases

Despite these problems, the British relied on cylinders as a delivery method until the end of the war. They normally used seven to eight cylinders in a section, six sections to a Special Brigade company. Sixteen companies could produce a gas wave or cloud that covered a 24,000-meter front. Several factors influenced the British decision to continue using cylinders. First, the prevailing winds favored Allied gas clouds. Second, the British suffered from a chronic shortage of shells and were reluctant to convert the production of high explosive shells to the production of gas shells. Third, British intelligence reports indicated a dense cloud attack was effective in producing mass casualties. On 26 October 1917, Brig. Gen. Charles H. Foulkes, Commander of the British Special Brigade, reviewed intelligence reports indicating that British cloud attacks created significant German casualties as far back as thirty kilometers from, the front-line trenchm Foulkes proposed that the Special Brigade use what he termed retired cylinder attacks, in which. a large number of cylinders would be emplaced behind British lines rather than in the front lines or forward of the trenches. Because the Special Brigade companies could assemble a greater number of cylinders in a relatively small area without the interference of enemy small arms or shell fire, this method allowed for a significantly greater concentration of gas released at one point.6

The British improved this tactic by conducting what they called beam attacks. These attacks called for placing numerous cylinders on narrowgauge tram cars that troops pushed forward to positions just behind the front trenches. After the cylinders were opened, the resulting gas concentration became so dense that friendly troops had to be evacuated from the path of the gas beam. On 24 May 1918 the British launched their first beam attack. This and similiar attacks, General Foulkes claimed, caused the Germans considerable anxiety, for they could not determine how and where the dense clouds originated. The beam attacks were especially deadly when launched from six or more separate railheads and when the individual clouds merged behind German lines. Prisoners taken from the German 9th Uhlan Regiment reported that one such attack caused 500 casualties in the neighboring 1st Landwehr Regiment, which, as a. result of the attack, had to be withdrawn from the line. According to the British, the effectiveness of the improved cloud attacks, with their increased density, continued to frustrate the German Army.7

The Germans, for their part, arranged their cylinders so that twenty formed a battery. Fifty such batteries were required to saturate one kilometer of front line with gas. The lack of favorable prevailing winds, however, soon forced the Germans to abandon the cloud attack. On 8 August 1916, they launched their last cylinder attack at Wieltje, near the scene of the first discharge at Ypres.8
To View: Narrow gauge tram gondola with gas cylinders.

Because the prevailing winds in Western Europe blew from west to east, the German Army began to place increasing reliance on gas-filled shells that detonated beyond Allied lines and whose contents could then drift back over enemy trenches. Gas shells could be fired. from standard artillery pieces with no extensive adaptation for gas employment. Although weather conditions still remained a factor, no longer did the Germans have to wait for the wind to change to a westerly direction. Now artillery could fire upward of the target, saturating it with gas and achieving the same effect as cylinders. Shells also offered an element of surprise not available with cloud attacks. Finally, gas shells proved more advantageous than high explosive rounds because the former did not have to score direct hits on a target to neutralize it. To avoid confusion and to aid artillerymen, the Germans developed a coded system of colored crosses to identify shells containing chemical agents.

The Germans were further encouraged to use gas shells by the results of an attack staged on the night of 22-23 June 1916. About 110,000 shells containing the lung irritant Green Cross fell on French forces near the fortress of Verdun. German batteries adjacent to this sector added thousands of rounds of a lachrymatory gas. The gas attack, according to French sources, had its greatest effect on French artillerymen and reserves in the rear areas, causing over 1,600 casualties. German staff officers, impressed with the results, talked of creating special gas batteries controlled by special gas staffs. In the interest of flexibility, however, the high command decided that all artillery units should fire gas shells. By the war’s end, gas shells comprised 50 percent of a German artillery battery’s basic.9

The British and,French also developed gas shells with unique color codes. The French Army used these shells almost as extensively as the Germans and fired the first phosgene-filled artillery shells on 22 February 1916 at Verdun. The French also experimented with an extremely small bursting charge in order to increase the gas payload. This French innovation allowed a stable, dense cloud to form. Although the French increased the chemical payload, they erred by adding comparatively harmless (smoke producers), such as stannic chloride, thus reducing the toxic capacity of their phosgene shells by 30 to 40 percent.10

The French committed another technical error in the gas war. The hydrocyanic acid (hydrogen cyanide) used in their Vincennite shell (named for the production location) was too volatile and filled only half of the shell’s capacity. Unless an extremely high concentration could be built up, there were no harmful effects. All the belligerents considered the Vincennite fill practically worthless. The French, for some reason, refused to accept this conclusion and manufactured over four million shells that, when fired, caused relatively few casualties.11
To View: British artillery firing and recieving gas shells, ca. 1916.

The British faced a constant artillery shell production shortage and supplemented their use of gas cylinders with the 4-inch Stokes mortar, introduced in July, 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, The weapon, designed specifically to fire gas and thermite shells, had a payload three times as large (six to nine pounds) as could be fired from the standard 3-inch mortar. A range of only 800 to 1,000 meters meant that effective delivery required emplacement in the front-line trenches. Members of the Special Brigade also experimented with a homemade contraption similar to a trench mortar.

To View: A 4-inch Stokes mortar used by British and American gas troops.

Early in 1917 Capt. William H. Livens, a British officer, developed a device made from ordinary steel containers. This makeshift mortar fired oil drums packed with oil-soaked cotton waste. Captain Livens also began to experiment with firing large gas-filled shells from his homemade trench mortar. This resulted in a new delivery system known as the Livens projector. In its final form the projector consisted of a drawn steel cylinder eight inches in diameter, one and one-fourth inch thick, that came in two sizes-two feet nine inches or four feet long. Rounded at one end, the cylinders had a base plate that looked like a Mexican sombrero. The projectors were buried in a trench cut at a forty-five degree angle for maximum range. Originally buried to the muzzle, this depth was later found to be unnecessary, and the projectors were thereafter emplaced only deep enough to steady them for firing. The shells used with the projectors carried a payload of thirty to forty pounds of chemical agent and had a range, depending on the length of the barrel, of either 1,200 or 1,900 meters. The British first used this delivery system for what they called gas shoots at Arras on 4 April 1917. The Germans reported that the density of the gas delivered by this method equaled that of a gas cloud. Captured German documents claimed that the Livens projector was a deadly weapon because it not only developed a dense concentration of gas similiar to the one created by cylinders, but like artillery, its impact came as a surprise. During the war the British fired ever 300 ga’s projector shoots. On 31 March 1918 the largest of these operations took place at Lens, with the firing of 3,728 of the devices.12

Increased casualties resulting from British gas projector attacks prompted the Germans to develop a similar weapon. Time constraints and the lack of industrial capacity for increased steel production forced them to retool their obsolete 18-cm heavy mortars. These tubes coul& fire a projectile containing three to four gallons of a chemical agent. In December, 1917, the Germans launched their first projector attack on the Western Front. In August, 1918, they introduced a rifled projector, 16-cm in diameter, that increased the range of the device to 3,500 meters. The shells contained thirteen pounds of chemical agent and five and one-half pounds of pumice. The pumice kept the chemical agent from. being flung into the air upon explosion. It also made the agent, usually phosgene, more persistent. In one instance, the gas reportedly lingered for one and one-half hours. Yet, impressive as were these results, the Germans, despite their efforts, continued to lag behind the British in the tactical use of this delivery system.13

Initially, the tactical employment of chemical weapons varied to some degree between the Allies and the Central Powers; however, these variations became less noticeable during the latter stages of the war. By November, 1918, the protagonists were using similiar delivery systems and chemical agents.
To View: Livens projector emplacement, 1918, used by British, French, and Americans.

From 1915 to 1918 the Germans held the initiative in most areas of gas warfare. They did this through the introduction of new agents that allowed them to direct more systematic thought to the question of how the employment of gas might alter a tactical situation. They were, for example, the first to use gas as an adjunct to maneuver in support of an infantry attack. The Allies struggled to keep up with such offensive doctrine, but they had to contend first with the development of effective defensive measures to counter German initiatives. Only after developing countermeasures could the Allies then plan their use of a new chemical agent or a new delivery system. This lag was evident in the case of the two most effective agents used in World War I, phosgene and mustard gas. The Germans introduced phosgene six months before the Allies were able to employ it and mustard a year ahead of their foe. The Allies had to adopt immediate defensive measures, such as effective mask filters and protective suits, before they could turn to the development of tactical doctrine. As far as the tactical employment of gas was concerned, wrote Lt. Col. Pascal Lucas, a French officer, it took us a long time to realize that the neutralization of personnel [by gas] could supplement the always incomplete destruction of defensive organizations by high explosives.14

British gas doctrine, when circumstances did permit its development, was driven in part by a shortage of artillery shells that prohibited the British Army from mounting an artillery gas attack until the summer of 1916. In the meantime, the British, as noted, convinced themselves that chemicals released from cylinders or projectors could most effectively be used to obtain the highest possible concentration of an agent in a specific area. The consequences of this doctrine were twofold: it prevented the British from employing gas to support mobile or open warfare, and it limited the. use of chemical agents primarily to the more restricted roles of attrition and harassment.

In the case of harassment, the British High Command, relying on intelligence reports, would indicate for one reason or another what German units it wished the Special Brigade to weaken or demoralize. German divisions recently transferred from the Eastern Front were prime targets because of their ignorance of defensive measures for gas warfare. The British sought out units that they expected to be transferred to the main battle fronts, i.e., Somme or Ypres, and tried to weaken them physically and psychologically before they deployed. On at least one occasion, a gas operation was postponed to await the arrival of a particular division. Once a German unit became a target for a gas attack, the Special Brigade made a point of following that unit around the front. The 1st Bavarian Regiment, for instance, was gassed fifteen times; the 1st Guards Regiment twelve times in six months; the 10th Bavarian Regiment ten times in five months, and the 9th Bavarian Regiment fourteen times from 28 June 1916 to 1 August 1917. The effects could be devastating to the morale of the gassed units and those units around them. A captured German diary recorded, We have again had many casualties through gas poisoning. I can’t think of anything worse; wherever one goes, one must take one’s gas mask with one, and it will soon be more necessary than a rifle. Things are dreadful here. 15

The British ultimately developed tactical doctrine for the use of gas shells. This doctrine set three methods for inflicting enemy gas casualties. The first and most favored method was by a surprise gas attack, in which British gunners attempted to establish the greatest concentration of gas in a target area by firing a lavish expenditure of ammunition at an extremely rapid rate. After one or two minutes of shelling, enemy soldiers who had not put on protective masks would be incapacitated by the dense gas; the remainder would be masked, rendering further bombardment uneconomical and unnecessary. The second method for using gas shells tried to exhaust the enemy by desultory fire over a period of many hours. In most instances, the British believed this attrition. method not worth the effort, because few casualties were produced. The third method was an attempt to penetrate the enemy’s gas masks with new agents such as chloropicrin, which when fired in a high concentration in a specific area, seeped into the masks and created intolerable eye irritation, coughing, vomiting, and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Enemy soldiers forced to remove their fouled masks were then subjected to a shelling with lethal phosgene.16

The Germans attempted to make the enemy trenches no less dreadful than their own. Having the technological advantage that gave them the ability to introduce new gases before the Allies, the Germans devoted much thought to the tactical employment of chemical weapons, and in this respect, they reached a high degree of sophistication. After abandoning cloud attacks, the Germans increased their use of gas shells. They discovered on the Eastern Front that tear gas was extremely effective in neutralizing Russian artillery. Even a few rounds would incapacitate a gun crew or, having forced it to mask, prevent it from delivering accurate fire. On the Western Front in 1916, the Germans fired some 2,000 tear gas shells at an extensive French trench system near Verdun. This massive surprise bombardment resulted in the capture of 2,400 Frenchmen who, after being temporarily blinded by the tear gas, were surrounded by German troops wearing goggles, but no masks.17

The Germans introduced other agents to the battlefield for specific tactical purposes. In May, 1916, they fired their Green Cross shell filled with diphosgene, a lung irritant. Later, as an indication of the increased sophistication of gas shells, they subdivided the Green Cross shell fill, first by a mix of 75 percent phosgene and 25 percent diphosgene, which was labled Green Cross 1. Then, in July, 1917, four different percentages of phosgene, diphosgene, and diphenylchlorosine called Green Cross 2, A, B, and C, respectively, were introduced. These were followed shortly by Blue Cross and Yellow Cross shells. The former shell was filled with an arsenic compound of finely separated dust. In field trials, this agent proved extremely effective in the penetration of all mask filters in existence. The need to encase the compound in a glass-lined shell, however, reduced its effectiveness, as the heat of the explosion failed to cause vaporization, and the force of the explosion caused only mechanical pulverization. The recipients, the French and British, considered Blue Cross a failure and not worth the effort. The introduction of Yellow Cross (mustard gas), however, again gave the Germans the initiative in chemical warfare, which they held to the end of the war. By increasing the explosive charge in the shell, the Germans further extended the area contaminated by this blister producing agent. This shell was marked by a double (Lorraine) cross.18

The Germans found gas persisted even longer when an agent and a small amount of high explosives were placed in one shell. The effect of the high explosive, when used in the proper amount, was to spread the agent over a wider area and keep it airborne longer. With this knowledge, the Germans changed their gas doctrine from attacking a, particular target to gassing large areas for extended periods of time. German staff officers began to plan operations that called for gas barriers and gas pockets.

German tactical doctrine for the use of artillery gas shells offered a variety of possibilities. For the offense, it called for surprise and the concentration of as much gas as possible through the sudden and rapid placement of shells on a target area. Cloud concentration tactics imitated surprise tactics, but with an increase in the number of shells and an expansion of the size of a target area. Another offensive tactic was the use of gas shells that contained a high explosive charge and shrapnel. These shells, used exclusively by the Germans, had an effect so devastating that the efficacy of a high explosive shrapnel [gas] shell bombardment was always increased. Once introduced, the Germans always added a percentage of these shells to any high explosive or shrapnel bombardment. The high explosive-gas shell was used extensively in German rolling barrages to support advancing infantry during the spring offenses of 1918. These shells were also used to neutralize known enemy artillery batteries and machine gun nests, thus allowing German infantry to bypass Allied strong points.19

The key figure in the expansion of German gas shell tactical doctrine was Lt. Col. Georg Bruchniffiler, known as Durchbruck (Breakthrough) and considered an artillery genius because of his success on the battlefield. While on the Eastern Front, Bruchmiiller, a great believer in the efficiency of gas shells, developed a highly sophisticated system of gas artillery fire. His tactical ideas were incorporated in the December, 1917, edition of the German manual for employment of gas shells.20 Bruchmiiller’s system created Gas Squares, which were areas known to hold enemy batteries or concentrations of enemy troops. These locations would be saturated by surprise gas shell fire, and the lethal concentration would be renewed by subsequent periodic fire. Bruchmiiler’s artillery tactics achieved surprise through a predicted-fire method that eliminated the usual ranging of the target by one gun of a battery. Bruchmiiller formulated advanced firing data and tables based on meteorological variables such as wind, air temperature, and barometric pressure.21

*Infantry troops seeking shelter from. the high explosive bombardment were often forced into locations such as shell holes, where the gas settled. Furthermore, the concussion often stripped a mask off a soldier’s face, exposing him to gas poisoning. More important, this tactic made Allied soldiers mask everytime they were subjected to artillery fire.
To View: British soldiers blinded by mustard gas at an advance aid station near Béthune during the German Lys spring offensives, 9 – 29 April 1918.

When Blue Cross and Yellow Cross shells became available, Bruchmiiller devised Buntkreuz (colored cross) tactics. One of the most successful uses of this new doctrine came on the Eastern Front, in the German crossing of the Dvina River before Riga (Map 3). On 1 September 1917 a two-hour preliminary bombardment of the Russian batteries created varicolored zones, as combinations of Blue Cross and Green Cross were used both during bombardment and then during three hours of firing for effect. For the preliminary gas fire, each German battery had a set of firing sequences every twelve minutes to counter Russian batteries, which first maintained a desultory fire and then fell silent. According to German estimates, more than 116,400 gas shells were fired, which caused at least a thousand Russian casualties, mainly because of the ineffectual respirators issued to Russian troops. The figure might have been higher had not the Russians fled. German infantry reached the opposite bank to find that the Russian artillery crews had abandoned their guns in great haste, resembling flight. The Russian infantry, which lacked effective personal protection against chemical agents, had followed suit.22

*Zones containing either Blue, Green, or Yellow Cross gas shells or combinations of all three.
TO VIEW: Varicolored zones of German gas fired in support of a crossing of the Dvina River before Riga, Eastern Front, 1 September 1917

Persistent agent fire was used tactically by the Germans on both the offense and the defense. Surprise, though desirable, was not necessary for persistent agents. Yellow Cross allowed an area to be cleared of, or rendered inaccessible to, the enemy. Fire continued for several hours, and the contamination could be renewed each day thereafter, if so desired. The areas gassed were called Yellow Zones of Defense. In April, 1918, the Germans shelled the city of Armentieres with mustard gas (Map 4). The bombardment was so heavy that witnesses claimed liquid mustard gas ran in the streets. Naturally, the British evacuated the locale; the contamination, however, prevented the Germans from entering the city for two weeks. In the spring offensives of 1918 (Map 5), the Germans created mustard gas zones to protect the flanks of advancing infantry, to neutralize enemy strong points, to deny the enemy key terrain, to block supply routes, and to render enemy artillery batteries ineffective. Even in open warfare, a German officer wrote, the troops soon were asking for gas supporting fire. 23
To View: Various types of gas masks used in World War I.

Mustard gas caused considerable consternation among the Allies. We were outdistanced … a French officer noted, the German lead on us in this respect … was a source of real inquietude, for the units that were exposed suffered considerably and the struggle against Yperite seemed most deceptive of solution. The Allies eventually responded in kind, but not until June, 1918, a full year after the Germans introduced the ultimate agent of World War I, did the French use Yperite, and it took the British until 26 September 1918 to retaliate with mustard. So desperate were the French to obtain the agent that British officers reported teams of French soldiers draining unexploded German Yellow Cross shells in order to reuse the gas.24
TO VIEW: 4. German gas shell bombardment of Armentières on 9 April 1918

TO VIEW: 5. The German spring offensives of 1918 were heavily supported by a variety of gases

Personal protection was always a problem, one neither side ever really solved in World War I. The German High Command, prior to the first attack at Ypres, made no effort to develop an efficient gas mask. Attacking German soldiers had small protective bags of mull or hemp that were soaked in a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) solution and then tied over the mouth and nose. Not until the closing months of 1915 did the German army begin to issue a self-contained respirator. The mask had a treated leather facepiece (because of the shortage of rubber, only officer facepieces were constructed of this material, which was more efficient than leather and easier to maintain) and eyepieces of an outer glass lens and a celluloid inner lens. The first German mask had a significant drawback: the filter had to be screwed on to the facepiece each time the mask was used, which meant that more time was required to mask during a gas attack. Later, this problem was remedied by a single construction model with a replaceable filter element.25
To View: German artillerymen wearing the single-piece gas mask, early 1917.

The French, British, and Russians did not coordinate their research and development of gas defenses. Although they passed information and some equipment to each other, they worked independently for the most part on their own protective masks.* In England, shortly after the first gas attack in April, 1915, housewives were asked by the high command to produce what became popularly known as the Black Veil Respirator-black veiling held a pad of cotton waste soaked in a chemical solution over the nose and mouth. These makeshift masks reached the British trenches in early May. When, in the latter part of 1915, the Germans began to use tear gas, the British countered with a flour sack type mask made of flannel, called the Hypo or H-Helmet after the chemical in which it was soaked, calcium hypochlorite. This mask offered protection to the eyes as well as to the respiratory system. One British officer described it as a smoke helmet, a greasy grey-felt bag with a tale window certainly ineffective against gas. This H-Helmet contained two celluloid eyepieces, but no apparatus to expel the carbon dioxide that built up in the mask.26

*This go-it-alone attitude, created perhaps by national pride, prevailed for most of the war in many areas besides chemical warfare. In fact, it was not until the German spring 1918 offensives that a Supreme Command came into existence to direct and coordinate the operations of the Allied armies.
To View: British machine gun crew with PH-Helmets (note exhaust valve) firing during a German gas attack, Oise Sector, Marne, France, 1916.

In the fall of 1915 British intelligence learned of Germany’s intention to use a new gas, phosgene, a delayed-action choking agent, The Russians had also learned that the Germans intended to employ phosgene and advised the British that a solution of phenate-hexamine was effective in blocking the agent. As a result, the British soaked their H-Helmet in the Russian solution and added an outlet valve to reduce the carbon dioxide buildup inside the mask. The British Army called the new device the PH-Helmet. The troops called it a. goggle-eyed booger with a tit. 27
To View: French soldiers with M-2 masks advance through a gas cloud.

Although the PH-Helmet successfully blocked phosgene, it had serious drawbacks: it was hot, stuffy, and emitted an unpleasant odor; it also offered little protection against dense concentrations of lachrymatory agents. To counteract both phosgene and the lachrymating agents, the British in early 1916 took an entirely different approach to protective masks by developing a two-piece device called the Large Box or Tar Box Respirator. A canister worn on the back contained neutralizing chemicals and attached by a rubber hose to a facepiece covering the chin, mouth, and nose. The wearer endured an uncomfortable noseclip and a mouthpiece similar to an athlete’s rubber tooth protector. Goggles protected the eyes. The advantage of the mask rested in the use of a large filter. However, this also caused difficulties because the canister was too large and clumsy to be carried for extended distances over prolonged periods. This kind of mask reached its final stage of development with the introduction of the Small Box Respirator (SBR), which employed a smaller filter worn on the chest and a single construction facepiece. The details of the SBR became very familiar to men of the American Expeditionary Forces.28

The French wrote a different chapter to the development of the gas mask. After using the same primitive masks as the British, they set out to develop a mask that was both effective and comfortable to wear – two criteria that were, and still are, essential for the successful design of protective devices. The first significant French protective device, the M-2 mask, was similar in design to the British H-Helmet, except it did not cover the entire head, but took the form of a snout similar to a feedbag for a horse. Its filtration ability was limited, so French doctrine called for troops to be rotated after several hours of exposure to any gas.29 In 1917 the French introduced the ARS (Appareil Respiratoire Speécial) mask. In appearance it resembled German protective equipment. The rubber facepiece had a waxed or oiled linen lining. Inhaled air passed in front of the eyepieces to prevent clouding. A canister attached to the facepiece could not be removed.

In September, 1917, these French masks were followed by another, the Tissot, which became one of the most effective masks of the war. As one postwar American observer noted, the French deserve great credit for the introduction of this defensive piece of equipment. In design, the Tissot was similar to the British Small Box Respirator except that the former’s filter canister was carried on the soldier’s back, not chest. This meant that infantrymen could carry only the Tissot and no other equipment. It covered the entire face, but without the uncomfortable nose clip and mouthpiece. The design allowed air to enter the mouth across the eyepieces, thus removing the normal phenomenon of condensation. The circulation of fresh air also diluted any lachrymatory gases that might enter the mask. Finally, the entire facepiece was of thin rubber. The French thought the filter location, the same as for the Large Tar Box Respirator, clumsy and difficult to adjust and, therefore, judged it unsuitable for infantry. Troops, such as artillery gun crews and stretcher bearers, who were not loaded with personal equipment and who had to continue to fight or function during a gas attack, did receive the mask. These soldiers found, in addition to comfort, that one could breathe easier and that the filtration system was superior to the ARS and M-2 mask.30

Unlike the British and French, the Russians devoted few resources to the development of chemical protective equipment. Consequently, they suffered the greatest number of chemically inflicted casualties in World War I. On 2 May 1915, not quite a month after the second Battle of Ypres during which French Colonial and Territorial troops collapsed under the first German gas attack, the Russians were subjected to a similar experience. German pioneer troops directed by Fritz Haber released 263 tons of chlorine gas from 12,000 cylinders against Russian troops at Bolimov. The first cylinder attack on the Eastern Front killed 6,000 Russian soldiers. Two more gas cloud attacks were made on the same position, and upward of 25,000 Russian casualties resulted. According to German sources, in June, 1915, at Bzura, two Russian regiments, the 55th and 56th Siberian, suffered approximately 9,000 gas casualties, or about 90 percent of their total strength. On 7 September 1916 a German cloud attack killed 600 Russian officers and men. The following month Transbaikal Cossacks suffered 4,000 casualties. A gas attack in 1917 cost the Russians 12 officers, 1,089 men killed, and 53 officers, 7,738 men incapacitated. Despite these casualties, the Tzarist Army developed only one mask in addition to the basic chemical-soaked gauze respirator. The fabric facepiece of this mask covered the head and attached directly to a canister containing a charcoal filter. It looked similar to the bill on a duck. Although the mask had no noseclip or mouthpiece, soldiers still found it extremely uncomfortable because the weight of the filter placed a great strain on the muscles of the neck. To make matters worse, the filter of this mask was of questionable effectiveness. By 1917 different types of British and French masks were being sent to Russia and used, to some limited extent, by Russian troops.31

By the summer of 1917, when U.S. troops began to arrive at French ports, chemical warfare had become commonplace and, in practice, had reached a high degree of sophistication compared to the first significant gas attack at Ypres a little over two years earlier. By July the most effective chemical agent of the war, mustard or Yellow Cross, had made its appearance. Gas shells now might contain two or even three different agents. All of the delivery systems for chemical war were in operation and efforts were being made by the combatants to improve on these weapons. The British had, for example, devised electronically detonated cylinders on tram cars for beam attacks. Also, the British had finally begun to overcome their shell production problems and had used gas shells in large quantities at the Battle of Arras in April, 1917.

Tactical doctrine for chemical warfare had reached a high level of sophistication, especially in artillery employment. In this area, the Germans, thanks to Lt. Col. Georg Bruchmüller, led the way. German artillery firing instructions became increasingly complex in regard to the selection of the gas or combination of gases to be used in a variety of tactical situations.

Given the advantage of viewing the development of chemical warfare from afar, the United States Army, upon entering the war, should have been in a position to operate in a chemical environment without repeating the costly experiences of the French, British, and Germans. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case.

The U.S. Army’s Response
to Chemical Warfare,

Chapter 3

Most of the information Americans received concerning the war and chemical warfare in Europe came from the news media. Because the Royal Navy had cut the German trans-Atlantic cable early in the war, almost all news from the Continent flowed through British and French censors.

According to one author of a study on chemical warfare, Frederick Brown, Allied control of chemical warfare information to the United States can be divided into four distinct phases. During the first phase the Germans were portrayed as violators of the Hague Convention. Reports indicated that the German Army had introduced a barbaric and inhumane weapon. This line, of course, was geared to gaining,support and perhaps intervention by the United States on the side of the Allies in the European war. When the French and British decided to retaliate with gas, the message changed, with Allied releases indicating that the German’s first use of gas justified retaliation and the reluctant employment of similiar weapons by the Allies. A note of righteous indignation pervaded these reports, although the reports were toned down considerably when discussing the effects of gas. In the third stage, which occurred during the spring and summer of 1917, there was a total news blackout on information concerning the gas war. Assistant Secretary of War Benedict Crowell speculated on the cause. He acknowledged an increased use of chemical agents on both sides and believed the Allies feared and perhaps with reason that a picture of gas warfare, if presented to the Americans, would result in a unreasonable dread of gases on the part of the American nation and its soldiers. The fourth and final phase, which came after U.S. entry into the war, was ushered in with a burst of information with virtually no censorship. The use of chemicals in this phase was depicted as a triumph of Allied technology, an example of good overcoming evil.1

Restricted Allied propaganda during the first three phases mentioned above impeded U.S. preparedness in chemical warfare in two ways. First, it gave U.S. officers the impression that the belligerents were making minimal use of gas and that chemical weapons, when employed, had little or no impact on the battlefield. Second, it created the perception among Army officers that chemical warfare, introduced by the barbaric Hun, was inhuman and somehow sullied the honor of the professional soldier.2

There were other reasons for the military’s lack of appreciation of this new weapon. President Wilson’s efforts to maintain strict neutrality during the first two years of the war hampered the Army’s planning for defense. When, at one point, Wilson discovered that the General Staffs War College Division had prepared contingency plans for a war with Germany, he reprimanded Secretary of War Lindley Garrison. When the Army did tackle the problem of preparedness, chemical warfare, because it was an unfamiliar subject to most planners, received little attention. Other matters seemed more pressing. There were, for example, significant shortages of all kinds of war materiel. In 1915, the U.S. Army had only twenty-one aircraft, as compared to Britain’s 250 and France’s 500. The United States had fewer than 700 3inch guns, while the French alone had 4,800 of a similar caliber prior to the outbreak of war. Based on Western Front usage, the U.S. Army had only a two-day supply of artillery shells. Similarly, four days of trench warfare would exhaust the U.S. inventory of small arms ammunition. In the assignment of priorities to overcome these and other deficiencies, chemical warfare came nowhere near the top of the list.3

During the summer of 1915, the U.S. Army War College published studies on the impact of the war on each belligerent’s industrial base. In this report, the implications of chemical weapons and gas warfare received no notice. In November, 1915, two months after the British retaliated with gas at the Battle of Loos, the War College published a supplement to the earlier studies. This report included a survey of developments in weapons, equipment, and force structuring, but interestingly, still did not mention gas warfare.

Even the preparedness movement and the passage of the 1916 National Defense Act did nothing to spur an American assessment of the chemical war being waged in Europe. In fact, during Congressional hearings over preparedness for national defense, poison gas was mentioned only once when Col. Charles G. Treat of the U.S. Army’s General Staff testified on the subject of changing artillery doctrine in Europe. Following a discussion of shrapnel shells, one Senator asked Treat, Are they still using the poisonous gas over there, Colonel? Treat replied, The papers say so, but we have not had any actual reports from our observers that they are using them. In November, 1916, the same month that Treat testified, the War Department’s Board of Ordnance and Fortifications noted that certain practices with poison gas in the European war made necessary the procurement of appropriate defensive equipment, such as gas masks for the Army. The board observed that no branch of the U.S. Army then handled anything remotely connected with chemical warfare.4

The board, in its final report, recommended that responsibility for the design, but not the supply, of gas masks be given to the Army’s Medical Department. In reviewing the records of the board, the Adjutant General sent extracts of the comments that pertained to gas defense equipment to the Surgeon General, who concurred with the board’s findings. The Chief of Staff also concurred, after which the Secretary of War gave the Surgeon General responsibility for the development and design of gas masks. No decision was made as to which branch of the Army would supply troops with protective gas equipment.5

The Surgeon General had detailed a number of medical officers to serve as observers with the French and British armies. Reports on the medical aspects of the European conflict, including the diagnosis and treatment of gas victims, were received by the Surgeon General from 1916 on. Unfortunately, for unexplained reasons, the Surgeon General took no action to initiate the development of protective gas devices. The Adjutant General, for his part, shelved the entire matter. Thus, on the eve of American intervention, the Army acted as if it had barely heard of chemical warfare.6

The Secretary of War’s Annual Report for 1917 reflected this neglect. The report pompously declared that the councils of prudence and forethought should prepare the Army to surprise the enemy rather than lag defensively behind the surprises which he prepares for us. The Secretary went on to acknowledge the tremendous impact of science on the war in Europe and referred specifically to the introduction of the airplane and the submarine. As for chemicals, he merely noted that there were other scientific novelties that had surfaced in the European conflict.7

In February, 1917, the question the scientific novelty called poison gas was finally raised by an anxious Quartermaster General who pointedly asked the Adjutant General exactly which bureau of the War Department would furnish the Army with gas masks if the need arose. The question prompted the Adjutant General to initiate correspondence with the’Chief of Ordnance, the Quartermaster General, and the Surgeon General to decide on the responsibility for gas mask production. At the time of the correspondence, the Surgeon General had yet to begin a program of gas mask development.8

That same month the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Mines took the first positive steps toward preparing the Army for chemical warfare. The director, Van H. Manning, displayed a great deal more vision and foresight than did his military colleagues in Washington. At a bureau meeting, Manning asked his department chiefs what they could do to be useful if the nation should become involved in the European war. Since its founding in 1908, the bureau had investigated poison gases found in mines, conducted research on breathing devices, and examined ways to treat miners who had succumbed to noxious fumes. Obviously, this work had a direct application to chemical warfare. The day following the meeting, the Secretary of the Interior authorized Manning to contact another civilian organization,. the Military Committee of the National Research Council. In a letter to C. D. Walcott, the chairman of the committee, Manning pointed out that the bureau could adapt for military application a self-contained breathing apparatus then in use for mine rescues. Also, the bureau had a test chamber at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, experimental station that could be used to conduct tests on military gas masks then in use by the Europeans. The bureau hoped that the information obtained from this research could be given to the Army, allowing it to adopt the best gas mask, should the need arise.9

Upon receipt of this letter, Walcott arranged a meeting between representatives of the General Staffs War College Division and the Bureau of Mines. The meeting proved productive: at the end of February, 1917, the War Department accepted the bureau’s offer of assistance and agreed to furnish the support, exclusive of funding, necessary to move the work along. Still, no immediate action. was taken by either the Army or the Bureau of Mines to begin a defensive gas equipment research program.

On 6 April 1917, when the U.S. declared war on Germany, the Army not only lacked defensive equipment for chemical warfare, but also had no concrete plans to develop or manufacture gas masks or any other defensive equipment. Even if gas masks had been available, the Army would have had no idea how to conduct defensive gas training. Moreover, no one in the nation seemed to have any practical knowledge concerning offensive chemical warfare equipment or the doctrine then used by the Allies and the Germans for its employment.
Even after the declaration of war by Congress and the decision to ship an American division overseas, preparations for chemical warfare lacked a sense of urgency. The same day war was declared, the Council of National Defense formed a Committee on Noxious Gases. The group met in Washington and immediately adjourned to study British and French gas warfare literature. At later meetings the committee established definite guidelines for Bureau of Mines research to follow in the development of masks. Only then did the chemists at the bureau’s Pittsburgh experimental station begin in earnest to develop an American gas mask. The committee also recommended that gas mask production be kept separate and distinct from research.10

In May, 1917, the General Staff awoke to the fact that the division requested by the French and British as a token force might well be in combat in a matter of months without any defensive gas equipment L. P. Williamson, liaison officer between the Bureau of Mines and the War Department, received a directive from the General Staff telling him to seek the bureau’s assistance in the manufacture of 25,000 gas masks. George A. Burrell,* a civilian chemist in the bureau’s Research Laboratory, readily and willingly accepted the task, but not, as he later noted, fully appreciating all the conditions which a war mask had to encounter. Burrell should not have been so hard on himself. No one in the United States really understood or even knew much about the employment of chemical defensive equipment on the battlefield.11

*Burrell was made a colonel in the Corps of Engineers and later served in the Chemical Warfare Service Research Division.

Working day and night, employees of four different civilian companies fabricated 20,088 masks and filters, using a British Small Box Respirator (SBR) as a model. The masks were shipped overseas to be examined and tested by British experts. They were quickly rejected. The British cabled back that the masks were unacceptable for combat because the mouthpiece was too large and stiff. They also found the rubberized cloth facepiece did not filter out the agent chloropicrin, which was then being used by the Germans in increasing quantities. The filter, which was worn on the chest in a container, had soda-lime granules that were too soft. With repeated jolting, the granules would clog the canister and increase resistance to breathing.

While this was going on, the acting Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Tasker Bliss, after a lengthy round of memoranda initiated by the Adjutant General, informed the Surgeon General on 16 May 1917 that, in addition to research and development, the Medical Department would be responsible for supplying the U.S. Army with gas masks and other defensive equipment. During the next fiscal year the Medical Department would be responsible for supplying 1,000,000 gas masks, 8,500 decontamination sprayers for use in trench warfare, and 1,000 oxygen resuscitators for the treatment of chemical casualties. Unfortunately, neither the Chief of Staff nor the Surgeon General created an office to procure the equipment. The Surgeon General did, however, assign an officer to the National Research Council’s Committee on Noxious Gases.12

The Committee on Noxious Gases soon met with representatives from the Army and Navy and with members of a French scientific mission. After several sessions, the committee sent a memorandum to the Secretary of War on 2 July 1917, informing him that it had worked out a partial organization plan for a gas service. Unfortunately, the use of the term gas service was misleading, because what the committee recommended turned out to be a cumbersome decentralized system for preparing the Army for chemical warfare. The offensive aspects of gas warfare, the committee explained, should be handled by the Ordnance Department, the defensive measures by the Medical Department. The Bureau of Mines would continue to direct research, and the Corps of Engineers would receive responsibility for handling all chemical warfare material on the battlefield. The General Staff immediately put this decentralized system into effect.13

On 24 July 1917 the Chief of Staff ordered the Medical Department to provide nine officers as instructors for a Gas Defense School to be organized at the Infantry School of Musketry, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. As a result of this order, the Medical Department received the additional responsibility for the conduct of defensive gas training. Medical officers with absolutely no experience in gas warfare were now expected to train other medical officers for duty as instructors for an Army that would eventually be expanded to over three million men.14

After an interminable delay, the Surgeon General on 31 August 1917 finally created a Gas Defense Service composed of three sections: Field Supply, Overseas Repair, and Training. He placed a Medical Corps officer in command and filled his staff with members of the Medical Department’s Sanitary Corps.* The officers had no chemical warfare doctrine to guide them. Only two War Department publications existed in the United States to assist these gas officers: a hurriedly compiled Notes on Gas as a Weapon in Modern War and a Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare. Both publications appear to have borrowed extensively from French and British gas warfare doctrine, some of it outdated.15

*The Sanitary Corps is equivalent to today’s Medical Service Corps.
The creation of a Training Section, even with its limited expertise, came none too soon. In September, 1917, draftees, volunteers, and National Guardsmen began to arrive at the thirty-six training cantonments scattered across the country. Sanitary Corps and division medical officers, with only several thousand masks at their disposal (including the 20,088 rejected by the British), faced the overwhelming task of training hundreds of thousands of troops in gas warfare and gas defense. Shortages of equipment, manuals, and knowledge were not the only problems facing the new gas officers. Gas was such a new weapon that division commanders and their staff officers were unwilling to give up training time for chemical defense at the expense of more traditional military skills such as close order drill and marksmanship. It was a wonder that any defensive training in gas warfare took place. Many times it did not. Initially, there were at best one or two hours of gas defense lectures, sometimes accompanied by a demonstration of how to wear the gas mask.16

The lack of knowledge and experience with gas bred ignorance and superstition among recruits and veterans alike. Rumors swept through the camps that Germany had a gas that would make [soldiers’] eyes drop out of their sockets or their fingers and toes drop off. To the unsophisticated youths who filled the training camps, gas was mysterious enough, but add to it the word chemical, and it became hopelessly beyond … their conception. Gas was such an intangible thing, a division commander noted, that a level of understanding adequate to guard against the dangers it posed was difficult to reach. Reaching such a level continued to be a hopeless task because no coherent U.S. gas warfare doctrine existed. As a consequence, a majority of World War I doughboys found themselves in a chemical combat environment with only a minimal amount of defensive gas training and with no idea of what this training really meant. 17

Confronted with this unfortunate situation, the War College of the General Staff examined the evolving gas defense program in the fall of 1917. Defensive training in gas warfare – regardless of how rudimentary – had to be given to men going to Europe. Ypres had proved what chemical warfare could do to unprepared soldiers. Severe casualties and battlefield defeat might well occur if immediate steps were not taken to train men in the defensive aspects of chemical warfare. As a result, the War College requested and received a British gas officer and a gas NCO for each of the thirty-six training cantonments.

*The British Special Brigade of the Royal Engineers was an offensive gas unit. (See Chapter 2.)

In late October, 1917, the British gas experts arrived in the United States. Their activities were coordinated and directed by Maj. S.J.M. Auld, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers.* Auld quickly made his presence felt. Impressed by the British gas officer’s knowledge and practical experience, the War College and the Field Training Section asked him to prepare a working textbook on gas in order to fill the U.S. Army’s doctrinal void in chemical warfare. Working with Sanitary Corps Capt. James H. Walton, Auld wrote four pamphlets that were later combined as Adjutant General Document 705, Gas Warfare. They were initially published individually in the following order:

Part Three: Methods of Training in Defensive Methods
Part Two: Methods of Defense Against Attack
Part One: German Methods of Offense
Part Four: The Offensive in Gas Warfare -Cloud and Projector

*Later, in October, 1918, the Army Gas School was moved to Camp Kendrick, adjacent to Lakehurst, New Jersey, the proving ground for the new Chemical Warfare Service established on 11 May 1918.

Thus, British gas warfare doctrine edited by the War College Division of the General Staff became U.S. Army doctrine.18

Auld strongly influenced the organization of the U.S. Army for chemical warfare in one other way. When he and other British officers discovered that the General Staff had placed defensive training under the Medical Department, they were appalled. The British officers insisted that gas defense was purely a military affair ; in their opinion, proper defensive measures were largely a question of discipline. Based on the experience of the British Army, such procedures were so closely connected with the soldier’s fighting activities that preparation for chemical warfare could not be carried out by a noncombat branch of the’Army. The British were so emphatic that, in January, 1918, by order of the General Staff, the Field Training Section of the Sanitary Corps passed to the Corps of Engineers.19

Major Auld also suggested the establishment of a Central Army Gas School to train Divisional, Brigade and Regimental Gas officers and other personnel whom it might be desirable to educate in Gas Warfare. This idea was already under consideration by the General Staff. The result was the establishment of an Army Gas School at Camp A. A. Humphreys, Virginia,* where in May, 1918, two initial courses began. The first, a four-day course for officers and noncommissioned officers, provided general information on gas warfare. The second, a twelve-day course, was for Chief Gas Officers who would be assigned to division and higher echelon staffs. Although there were similarities between the two courses, the Chief Gas Officers’ instruction went into greater detail on most matters. The shortage of trained gas officers in the AEF prevented students from being held for longer periods of field training on subjects such as gas detection, construction of gas-proof dugouts, and the proper wearing of respirators.20

**In January, 1918, the General Staff placed the Sanitary Corps’ Field Training Section under the Corps of Engineers.
To View: Recruits undergoing a simulated gas attack at a National Army Camp, 1918.

Auld assisted in training the first U.S. gas officers, forty-five first lieutenants, all chemists, who were assigned to the Field Training Section of the Sanitary Corps.** The instruction took place at the American University in Washington, DC. In January, 1918, after three months of training in gas warfare and general military subjects, thirty-three of the forty-five officers, together with their British instructors, departed for duty at division training camps. The other twelve went directly to France. Unfortunately, by January, 1918, six of the thirty U.S. divisions destined to see combat in France had either left the States or had completed training. The men in these units had received no chemical warfare training before embarking for Europe. As for the divisions that did receive some training before shipping overseas, their division gas officers were afterwards assigned to the 473d Engineer Regiment, a stateside administrative holding unit. Thus, the first trained gas officers did not deploy with the men they had trained. Although necessary for the training of subsequent divisions, this decision had, in the words of one gas officer, a discouraging effect upon the men and upon gas training and discipline in general in the unit deployed overseas. The confidence of the embarking troops was hardly bolstered when the experts on chemical warfare stayed home.

As the war progressed, the training in the division camps improved. In January, 1918, the 29th Division’s gas training at Camp McClellan consisted of a brief lecture and gas mask drill for one hour daily, five days a week, under the close supervision of British instructors. This compared favorably to the weekly one-hour anti-gas instruction in October, 1917. As training became more sophisticated, men underwent tests at the end of their division’s training cycle. They masked and entered a chamber filled with chlorine gas. Next, they went through a chamber filled with a tear agent, where they unmasked. Although by the summer of 1918, recruits received standardized chemical warfare training, reports filed by division gas officers in Europe indicated the key to successful preparation had yet to be found. Still more training was needed, and it had to be integrated with other subjects.21

In the summer of 1918, with news reaching America of Germany’s increased use of gas, an Army regulation was promulgated, requiring every doughboy who left the country to have a certificate indicating he had completed gas training. No other military skill required such validation. Unfortunately, the requirement was usually ignored, and most men continued to arrive in France without the benefit of adequate instruction in gas defense. Gas officers realized that sufficient time for training in the camps did not exist. To make up for the deficiency, units attempted to use the time aboard transports for defensive gas training. The 80th Division, for example, ordered that shipboard activities would include physical training, manual of arms, guard duty, and anti-gas instruction. 22

Although the U.S. Army’s first efforts in chemical warfare were directed toward anti-gas or defensive measures, the development of the means to retaliate in kind soon followed. On 15 August 1917,, with the approval of the General Staff in Washington, AEF General Order 108 authorized the organization of special and technical engineer troops that would be assigned to each army as a Gas and Flame Regiment.* The War Department ordered recruits for the newly formed 30th Engineers to report to the American University campus in Washington, DC, where they were transformed into the 1st Gas Regiment. Unfortunately, with no one to instruct them in offensive or even defensive gas warfare, the only training the first companies of the gas regiment received in the United States involved close order drill. The unit underwent no special training in gas warfare. Beginning in December, 1917, the companies of the 1st Gas Regiment left the United States without gas masks.23

* Flame disappeared from the name and from use when GHQ, AEF, decided that the primitive flamethrowers used by the British and the French were more dangerous to the operator than to the enemy.
To View: Recruits at Camp Kearney, California, using British Ayrton or trench fans to clear gas, 1918.

The gas mask problem continued to plague the Army as a whole. An effective American mask was eventually developed using the British Small Box Respirator as a model. However, production of American gas masks peaked just one month prior to the end of the war. Late delivery and the initial small number of masks produced were offset only by the AEF’s decision to purchase several million British and French gas masks.24

The same unpreparedness and production lag applied to offensive chemical weapons. The Army attempted to contract out the production of war gases to a number of civilian chemical companies, but these firms objected immediately to the contracts because of the inherent dangers in the production of large quantities of war gases and because the demand for the product would not extend beyond the conflict. Besides that, the firms had already overcommitted their plants and personnel for the production of other war-related chemical products.25

The Army thus found itself with no alternative but to construct its own production facilities. In December, 1917, construction of plants to produce chemical agents began at Gunpowder Neck, Maryland. By the summer of 1918, the Edgewood Arsenal there had plants in operation producing phosgene, chloropicrin, mustard, chlorine, and sulfur trichloride. The arsenal also had a capability for filling artillery shells, although most of the agents produced were shipped overseas to the Allies in fifty-five gallon drums. Because of insufficient time, not one single gas shell manufactured at the arsenal ever reached an American artillery piece in France. When production of chemicals finally peaked one month prior to the Armistice, the plants had to stop production for lack of shell casings. artillery units and special gas troops fired American produced war gas, but in French and British shells.26

As the emphasis on chemical warfare increased, there arose a need to coordinate the various agencies assigned responsibility for gas warfare. Accordingly, on 28 June 1918 President Wilson, using the authority given to him by the Overman Act,* ordered the establishment of the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) as a separate branch of the National Army. Immediately, all activities pertaining to chemical warfare were placed under Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert, formerly Commanding General of the First Infantry Division. The creation of a branch of the Army dedicated to chemical warfare was significant because it acknowledged, albeit belatedly, the tremendous impact the new weapon was having on the AEF The CWS, with the concurrence of the General Staff, established ten subordinate divisions:
Administration Proving
Research Medical
Gas Offense Training
Gas Offense
(Edgewood Arsenal) Overseas
(Gas Service, AEF)
Development 1st Gas Regiment

*The Overman Act of 20 May 1917 gave the president the authority to re organize executive agencies during the war emergency.

With the exception of the Overseas Division and the 1st Gas Regiment, the division chiefs were located in Washington, DC, and the operations of their divisions were scattered throughout the United States. The Administration Division facilitated routine matters and coordinated the activities of the other CWS divisions. A Research Division, as the name implied, handled all basic research, from the discovery of new chemicals to the development of protective masks and offensive equipment. Another division, Gas Defense, conducted research, but primarily administered the manufacturing, testing, and inspecting of gas masks for men and animals. This division also had the responsibility for manufacturing gas-proof dugout blankets, protective suits and gloves, antigas ointment, and gas warning signals. The Gas Defense Division administered Edgewood Arsenal. A Development Division experimented with charcoal suitable for gas mask filters, a manufacturing process for mustard, and a means of producing casings and adapters for 75-min shells of similar design to the French glass-lined gas projectiles. A Proving Division tested prototype gas shells before production and spottested shells prior to shipment overseas. The Medical Division coordinated work on the therapy, pharmacology, physiology, and pathology of war gases on the body. This division’s primary emphasis was on the prevention and treatment of casualties from mustard gas.28

The agency that had its most direct impact on the AEF was the Chemical Warfare Service’s Training Division. The division’s responsibilities included the organization and training of gas troops, the training of casual detachments for overseas duty, the maintenance of a Chemical Warfare Training Camp detachment, and the procurement and training of chemical officers for overseas duty. In recognition of the division’s importance, the Assistant Director of the Chemical Warfare Service, Brig. Gen. H. C. Newcomer, assumed operational command. This was the only division, other than Administration, headed by a general officer.

The structure of the CWS in the United States was determined by the personnel and equipment requirements of the AEF. Stateside training and preparations for chemical warfare had to be curtailed in order to rush American troops to France. Initially, expertise in chemical warfare was lacking. As a consequence, combat divisions deployed without proper training, equipment, and leadership. Until late 1917, there was no chemical warfare doctrine to rely upon. Nevertheless, American troops had to fight on a chemical battlefield against an opponent highly skilled in the use of chemicals in combat. Out of necessity it fell to the Overseas Division, CWS, to bear the brunt of the responsibility for preparing American soldiers for chemical warfare.

The majority of the thirty AEF divisions to see combat in World War I entered the line during and after the five German spring offensives of 1918. These offensives saw chemical warfare at the highest level since its introduction three years before. Regardless of the emphasis eventually placed on gas warfare by GHQ, AEF, and the Army General Staff, new doctrine’for gas weapons could not be fully absorbed or mastered by the inexperienced Americans. Prewar neglect of gas warfare equipment and accompanying doctrine had a significant impact on the ability of the AEF to defend against, and to successfully employ, chemical agents in World War I.

The AEF Organizes for
Chemical Warfare

Chapter 4

On 13 June 1917, while the General Staff in the United States struggled to organize, man, and equip an army, General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), arrived in France with a staff of fifty-three officers and 146 enlisted men. After a continuous round of official visits and ceremonies, Pershing and his staff settled into temporary headquarters in Paris. Two weeks later the first American troops arrived in France. General Order 8, published on 5 July 1917, established the organization of the AEF General Headquarters (GHQ). This order also created on paper the GHQ position of Chief of the Gas Service, whose responsibilities included procurement of gas personnel and supplies, the conduct of the entire Gas and Flame Service both offense and defense, the supervision of training for gas officers and troops, and experimentation with new gases, delivery systems, and protective devices.1

Ordering the creation of a Gas Service was a simple matter. The actual organizing of a new branch of the Army, however, would take a tremendous amount of effort and time. Time was precious. By mid-July, over 12,000 doughboys were within thirty miles of the front, all without gas masks or training in chemical warfare. Yet, because of more pressing problems,* it was not until 17 August 1917 that General Pershing sent a cable to Washington requesting the organization of a Gas Service and the authority to appoint Lt. Col. Amos A. Fries, Corps of Engineers, as its chief.

Lieutenant Colonel Fries had arrived in France three days earlier. As an engineer officer he was assigned responsibility for organizing a road network to support the AEF Services of Supply (SOS). Several days later Col. Hugh A. Drum and Col. Alvin B. Barber of the GHQ, AEF, approached Fries. As Fries recalled after the war, the staff officers asked what I should think if my orders were changed so as to make me Chief of the newly proposed gas service. Given overnight to decide, Fries accepted. On 22 August 1917 he began to build an organization based on information Barber and Drum had compiled about the British Special Brigade and French Z units. In addition, the staff officers gave Fries a draft of a proposed General Order 31 that would establish a Gas Service.2

*In addition to commanding an army in a combat zone, Pershing was faced with the same problems that the General Staff in Washington had-the officering, billeting, feeding, equipping, and training of a vast army of raw recruits.

General Order 31 assigned the Gas Service responsibility for both offensive and defensive operations, including the organization of gas personnel, gas warfare supplies, and gas warfare training in the AEF. Appended to the order was a draft chart of the Gas Service Organization. In reviewing the chart with Fries, Pershing noted that the offensive arm included Stokes mortar companies. This prompted him to ask why existing trench mortar companies could not be utilized to fire gas rounds. Barber and Drum, who were also present, explained that gas operations were too technical and dangerous for untrained personnel to conduct and, therefore, required special troops. They also told Pershing that in the British Army the Special Brigade used 4-inch Stokes mortars.3

Acting on Pershing’s instructions, Fries, with Colonel Church and Captain Boothby of the Medical Department, visited the British Special Brigade headquarters at St.Omer. Church had served as an observer with the French Army for a year and a half and, during that time, had collected information on chemical warfare defense. Boothby did the same while observing British chemical warfare procedures and also took a course at the British defense school. At St. Omer the medical officers discussed British defensive gas doctrine, while Fries obtained information on the offensive aspects of chemical warfare. Fries elicited information on gases in use, special troops, chemical ammunition, and delivery systems. He also visited the large chemical material depot for the British Fifth Army.

After returning to AEF headquarters, the three officers reviewed both the draft General Order and the organizational chart. They modified the original proposals to provide general rather than specific guidelines, anticipating that only actual combat experience would glean the information necessary to build a truly effective organization. Fries criticized the British system that divided responsibility for offensive and defensive gas warfare. Paradoxically, the British liaison officer in the United States, Maj. S. M. J. Auld, warned the Americans against just such a practice. Thus, the AEF Gas Service made it the responsibility of all gas officers to be knowledgeable in both areas, a point driven home in subsequent general orders detailing the duties of army, corps, and division gas officers. On 3 September 1917, almost five months after the United States entered the war, the final version of General Order 31 was published (Figure 2).4

Not until 27 May 1918, as U.S. divisions were coming on-line in increasing numbers and experiencing heavy gas casualties, did GHQ, AEF, issue General Order 79 for the establishment of unit gas officers. Only then did Fries have the authority to appoint chief gas officers for armies and corps and gas officers and assistants for divisions. Until this time, division commanders had been appointing gas officers as they saw fit. Under the new arrangements, chief gas officers of armies and corps and division gas officers would be staff officers responsible to the commander. Parallel reporting procedures were established in order to ensure that accurate information reached the proper authorities. In addition to reports through official channels, the order authorized these officers to send required reports directly to the Chief of the Gas Service. The Chief, with GHQ approval, could also order these unit staff officers to attend meetings necessary for the coordination of defensive gas measures.
TO VIEW: 2. Organization of the Gas Service, AEF, 1917

The division and higher echelon gas officers had specific duties assigned. By direction of their commanding officers, they were to instruct and supervise the gas officers and NCOs within their command, supervise all defensive training and drill, collect enemy chemical warfare material for submission to AEF laboratories, inspect defensive measures, and advise the commander and staff regarding all aspects of chemical warfare. The division gas officer had the responsibility of reporting to the commander all gas casualties and actions taken to prevent recurrences. The division commander forwarded this report, together with a list of the actions he had taken to correct the deficiencies, to the Chief of the Gas Service.

Regimental and battalion commanders assigned duties to their gas officers. At this level, gas officer and gas NCO responsibilities were considered additional, not primary duties. A gas officer and NCO assistant were required for regiment, battalion, and separate units, and two NCOs were appointed for each company. Selected on the basis of undefined special qualifications, the men were trained at the AEF Gas Defense School or corps gas schools. Among their duties, they supervised training in the use of gas masks, gas proof shelters, alarm systems, and related defensive measures. When the division entered combat, the gas NCOs were required to inspect all defensive equipment and antigas procedures at least twice a week. They reported weather, terrain conditions, all new enemy gas tactics and material, and any noted deficiencies. This information was reported officially to the company commander and informally to the battalion commander.

General Order 79 established an AEF Gas Defense School with a course of instruction adequate for the training in gas defense of gas officers and noncommissioned officers. The school director received specific instructions, to coordinate his activities with those of officers engaged in offensive gas instruction and with those at the AEF’s new chemical experimental station at Hanlon Field near Chaumont. Instructors at the Gas Defense School kept abreast of the latest changes in gas warfare by personally reviewing files of Allied and American gas officer reports and by reading translated copies of captured German and Austrian documents.

General Order 79 dealt primarily with the Gas Corps* and the training of its officers, but it also called the attention of all ranks to the increasing importance of gas warfare. Although the Gas Corps would do every thing that was possible to prepare individuals and units to avoid casualties from gas, the ultimate responsibility for defense against gas, the order concluded, devolves upon commanding officers who must provide for the training of their men and the maintenance of gas discipline. In order to maintain gas discipline and provide adequate training, the order urged commanders to cooperate with Gas Corps officers.5

*Gas Service and Gas Corps were terms used interchangeably in the AEF.

The extensive use of gas by the Germans in their spring 1918 offensives caused the AEF General Staff to expand the duties of gas officers. As of 2 July 1918, gas officers were to be consulted and their technical knowledge utilized in the preparation of all plans involving the extensive use of gas, whether by artillery or other means. Thus, the duties and responsibilities of gas officers grew with the increasing awareness of the impact chemical agents were having on the offensive and defensive capabilities of AEF units. Fries, however, faced a chronic problem of locating competent men to serve in a branch of service that lacked precedent and had an unknown future. was further complicated by an Armywide shortage of personnel. The Corps of Engineers, originally the primary source of gas officers, became reluctant, as its own demand for officers grew, to have men reassigned to another branch.6

The AEF Gas Service had other problems with which to contend. There was, for example, a severe shortage of gas warfare supplies. The lack of protective masks for members of the AEF caused the greatest concern. On 2 August 1917, GHQ, AEF decided to utilize the British Small Box Respirator (SBR) as its primary mask and the French M-2 mask* as an emergency protective device.7

The SBR consisted of a canister-type filter of absorbent charcoal with alternating layers of oxidized soda lime granules. A flexible rubber tube connected the canister to a rubberized facepiece that was held to the face by elastic bands in order to provide an airtight fit. Inside the facepiece was a rubber nose clip. A hard rubber mouthpiece that the wearer grasped by his teeth was connected to the flexible hose attached to the filtration canister. A soldier exhaled air through a rubber flutter valve at the front of the mask. The wearer viewed the world through two lenses made of celluloid or specially prepared glass. Each soldier had a tube of antidimming or defogging paste that could be used to prevent condensation from forming on the lenses. Lacking an American mask, the AEF placed an initial order for 600,000 SBRs and 100,000 French M-2 masks. Additional orders followed, as it would take the United States a year from its entry into the war to begin providing its troops in the field with an acceptable American-made version of the SBR.8

The shortage of respirators notwithstanding, no individual could enter the combat zone unless equipped with a mask. Commanders and staff officers went to considerable lengths to ensure that all members of their units had respirators. In late December, 1917, the newly arrived 42nd Rainbow Division was moved by rail to a training site in France. On the train were masks for the unit, which the division’s Chief of Staff planned to issue on its arrival. The 1st Division, however, was due to go on the line shortly and submitted an urgent request for respirators. The Chief of the Gas Service responded by ordering the 42nd’s Chief of Staff to transfer his masks to the 1st Division. To circumvent the order, the 42nd’s Chief of Staff immediately stopped the train and ordered the masks issued to his men. He then reported to Fries that it was impossible to comply with the order because the masks had already been issued.9

*Because of its poor filtration capability and flimsy construction, the M-2 mask was later banned for use in the alert zone for everyone except men with head wounds who could not wear the SBR, men who were unconscious and could not grasp the mouthpiece, and black soldiers who could not wear the nose clips of the SBR.

Several thousand men of the 1st Division lacked masks, and its 1st Brigade was scheduled to move to the front line in January.* Fries finally obtained a priority of shipment and detailed several gas officers to accompany the masks from Le Havre, the major British supply base, to ensure their safe delivery to the 1st Division. Despite these precautions, one carload of 4,000 masks disappeared in transit. Fries finally had to order the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division to turn in their SBRs. These were cleaned and reissued to the Division’s 1st Brigade. This episode was not an isolated one.10

Gas equipment and supplies in the United States and France were initially the responsibility of the nearest related branch of the Army. The AEF Gas Service found this procedure exceedingly embarrassing, cumbersome and inefficient. Despite initial resistance, the General Staff in Washington approved AEF requisition submitted on 10 September 1917 for 50,000 cylinders, 50,000 Livens projector shells, and a large quantity of Stokes mortars and ammunition. None of these weapons or ammunition reached the AEF in time to be used in combat. To avoid duplication of effort and to save time, Fries, in February, 1918, received permission to make direct purchases of equipment from the Allies. At that time almost all of the gas warfare material used by the AEF came from the British. Not until April, 1918, did any material manufactured in the United States begin to reach the AEF. As noted in the preceding chapter, a number of war gases were manufactured in the United States during the war, and more than 3,600 tons of these did reach the French and British.11

Because of a shortage of artillery pieces, artillery units of the AEF were equipped primarily with the French 75-mm light field gun, the 155-mm medium howitzer, and the 240-mm heavy howitzer, as well as with British 8-inch and 9.2-inch heavy howitzers. The U.S. Army also adopted, with minor modifications, the French gas shell. The AEF Services of Supply purchased French shells and painted them according to an American color code.**12

Originally, the SOS defensive gas equipment fell into Class I with clothing, leather goods, and optical instruments. In February, 1918, when the Gas Service was given authority to requisition its own supplies, all items of gas warfare equipment were placed into a new category, Class V. In September, 1918, the Army created four subclasses within the general Class V classification. Subclass A material included offensive gas supplies, such as gas shells and grenades, that were not used by gas troops but by the combat arms. Subclass B material included those gas supplies issued exclusively to gas troops. Subclass C supplies encompassed aviation, smoke, and incendiary material. Subclass D items included all defensive gas material. The Ordnance Corps transported and issued subclasses A and C, while the Gas Service did the same for B and D items. The Gas Service distributed all anti-gas supplies. Fries ordered a 10 percent reserve of all equipment at the division gas dumps, and each company or regiment maintained a 5 percent reserve supply. The division gas officer issued the required masks to the regimental supply officers, who distributed them to battalions. Gas officers also issued gas alarm devices, Strombo horns, Klaxon horns, and gongs directly to company commanders in each sector. Later, army and corps gas officers were given similar responsibility for the issue of gas supplies to corps artillerymen and all rear echelon troops.13

*Only one-half of the 1st Division was needed to relieve a French division (French divisions were one-half the size of the comparable American unit). The balance of the 1st Division remained in training.

**They were distinguished by a gray body lettered Special Gas. A strip colored either white or red or both circled the shell. Nonpersistent gas had only red, semipersistent gas combined red and white. The number of stripes indicated the relative persistency, the least persistent having fewer stripes.

Another branch heavily involved in chemical warfare was the Army’s Medical Department. The General Staff anticipated that medical officers would require some knowledge of the actual symptoms brought on by chemical agents and the various methods of treatment for gas poisoning. Consequently, in May, 1917, the War Department issued a Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare with Notes on Its Pathology and Treatment, based on British sources. Still, despite this assistance from Washington, most of the planning and organization for the treatment of gas casualties was done by the AEF in France.14

Maj. J. R. Church, Medical Department, was the first Medical Director of the Gas Service in France. While on the General Staff, he had assisted in the initial planning for an AEF Gas Service. As Medical Director he devoted most of his time to organizational matters. The increase in gas casualties, however, resulted in a personnel change in the position, with Lt. Col. Harry L. Gilchrist, M.D., the former commander of Number 9, General Hospital, replacing Church. Gilchrist prepared for his new assignment by attending the British Gas School at Rouen, France.15

When Gilchrist reported for duty as Medical Director, he found no records or guidelines detailing the responsibilities of his position. His first priority, and one agreed to by Fries, was to launch a gas instruction campaign directed specifically at AEF medical officers. On 9 February 1918, Gilchrist published a pamphlet, Symptomology, Pathology and General Treatment of Gas Cases, which provided medical officers basic information on the treatment of chemical casualties. Following this publication, the Medical Director’s office issued a constant stream of bulletins aimed at keeping AEF medical officers up-to-date on the latest medical developments in gas warfare. Gilchrist visited most AEF divisions and hospitals, where he lectured to officers and men on chemical warfare from a medical point of view, emphasizing prevention and treatment of gas casualties.16

As the chemical war escalated with the introduction of mustard gas, the Medical Director’s responsibilities and, indeed, his department’s tasks became increasingly crucial to the AER Gilchrist inspected troops at the front and visited medical personnel in hospitals, hospital trains, and other locations. He also served as the liaison officer between the Gas Service and the Medical Department, advising both the AEF’s Chief of the Gas Service and the Chief Surgeon on gas-related medical matters. In addition to these general duties, he collected all medical information relating to gas warfare and relayed it to the AEF’s Chief Surgeon. Gilchrist focused his attention on such matters as new treatment for gas casualties and combating-the effects of the enemy gases not only from a therapeutic, but also from a prophylactic point of view. To obtain information, he visited the sites of battles where large numbers of gas casualties had occurred.17

Because armies and corps of the AEF were formed after the arrival of a number of divisions, the medical structure to treat gas casualties evolved first within the division. On 1 March 1918, the 42nd Division became the second American division to occupy a sector on the Western Front. Although initially the division had few gas casualties, the medical officers prepared for a large influx of gas victims. All four of the division’s field hospitals were set up to accept gas victims, and orders were given that a total of 500 beds be put aside for such cases. On 20 March the Germans launched an artillery bombardment of mustard and high explosive shells that hit the 42nd Division’s 165th Infantry at 1730 hours. In the space of a few minutes, the mustard caused 270 casualties, including one death. The first-aid station through which the casualties passed also received a drenching with. gas, so medical personnel wore masks as they treated the patients.18

As a result of this attack and others that followed, the 42nd Division took several steps to improve the treatment of gas casualties. These later became standard for AEF divisions in the line. The first measure was to dedicate one of the four division field hospitals to gas cases. The position of division Gas Medical Officer was also created. Memorandum 148, HQ, 42nd Division, published on 23 April 1918, listed the duties of this officer as the instruction of medical personnel in gas defense; the supervision of gas protection of medical dugouts, aid stations, and field hospitals; the early diagnosis of symptoms; and the treatment of all types of gas casualties.19

The AEF adopted the 42nd Division’s practices when it instituted the position of division Gas Medical Officer in AEF General Order 144, dated 29 August 1918. GHQ took this measure in the face of mounting gas casualties and a high incident of gas malingering. As a consequence, in addition to the duties indicated in the 42nd Division’s memorandum, the AEF order added duties such as the instruction of all division personnel on the early symptoms and treatments of gas poisoning and the instruction of line officers in practical medical matters connected with gas warfare. The orders stated that any officers selected must be live, wide-awake, energetic men, and must show a keen appreciation of the work. By the first week in October, 1918, each AEF division had a Gas Medical Officer. These men were sent to the School of Pharmacy’s School of Gas (Ecole de Gaz) at the University of Paris for a four-day course to prepare them for their division duties.20

Beyond the division field hospitals, each army established its own gas hospitals.* The first such installation began operation on 29 August 1918. Army-level hospital personnel were casuals, or officers and men loaned from base or evacuation hospitals or anywhere else medical personnel could be found. To meet the demands of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the Chief Surgeon, AEF, in September, l918, established five gas hospitals with a total of 1,650 beds. Colonel Gilchrist suggested three mobile 1,500-bed gas hospitals be established, one for each U.S. corps. This plan, however, was never implemented because of insufficient personnel. Another plan called for the creation of two emergency gas teams to be assigned to each base hospital. Their mission was to relieve the strain that sudden gas attacks put on division field hospitals*. The GHQ, AEF, organized several emergency gas teams, each consisting of a medical officer, two nurses, and two orderlies. The Chief Surgeon of the 1st U.S. Army, Col. A. N. Stark, however, objected to these teams on the grounds that base hospitals were too far removed from the fighting. He also believed that the division field hospitals set aside forgassed soldiers were effective and needed no further assistance. HeedingStark’s objections, the Chief Surgeon disbanded the teams.21

Another problem with which Fries and his staff had to contend was training in gas defense. When the 1st Division arrived in France, Pershing thought it best to have the Americans train by serving with a French divi sion. This proved to be unsatisfactory because the training varied from unit to unit within the French division. When the Training Section of the AEF’s GHQ became operational, it prepared a standardized division training schedule. Initially, the period of time a division spent preparing to enter the line was supposed to be three months.** Only two days of the schedule were allocated to Gas Service instructors. Later, as the demand for combat units increased, the gas instruction decreased to a mere six hours. This was vigorously protested by the Gas Service. In the spring of 1918, when the German offensives required a shortening of the division training cycle to bring new units on line, gas instruction was cut further.22

Formal defensive training was supplemented by wearing the masks during other training activities. Pvt. Norman A. Dunham of the 40th Division remembered wearing the SBR and full pack during two and three hour marches. He thought the mask the worst thing a soldier has to contend with and the most torturous thing a person can wear. Lt. Edgar D. Gilman remarked that when he wore the mask he found that it was not only disagreeable, painful, and smothering, but also that his saliva flowed profusely from his mouth, through the flutter valves, and down the front of his shirt. Personal protection was survival on the battlefield,however, and command emphasis had to be placed on defensive gas training, to include the wearing of the mask.23

*Corps hospitals were not considered because a corps was organized exclusively for tactical purposes.
**The 1st Division was retrained at Gondrecourt and was the only AEF Division to complete the AEF’s three-month-long training schedule.

It became obvious to GHQ, AEF that many commanders were not supporting the training activities of their gas officers and NCOs. To remedy this problem, officers in brigades that were rotated off the line received a comprehensive lecture course on gas defensive measures. However, continued reports of over 25 percent gas casualties indicated to General Staff that, after basic training, comparatively little was to be gained by instructing individuals in units on the line. The consensus among gas officers was that training had to instill an interest and awareness of gas defensive measures throughout an entire unit to give the best results in combat. Gas officers also believed more realistic training was needed. One result of this conviction was that artillery batteries, when they trained, received a minimum of three surprise gas attacks as part of the training schedule. To test the alertness of sentries and to correct such carelessness as leaving masks out of reach, attacks were often scheduled at night, while the troops were sleeping at their position. Men firing on the ranges were subjected to simulated surprise gas attacks in order to familiarize them with laying artillery pieces during an attack and to acquaint them with the difficulty of transmitting firing data while masked. During night marches, men were subjected to gas attacks as a means of teaching them to overcome confusion.

During the first year of American participation in the war, men arriving as individual replacements had little or no formal instruction in defensive measures until they reached their units in the forward areas. In the summer of 1918, the Army acted to rectify this haphazard method. Training stations were established at the AEF debarkation ports of Brest and St. Nazaire. Each center had five Gas Service instructors: one officer and four NCOS. Three enlisted men acted as gas mask fitters and helpers. When troops arrived at the stations, they marched single file into a warehouse to be fitted and issued. masks. After an inspection, the troops moved to a large lecture hall where instructors did everything possible to impress on the men the importance of defensive gas measures. To complete the training, seventy-five to 100 men at a time entered a gas chamber filled with a tear agent for five to ten minutes. At peak times more than 2,000 men a day were put through this initiation into gas warfare.

In Army rear areas, depot divisions,* such as the one at La Querche, handled three categories of personnel: newly arrived line replacements, special units such as engineer troops, and casuals who were recently released from hospitals and scheduled to rejoin their units. During the normal three-week course, the replacements received a minimum of eighteen hours of gas defense training. Their training consisted of lectures, mask drills, games with the mask worn, and firing weapons while wearing the The troops also went through simulated tactical operations, with the instructors lighting smoke candles and throwing tear gas grenades to provide added realism.

*The AEF suffered so many casualties that some divisions were broken up, their men used as replacements, and their cadre used to train arriving personnel.

Special troops such as pioneer infantry, engineer, and medical service units first received basic infantry training and then were given three days’ intensive instruction in gas defense. During the three days, the men practiced their specialty while wearing masks. For example, medics with SBRs in place applied bandages and carried stretchers through woods and over rough terrain. Engineers constructed roads and pioneer troops dug ditches while wearing masks. After duty hours, trainees played baseball in their SBRs.
To View: Sanitary Detachmant, 121st Maching Gun BAttalion, wearing the SBR while playing baseball, 2 June 1918.

Hospital convalescents, the last category of men run through the divisions, numbered anywhere from a handful to 2,000 a day. These men were reequipped with masks, and those with prior gas training – Class A men – were excused from formal instruction until August, 1918, when the mounting number of mustard gas casualties compelled the Gas Service staff to give all personnel short classes on ways to avoid being contaminated by this persistent agent.

The increased German employment of chemical agents-especially mustard gas – for counterbattery fire forced American artillery training camps to place special emphasis on defensive gas instruction. During a gas attack, a poorly trained artillery man would be totally incapable of serving his weapon or delivering accurate fire. Initially, artillery officers and NCOs attended a week-long course of lectures, drills, and practical exercises. Later NCOs received an additional week of training. If the artillerymen failed to score 70 percent or better on the final examination, they had to repeat the course. Just before returning to the front, the graduates had to visit.a base hospital to see gas casualties. The experience, according to instructors, furnished a great stimulus to general gas training. Still, despite these efforts to train every doughboy arriving in France, many received no training in gas warfare because of the pressing need for troops,on the front lines.24

In conjunction with the emphasis on gas defensive training, the AEF paid increasing attention to the offensive gas capabilities of the American Army in France. On 10 January 1918 the first two companies of the 1st Gas Regiment (30th Engineers) arrived in France (Figure 3). The companies reported to the British Special Brigade training area at Helfaut, where Brigadier General Foulkes personally directed the training of the unit. Eventually, four of the six companies of the regiment passed through Helfaut.
TO VIEW: 3. U.S. Gas Regiment, company organization, 1917

The training of the 1st Gas Regiment in offensive gas operations began in February, 1918, and employed the delivery systems used by the British. The American troops spent five days learning to use Livens projectors, seven days for Stokes mortars, and two days for cylinder operations. The men first attended classes and then conducted practical field exercises in which they applied their newly acquired knowledge. Projector operations called for the emplacement of the guns at night and their detonation the following day. Stokes mortar drill required the men to conduct rapid fire with gas rounds, thermite, and smoke, both day and night. Officers of the regiment opened cylinders of chlorine, and the men walked through the gas cloud to instill confidence in their training and equipment. The American officers were then detailed to a sector of the British front and assigned to Special Brigade companies, where they observed projector, mortar, and cylinder operations. The overall result was that these men better understood offensive gas operations and could assist in training the other companies of the American Gas Regiment.25

On 6 June 1918 these trained officers and men held a practice shoot for the AEF General Staff at Hanlon Field, the home of the AEF’s Gas School and experimental station in France. Twelve Stokes mortars and 100 Livens projectors were fired. On 22 June, after several more exercises, companies of the 1st Gas Regiment moved to the U.S. sector to conduct offensive gas operations.

Artillery was the other branch of the Army capable of conducting offensive gas operations. In the first gas warfare manuals prepared by the U.S. Army War College, artillery employment was not included because of the continual changes in gas tactical doctrine* on the Western Front. Therefore, almost all artillery training in gas warfare was conducted in France, where the AEF adopted British and French doctrine for gas shell fire. The U.S. 1st Army, for example, published its own Provisional Instruction for Artillery Officers on the Use of Gas Shell, based on French field manuals. At artillery camps, gas officers lectured on the problems involved in the use of gas shells, but no evidence exists to indicate that gas shells were ever fired in training. Yet, by 1 November 1918, 20 percent of all shells delivered to the AEF were gas filled, and a 25 percent ratio was planned for 1919.26

No other preparations or plans were instituted in AEF rear areas to prepare and sustain the American armies in chemical warfare. The burden of the gas war fell to the combat divisions of the AEF. How well they fought and how well they adapted to this new experience is the subject of the next chapter.

*Firing with gas shells was such a new experience that the opposing armies changed their doctrine on a regular basis seeking the most effective means of employment.

The Quick and the Dead :
The AEF on the
Chemical Battlefield

Chapter 5

Between 18 and 21 January 1918, units of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division relieved the French 1st Moroccan Division manning the front lines in the Ansauville sector. In doing so, the Big Red One became the first American division to occupy a portion of the Western Front. The movement of American troops into the lines was uneventful except for one incident, As we take our positions in the trenches, Maj. Gen. Robert Bullard, the division commander, noted, from the French position on our right some two hundred gas casualties are evacuated-our first object lesson. 1

This grim object lesson reinforced French warnings that the Ansauville sector was a highly active gas front with both sides constantly employing large amounts of chemical agents. The German use of Yellow Cross especially concerned the French. The XXII Corps commander, prior to the arrival of the ist Division, had his troops post in every dugout instructions in English on the correct procedures to follow during and after a Yellow Cross attack. The French warning advised the Americans to mask when the first gas shell exploded and remain masked for four hours following a gas bombardment. The instructions also called for anyone in a gassed area to beat and shake his clothing prior to entering a dugout and to use soapy water to decontaminate skin exposed to mustard. Further instructions from the French corps commander followed, emphasizing the gas-proofing of dugouts and the maintenance of gas mask discipline.2

Based on the 1st Division’s experience over the previous months, these instructions should not have been necessary. Although the unit arrived overseas without the slightest bit of gas training, it received in France the most complete chemical warfare preparation of any AEF division during the war. Gas training pamphlets, directives, and orders were showered on the 1st Division by an anxious and apprehensive GHQ, AEF. The 1st Division became the only American division to undergo the complete GHQ, AEF, training schedule, which included defensive and offensive gas training.*

*Even with this extensive training, the mistakes made by the soldiers of this division during chemical warfare were the very same repeated over and over by other, less prepared AEF divisions. In the Ansauville and the Montdidier sectors, the Big Red One suffered more casualties from gas than from small arms or artillery shell fire.
To View: Big Nims, 366th Infantry, 92nd Division, inspecting his mask (note mouthpiece), 8 August 1918.

Instruction in chemical warfare began for the 1st Division in December with nine hours devoted to defensive training. Proper masking was a key element of this training. With troops in the practice trenches, instructors sounded gas alarms and lit smoke pots to simulate gas clouds, thereby increasing the troops’ skill in putting on and wearing the gas masks. During the drill, gas instructors reminded their students that in case of gas attack, there are only two classes of soldiers, the quick and the dead. 3

The British had decided for reasons now obscure that SBR masking should take no longer than six seconds, to be accomplished in five steps. In step one, the doughboy had to hold his breath,* knock off his headgear, grip his rifle between the legs, and reach into the case on his chest to grasp the mask by the breathing joint and nose clip. At step two, the soldier thrust his chin out, held the mask in front of the face with both thumbs inside and under the elastic headband. In step three, the chin was placed into the facepiece while the headband was pulled over the head to secure the mask. Next, at step four, the soldier grasped the mouthpiece with his teeth. The last step, five, required the soldier to reach through the facepiece to secure the nose clip and then run his hands around the mask to ensure a snug fit. Division gas officers complained that when it came to defensive gas training, many commanders were satisfied when their men simply achieved the six-second requirement. Proper adjustment, the gas officers believed., was more important than speed.4

*Officers realized that, when exposed to German gas in combat, men instinctively took a deep breath. In so doing, they unintentionally inhaled the poisonous air. Later, the AEF corrected the drill by instructing the doughboy to stop breathing when the gas alarm sounded.

When finally issued, each mask came with a small log book tied to the canvas case. Soldiers received instructions to record the length of time they wore the mask, both for drill and in combat. They were also required to identify each type of gas encountered. The purpose of this log was to ensure that the filter in the canister was replaced at the proper intervaL Filters for an SBR had a life of fifty to 100 hours of exposure, depending on the chemical agents. As might be expected, the log system did not work. As one gas officer remarked, any man who in the hell of battle can keep such a record completely should be at once awarded a Distinguished Service Medal. Gas officers in some divisions came up with an alternative: they painted the number of the month of issue on the case. If and when filters became available, the officers replaced them based on their own estimate of exposure time. There were three types of AEF filter canisters. Those painted black were for training only and offered no protection against smoke or gas. Canisters colored yellow protected against smoke, offered greater gas protection, and had a high resistance to breathing. The green canister offered protection against smoke, had sufficient gas protection, and had a low resistance to breathing.5
To View: Men of the 366th Infantry, 92nd Division, during an inspection of their American SBRs at Ainville, Vosges, France, 8 August 1918.

While the British SBR was initially worn by the 1st and other divisions, the American version was in ready supply by the late summer of 1918. The American mask had both advantages and disadvantages. Although its fuller facepiece permitted easy cleaning of the eyepieces, these eyepieces had a tendency to fall out; also, the larger facepiece with an increase in dead space made it more difficult to clear. The larger canister gave greater protection, but was heavier and clumsy.6
To View: Medics place an M-2 mask on a head-wound casualty, 137th Ambulance Company, 31 August 1918.

There is no question but that the SBR, whether British or American, was extremely uncomfortable. General Bullard admitted that he could never fulfill the qualification of a successful wearer because as much as he tried he could not wear the mask longer than three minutes without feeling smothered. Since the SBR was difficult to wear, division gas officers reported troops would change from the SBR to the more comfortable M-2 in the midst of a gas attack, in the process inhaling the poisonous air. The M-2 did not offer the filtration protection of the SBR. Its flimsy construction and susceptibility to water damage also reduced. its effectiveness, as did the fact that it did not block mustard gas. The widespread problem with the M-2 prompted AEF, GHQ General Order 78 on 25 May 1918. This order forbid anyone who entered the alert zone* to use the M-2. As noted previously it was retained and attached to stretchers for men with head wounds or for those unable to grasp the mouthpiece. Labor troops in rear areas were authorized to wear the M-2.7

A number of U.S. officers apparently procured, on their own, another French mask, the ARS (described earlier). This created morale problems since it gave American enlisted men the impression that our protective equipment is defective. A Gas Service report demanded that these officers be taught that only the material issued by the Gas Service was authorized for use, and that they had no authority to secure equipment from the French.8

Another mask, the Tissot, was officially procured from the French, although it was for issue only in small numbers to artillerymen, Signal Corps troops, and front-line medical units whose personnel had to be active during gas attacks. Not only did this mask’s filter offer less resistance to breathing and have the same quality filtration of the American SBR, but the problem of fogged vision associated with the SBR did not exist. The Tissot design allowed air to flow between the two lenses of each eyepiece, eliminating condensation. Most important, the Tissot design did away with a nose clip and mouthpiece, making it a comfortable yet safe mask.9 Unfortunately, as noted earlier, the filter location on the back, together with the flimsy rubber facepiece, made it unsuitable for infantry.

If soldiers wearing gas masks in defensive positions experienced a variety of problems, they encountered even more difficulties when they shifted to the offensive. The standard issue American or British SBR made normal breathing difficult, it made obtaining sufficient oxygen during heavy exertion, such as in infantry attacks across No Man’s Land, impossible. Additionally, exertion caused perspiration to form on the lens, limiting vision even more than what was normal.*

Standing Orders for Defense Against Gas published in November, 1911, stated that within two mile& of the front lines and within areas specially exposed to gas shelling, the gas mask case would be carried in the alert position, which was on the chest.
To View: Lt. William T. Powers, Pvt. Walter Miesley, Operator, and Pvt Tichard Pereyer, Recorder, wearing the Tissot mask while receiving instructions from a forward observer, 30 October 1918.

At Ville Savoye, for example, Pvt. Moses King, 305th Infantry, 77th Division, had difficulty seeing through his mask and received an order from his company commander – whose own vision was obscured – to remove his facepiece, but to keep the nose clip and mouthpiece in place. This pernicious habit, the Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, AEF, noted in September 1918, has been the cause of many casualties ; the practice has been condemned at every opportunity. Despite the condemnation, the practice never ceased, and the increased use of mustard gas by the Germans resulted in a significant number of Allied casualties suffering from eye damage.10

As a consequence of these and other problems, standing orders did not call for troops to mask during the attack. Doughboys did, however, wear the mask on the chest in the alert position with the helmet chin strap on the tip of the chin, rather than under it, to facilitate quick placement of the mask if gas were encountered.11

* Anti-dimming (defogging) paste was issued with the mask, but according to soldiers who used it, it distorted the vision of the mask wearer.

In addition to the problems associated with gas masks, the persistency of chemical agents combined with the methods of AEF commanders to produce a significant number of gas casualties. Under normal attacking conditions, an area in which phosgene was used would clear in ten minutes. Diphosgene would take longer to dispel, perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes. Mustard gas would linger for several days. A problem arose, however, when AEF commanders intent on taking an objective regardless of the cost often launched an attack before a gassed area had cleared. The reason for this disregard lay in the fact that the AEF, from General Pershing down to division commanders, never hesitated to relieve an officer considered lacking in an aggressive spirit.

Of the chemical agents employed by the Germans against the Allies, mustard gas was responsible for 39 percent of AEF gas casualties. Once mustard gas made contact with the skin, it destroyed tissue as long as it remained, doing damage several hours before the first symptoms appeared. To combat this persistent blister agent, the Gas Service made available to line units an ointment called Sag paste* to protect exposed flesh. Sag paste came in a 3.5-cm by 16-cm collapsible tube and became a standard-issue item for the prevention and treatment of mustard burns. According to one veteran, it looked like and had the consistency of carbolated vaseline. Doughboys who entered a mustard-contaminated area or who anticipated a shelling of Yellow Cross smeared their bodies with the ointment. It proved very effective, a medic in the 35th Division noted, if used in time. However, it was uncomfortable because it caked when the men perspired and rubbed off on clothing when a soldier engaged in any physical activity. The paste also presented a danger: if not removed after exposure to gas it eventually absorbed the mustard agent without neutralizing it, which meant that the agent ultimately came into contact with the skin. There were other uses for the paste: medics, for example, found it to be effective in soothing mustard burns by blocking the oxygen to the contaminated area. Enterprising men in the trenches found it extremely effective in exterminating cooties, the doughboy slang for body lice.12

The Defense Division, CWS, sought other ways besides masks and Sag paste to protect troops from mustard gas. The division designed and had manufactured a protective suit for artillery gun crews, medics, and decontaminating teams. The suit consisted of cotton sheeting impregnated with linseed or vegetable drying oil. The coveralls had elastic ties at the ankles and wrists. A zipper down the center from neck to crotch provided an airtight fit. The hood was worn under the headgear. Mittens had been provided prior to the development of the suit and were highly valuable … but somewhat stiff and clumsy. ** Special boots were also provided to complete the uniform. Unfortunately, the suit trapped body heat and moisture so it could rarely be worn longer than fifteen to thirty minutes. A gas officer reported men tearing off the suit while working in an area reeking with mustard gas because they couldn’t stand the discomfort any longer. 13

*I was unable to identify the source of the term Sag. Lt. Col. Charles M. Wurm, CACDA,Ft. Leavenworth, suggested Salve, Antigas.

Gloves were not available until the end of the war.
To View: Pvt. John Sloan, 6th Infantry Medical Attachment, in an Anti-Gas Suit, Croix de Charemont, France, 20 August 1918. This protective uniform was worn by medical personnel and artillery gun crews.

The effects of mustard gas could be lessened or even avoided by removing it with hot soapy water shortly after exposure. To this end, GHQ, AEF, on 29 August 1918, ordered the Medical Department to activate a number of mobile degassing units. Each division in the line of battle would have two such units attached, commanded by a Sanitary Corps captain or first lieutenant. To each eleven-man unit a specially trained medical gas officer would be detailed from the supported division, This individual’s duties included the supervision of the unit’s operation, instruction of the medical personnel on the treatment of gas casualties, and responsibility for the maintenance of the proper equipment for the treatment of gas casualties at the battalion advance aid station. The degassing units remained in the division rear. When a unit became contaminated and could be withdrawn from the line, the degassing station rushed to treat the men as close to the front as possible. The units equipment consisted of a five-ton tank truck with a 1,200 gallon capacity and an instantaneous heater mounted on the rear of the vehicle to provide hot water. The heated water flowed to portable shower baths similar to modern field showers. Another vehicle carried fuel, underwear, uniforms, and medical supplies. These supplies included bicarbonate of soda to Rush the patient’s eyes, ears, mouth, and nasal passages. Unfortunately for the thousands of mustard casualties, very few degassing units saw service, as evidenced by the late date of the order creating them.*14
To View: Degassing Station tank truck with heater mounted in the rear, Mobile Degassing Unit #1, Services of Supply, Tours, France, 21 July 1918.

*When the Armistice took effect, the few units that had reached the field were turned over to the Quartermaster Corps for delousing troops returning home.

While methods were being sought to degas men, efforts were also undertaken to decontaminate the ground they held in the static trench warfare. General orders created decontamination squads at regiment and battalion level. These units decontaminated shell holes with lime and new earth, buried gas shell duds, reported to gas officers the location of dud shells that could not be buried, and removed contaminated equipment and clothing in special oiled bags. Each man in the squad was issued a new SBR, a reserve M-2 mask, a suit of protective coveralls, and two pairs of oiled mittens. The decontamination equipment consisted of shovels, buckets, and long-handled tongs for handling dud mustard shells.
To View: A squad preparing to decontaminate a gas shell hole, 4 December 1918.

In the trenches, mustard gas and other agents were counteracted in a variety of ways. During a gas attack, standing orders called for as little moving about and talking as possible, because gas poisoning was sometimes intensified by exertion. Once an attack ceased, trenches were cleared of low lying gas. One method required the use of an Ayrton or trench fan. This device consisted of a two-foot-long handle attached to a rigid piece of canvas hinged to a fifteen-inch section that moved in one direction. In effect the fan was used like a shovel, with the moveable flap creating an upward air current, thus removing the gas. Americans adopted these fans as called for by British defensive gas doctrine. Unfortunately, the fans, according to British General Foulkes, were worse than worthless. Not only did they not remove the vapor, but the exertion of masked users led to exhaustion and increased susceptibility to gassing.* The fans were eventually discarded and burned to create an updraft, soon recognized as a better method of clearing trenches and dugouts of gas.15
To View: Men detailed to use Ayrton or British trench fans after gas attack, 1918.

Another method of decontamination used in the trenches consisted of placing boxes of chloride of lime outside of dugouts. Prior to entering, men stepped in the substance, neutralizing any mustard agent clinging to the shoes. The Vermoral sprayer, which was a hand-pumped fire extinguisher filled with a sodium thiosulfate solution, could neutralize chlorine, but little else. The sprayers were used, however, to moisten the blankets at the entrances of the gas-proof dugouts.16

The prolongation of German gas attacks, the increased quantity of chemical agents fired in an attack, the extensive use of the persistent agent mustard, plus the fact that 80 percent to 90 percent of all gas attacks experienced by the AEF took place during the hours of darkness, made the construction of gas-proof dugouts essential for survival in the trenches (Figure 4). Basically, the gas-proofing of dugouts required a wood frame entrance and a snug fitting blanket, usually soaked with glycerine and kept damp with a diluted solution of sodium thiosulfate. If space allowed, complete protection could, be obtained by hanging two blankets over the entrance in such a way as to leave an air space between the two. Such measures made it difficult for men in front-line trenches to get out of a dugout rapidly in the event of an infantry attack, and for this reason early U.S. manuals advised against protection of front-line dugouts. But this advice was generally ignored because of the need to have a gas-free environment in which to sleep and occasionally remove the SBR. The same Army manual stated that Medical aid-posts and advanced dressing stations; Company, Regiment, and Brigade Headquarters; at least one dugout per battery position; Signal Shelters and any other place where work has to be carried out during a gas attack should always be protected. 17

*Apparently the, British Army first rejected the fan, an, invention of Mrs. Ayrton, the wife of a distinguished physicist, but political pressure forced them to procure 100,000. The AEF Gas Service, unaware of the circumstances and not thinking to ask, ordered 50,000.
TO VIEW: 4. Entrance, gas-proof dugout

Oftentimes, casualties occurred when a gas shell or projector shell fell at the entrance of a dugout and the force of the explosion threw open the blankets and drove the gas inside. On 27 May 1918, at the beginning of one of the German 1918 spring offensives, a concentration of 983 phosgene projector bombs caught doughboys of the 168th Infantry, 42nd Division, asleep in dugouts on the side of a ravine. The Germans, in order to keep the U.S. troops pinned in the gassed position, shelled the area in the rear of the ravine for an hour with shrapnel and Yellow Cross. The division G-3 reported one soldier killed and six wounded by shrapnel, 236 gassed, and thirty-seven gas deaths resulting from the attack.18

It was the duty of the gas sentry to sound the warning of a gas attack to the other troops. Usually the sentry received general instructions to alert his unit as soon as he heard the hissing sound of gas leaving cylinders, saw a cloud moving along the ground, observed a distant flash, heard a muffled explosion of projectors, saw a shell burst with a small pop, or sniffed a suspicious odor. In addition to shouting, Gas he would, after masking, sound a mechanical alarm. Such alarms ranged from air horns, known as Strombos,* to metal shell casings, steel triangles, or even church bells. When, in the fall of 1918, the AEF went on the offensive, the Gas Service decided that Klaxon horns and European police rattles produced the most audible warning of gas to troops on the move.19
To View: Pvt. Demetry Melonisk, 315th Field Hospital, 304th Sanitary Train, 79th Division, carrying a chruch bell used to give gas alarms, 17 October 1918.

*Strombos horns carried for a great distance and were initially used for cloud attacks that occurred over a wide frontage. Later in the war, when attacks became more localized with projectiles and shells, the Strombos were phased out and replaced with alarms whose sound did not carry as far.

Whether on the move in open warfare or manning the trenches in static warfare, the most critical individuals in chemical combat were the unit gas officers. On 27 May 1918, AEF General Order 79 formalized and standardized defensive duties for gas officers, the positions having been created by individual divisions on their own initiative after arrival in France. Two months later, General Order 107 expanded the functions of gas officers: in addition to their previous duties, they would be advisers whose technical knowledge would be solicited in the preparations of all plans involving the extensive use of gas, whether by artillery or by other means. Despite the order, staff officers too often told gas officers that their advice for offensive planning was not required and that they should concern themselves only with defensive duties. The success of division gas officers in integrating plans for the use of gas in offensive operations eventually depended on, in the words of the Gas Service’s Chief, their ability to go out and sell gas to the army. Despite such promotional efforts, resistance by staff officers continued. During the Meuse-Argonne campaign in the fall of 1918, an unidentified division gas officer reportedly recommended to a division operations officer (G-3) that gas be used during a particular phase of the engagement. The staff officer replied that he would employ the artillery firing gas shells only if the gas officer stated in writing that the gas would not cause a single American casualty. This request was unrealistic in that a thorough staff planner in World War I usually included an allowance for casualties due to a friendly barrage. Another objection raised to the use of gas was that commanders feared its employment would subject their men to unnecessary retaliatory gas attacks.20

Even if a division commander and his staff were reluctant to employ chemicals, they could not afford to be careless about the protection of their troops from chemical agents. A unit’s effectiveness depended on proper gas defensive measures. GHQ, AEF, delegated significant responsibility for gas defense to division, regiment, battalion, and company gas officers and NCOs. These dedicated and harried men attempted to insure that their respective organizations could cope with gas attacks while sustaining minimal casualties. Once in the trenches, exposed to a chemical warfare environment, most commanders soon realized the need for competent gas officers. After selection and training, gas officers had to prove themselves to the commander, staff, and the troops in the trenches. The most effective way to gain the respect and confidence of the troops, one gas officer discovered, was to join a unit under an attack. This practice offered a number of advantages. First, the gas officer learned the immediate effects of a gas attack and what individuals endured during such an attack. He could suggest corrections and give guidance during the attack, as opposed to afterwards, when men were already casualties. The confidence of the men in the gas officer’s instruction grew when they observed him take what they did. Infantry officers proved more willing to accept the advice of such a gas officer because they knew he spoke from actual and not book knowledge.

*No figures for the AEF are available, but the French concluded that 75,000 or 1.5 percent of all their casualties were due to arnicicide (casualties caused by friendly fire).

This knowledge afforded the gas officer the credibility to obtain a hearing and accomplish results when he called to the attention of unit officers and staff both good results of proper gas discipline and the bad results of bad discipline. 21

While division gas officers worked with the staff, the regimental and battalion gas officers had the greatest impact on the doughboys, At these lower echelons, gas officers assumed a variety of responsibilities that ranged from instruction to inspection of defensive equipment and selection of alternate positions during an attack. It fell to these officers to assure that gas alarms were installed, gas sentries posted, gas alert signs displayed, and dugouts selected for gas-proofing, In addition these officers took wind readings twice a day.* When required, gas officers became bomb disposal experts who located and removed all unexploded enemy gas shells. As the Table of Organization for AEF units, did not include gas officers, General Order 79 of 27 May 1918, which ordered the appointment of gas officers down to battalion level, caused some grumbling in recently arrived divisions. Plagued by a shortage of line officers, commanders assigned men to gas duties grudgingly., When the need arose, the men chosen were subjected to double duty as infantry officers.22

With the absence of sophisticated detection and warning systems, one of the most important functions of a gas officer became the determination of when to give the order to mask and when to unmask. At gas schools, trainees were taught to taste gas, sniffing just enough air to identify a chemical agent by its own peculiar odor. They had to know the persistency and the properties of each gas and then be able to determine how soon after an attack the air would clear. Most of the officers became very proficient at identification. At times, though, some gas officers were too conscientious in tasting for gas and became casualties themselves.23

When night settled in, gas officers in the trenches slept fitfully, waiting for the cry of Gas One such officer described an evening that was shattered, after the troops had gone to sleep, by the sound of artillery followed by gas alarms. Everyone, he recalled, came out of their holes with masks in place, the fine fruit of constant training. The officer lifted his mask, sniffed, and determined the fumes to be from high explosive shells. After taking his mask off, the gas officer gave the all clear and the men unmasked. Toward dawn the men again awoke to the sound of gas alarms and cries of Gas This time the officer raised his mask and detected the mild pungent breath of a chemical agent. He masked and told the others to do the same. A gas shell exploded upwind with a light pop and puff of vapor. After the shells ceased dropping he checked up and down the line for casualties and found none. Several minutes passed, and he took another taste only to detect a lingering odor. Five minutes later a light wind drove the gas away, and the all-clear sounded.24

*Early in the American involvement, AEF and War Department manuals listed cloud attacks as the primary delivery system of the Germans; when the wind blew from the east, therefore, troops went on a gas alert.

The Americans were not always so fortunate in responding to gas attacks. On 26 February 1918, at 1330 in the Ansauville sector, men of the 1st Division received the first German projector attack directed against U.S. forces. The estimated 150 to 250 bombs contained phosgene and chloropicrin. Conditions were ideal for such an attack: the heavy evening air kept the gas low to the ground, and what wind there was soon became calm. The bombs fell over a 600-meter front, where heavy underbrush held the gas in place. Of the 225 men exposed, 33 percent (eighty-five men) became casualties. Two men died soon after the attack, and six soldiers succumbed after they reached the division field hospital.

Col. Campbell King, 1st Division Chief of Staff, believed that there were several causes for the casualties. The sudden attack caught men unprepared on sentry duty or in their dugouts; they did not have adequate warning to adjust their masks or lower the gas curtains. After the attack, men removed their masks on their own initLtive, or changed to the M-2, although the gas lingered in a dangerous concentration. Furthermore, the unmasked doughboys remained or worked in the dugouts and in low places in the woods, where gas stagnated. A captain who witnessed the attack amplified the Chief of Staffs observation. He reiterated that the premature removal of the mask, a breach of discipline, caused casualties and that the men failed to mask in time and to lower the gas-proof curtains. At the same time, the soldiers neglected to put out fires in the dugouts, thereby drawing gas from the trenches into the sealed shelters. Men who were only slightly gassed exerted themselves, contrary to standing orders, thus complicating their symptoms. The captain attributed the donning of the M-2 to the discomfort involved in wearing the SBR. A field hospital report mentioned that one man had had his mask disarranged in. an attempt to force a mask on a comrade who had gone berserk and torn off his own mask.25

In another commonplace incident, an entire platoon of infantry in the 28th Division became gas casualties before they reached the front. While moving forward one night toward Châuteau Thierry, the men stopped to rest in shallow shell holes near the road. A recent rain had diluted the usual smell of mustard, and no one advised the green troops that the holes were craters from Yellow Cross shells. Unwittingly, they slept through the night in fresh mustard contamination. The following morning the men awoke with backs and buttocks so badly burned that the skin appeared to be flayed. The battalion gas officer could only try to relieve their agony with generous applications of Sag paste. That same day the 28th Division’s gas officer noted his dwindling supplies of paste and masks. Since German gas seemed to be coming over in increasing quantities with the resulting casualties, he ordered. one of the battalion gas officers back to the SOS depot at Gievres on a foraging expedition to secure antigas supplies for the division.26

There were times when division, regimental, and battalion gas officers, in their more zealous attempts to prevent gas casualties, ran afoul of line officers. A battalion commander in the 23d Infantry, 2d Division, complained to his superior that the requests, orders, and reports required by the regimental gas officer were absurd, ludicrous, and, in many cases, impossible to carry out. For instance, the gas officer had ordered that all men within 1,200 yards of the front line must sleep in gas-proof dugouts with sentry posted over each. If this order were respected, the commander complained, no one in the unit would get any rest because the facilities for compliance did not exist. Another directive informed the infantry officer that men exposed to mustard should take a warm bath and change uniforms. To this he replied, with frustration, We don’t get enough water to wash regularly. The battalion commander closed his letter by explaining how tired he was of receiving directives doped out of a book. Staff officers, he believed, must become more aware of the conditions at the front.27
To View: Infantrymen of the 28th Division masking during a gas attack, 23 August 1918.

Likewise a division commander complained that new gas officers were almost hysterical in their attempts to educate the troops in gas defense. Knowledge and real efficient training, he observed, came after hard experience and the hysteria of gas officers passed. When the 1st Division suffered 800 gas casualties at Villers-Tournelle, General Bullard complained of a report filed by a GHQ gas officer who, he believed, spoke without knowledge or consideration in a tone of superior criticism that comes from abstract study. After Bullard complained, the officer’s superiors ordered all gas officers to abstain from such criticism. Fortunately, incidents such as these were the exception rather than the rule, and line officers eventually realized that the gas officers were there to help them, not to harass them.28

Still, the job of gas officer continued to be a demanding one, especially in regard to defensive training for replacements. The square World War I division had a Table of Organization strength of approximately 28,000 officers and men. In this war of attrition with high casualties (referred to as wastage ), these large square divisions had a constant flow of new men into the ranks. The 1st Division, for example, after 223 days in the line, received over 30,000 replacements, The 2nd Division’s statistics were even more striking: following 139 days in the trenches, it took in over 35,000 new men. Six other divisions received over half their strength in replacements, and another five received over a third. The rapid mobilization and rush to send men overseas led to a situation in which men had little overall training. The 42nd Division, after some time in the trenches, withdrew to train for the St. Mihiel offensive. During this time the division received replacements, cannon fodder if there ever was any. One, company obtained forty-three new men of whom one man had had but one week of training; four had had two weeks; twenty had had three weeks; six had had four weeks ; and the balance had had between one and three months. Gas officers were therefore faced with a continual personnel training problem, having to instill a proper respect for gas defense in green officers and men.29

Protecting officers and men of the AEF required more than training. Contamination of food, water, tobacco, and equipment by chemical agents emerged as a significant problem for gas officers. On an interim basis the Gas Service issued tar paper and oil cloth to cover food and tobacco. Water contamination was always a problem, because the scarcity of water often compelled men like a 79th Division doughboy at Montfaucon to risk drinking from a suspicious source. Driven by thirst, this American ignored the warning of French soldiers and drank stagnant water from a shell hole. He later suffered chest pains from the gas contaminated water. After being evacuated he eventually returned to his unit, but only after twenty-three days in a base hospital. No one ever devised an effective means to stop troops from drinking contaminated water. Late in the war, the Quartermaster Corps packaged foodstuffs destined for France in gas-proof, airtight trench ration containers.

As for equipment, the corrosive properties of most war gases created problems of contaminated artillery shells not being able to be chambered, breechblocks jamming, gun surfaces rusting, and contaminated small arms cartridges not chambering properly. AEF regulations required weapons and shells be cleaned with oil immediately after a gas attack, but the metal continued to corrode unless small arms were disassembled and boiled in a solution of sodium bicarbonate and water. The difficulty of applying decontamination method in the trenches, not to mention in No Man’s Land during a prolonged assatilt lasting several days, can be well imagined, Protection of animals was also a problem, and they, too, were fitted with protective masks.30

*The term square comes from the fact that the division had four infantry regiments.
To View: The use of chemical agents created problems not only for the combat arms but also for the Services of Supply, the logistical tail of the AEF. Here mules and men are masked for a drill, November, 1918.
When doughboys went over the top, they, their commanders, and their gas officers alike faced increased challenges and many difficulties not met with in trench warfare. At times, good gas discipline had little or no impact on casualties in the maelstrom of battle. The reports of gas officers constantly referred to gas casualties caused by men being knocked down, or shocked and stunned by German high explosive shell fire. The concussion of the exploding shells slowed the men’s reaction or worse, knocked them unconscious, and they never had a chance to put their mask on. Many times the blast tore off a mask or flying shrapnel cut the facepiece or damaged the hose from the filter to the mouthpiece. The extensive use of gas both at day and night often meant prolonged use of the mask. Lt. Robert A. Hall, for example, blamed a significant number of the 1st Division’s gas casualties at Villers-Toumelle on the fact that after seventeen to eighteen hours of good gas discipline wearing the SBR, perspiration impregnated with gas seeped under the elastic head band. Perspiration also caused the nose clip to slip, and as a result, men inhaled poisonous vapor or had their eyes affected and, as a consequence, became gas casualties.31

Troops caught in the open by enemy gunners often sought cover in shell holes, ravines, and patches of wood, the very places where gas lingered the longest. Even if men maintained strict gas discipline, casualties were inevitable when the enemy concentration of gas shells became too dense. From 0600, 12 October to 1600, 13 October 1918, the 114th Infantry, 29th Division, attacked German positions at Bois Ormout. The Germans fired an estimated 2,000 gas shells at the regiment in bursts of about 300. Yellow, Green, and Blue Cross 77-mm and 105-mm shells landed around the 1,500 men of the 114th Infantry while they deployed in ravines, shell holes, and wooded areas. As a consequence, 500 men became gas casualties, mostly with lung injuries. The commander requested permission to evacuate the contaminated area. The French 66th Regiment commander, who had operational control of the attack, told him to remain in place. The Frenchman believed the withdrawal of the regiment was not tactically sound, for the Germans would counterattack if they detected any sign of an Allied retreat. Maj. James H. Walton, the division gas officer, remarked that this incident, in which high gas casualties were inflicted despite good gas discipline, was one of the best examples of the deadly effects of gas shell he had seen in combat.32

Combat decisions that had little reference to gas warfare often resulted in incurring or aggravating gas casualties. For example, although AEF tactical doctrine called for the preselection of alternate positions, many requests to relocate infantry units during combat were denied even though the tactical situation and the enemy’s use of chemical agents called for relocation. In the determination to show the AEF’s battle prowess, many of its senior commanders were loath to give up an inch of occupied or captured ground. In one such case, on 15 July 1918, the commander of the 30th Infantry, 3d Division, filed a graphic report of the unit’s plight after repelling a German attempt to cross the Marne. His men, after being shelled with various chemicals for ten hours, were absolutely worn out. They had not had even a drink of water during that time. The shells landing in their sector contained mustard, chloropicrin, and chocolate (diphosgene has the odor of candy) gases. If the men remained in their contaminated uniforms, he noted, they were certain to become gas casualties, because the mustard gas would eventually reach their flesh. It was absolutely impossible to feed the regiment. because the rations had been contaminated by the gas. He reported to division that they are still there in the line and they will hold the line, but they ought to be relieved…. They were not.* Such decisions exhibited a crucial lack of understanding of the nature of gas warfare.33

Like the infantry, AEF artillerymen and animals suffered under the fury of German gas shell bombardments. While nonpersistent gas caused artillerymen problems in their attempt to deliver accurate fire, mustard yellow cross gas, remarked a cannoneer with the 91st Division, seems to be about the only Boche weapon of which the men are really afraid. Efforts were made to displace batteries subjected to counterbattery gas attacks, but this was difficult and time consuming. To assist the artillerymen who had to remain in a gassed area, the French Tissot mask was issued when available. As previously noted, not only did this mask’s filter offer less resistance to breathing, but the problem of fogged vision associated with the SBR did not exist. Most important, without a nose clip and mouthpiece it was a very comfortable mask to wear. In addition to the Tissot mask, gas gloves made of oil cloth were issued together with impervious clothing. However, because the antigas suits were not ventilated, men would tear them off in warm weather even while working in an area reeking with. mustard. As an alternative to the protective coveralls, artillerymen used Sag paste. Many artillerymen shaved off all their body hair prior to an application of the ointment. Every man in the firing battery, noted a gunner, is now denuded of hair on top of his poll, under his arm pits, between his legs, and his underwear is soldered to him with ‘sag paste.’ 34

*Gas casualties for the 30th Infantry during the period 14-20 July 1918 totaled 202 out of a total of 600 for the 3rd Division. (Spencer, Gas Attacks, Part 1, p. 123.)
To View: A horse and cannoneer masked during a gas attack, 1918.

The German use of chemical agents during World War I also placed a tremendous burden on a noncombat branch, the AEF Medical Department. Initially, no actions were taken at division level to provide medics with special expertise in the treatment of chemical casualties. As a result, division medical personnel were unprepared initially to handle the influx of gas victims. In the confusion of organizing and placing an American army in combat, it took GHQ, AEF, until October, 1918, to establish a uniform procedure to handle casualties.
To View: Battery A, 108th Field Artillery, receiving and firing gas counterbattery, 3 October 1918.

The 42d Division, the second most experienced American combat division of the AEF, appointed a gas medical officer a position that eventually all divisions of the AEF were ordered to establish. The 42d’s decision to appoint a gas medical officer came in the wake of several disastrous contacts with chemical agents in the division’s early combat. One such incident occurred on the evening of 20 March 1917, when approximately 400 German mustard rounds and 7,000 high explosive and shrapnel shells landed on a position manned by the division’s 165th Infantry. The weather conditions were excellent for the persistent mustard agent. It had rained earlier, and there was no breeze to dissipate the gas as it hung in the air. At midnight, men began to suffer the delayed effects of the gas. Company K lost two-thirds of its effectives. A week later Lt. Col. H. L. Gilchrist, Medical Director of the AEF, reported observing at a base hospital 417 gas casualties from the 165th Infantry.35

As the intensity of fighting increased, so did the number of men who claimed they were gassed, further burdening the Medical Department. Many shell-shocked soldiers or men who suffered from exhaustion and hunger believed themselves to be victims of gas poisoning. Others panicked after smelling shell fumes and reported themselves gassed. Then there were the shirkers who feigned being gassed. The symptomology of gas poisoning is so complex, observed Maj. William V. Sommervell, 3d Division Gas Officer, and at the same time so indefinite that anyone who claimed to be gassed was immediately sent to the rear.36
To View: Lts. Lautell Lugar and William A. Howell, Medical Corps, attending wounded to the rear of the first trench line during a gas attack, 27 October 1918.

As a consequence GHQ, AEF, expanded the number of medical personnel available to diagnose gas victims and weed out malingerers. At the hospital to the rear, division medical personnel devised several traps to detect suspected malingerers. One trap involved offering the gas casualty a large meal. Men on the front line were always hungry; they rarely had enough to eat. But a gas victim’s symptoms would include a loss of appetite, so anyone who devoured the food found himself promptly returned to the line. Medical personnel also offered suspected malingerers a cigarette laced with diphosgene. If the soldier gagged he was feigning gas poisoning. Some idea of the magnitude of the problem may be derived from one division field hospital commander’s establishment, of a board to review the 251 gas cases in his wards. The board’s report indicated that only ninety of the men actually suffered from gas poisoning. The problem, though, was never satisfactorily resolved in the AEF.37

The Medical Department processed gas casualties in combat divisions, using procedures similar to those used for sick and wounded. Medics at the battalion aid stations did what they could for the gas wounded. This consisted of plastering Sag paste on mustard burns, often having to cut a uniform open to expose the swollen flesh. A wet compress applied over the eyes eased the pain of those blinded. Men who inhaled mustard gas could only be comforted with. words, for no treatment could ease their pain. Medics could do nothing but try to put [the] mask back on and get them to a Field Hospital. From the battalion aid station, men moved to the Ambulance Head, the closest point to the line safely out of reach of German artillery fire. When possible, all gas casualties rode to avoid exertion. Men blinded by chemical agents were usually led to the ambulance head by comrades who could see, although in some instances, large numbers of blinded soldiers groped their way to the rear by holding on to a cord set up by the medics.38
To View: Gas casualties from the 2nd Battalion, 326th Infantry, 82nd Division, waiting for evacualtion, Argonne Forest, Ardennes, France, 11 October 1918.

When possible, division field hospitals were located in the same general area, with one hospital designated to handle gas victims. At this hospital the division medical officer supervised triage. Soldiers were placed into one of the following categories: fit for duty, immediate return to unit; fit for duty in twenty-four hours, return to unit; severely gassed, evacuate to an Army hospital. Exhausted men who complained of gas symptoms but who showed no outward signs of having been gassed were held in the division rear for rest, food, and observation. If medics verified their claims to gas poisoning, they too were evacuated.39
To View: Loading 89th Division gas patients at a field hospital north of Royaumeix (St. Mihiel Sector), 8 August 1918, for removal to a base hospital in Toul. Stretcher bearers wear makeshift burlap mittens to protect hands from gas-infected clothing of victims.

Division gas hospitals had to be located near a source of water because persistent and even nonpersistent agents clung to clothing, hair, and skin. After admission to a hospital, doughboys stripped off all their clothing and showered. Those casualties with serious symptoms were bathed while still on their stretchers. The bath house of the 2d Division gas hospital had a portable heater and six shower heads. When a doughboy left the showers, medics sprayed his eyes, nose, and throat with bicarbonate of soda. Depending on the diagnosis, the patient might be given a special treatment. of alkaline, oxygen, and, if necessary, venesection (bleeding) to counteract the effects of inhaled gas. For those soldiers who had eaten food or drunk water contaminated by gas, doctors prescribed olive or castor oil to coat the irritated stomach linings. When treatment failed to allow free breathing, or when the patient developed additional symptoms, medics immediately evacuated him to a base gas hospital. By November, 1918, the Medical. Department was well on its way to developing procedures to handle gas Victims.40

If American defensive doctrine and procedures for dealing with gas warfare were rudimentary or nonexistent to begin with and evolved during the war, the same was true of offensive gas doctrine and procedures. The American Army’s Artillery Corps had not determined its own doctrine for gas warfare prior to entering combat. Instead, U.S. artillerymen borrowed from both the French and British, as well as from the Germans. The first U.S. field manual for the use of chemical artillery shells was a translation of a current French manual. The AEF, emulating the French, classified chemical shell fire into two types of bombardment. The first type, destructive fire, consisted of two minutes of rapid fire with rounds landing in close proximity, so as to create a dense gas cloud that, given surprise, could inflict heavy casualties. The second type, a neutralizing bombardment, was fired over a longer period and was used to lower the enemy’s physical resistance and morale. It also interfered with the enemy’s activities by forcing him to wear a mask for extended periods of time. Mustard gas best accomplished neutralization according to the AEF field manuals.41

AEF manuals identified several kinds of missions that utilized surprise or neutralizing bombardment. For purpose of harassment, a neutralizing fire was used to exhaust and hinder the movement of enemy personnel. Interdiction fire was a kind of neutralizing fire that rendered positions untenable. Barrages in support of an infantry attack were to consist of 25 percent gas, or one gun per battery. The balance of high explosive fire disrupted enemy reinforcements and prevented counterattacks. AEF manuals duplicated German doctrine by ordering the inclusion of gas in all barrages; this would, it was hoped, deceive the enemy into believing a great concentration of gas was being fired at all times and cause him to mask frequently, thus wearing him down physically and mentally and limiting his ability to defend his position.42

Artillery counterbattery fire with gas came to be an extremely effective tactic. Before gas shells came into use, the attempt to neutralize enemy batteries on the Western Front required large amounts of high explosive shell. Regardless of the length of time or the number of rounds fired, complete destruction of the enemy’s batteries was never accomplished. Between 1914 and 1916 the average length of time required for artillery counterbattery fire to be effective was estimated at over six days. By 1917, gas made it possible to neutralize a known artillery battery in as little as fifteen minutes. Effective counterbattery fire over a wide front could neutralize enemy artillery in only two to four hours. By the spring of 1918, artillery commanders called for gas shells constantly, and the number of rounds fired was limited only by the availability of such shells.43

Of special demand was mustard, the agent that had become the king of the chemical war. The effect of mustard shells was so striking that there was a constant unfilled demand for them. One division commander remarked that when his cannoneers were at last issued the agent their morale soared. The arrival of mustard from French gas ammunition points in July, 1918, caused a great jubilee among AEF division artillerymen. That same month, on 2 July 1918, AEF General Order 107 allowed division gas officers to take an active role in the preparation of all plans involving the extensive use of gas by artillery and special gas troopS.44

AEF tactical employment of mustard and other chemical agents improved somewhat as artillerymen became more experienced. If, for instance, the exact location of an enemy battery in a wooded area was unknown, an AEF battery would shell the access roads with mustard, rather than waste limited gas shells by dowsing the entire woods. The artillerymen would then fire high explosive shells to damage the access roads and make it difficult for resupply trains trying to reach the battery to avoid contamination. The enemy battery would soon have to move. This tactic was also used to block reinforcements passing through defiles or over bridges. It proved to be an extremely efficient and economical method of counterbattery fire.45

Unfortunately, many senior U.S. Army officers remained oblivious to the potential use of chemicals by artillery or special gastroops in the offense. When it came time for the AEF to launch its first major offensives at St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne, the use of gas was minimal. In preparing for the Meuse-Argonne campaign, for example, the U.S. First Army Headquarters studied the spring offensives of 1918, where the Germans literally smothered the Allies with hundreds of thousands of gas shells in a relatively short space of time. To its credit, First Army HQ disseminated this information to its units and, in field orders during the campaign, urged subordinate corps and divisions to use gas. Gas was made available by the French to the Americans in a sufficient quantity to neutralize enemy batteries, strong points, and installations, and to produce casualties. The final decision to utilize gas, however, rested with the corps and division commanders. With little or no doctrine, training, or experience they were reluctant to employ gas. The offensive use of chemical weapons, according to one First Army general, does not seem to be understood. Army-level operational planning for the campaign included extensive use of gas, but its use by corps and divisions was halting. While the First Army’s divisions did gain some confidence in the use of gas towards the end of the campaign, they never really mastered its employment.46

After training with the British Special Brigade, the other gas offensive arm of the AEF, the 1st Gas Regiment, went into action on 22 May 1918. The Ist Battalion, 1st Gas Regiment, which consisted of Companies A and B, reported for duty attached to the 26th Division. On 18 June, Company B, temporarily attached to the XXXII French Corps, conducted the regiment’s first independent operation. At 2230, seven hundred 8-inch Livens projectors, emplaced the night before and loaded with sixty-pound drums of phosgene, were fired at two targets located 1,500 meters away. The first target was a company of infantry with one Minenwerfer (mortar) company and the second a reserve battalion of infantry. Artillery fired shrapnel and high explosive shells in conjunction with the projector attack. A month later prisoners revealed that this attack caused at least fifty casualties, including ten enemy deaths.47
The AEF tactical doctrine for the employment of special gas troops cited the advantages of using gas in terms of accuracy, the extended casualty producing area, and. lasting results. The doctrine noted the effectiveness of gas for the elimination of well-entrenched targets that high explosive fire could not destroy. The amount and type of chemical agent employed depended on the tactical situation, as well as wind and terrain features. Projectors, the primary weapon of U.S. gas troops, provided the means for producing casualties and demoralization second to none. When used aggressively, Livens projectors could keep enemy forces off balance; when employed on a quiet front, they could lessen considerably the likelihood of that front being used as a place to rest battle weary troops.48

In the offense, special gas troops could be utilized, according to AEF manuals, in five tactical situations. In the first, they would precede an offensive operation, keeping enemy positions in a gas environment until attacking troops arrived. This tactic would cause casualties and demoralize and reduce the fighting efficiency and morale of the enemy. Second, gas employed by special troops could eliminate machine gun nests just prior to an attack. AEF 4-inch Stokes mortars offered the best means of eliminating a machine gun position: two to ten Stokes mortars firing phosgene could form a localized concentration, either creating casualties or forcing the masking or the abandonment of the gun. Third, gas was ideal for sustained operations. Each night, gas could be placed on enemy machine gun nests, strongpoints, and troop concentrations, thereby weakening future resistance. Fourth, after friendly forces had taken an objective, reorganized, and consolidated their positions, gas employment acted as a temporary check or block to potential enemy counterattack formations. Fifth, the doctrine stipulated that in a stabilized situation frequent surprise fire with projectors could create the high concentrations of gas on suitable enemy targets from one end of the line to the other needed to harass enemy troops. In addition, local concentrations of gas, fired from Stokes mortars on machine gun nests, mortar positions, strongpoints, trench intersections, and other sensitive points further reduced enemy morale and strength.49

In the brief time it was deployed, the 1st Gas Regiment never matched the sophistication of the British Special Brigade. With the return to open warfare, the 1st Gas Regiment made superhuman efforts to meet AEF needs and moved their Stokes mortars with advancing infantry rather than remain in the trenches, as the British did. The regiment mortar men became very proficient in using thermite shells against machine gun positions and in covering advancing infantry with smoke. The regiment did not, however, employ gas during the attack as extensively as it did thermite and smoke. Gas was used, though, in conjunction with smoke, in order to cause enemy troops to expect gas whenever they received smoke. This tactic forced the enemy to mask, further limiting his vision.

Many commanders resisted the employment of special gas troops. The use of gas was new to American commanders, so it came as no surprise to officers of the Gas Regiment that trouble occasionally arose with the unit they were to support. The 1st Gas Regiment company commanders, lieutenants and captains attached to infantry divisions, tried as best they could to explain what results gas would achieve. During the Saint Mihiel operation in the fall of 1918, infantry officers quickly took advantage of the close support furnished by the Gas Regiment, whose mortar crews knocked out German machine gun nests with thermite and created smoke to screen the U.S. infantry. Still, the infantry appeared reluctant to use gas consistently. When the American First Army launched its first attack, the 1st Gas Regiment did not support the offensive with gas.

During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the 1st Gas Regiment did support Anierican troops with gas. Company E, 1st Gas Regiment, attached to the 28th Infantry Division, bombarded enemy hilltop positions with Stokes mortar rounds of smoke, thermite, and deceptive gas. Covered by this suppressive fire, doughboys executed a flanking movement and took the hill with very little difficulty. On 2 October 1918, Company F, while in support of the 33d Infantry Division, received authorization to fire fifty-six projectors loaded with phosgene bombs at German units near Bois La Ville. Results of the gas mission were unknown. Soon after, however, German artillery retaliated by firing a number of Yellow Cross rounds at the 33d Infantry Division. As a result, the infantry regiment being supported by the gas company refused to allow it to fire its scheduled second projector attack. The official history of the Gas Regiment indignantly reported that American troops near Bois La Ville constituted a normal mustard target for German gunners and that, irrespective of our gas operations, the locale normally experienced such attacks.50

Company F fired one of the largest American gas bombardments of the Meuse-Argonne campaign in support of the French XVII Corps. The men of Company F installed 230 Livens projectors in two nights. To assist in the operation, 100 French soldiers with forty-seven horses pulled narrowgauge rail cars containing projectors and shells to the front. At exactly 0330 on 16 October 1918, drums of phosgene, fired in a dense fog and rain, fell on a known enemy troop position. Corps artillery fired high explosive shells in conjunction with the attack.51

As the Meuse-Argonne operation continued infantry commanders gained confidence in the effectiveness of chemicals and increasingly called upon gas troops to exercise their skills. By the latter stages of the offensive, some division commanders actively sought out gas company commanders to support their operations. The 2d Division staff consulted the supporting gas company in planning an attack and, as a result, projectors were used for the first time preceding a significant American advance. The results confirmed the claims of the gas unit in that a large number of enemy troops became casualties; the gas cloud itself had a demoralizing effect on other German troops as the wind pushed it to the enemy rear.52

The initial hesitancy by the AEF to employ gas was judged understandable by an officer of the 1st Gas Regiment. The American Army was unprepared to engage in gas warfare when President Wilson committed it to battle. As a result, the use of chemical weapons and the defense against them became a deadly learning process for all branches of the Army under the stress of battle. Many commanders were simply unwilling to employ a weapon with which they had had no prior experience and which, if used, could invite German retaliation in kind. For those commanders who did allow the use of gas, some became enthusiastic supporters of offensive gas operations; some did not. The American experience with the offensive use of gas remained uneven to the end of the war.53

We Can Never Afford to
Neglect the Question

Chapter 6

General John J. Pershing, in his Final Report, made specific reference to three weapons introduced in World War I and the impact each had on the conduct of the war. The three weapons Pershing listed were the tank, aircraft, and poison gas. Only one, gas, caused him to reflect on its use in any future war. He declared, Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture, but the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never afford to neglect the question. Pershing, with the experience of the war behind him, pointed out that gas was a significant weapon, but not as a producer of battle deaths.1

The AEF suffered 34,249 immediate deaths on the battlefield. Of these, an estimated 200 were caused by gas.* The number of men wounded and evacuated to medical facilities numbered 224,089. Medical Department reports indicate 70,552 of these hospital patients suffered from gas wounds. Of these gas victims, 1,221 died in AEF hospital wards. When, looking at the total figures, 27.3 percent of all AEF casualties, dead and wounded, were caused by gas. With respect to the burden gas casualties placed on medical facilities, not to mention the replacement system, a significant 31.4 percent of all AEF wounded were treated in hospitals for gas wounds (Table 2).2

Gas in World War I did not have to cause large numbers of casualties to be an effective and versatile weapon. Gas warfare placed additional strain on every aspect of combat. According to British Maj. Gen. Charles H. Foulkes, Commander of the Special Brigade, the appearance of gas on the battlefield … changed. the whole character of warfare. In World War I, gas was everywhere, in clothing, food, and water. It corroded human skin, internal organs, and even steel weapons. The smell of gas hung in the air, and the chemical environment became a reality of everyday life. Not only did men have to train constantly, but an entire logistical network had to be established for offensive and defensive gas equipment. A new branch of the U.S. Army came into existence, and new units, such as decontamination squads, mobile degassing units, and special gas troops, were created. These organizations, in turn, took manpower away from the combat arms, as combat arms officers became gas officers in divisions, regiments, and battalions. Also, the impact of gas on the Medical Department posed tremendous problems in the treatment of casualties. The number of gas wounded became so great that one field hospital out of four per division was dedicated to the treatment of gas victims.3

*This is a rough and perhaps low estimate. It was always difficult to determine the cause of death when shell-torn bodies were interred by Quartermaster troops.
TO VIEW: 2. Hospitalized casualties
Despite the pervasive impact of chemical agents on the battlefield, commanders and staffs had difficulty adjusting their thinking and planning in such a way as to make effective use of these new weapons – weapons totally different from anything they had ever been trained to use. Not only did commanders and staffs have difficulty determining how they would employ the new weapon to their tactical advantage, but they also had to consider the effects of enemy gas on their own troops. By entering the conflict without preparation for chemical warfare, AEF commanders never fully comprehended the potential of gas on the battlefield.

The experience of the United States Army before and during World War I suggests several shortcomings in the military’s preparation for, and later employment of, chemical warfare. Prior to American entry into the war, the War Department and General Staff virtually ignored the deployment of chemical weapons in Europe and did, little or nothing to prepare the Army to fight and survive in a chemical environment. This pervasive neglect had an adverse impact on the capability of the AEF to fight effectively on a chemical battlefield. American troops entering front-line trenches were usually poorly trained and ill equipped to engage in gas warfare.

Proper defensive equipment is a minimal requirement for the successful engagement of forces in chemical warfare. The indispensable item for the World War I doughboy was his protective mask. Besides the filtration of all harmful agents, the mask had to fulfill a number of other requirements to be efficient. It had to be comfortable and allow for freedom of movement, full vision, easy breathing, communication, and durability. The American failure to develop a mask that could meet these requirements limited the combat effectiveness of the soldiers of the AEF. The decision to purchase the British SBR and, later, to manufacture an American version of it rather than to adopt and modify the more efficient and comfortable French Tissot was a serious error in judgment brought about by a lack of foresight and preparation.

The prewar failure to develop and experiment with new gases was also a serious shortcoming. If attention had been paid to the rapidly changing technology of chemical warfare, the United States, with its untapped industrial capacity, might have been able to overcome the German advantage. American technology might have produced the king of war gases, the persistent mustard agent, in a timely fashion. Instead, the Germans introduced this agent a year before the Allies.

After entry into the conflict, the United States geared up for production of war gases currently in use. Eventually mustard and other agents were shipped from the United States, but only in fifty-five-gallon containers. Production of chemical shells, based on French designs, was belatedly undertaken, and not a single American gas shell ever left the muzzle of an AEF artillery piece in combat. The unfortunate shortage of gas shells restricted the AEF’s capability to retaliate in kind against the Germans; this, in turn, had a demoralizing effect on troops whose own positions had been liberally drenched with gas from German shells.

The AEF never found the key to effective education and training for the offensive and defensive aspects of chemical warfare. A significant advantage could have been obtained if both offensive and defensive training had been integrated into all aspects of instruction. Once a soldier understood the overall nature of gas warfare and acquired confidence in his equipment and gas officers, he more easily accepted and adjusted to chemicals in actual combat. Unfortunately, U.S. training in chemical warfare never reached the sophistication needed to achieve the desired results. Equipment shortages and the lack of trained, instructors hampered the AEF’s preparation to engage in chemical warfare. The Army suffered needless casualties as a consequence.

Good gas discipline was also essential to the conduct of chemical warfare. Very few soldiers reached the level of the 1st Infantry Division doughboy who, when asked by a staff officer if the gas alarm signified a drill, replied through his mask in muffled tones, Put on your mask, put on your mask, you damn fool and don’t ask questions. Here, said the division commander who learned of the incident, was the real thing in discipline. Discipline and training were required if men were to be expected to remain in a contaminated area. The soldier’s determination to fight on would certainly have been enhanced if he had had faith in his equipment and the knowledge that provisions had been made for the decontamination of himself and his gear.4

Had the U.S. Army’s leaders, prior to America’s entry into the war, prepared themselves intellectually by studying German gas doctrine or by reviewing observer reports, gas officers would not have had to overcome such strong resistance to the tactical employment of chemicals. Because the U.S. Army failed to develop gas warfare doctrine, the average AEF officer never really understood the potential value of chemicals. Nor could he put aside his preconceived, if perhaps erroneous notion, that chemicals were unusually inhumane weapons whose development should not be pursued. For America the real inhumanity of chemical warfare in World War I lay in the blindness of U.S. civilian and military leaders who, having ignored the real and present threat posed by gas, deployed the doughboys of the AEF to fight unprepared in a chemical environment. Ignorance, shortsightedness, and unpreparedness extracted a high toll at the front, a toll that the United States with its intellectual and technological resources should not have had to pay.



1. Wayne Biddle, Restocking the Chemical Arsenal, New York Times Magazine, 24 May 1981:36.

2. Poisoning the Battlefield, Time Magazine, 10 March 1980:28.

Chapter 1

1. Amos A. Fries and Clarence J. West, Chemical Warfare (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1921), 1.

2. Ibid., 2-4; Alden H. Waitt, Gas Warfare, The Chemical Weapon, Its Use and Protection Against It (New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1942), 7-11.

3. Waitt, Gas Warfare, 12-13.

4. Ian V. Hogg, Gas, Ballantines Illustrated History of the Violent Century: Weapons Book no. 43, edited by Barrie Pitt (New York: Ballantine Books, 1975), 10-11; Army and Navy Journal, 8 May 1915:1141.

5. Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August (New York: MacMillan, 1962), 119.

6. Rudolf Hanslian, The German Gas Attack at Ypres on April 22, 1915 (Berlin: Verlag Gasschutz and Luftschutz, 1934), 6, translated by the Military Intelligence Division, U.S. Army War College; Charles H. Foulkes, Gas The Story of the Special Brigade (Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1936), 24; Ulrich M61ler-Kiel, Die Chemische Waffe im, Weltkrieg and jetzt [The chemical weapon during the war and now] (Berlin: Verlag Chemie, 1932), 16, translated by the Military Intelligence Division, U.S. Army War College; H. C. Peterson, Propaganda for War (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1939), 63; Hogg, Gas, 19.

7. Foulkes, Gas , 25; Victor Lefebure, The Riddle the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1923), 40; Hogg, Gas, 20-23; Curt Wachtel, Chemical Warfare (Brooklyn, NY: Chemical Publishing Co., 1941), 66.

8. Hogg, Gas, 23.

9. Augustin Mitchell Prentiss, Chemicals in War: A Treatise on Chemical Warfare (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1937), 435-36.

10. Hanslian, Ypres, 6-7; Hogg, Gas, 24; Wachtel, Chemical Warfare, 64.

11. Hanslian, Ypres, 10-12.

12. The description of the first gas attack is taken from the following sources: Hanslian, Ypres; Owen Spencer Watkins, unidentified article in The Methodist Recorder (Great Britain) quoted in The Literary Digest, 4 September 1915:483-86; and Basil Henry Liddell Hart, The Real War, 1914-1918 (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1930), 175-85.

13. Foulkes, Gas , 19-20.

14. The description of the British gas attack at Loos is taken from Ibid., 66-84; and Hart, The Real War, 186-98.

15. Foulkes, Gas , 84.

Chapter 2

1. Miiller-Kiel, Chemische Waffe, 49.

2. Hogg, Gas, 11-14.

3. Rudolf Hanslian, Der Chemische Krieg [The chemical war] (Berlin: E.S. Mittler & Sohn, 1927), 64, translated by the U.S. Army War College; Foulkes, Gas , 263-64.

4. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 4.

5. Great Britain, Army, Report on the Activities of the Special Brigade, with chart on Expansion of the Special Brigade, 19 December 1918, in possession of the author; France, Armée, Armées du Nord et du Nordest, Instruction relative a l’Organization et a emploi des Unités speciales, dites, Unités Z [Instruction relative to the organization and. use of special units, called Units Z], 23 January 1918, partial translation by Dr. Robert. M. Epstein, Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command. and General Staff College, 1982; Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 4. There were thirteen Russian field armies at the time that country left the war.
6. Foulkes, Gas , 242-43.

7. Samuel James Manson Auld, Chemical Warfare, Chemical Warfare, 15 March 1922:1224, reprint of a lecture published in the Royal Engineers Journal (Great Britain) of February 1922; Foulkes, Gas , 293.

8. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 4-5; Foulkes, Gas , 94-95, 305.

9. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 48-49.

10. Prentiss, Chemicals in War, 440-45.

11. Ibid.

12. Foulkes, Gas , 167, 169; Lefebure, Riddle, 62.

13. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 107.

14. Hogg, Gas, 48-49; Pascal Lucas, The Evolution of Tactical Ideas in France and Germany during the War of 1914-1918 (Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1923), 34, translated by P. V. Kieffer, U.S. Army, in 1925.

15. Foulkes, Gas , 145, 238 n. 145, 1.91; Donald Wilson, former Major, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers, interview with author, Fort McClellan, AL, 28 October 1981.

16. Foulkes, Gas , 197-98.

17. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 45.

18. Prentiss, Chemicals, 458.

19. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 61.
20. Hogg, Gas, 119-20.

21. Hanslian, Chemische Krieg, 58.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid., 63, 67-68; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 176.

24. Lucas, Tactical Ideas, 127.

25. Ibid., 22; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 205-6.

26. Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957, c1929), 95; Prentiss, Chemicals, 536.
27. Graves, Goodbye, 198.

28. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 197-98.

29. Prentiss, Chemicals, 539.

30. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 202.

31. Foulkes, Gas , 312-13; U.S. War Department,Gas Warfare, pt. 1, German Methods of Offense, Document no. 705 (Washington, DC: U.S. Army War College/U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918), 19, hereafter cited as War Department, Gas Warfare, etc.; Prentiss, Chemicals, 540.

Chapter 3

1. Frederick Brown, Chemical Warfare, A Study in Restraints (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968), 15-17, 1 confirmed Brown’s analysis of the propaganda war by examining prewar issues of the Army-Navy Journal,The Literary Digest, and the New York Times. I also looked at Harold D. Lasswell, Propaganda in the World War (New York: Peter Smith, 1938), and Peterson, Propaganda for War. Frederick Palmer, an astute wartime observer, gives an excellent overview of the effect Allied propaganda had on Americans in Newton D. Baker, America at War, 2 vols. (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1931), 1:36-39. See also Benedict Crowell, America’s Munitions, 1917-1918 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1919), 410.

2. Brown, Chemical Warfare, 40-41. Brown cites Chief of Staff Peyton C. March’s comments that the use of gas reduces civilization to savagery. From memoirs of World War I officers, especially those who served in the Chemical Warfare Service, it is apparent that this belief was widespread.

3. William A. Ganoe, The History the United States Army, rev. ed. (Ashton, MD: Eric Lundberg, 1964), 452; Brown, Chemical Warfare, 21n.

4. U.S. Senate, Committee on Military Affairs, Preparedness for National Defense, 64th Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1916), 483; Wilder D. Bancroft,et al., Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare, The Medical Department of the United StatesArmy in the World War, vol. 14 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1926), 27.

5. Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 27.

6. Ibid. In Chemical Warfare, Brown cites two reports, but these were filed after the U.S. declaration of war.

7. U.S. War Department, Annual Report, 1917, vol. 1, The Secretary of War, et al. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918), 42.

8. Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects,27.

9. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 32.

10. Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 28.

11. Crowell, America’s Munitions, 413; G. A. Burrell, The First Twenty Thousand, Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2 (1919), 93, quoted in Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 43.

12. Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 28.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid., 30-31.

15. Ibid.; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 34.

16. Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, to Chief of Staff, A. E. F., 16 October 1918, Subj: Gas Training in [thel United States, reprinted in U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, Defense Division, Report on the Operations of the Defense Division, Chemical Warfare Service, Submitted to the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service in accordance with S. O. 31, December 1918, DTIC AD-498438, hereafter cited as Report … Defense Division.

17. Edgar Dow Gilman, Chemical Warfare. Lectures Delivered to the Reserve Officer Training Corps, University of Cincinnati: Gas Projector Attacks, Chemical Warfare 8 (15 July 1922):14; Robert Lee Bullard, Personalities and Reminiscences of the War (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1925), 193.

18.Samuel James Manson Auld, A General Record of the American Chemical Warfare Service and the Relations Therewith of the British Gas Mission, 5 sect., 2:4, in the author’s possession.

19.Ibid., 2:3.

20. Ibid., 1:3-5; Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, A. E. F., to all gas officers, 28 September 1918, Subj: Gas Defense Training, 35th Division Gas Officer File, Record Group 120, National Archives, Washington, DC.

21. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 66; Division Gas Officer, 29th Division, to Deputy Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, 13 January 1918, uncataloged Division Gas Officer Reports, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA, hereafter cited as MHI; Baron Munchausen [pseud], History of the 318th Field Hospital, World War I project, MHI.

22. Gilman, Lectures, 16; Memorandum no. 65, HQ, 80th Division, Camp Lee, VA, 14 May 1918, uncataloged Division Gas Officer Reports, MHI.

23. General Order no. 108, 15 August 1917, cited in U.S. Army, A. E. F., 1917-1919, History of the Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, First Gas Regiment, 14 pts. in 1 vol. (Bound typescript; Fort Leavenworth, KS: General Service School, n.d.),pt. 1, hereafter cited as A. E. F., History West, Chemical Warfare, 42-44. lst Gas Regiment ; Ibid., 1:1, 4; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 42 -44.

24. Crowell, America’s Munitions, 418-28; Lt. Col. Amos A. Fries to Director of the Chemical Warfare Service, 19 March 1919, Subj: History of Chemical Warfare Service in France, uncataloged manuscript, MHI, 5, 24, 27-29.

25. Crowell, America’s Munitions, 397; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 53.

26. E. Alexander Powell, The Army Behind the Army (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919), 125; Crowell, America’s Munitions, 397-408.

27. Prentiss, Chemicals, 81-82.

28. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 60-70.

Chapter 4

1. U.S. Department of the Army, Historical Division, United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919, vol. 16, General Orders, G. H. Q., A. E .F., G. O. no. 8, 5 July 1917, Organization, of Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, Table 4, Technical and Administration Services (Gas Service) (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948), 23, hereafter cited as General Orders, A. E. F.

2. Fries, History, 2.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid., 3; General Orders, A.K F., G.0. no. 31, 3 September 1917, 67-68.

5.General Orders, A.E.F., G.O. no. 79, 27 May 1918, 327-29.

6. Ibid., G.O. no. 107, 2 July 1918, 370.

7. Fries, History, 5.

8. War Department, Gas Warfare, pt. 2, Methods of Defense Against Gas Attacks, 14-18; Fries, History, 11, 24, 27; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 50-51.

9. Fries, History, 28-29.

10. Ibid., 29.

11. Ibid., 8-9; Crowell, America’s Munitions, 406-9; Powell, The Army, 125; Prentiss, Chemicals, 481.

12. Prentiss, Chemicals, 462.

13. General Orders, A.E.F., G.0. no. 53, 3 November 1917, 100.

14. U.S. War Department, Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare with Notes on Its Pathology and Treatment (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1917); Fries, History, 9-10.

15.U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, Medical Director, History of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, Medical Director (N.p., 1918), 1, DTIC AD-494989, hereafter cited as History … Medical Director ; Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 59.

16. History . Medical Director, 2-3.

17. Ibid.

18. E. W. Spencer, The History of Gas Attacks upon the American Expeditionary Forces During the World War, 4 pts (Bound typescript; Edgewood Arsenal, MD: Chemical Warfare Service, U.S. War Department, 15 February 1928), 3:403-4; J. W. Grissinger, Medical Field Service in France (Washington, DC: The Association of Military Surgeons, 1928), 28-29, reprinted from The Military Surgeon 61-63 (1927-1928).

19. Grissinger, Medical Field Service, 41.

20. General Orders, A.E.F., G.O. no. 144, 29 August 1918, 429-32; Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 60, 838.

21. Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 45, 49.

22. Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 86; Gilman, Lectures, 14.

23. Norman A. Dunham, The War As I Saw It, 3 vols., manuscript, World War I project, MHI, 1:166, 168; Gilman, Lectures, 14.

24. U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, European Division, Training Activities of the Chemical Warfare Service (N.p., 1919). Unless otherwise indicated all of the information pertaining to defensive gas training is from this unnumbered publication.

25. History 1st Gas Regiment, 1:5-7, 2:9-10

26. Auld, General Record, 2:5; U.S. Army, A. E. F., 1917-1919, ist Army, Provisional Instructions for Artillery Officers on the Use of Gas Shell (N.p.: Base Printing Plant, 29th Engineers, 1918); U.S. Army, A.E.F., 1917-1919, Gas Manual, pt. 2, Use of Gas by the Artillery (France, March 1919), hereafter cited as Gas Manual, pt, 2; U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, History of the Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces (N.p., 1918), 43, DTIC AD-495051.

Chapter 5

1. Bullard, Personalities, 136.

2. Rexmond C. Cochrane, The 1st Division at Ansauville, January-April 1918, U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies; Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 9 (Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Officer, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958), 12-13.

3. Ibid., 5; U.S. Army, 16th Infantry Regiment, The Story of the 16th Infantry in France, typescript, World War I project, MHI, 8.

4. War Department, Gas Warfare, pt.3, Methods of Training in Defensive Measures, 26-28.

5. Amos A. Fries, -Gas in Defense-, in -Gas in Attack- and -Gas in Defense- (Fort Leavenworth,KS: The General Service Schools Press, n.d.), 17-18, reprinted from the National Service Magazine, June-July 1919; Report … Defense Division, 12.

6. Report Defense Division, 14.

7. Bullard Personalities, 159; Report … Defense Division, 14.

8. U.S. Army, A.E.F., Office of the Chief of Gas Service, Semi-monthly Report to Director of Gas Service, U.S., on Activities and Needs of the Gas Service, A. E. F., 15 May 1918, 2, DTIC AD-498800.

9. Report. Defense Division, 1.4.

10. Dorothy Kneeland Clark, Effectiveness of Chemical Weapons in World War I, Staff paper ORO-SP-88 (Bethesda, MD: Tactics Division, Operations Research Office, Johns Hopkins University, 1959), 75; U.S. Army, A. E. F., 1917-1919, Defensive Measures Against Gas Attack, No. 253 revised (France, November 1917), 8, hereafter cited as Defensive Measures.

11. Moses King, Diary of Moses King, Company I, 305th Infantry, U.S.N.A., n.d., World War I project, MHI; Chief, CWS, to all gas officers, 28 September 1918, RG 120, National Archives.

12. Harry L. Gilchrist, A Comparative Study of World War Casualties From Gas and Other Weapons (Edgewood Arsenal, MD: Chemical Warfare School, 1928), 21; Report … Defense Division, 16; Clarence M. Wood, former medic, 140th,Ambulance Company, 35th Division, letter to the author, 19 October 1981; Prentiss, Chemicals in War, 565.

13. Prentiss, Chemicals in War, 564-65; Report… Defense Division ; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 272-74; Waitt, Gas Warfare,195.

14. General Orders, A. E. F. G. 0. no, 144, 29 August 1918, 432; Fries, -Gas in Defense-, 15-16.

15. Foulkes, Gas , 101-2.

16. Fries -Gas in Defense-, 14; War Department, Gas Warfare, 2:14.

17. Fries -Gas in Defense-, 11; War Department, Gas Warfare, 2:31.

18. Rexmond C. Cochrane, The 42nd Division Before Landres-et-St-Georges, October 1918, U.S.Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 17 (Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1960), 13-15.

19. Fries, -Gas in Defense-, 9-10.

20. General Orders, A. E. F., G. O. no. 107, 2 July 1918, 370; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 89-91; Charles R. Shrader, Amicicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War, Research Survey no. 1 (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1982), xii, 2.

21. U.S. Army, 26th Division, Gas Officer, Report of Growth, Organization and Accomplishments of the Division Gas Officer, With Suggested Duties of Officers, 25 November 1918, Record Group 120, National Archives, Washing-ton, DC.

22. Ibid.

23. Harold Reigelman, A Chemical Officer at the Front, Chemical Warfare Bulletin 23 (April 1937):42.

24. Ibid., 54.

25. Spencer, Gas Attacks, pt. 1, First Division, 8-13.

26. Reigelman, At the Front, 51.

27. Laurence Stallings, The Doughboys (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), 100-1.

28. Bullard, Personalities, 193.

29. Stallings, The Doughboys, 377; quotation in D. Clayton James, The Years of MacArthur,vol. 1, 1880-1941 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1970), 197.

30. Andrew Kaehik, Diary [of service with the 314th Infantry, 79th Infantry Division], 29 September 1918, World War I project, MHI; George F. Unmacht, The Effects of Chemical Agents on Quartermaster Supplies, The Quartermaster Review 14 (November-December 1934):54; Fries, -Gas in Defense-, 16; Defensive Measures, 12.

31. Division Gas Officer, 32d Division to Commanding General 32d Division, Monthly Report, ii.d., Record Group 120, National Archives, Washington, DC; Spencer, Gas Attacks, pt. 1, 1st Division, 9; Regimental Gas Officer, 18th Infantry, to Commanding Officer, 5 May 1918, quoted in Rexmond C. Cochrane, The 1st Division at Cantigny, May 1918, U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War 1, Study no. 11 (Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958), 19-20; Report … Defense Division, 10, 14; General Orders, A.E.F., G.O. no. 78, 25 May 1918.

33. Clark, Effectiveness, 75; Division Gas Officer, 29th Division, to Chief Gas Officer, 1st Army, Report on Recent Operations, 20 November 1918, Record Group 120, National Archives, Washington, DC; Willard Newton, Over There for Uncle Sam: A Daily Diary of World War One, n. d., 95, World War I project, MHI; Division Gas Officer, 29th Division to Chief Gas Officer, 1st Army, A. E. F, Report on Recent Operations, 20 October 1918, uncataloged Division Gas Officer Files, MHI.

33. Clark, Effectiveness, 73-74.

34. Karl Edwin Harriman, The Cannoneers Have Hairy Ears (New York: J. H. Sear, 1927), 50, 176; Waitt, Gas Warfare, 195.

35. Cochrane, The 42d Division, 9.

36. History … Medical Director, 17; Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 65.

37. History … Medical Director, 17, Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 65.

38. Wood letter.

39. Grissinger, Medical Field Service, 71.

40. Medical Director, Gas Service, to Chief of Gas Service, A. E. F., 1 July 1918, Subj: Report of Second Serious Gas Attack in 2d Division, reprinted in Bancroft, et al., Medical Aspects, 71-73.

41. Gas Manual, 2:12-13.

42. Ibid., 12.

43. Conrad H. Lanza, Counterbattery, Chemical Warfare Bulletin 23 (July 1937):89-91; Lucas, Tactical Ideas, 57.

44. Bullard, Personalities, 193-94; General Orders, A. E. F., G. O. no. 107, 2 July 1918, 370.

45. Lanza, Counterbattery, 92.

46. Rexmond C. Cochrane, The Use of Gas in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, September – November 1918, U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 10 (Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958), 89; History 1st Gas Regiment, pt. 3., sect. 6, 1-35-; Fries and West, Chemical Warfare, 90.

47. History 1st Gas Regiment, 1:1.

48. Ibid., 4:1, 3; pt. 3, sect. 4:8.

49. Ibid., 4:1-2.

50. Ibid., 4:3.

51. James Thayer Addison, The Story of the First Gas Regiment (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919), 149-50; History 1st Gas Regiment, pt. 3, sect. 4:8.

52. History … 1st Gas Regiment, pt. 3, sect. 5:14.

53. Addison, First Gas Regiment, 150.

Chapter 6

1. John J. Pershing, Final Report of General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief American Expeditionary Forces (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1920), 77.

2. In researching gas casualty statistics, I found minor discrepancies and a variety of reporting methods. The studies I examined included Albert G. Love, Statistics, pt. 2, Medical and Casualty Statistics, The Medical Departanent of the United States Army in the World Way, vol. 15 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1925); Albert G. Love, War Casualties, Army Medical Bulletin no. 24 (Carlisle Barracks, PA: Medical Field Service School, 1931); and Harry L. Gilchrist, A Comparative Study of World War Casualties From Gas and Other Weapons (Edgewood Arsenal, MD: Chemical Warfare School, 1928). I found that the latter had the clearest format and figures that were substantiated by the other studies. The figures do not include casualties in the Marine Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division.

3. Foulkes, Gas , 345.

4. Bullard, Personalities, 161.


Primary Sources


Auld, Samuel James Manson. A General Record of the American Chemical Warfare Service and the Relations Therewith of the British Gas Mission. 5 sect. In the author’s possession.

Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, A. E. F., to all gas officers, 28 September 1918, Subj: Gas Defense Training. 35th Division Gas Officer Files, Record Group 120, National Archives, Washington., DC.

Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, to Chief of Staff, A.E.F., 16 October 1918, Subj: Gas Training in [the] United States. Reprinted in U.S. Army, Chemical Warfare Service, Defense Division, Report on the Operations of the Defense Division, Chemical Warfare Service. Submitted to the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service in accordance with S. O. 31, December 1918. DTIC AD-498438.

Division Gas Officer, 29th Division, to Chief Gas Officer, 1st Army. Report on Recent Operations. 20 November 1918. Record Group 120, National Archives, Washington, DC.

Division Gas Officer, 29th Division, to Chief Gas Officer, 1st Army, A.E.F. Report on Recent Operations. 20 October 1918. Uncataloged Division Gas Officer Files, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Division Gas Officer, 29th Division, to Deputy Chief, Chemical Warfare Service, 13 January 1918. Uncataloged Division Gas Officer Reports, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Division Gas Officer, 32d Division, to Commanding General, 32d Division. Monthly Report. N.d. Record Group National Archives, Washington, DC.

Dunham, Norman A. The War as I Saw It. 3 vols. Manuscript. World War I project, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Fries, Amos A., Lt. Col., to Director of the Chemical Warfare Service, 19 March 1919, Subj: History of Chemical Warfare Service in France. Uncataloged manuscript. U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Kachik, Andrew. Diary [of service with the 314th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division]. World War I project, U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

King, Moses. Diary of Moses King, Company I, 305th Infantry, U.S.N.A. N.d. World War I project, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Memorandum no. 65, HQ, 80th Division, Camp Lee, VA, 14 May 1918. Uncataloged Division Gas Officer Reports, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Munchausen, Baron [pseud.]. History of the 318th Field Hospital. World War I project, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Newton, Willard. Over There for Uncle Sam: A Daily Diary of World War One. World War I project, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Spencer, E. W. The History of Gas Attacks upon the American Expeditionary Forces During the World War. 4 pts. Bound typescript. Edgewood Arsenal, MD: Chemical Warfare Service, U.S. War Department, 15 February 1928.

U.S. Army. A. E. F., 1917-1919. 1st Gas Regiment. History of the Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, 1st Gas Regiment. 14 pts. in 1 vol. Bound typescript. Fort Leavenworth, KS: General Service School, n.d.

—–. Office of the Chief of Gas Service. Semi-monthly Report to Director of Gas Service, U.S., on Activities and Needs of the Gas Service, A. E. F. 15 May 1918. DTIC AD-498800.

U.S. Army. Chemical Warfare Service. History of the Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces. N.p., 1918.

—–. Defense Division. Report on the Operations of the Defense Division, Chemical Warfare Service. Submitted to the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service in accordance with S. O. 31, December 1918. DTIC AD-498438.

—–. European Division. Training Activities of the Chemical Warfare Service. N.p., 1919.

—–. Medical Director. History of Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, Medical Director. N.p., 1918. DTIC AD-494989.

U.S. Army. 26th Division. Gas Officer. Report of Growth, Organization and Accomplishments of the Division Gas Office, with Suggested Duties of Officers. 25 November 1918. Record Group Washington, DC.

National Archives, U.S. Army. 16th Infantry Regiment. The Story of the 16th Infantry in France. Typescript. World War I project, U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Wilson, Donald, former Major, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers. Interview with author. Fort McClellan, AL, 28 October 1981.

Wood, Clarence M., former medic, 140th Ambulance Co., 35th Division. Letter to author. 19 October 1981. In the author’s possession.


Addison, James Thayer. The Story of the First Gas Regiment. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919.

Army and Navy Journal, 8 May 1915:1141.

Auld, Samuel James Manson. Chemical Warfare. Chemical Warfare, 15 March 1922:12-24. Reprint of a lecture published in the Royal Engineers Journal (Great Britain) of February 1922.

Bullard, Robert Lee. Personalities and Reminiscences of the War. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1925.

Burrell, G. A. The First Twenty Thousand. Journal of Industrial Engineering 2 (1919). Quotation in Amos A. Fries and Clarence J. West, Chemical Warfare. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1921.

Crowell, Benedict. America’s Munitions, 1917-1918. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1919.

Foulkes, Charles H. Gas The Story of the Special Brigade. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1936.

France. Armée. Armées du Nord et du Nordest. Instruction relative a l’Organization et a emploi des Unités spéciales, dites, Unités Z [Instruction relative to the arganization and use of special units, called Units Z]. 23 January 1918. Partial translation by Dr. Robert M. Epstein, Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1982.

Fries, Amos A. -Gas in Defense-. In -Gas in Attack- and -Gas in Defense-. Fort Leavenworth, KS?: The General Service Schools, n.d.? Reprinted from the National Service Magazine, June-July 1919.

Fries, Amos A., and Clarence J. West. Chemical Warfare. New York: McGrawHill, 1921.

Gilman, Edgar Dow. Chemical Warfare. Lectures Delivered to the Reserve Officer Training Corps, University of Cincinnati: Gas Projector Attacks. Chemical Warfare 8 (15 July 1922):11-16.

Graves, Robert. Goodbye to All That. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957, c1929.
Great Britain. Army. Report on the Activities of the Special Brigade. With chart on Expansion of the Special Brigade. 19 December 1918. In the author’s possession.

Grissinger, J. W. Medical Field Service in France. Washington, DC: The Association of Military Surgeons, 1928.

Harriman, Karl Edwin. The Cannoneers Have Hairy Ears. New York: J. H. Sear, 1927.

Lucas, Pascal. The Evolution of Tactical Ideas in France and Germany During the War of 1914-1918. Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1923. Translated by P. V. Kieffer, U.S. Army, in 1925.

Pershing, John J. Final Report of General John J. Pershing, Commanderin-Chief American Expeditionary Forces. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1920.

Reigelman, Harold. A Chemical Officer at the Front. Chemical Warfare Bulletin 23 (April, July, and October 1937):42-55, 106-16, 151-63. Reprinted from War Notes a Casual, publication information unknown.

U.S. Army. A.E.F., 1917-1919. Defensive Measures Against Gas Attack. No. 253, revised. France, November 1917.

—–. Gas Manual. Pt. 2. Use of Gas by the Artillery. France, March 1919.

—–. 1st Army. Provisional Instructions for Artillery Officers on the Use of Gas Shell. N.p. Base Printing Plant, 29th Engineers, 1918.

U.S. Department of the Army. Historical Division. United States Army in the World War, 1917-1919. Vol. 16. General Orders, G.H.Q., A.E.F. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948.

U.S. Senate. Committee on Military Affairs. Preparedness for National Defense. 64th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1916.

U.S. War Department. Annual Report, 1917. Vol. 1. The Secretary of War, et al. Washington, DC, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918.
—–. Gas Warfare. Pt. 1. German Methods of Offense. Pt. 2. Methods of Defense Against Gas Attacks. Pt. 3. Methods of Training in Defensive Measures. Washington, DC: U.S. Army War College/U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918.

—–. Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare with Notes on Its Pathology and Treatment. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1917.

Watkins., Owen Spencer. Unidentified article in The Methodist Recorder (Great Britain) quoted in The Literary Digest, 4 September 1915:483-86.

Other Works

Bancroft, Wilder D., et al. Medical Aspects of Gas Warfare. The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, vol. 14. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1926.

Biddle, Wayne. Restocking the Chemical Arsenal. New York Times Magazine, 24 May 1981.

Brown, Frederick. Chemical Warfare, a Study in Restraints. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Clark, Dorothy Kneeland. Effectiveness of Chemical Weapons in World War I. Staff paper ORO-SP-88. Bethesda, MD: Tactics Division, Operations Research Office, Johns Hopkins University, 1959. DTIC AD-233081.

Cochrane, Rexmond C. The 1st Division at Ansauville, January-April 1918. U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 9. Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958.

—–. The 1st Division at Cantigny, May 1918. U.S. Army Chemical Corps ,,Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 11. Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958.

—–. The 42nd Division Before Landres-et-St. Georges, October 1918. U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 17. Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1960.

—–. The Use of Gas in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, September – November 1918. U.S. Army Chemical Corps Historical Studies: Gas Warfare in World War I, Study no. 10. Army Chemical Center, MD: Historical Office, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, 1958.

Ganoe, William A. The History of the United States Army. Rev. ed. Ashton, MD: Eric Lundberg, 1964.

Gilchrist, Harry L., Col. A Comparative Study of World War Casualties from Gas and Other Weapons. Edgewood Arsenal, MD: Chemical Warfare School, 1928.

Hanslian, Rudolf. Der Chemische Krieg [The chemical war]. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1927. Translated by the U.S. Army War College.

—–. The German Gas Attack at Ypres on April 22, 1915. Berlin: Verlag Gasschutz and Luftschutz, 1934. Translated by the Military Intelligence Division, U.S. Army War College.

Hogg, Ian V. Gas. Ballantine’s Illustrated History of the Violent Century: Weapons Book no. 43, edited by Barrie Pitt. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975.

James, D. Clayton. The Years of MacArthur. Vol. 1. 1880-1941. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1970.

Lanza, Conrad H. Counterbattery. Chemical Warfare Bulletin 23 (July 1937):87-94.

Lasswell, Harold D. Propaganda in the World War. New York: Peter Smith, 1938.

Lefebure, Victor. Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1923.

Liddell Hart, Basil Henry. The Real War, 1914-1918. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1930.

Love, Albert G., Maj. Statistics.Pt. 2. Medical and Casualty Statistics. The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, vol. 15. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1925.
—–. War Casualties. Army Medical Bulletin no. 24. Carlisle Barracks, PA: Medical Field Service School, 1931.

Müller-Kiel, Ulrich. Die Chemische Waffe im Weltkrieg und Jetzt [The chemical weapon in the World. War and now]. Berlin: Verlag Chemie, 1932. Translated by the Military Intelligence Division, U.S. Army War College.

Palmer, Frederick. Newton D. Baker, America at War. 2 vols. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1931.

Peterson, H. C. Propaganda for War. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1939.

Poisoning the Battlefield. Time Magazine, 10 March 1980:28.

Powell, E. Alexander. The Army Behind the Army. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919.

Prentiss, Augustin Mitchell. Chemicals in War: A Treatise on Chemical Warfare. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1937.

Shrader, Charles R. Amicicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War. Research Survey no. 1. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1982.

Stallings, Laurence. The Doughboys. New York: Harper and Row, 1963.

Tuchman, Barbara W. The Guns of August. New York: Macmillan, 1962.

Unmacht, George F. The Effects of Chemical Agents on Quartermaster Supplies. The Quartermaster Review 14 (November-December 1934):53-55.

Wachtel, Curt. Chemical Warfare. Brooklyn, NY: Chemical Publishing Co., 1941.

Waitt, Alden H. Gas Warfare: The Chemical Weapon, Its Use and Protection Against It. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1942.


1 . The Evolution of U.S, Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76, by Major Robert A. Doughty

2. Nomonhan: Japanese-Soviet Tactical Combat, 1939, by Dr. Edward J. Drea

3. Not War But Like War : The American Intervention in Lebanon, by Dr.Roger J. Spiller

4. The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War, by Captain Timothy T. Lupfer

5. Fighting the Russians in Winter: Three Case Studies, by Dr. Allen F. Chew
6. Soviet Night Operations, by Major Claude R. Sasso

7. August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, by Lieutenant Colonel David M. Glantz

8. August Storm: Soviet Tactical and Operational Combat in Manchuria, 1945, by Lieutenant Colonel David M. Glantz

9. Defending the Driniumor: Covering Force Operations in New Guinea, 1944, by Dr. Edward J. Drea

10. Chemical Warfare in World War I: The American Experience, 1917-1918 by Major Charles E. Heller, USAR

Soviet Airborne Forces
Rapid Deployment Logistics, Lebanon, 1958
Special Units: Rangers in World War 11
Counterattack on the Naktong: Light Infantry Operations in Korea, 1950
Armored Combat in World War 11: Arracourt
Stand Fast: German Defensive Doctrine in World War il
Combined Arms Doctrine in the 20th Century
Operations of Large Formations: The Corps
Tactics and Doctrine in Imperial Russia
U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965

TO VIEW: MAJ (P) Charles E. Heller

Major(P) Charles E. Heller, USAR, is currently on an AGR tour at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College as the Combat Studies Institute’s USAR Staff Officer. He has served on active duty with the 8th Infantry Division and in a variety of USAR assignments, including a MOBDES position with the U.S. Army Center of Military History. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts and has recently completed all his degree requirements for a Ph.D. at the same institution. He has published a number of articles on a variety of military history topics.



The Combat Studies Institute was established on 18 June 1979 as a separate, department level activity within the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for the purpose of accomplishing the following missions:

1. Conduct research on historical topics pertinent to the current doctrinal and educational concerns of the Army and publish and distribute the results of such research in a variety of formats to the Active Army and Reserve components.

2. Prepare and present instruction in military history at CGSC and assist other CGSC departments in integrating applicable military history materials into their instruction.

3. Serve as the TRADOC executive agent for the development and coordination of an integrated, progressive program of military history instruction in the TRADOC service school system.

4. Direct the CAC Historical Program.

5. Supervise the Fort Leavenworth Museum.

TO VIEW: Back Cover Synopsis

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The Army thus found itself with no alternative but to construct its own production facilities. In December, 1917, construction of plants to produce chemical agents began at Gunpowder Neck, Maryland. By the summer of 1918, the Edgewood Arsenal there had plants in operation producing phosgene, chloropicrin, mustard, chlorine, and sulfur trichloride. The arsenal also had a capability for filling artillery shells, although most of the agents produced were shipped overseas to the Allies in fifty-five gallon drums. Because of insufficient time, not one single gas shell manufactured at the arsenal ever reached an American artillery piece in France. When production of chemicals finally peaked one month prior to the Armistice, the plants had to stop production for lack of shell casings. artillery units and special gas troops fired American produced war gas, but in French and British shells.26

(From site above)


Chemical warfare
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Chemical warfare (disambiguation).
It has been suggested that Timeline of chemical warfare be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

This article forms part of the series
Chemical agents
Lethal agents
Blood agents
Cyanogen chloride (CK)
Hydrogen cyanide (AC)
Blister agents
Ethyldichloroarsine (ED)
Methyldichloroarsine (MD)
Phenyldichloroarsine (PD)
Lewisite (L)
Sulfur mustard gas (HD, H, HT, HL, HQ)
Nitrogen mustard gas (HN1, HN2, HN3)
Nerve agents
Tabun (GA), Sarin (GB)
Soman (GD), Cyclosarin (GF)
EA-3148, VE, VG, VM, VR, VX
Novichok agents
Pulmonary agents
Chloropicrin (PS)
Phosgene (CG)
Diphosgene (DP)
Incapacitating agents
Agent 15 (BZ)
Riot control agents
Pepper spray (OC)
CS gas
CN gas (mace)
CR gas
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Weapons of
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Chemical warfare (CW) involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons to kill, injure, or incapacitate an enemy.

This type of warfare is distinct from the use of conventional weapons or nuclear weapons because the destructive effects of chemical weapons are not primarily due to their explosive force.

Chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction by the United Nations, and their production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. The offensive use of living organisms or their toxic products is not considered chemical warfare but biological warfare.


* 1 Definition
* 2 Technology
o 2.1 Chemical warfare agents
+ 2.1.1 Persistency
+ 2.1.2 Classes
+ 2.1.3 Designations
o 2.2 Delivery
+ 2.2.1 Dispersion
+ 2.2.2 Thermal dissemination
+ 2.2.3 Aerodynamic dissemination
o 2.3 Protection against chemical warfare
+ 2.3.1 Decontamination
* 3 Sociopolitical climate
o 3.1 Efforts to eradicate chemical weapons
o 3.2 Chemical weapon proliferation
* 4 History
o 4.1 Ancient to medieval times
+ 4.1.1 Textual and Literary Evidence
+ 4.1.2 Archaeological Evidence
o 4.2 Rediscovery
o 4.3 World War I
o 4.4 Interwar years
o 4.5 World War II
o 4.6 North Yemen Civil War
o 4.7 Cold War
+ 4.7.1 Developments by the Western governments
+ 4.7.2 United States Senate Report
+ 4.7.3 Developments by the Soviet government
o 4.8 Iran–Iraq War
o 4.9 Falklands War
o 4.10 Terrorism
* 5 See also
* 6 Notes
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links


Chemical warfare is different from the use of conventional weapons or nuclear weapons because the destructive effects of chemical weapons are not primarily due to any explosive force. The offensive use of living organisms (such as anthrax) is considered biological warfare rather than chemical warfare; however, the use of nonliving toxic products produced by living organisms (e.g. toxins such as botulinum toxin, ricin, and saxitoxin) is considered chemical warfare under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Under this Convention, any toxic chemical, regardless of its origin, is considered a chemical weapon unless it is used for purposes that are not prohibited (an important legal definition known as the General Purpose Criterion).[1]

About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents during the 20th century. Chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction by the United Nations, and their production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

Under the Convention, chemicals that are toxic enough to be used as chemical weapons, or that may be used to manufacture such chemicals, are divided into three groups according to their purpose and treatment:

* Schedule 1 – Have few, if any, legitimate uses. These may only be produced or used for research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes (i.e. testing of chemical weapons sensors and protective clothing). Examples include nerve agents, ricin, lewisite and mustard gas. Any production over 100 g must be notified to the OPCW and a country can have a stockpile of no more than one tonne of these chemicals.
* Schedule 2 – Have no large-scale industrial uses, but may have legitimate small-scale uses. Examples include dimethyl methylphosphonate, a precursor to sarin but which is also used as a flame retardant and Thiodiglycol which is a precursor chemical used in the manufacture of mustard gas but is also widely used as a solvent in inks.
* Schedule 3 – Have legitimate large-scale industrial uses. Examples include phosgene and chloropicrin. Both have been used as chemical weapons but phosgene is an important precursor in the manufacture of plastics and chloropicrin is used as a fumigant. The OPCW must be notified of, and may inspect, any plant producing more than 30 tonnes per year.

Chemical warfare technology timeline Agents Dissemination Protection Detection
1900s Chlorine
Mustard gas Wind dispersal Gas masks, urinated-on gauze Smell
1910s Lewisite Chemical shells Gas mask
Rosin oil clothing
1920s Projectiles w/ central bursters CC-2 clothing
1930s G-series nerve agents Aircraft bombs Blister agent detectors
Color change paper
1940s Missile warheads
Spray tanks Protective ointment (mustard)
Collective protection
Gas mask w/ Whetlerite
1960s V-series nerve agents Aerodynamic Gas mask w/ water supply Nerve gas alarm
1980s Binary munitions Improved gas masks
(protection, fit, comfort) Laser detection
1990s Novichok nerve agents

A Swedish Army soldier wearing a chemical agent protective suit (C-vätskeskydd) and his protection mask (skyddsmask 90).

Although crude chemical warfare has been employed in many parts of the world for thousands of years,[2] modern chemical warfare began during World War I – see Poison gas in World War I.

Initially, only well-known commercially available chemicals and their variants were used. These included chlorine and phosgene gas. The methods used to disperse these agents during battle were relatively unrefined and inefficient. Even so, casualties could be heavy, due to the mainly static troop positions which were characteristic features of trench warfare.

Germany, the first side to employ chemical warfare on the battlefield,[3] simply opened canisters of chlorine upwind of the opposing side and let the prevailing winds do the dissemination. Soon after, the French modified artillery munitions to contain phosgene – a much more effective method that became the principal means of delivery.[4]

Since the development of modern chemical warfare in World War I, nations have pursued research and development on chemical weapons that falls into four major categories: new and more deadly agents; more efficient methods of delivering agents to the target (dissemination); more reliable means of defense against chemical weapons; and more sensitive and accurate means of detecting chemical agents.

Chemical warfare agents
See also: List of chemical warfare agents
A chemical used in warfare is called a chemical warfare agent (CWA). About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents during the 20th century and the 21st century. These agents may be in liquid, gas or solid form. Liquid agents are generally designed to evaporate quickly; such liquids are said to be volatile or have a high vapor pressure. Many chemical agents are made volatile so they can be dispersed over a large region quickly.

The earliest target of chemical warfare agent research was not toxicity, but development of agents that can affect a target through the skin and clothing, rendering protective gas masks useless. In July 1917, the Germans employed mustard gas. Mustard gas easily penetrates leather and fabric to inflict painful burns on the skin.

Chemical warfare agents are divided into lethal and incapacitating categories. A substance is classified as incapacitating if less than 1/100 of the lethal dose causes incapacitation, e.g., through nausea or visual problems. The distinction between lethal and incapacitating substances is not fixed, but relies on a statistical average called the LD50.


One way to classify chemical warfare agents is according to their persistency, a measure of the length of time that a chemical agent remains effective after dissemination. Chemical agents are classified as persistent or nonpersistent.

Agents classified as nonpersistent lose effectiveness after only a few minutes or hours. Purely gaseous agents such as chlorine are nonpersistent, as are highly volatile agents such as sarin and most other nerve agents. Tactically, nonpersistent agents are very useful against targets that are to be taken over and controlled very quickly.

Apart from the agent used, the delivery mode is very important. To achieve a nonpersistent deployment, the agent is dispersed into very small droplets comparable with the mist produced by an aerosol can. In this form not only the gaseous part of the agent (around 50%) but also the fine aerosol can be inhaled or taken up by the skin.

Modern doctrine requires very high concentrations almost instantly in order to be effective (one breath should contain a lethal dose of the agent). To achieve this, the primary weapons used would be rocket artillery or bombs and large ballistic missiles with cluster warheads. The contamination in the target area is only low or not existent and after four hours sarin or similar agents are not detectable anymore.

By contrast, persistent agents tend to remain in the environment for as long as several weeks, complicating decontamination. Defense against persistent agents requires shielding for extended periods of time. Non-volatile liquid agents, such as blister agents and the oily VX nerve agent, do not easily evaporate into a gas, and therefore present primarily a contact hazard.

The droplet size used for persistent delivery goes up to 1 mm increasing the falling speed and therefore about 80% of the deployed agent reaches the ground, resulting in heavy contamination. This implies, that persistent deployment does not aim at annihilating the enemy but to constrain him.
Possible targets include enemy flank positions (averting possible counter attacks), artillery regiments, commando posts or supply lines. Possible weapons to be used are wide spread, because the fast delivery of high amounts is not a critical factor.

A special form of persistent agents are thickened agents. These comprise a common agent mixed with thickeners to provide gelatinous, sticky agents. Primary targets for this kind of use include airfields, due to the increased persistency and difficulty of decontaminating affected areas.


Chemical weapons are inert agents that come in four categories: choking, blister, blood and nerve.[5] The agents are organized into several categories according to the manner in which they affect the human body. The names and number of categories varies slightly from source to source, but in general, types of chemical warfare agents are as follows:

Classes of chemical weapon agents Class of agent Agent Names Mode of Action Signs and Symptoms Rate of action Persistency

* Cyclosarin (GF)
* Sarin (GB)
* Soman (GD)
* Tabun (GA)
* VX
* VR
* Some insecticides
* Novichok agents

Inactivates enzyme acetylcholinesterase, preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the victim’s synapses and causing both muscarinic and nicotinic effects

* Miosis (pinpoint pupils)
* Blurred/dim vision
* Headache
* Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
* Copious secretions/sweating
* Muscle twitching/fasciculations
* Dyspnea
* Seizures
* Loss of consciousness

* Vapors: seconds to minutes;
* Skin: 2 to 18 hours
VX is persistent and a contact hazard; other agents are non-persistent and present mostly inhalation hazards.
* Most Arsines
* Cyanogen chloride
* Hydrogen cyanide

* Arsine: Causes intravascular hemolysis that may lead to renal failure.
* Cyanogen chloride/hydrogen cyanide: Cyanide directly prevents cells from using oxygen. The cells then uses anaerobic respiration, creating excess lactic acid and metabolic acidosis.

* Possible cherry-red skin
* Possible cyanosis
* Confusion
* Nausea
* Patients may gasp for air
* Seizures prior to death
* Metabolic acidosis

Immediate onset Non-persistent and an inhalation hazard.

* Sulfur mustard (HD, H)
* Nitrogen mustard (HN-1, HN-2, HN-3)
* Lewisite (L)
* Phosgene oxime (CX)

Agents are acid-forming compounds that damages skin and respiratory system, resulting burns and respiratory problems.

* Severe skin, eye and mucosal pain and irritation
* Skin erythema with large fluid blisters that heal slowly and may become infected
* Tearing, conjunctivitis, corneal damage
* Mild respiratory distress to marked airway damage

* Mustards: Vapors: 4 to 6 hours, eyes and lungs affected more rapidly; Skin: 2 to 48 hours
* Lewisite: Immediate

Persistent and a contact hazard.
* Chlorine
* Hydrogen chloride
* Nitrogen oxides
* Phosgene

Similar mechanism to blister agents in that the compounds are acids or acid-forming, but action is more pronounced in respiratory system, flooding it and resulting in suffocation; survivors often suffer chronic breathing problems.

* Airway irritation
* Eye and skin irritation
* Dyspnea, cough
* Sore throat
* Chest tightness
* Wheezing
* Bronchospasm

Immediate to 3 hours Non-persistent and an inhalation hazard.
Lachrymatory agent

* Tear gas
* Pepper spray

Causes severe stinging of the eyes and temporary blindness. Powerful eye irritation Immediate Non-persistent and an inhalation hazard.

* Agent 15 (BZ)

Causes atropine-like inhibition of acetylcholine in subject. Causes peripheral nervous system effects that are the opposite of those seen in nerve agent poisoning.

* May appear as mass drug intoxication with erratic behaviors, shared realistic and distinct hallucinations, disrobing and confusion
* Hyperthermia
* Ataxia (lack of coordination)
* Mydriasis (dilated pupils)
* Dry mouth and skin

* Inhaled: 30 minutes to 20 hours;
* Skin: Up to 36 hours after skin exposure to BZ. Duration is typically 72 to 96 hours.

Extremely persistent in soil and water and on most surfaces; contact hazard.
Cytotoxic proteins
Non-living biological proteins, such as:

* Ricin
* Abrin

Inhibit protein synthesis

* Latent period of 4-8 hours, followed by flu-like signs and symptoms
* Progress within 18-24 hours to:
o Inhalation: nausea, cough, dyspnea, pulmonary edema
o Ingestion: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage with emesis and bloody diarrhea; eventual liver and kidney failure.

4-24 hours; see symptoms. Exposure by inhalation or injection causes more pronounced signs and symptoms than exposure by ingestion Slight; agents degrade quickly in environment

There are other chemicals used militarily that are not scheduled by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and thus are not controlled under the CWC treaties. These include:

* Defoliants that destroy vegetation, but are not immediately toxic to human beings. Some batches of Agent Orange, for instance, used by the United States in Vietnam, contained dioxins as manufacturing impurities. Dioxins, rather than Agent Orange itself, have long-term cancer effects and for causing genetic damage leading to serious birth deformities.
* Incendiary or explosive chemicals (such as napalm, extensively used by the United States in Vietnam, or dynamite) because their destructive effects are primarily due to fire or explosive force, and not direct chemical action.
* Viruses, bacteria, or other organisms. Their use is classified as biological warfare. Toxins produced by living organisms are considered chemical weapons, although the boundary is blurry. Toxins are covered by the Biological Weapons Convention.

For more details on this topic, see chemical weapon designation.

Most chemical weapons are assigned a one- to three-letter NATO weapon designation in addition to, or in place of, a common name. Binary munitions, in which precursors for chemical warfare agents are automatically mixed in shell to produce the agent just prior to its use, are indicated by a -2 following the agent’s designation (for example, GB-2 and VX-2).

Some examples are given below:
Blood agents: Vesicants:

* Cyanogen chloride: CK
* Hydrogen cyanide: AC

* Lewisite: L
* Sulfur mustard: H, HD, HS, HT

Pulmonary agents: Incapacitating agents:

* Phosgene: CG

* Quinuclidinyl benzilate: BZ

Lachrymatory agents: Nerve agents:

* Pepper spray: OC
* Tear gas: CN, CS, CR

* Sarin: GB
* VE, VG, VM, VX


The most important factor in the effectiveness of chemical weapons is the efficiency of its delivery, or dissemination, to a target. The most common techniques include munitions (such as bombs, projectiles, warheads) that allow dissemination at a distance and spray tanks which disseminate from low-flying aircraft. Developments in the techniques of filling and storage of munitions have also been important.

Although there have been many advances in chemical weapon delivery since World War I, it is still difficult to achieve effective dispersion. The dissemination is highly dependent on atmospheric conditions because many chemical agents act in gaseous form. Thus, weather observations and forecasting are essential to optimize weapon delivery and reduce the risk of injuring friendly forces.

Dispersion of chlorine in World War I

Dispersion is placing the chemical agent upon or adjacent to a target immediately before dissemination, so that the material is most efficiently used. Dispersion is the simplest technique of delivering an agent to its target. The most common techniques are munitions, bombs, projectiles, spray tanks and warheads.

World War I saw the earliest implementation of this technique. The actual first chemical ammunition was the French 26 mm cartouche suffocante rifle grenade, fired from a flare carbine. It contained 35g of the tear-producer ethylbromacetate, and was used in autumn 1914 – with little effect on the Germans.
The Germans on the other hand tried to increase the effect of 10.5 cm shrapnel shells by adding an irritant – dianisidine chlorosulphonate. Its use went unnoticed by the British when it was used against them at Neuve Chapelle in October 1914. Hans Tappen, a chemist in the Heavy Artillery Department of the War Ministry, suggested to his brother, the Chief of the Operations Branch at German General Headquarters, the use of the tear-gases benzyl bromide or xylyl bromide.

Shells were tested successfully at the Wahn artillery range near Cologne on 9 January, 1915, and an order was placed for 15 cm howitzer shells, designated ‘T-shells’ after Tappen. A shortage of shells limited the first use against the Russians at Bolimów on 31 January, 1915; the liquid failed to vaporize in the cold weather, and again the experiment went unnoticed by the Allies.

The first effective use were when the German forces at the Second Battle of Ypres simply opened cylinders of chlorine and allowed the wind to carry the gas across enemy lines. While simple, this technique had numerous disadvantages. Moving large numbers of heavy gas cylinders to the front-line positions from where the gas would be released was a lengthy and difficult logistical task.

Stockpiles of cylinders had to be stored at the front line, posing a great risk if hit by artillery shells. Gas delivery depended greatly on wind speed and direction. If the wind was fickle, as at Loos, the gas could blow back, causing friendly casualties.

Gas clouds gave plenty of warning, allowing the enemy time to protect themselves, though many soldiers found the sight of a creeping gas cloud unnerving. This made the gas doubly effective, as, in addition to damaging the enemy physically, it also had a psychological effect on the intended victims.

Another disadvantage was that gas clouds had limited penetration, capable only of affecting the front-line trenches before dissipating. Although it produced limited results in World War I, this technique shows how simple chemical weapon dissemination can be.

Shortly after this open canister dissemination, French forces developed a technique for delivery of phosgene in a non-explosive artillery shell. This technique overcame many of the risks of dealing with gas in cylinders. First, gas shells were independent of the wind and increased the effective range of gas, making any target within reach of guns vulnerable. Second, gas shells could be delivered without warning, especially the clear, nearly odorless phosgene – there are numerous accounts of gas shells, landing with a plop rather than exploding, being initially dismissed as dud high explosive or shrapnel shells, giving the gas time to work before the soldiers were alerted and took precautions.

The major drawback of artillery delivery was the difficulty of achieving a killing concentration. Each shell had a small gas payload and an area would have to be subjected to saturation bombardment to produce a cloud to match cylinder delivery. A British solution to the problem was the Livens Projector. This was effectively a large-bore mortar, dug into the ground that used the gas cylinders themselves as projectiles – firing a 14 kg cylinder up to 1500 m. This combined the gas volume of cylinders with the range of artillery.

Over the years, there were some refinements in this technique. In the 1950s and early 1960s, chemical artillery rockets and cluster bombs contained a multitude of submunitions, so that a large number of small clouds of the chemical agent would form directly on the target.

Thermal dissemination
An American-made MC-1 gas bomb

Thermal dissemination is the use of explosives or pyrotechnics to deliver chemical agents. This technique, developed in the 1920s, was a major improvement over earlier dispersal techniques, in that it allowed significant quantities of an agent to be disseminated over a considerable distance. Thermal dissemination remains the principal method of disseminating chemical agents today.

Most thermal dissemination devices consist of a bomb or projectile shell that contains a chemical agent and a central burster charge; when the burster detonates, the agent is expelled laterally.

Thermal dissemination devices, though common, are not particularly efficient. First, a percentage of the agent is lost by incineration in the initial blast and by being forced onto the ground. Second, the sizes of the particles vary greatly because explosive dissemination produces a mixture of liquid droplets of variable and difficult to control sizes.

The efficacy of thermal detonation is greatly limited by the flammability of some agents. For flammable aerosols, the cloud is sometimes totally or partially ignited by the disseminating explosion in a phenomenon called flashing. Explosively disseminated VX will ignite roughly one third of the time. Despite a great deal of study, flashing is still not fully understood, and a solution to the problem would be a major technological advance.

Despite the limitations of central bursters, most nations use this method in the early stages of chemical weapon development, in part because standard munitions can be adapted to carry the agents.
Soviet chemical weapons canisters from a stockpile in Albania

Aerodynamic dissemination

Aerodynamic dissemination is the non-explosive delivery of a chemical agent from an aircraft, allowing aerodynamic stress to disseminate the agent. This technique is the most recent major development in chemical agent dissemination, originating in the mid-1960s.

This technique eliminates many of the limitations of thermal dissemination by eliminating the flashing effect and theoretically allowing precise control of particle size. In actuality, the altitude of dissemination, wind direction and velocity, and the direction and velocity of the aircraft greatly influence particle size. There are other drawbacks as well; ideal deployment requires precise knowledge of aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, and because the agent must usually be dispersed within the boundary layer (less than 200–300 ft above the ground), it puts pilots at risk.

Significant research is still being applied toward this technique. For example, by modifying the properties of the liquid, its breakup when subjected to aerodynamic stress can be controlled and an idealized particle distribution achieved, even at supersonic speed. Additionally, advances in fluid dynamics, computer modeling, and weather forecasting allow an ideal direction, speed, and altitude to be calculated, such that warfare agent of a predetermined particle size can predictably and reliably hit a target.

Protection against chemical warfare

Ideal protection begins with nonproliferation treaties such as the Chemical Weapons Convention, and detecting, very early, the signatures of someone building a chemical weapons capability. These include a wide range of intelligence disciplines, such as economic analysis of exports of dual-use chemicals and equipment, human intelligence (HUMINT) such as diplomatic, refugee, and agent reports; photography from satellites, aircraft and drones (IMINT); examination of captured equipment (TECHINT); communications intercepts (COMINT); and detection of chemical manufacturing and chemical agents themselves (MASINT).

If all the preventive measures fail and there is a clear and present danger, then there is a need for detection of chemical attacks,[6] collective protection,[7][8][9] and decontamination. Since industrial accidents can cause dangerous chemical releases (e.g., the Bhopal disaster), these activities are things that civilian, as well as military, organizations must be prepared to carry out. In civilian situations in developed countries, these are duties of HAZMAT organizations, which most commonly are part of fire departments.

Detection has been referred to above, as a technical MASINT discipline; specific military procedures, which are usually the model for civilian procedures, depend on the equipment, expertise, and personnel available. When chemical agents are detected, an alarm needs to sound, with specific warnings over emergency broadcasts and the like. There may be a warning to expect an attack.

If, for example, the captain of a US Navy ship believes there is a serious threat of chemical, biological, or radiological attack, the crew may be ordered to set Circle William, which means closing all openings to outside air, running breathing air through filters, and possibly starting a system that continually washes down the exterior surfaces. Civilian authorities dealing with an attack or a toxic chemical accident will invoke the Incident Command System, or local equivalent, to coordinate defensive measures.[9]

Individual protection starts with a gas mask and, depending on the nature of the threat, through various levels of protective clothing up to a complete chemical-resistant suit with a self-contained air supply. The US military defines various levels of MOPP (mission-oriented protective posture) from mask to full chemical resistant suits; Hazmat suits are the civilian equivalent, but go farther to include a fully independent air supply, rather than the filters of a gas mask.

Collective protection allows continued functioning of groups of people in buildings or shelters, the latter which may be fixed, mobile, or improvised. With ordinary buildings, this may be as basic as plastic sheeting and tape, although if the protection needs to be continued for any appreciable length of time, there will need to be an air supply, typically a scaled-up version of a gas mask.[8][9]
Members of the Ukrainian Army’s 19th Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Battalion practice decontamination drill, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait


Decontamination varies with the particular chemical agent used. Some nonpersistent agents, such as most pulmonary agents such as chlorine and phosgene, blood gases, and nonpersistent nerve gases (e.g., GB) will dissipate from open areas, although powerful exhaust fans may be needed to clear out building where they have accumulated.

In some cases, it might be necessary to neutralize them chemically, as with ammonia as a neutralizer for hydrogen cyanide or chlorine. Riot control agents such as CS will dissipate in an open area, but things contaminated with CS powder need to be aired out, washed by people wearing protective gear, or safely discarded.

Mass decontamination is a less common requirement for people than equipment, since people may be immediately affected and treatment is the action required. It is a requirement when people have been contaminated with persistent agents. Treatment and decontamination may need to be simultaneous, with the medical personnel protecting themselves so they can function.[10]

There may need to be immediate intervention to prevent death, such as injection of atropine for nerve agents. Decontamination is especially important for people contaminated with persistent agents; many of the fatalities after the explosion of a WWII US ammunition ship carrying mustard gas, in the harbor of Bari, Italy, after a German bombing on 2 December 1943, came when rescue workers, not knowing of the contamination, bundled cold, wet seamen in tight-fitting blankets.

For decontaminating equipment and buildings exposed to persistent agents, such as blister agents, VX or other agents made persistent by mixing with a thickener, special equipment and materials might be needed. Some type of neutralizing agent will be needed; e.g. in the form of a spraying device with neutralizing agents such as Chlorine, Fichlor, strong alkaline solutions or enzymes . In other cases, a specific chemical decontaminant will be required.[9]

Sociopolitical climate

War is fought with weapons, not with poisons

The study of chemicals and their military uses was widespread in China and India. The use of toxic materials has historically been viewed with mixed emotions and moral qualms in the West. The practical and ethical problems surrounding poison warfare appeared in ancient Greek myths about Hercules’ invention of poison arrows and Odysseus’s use of toxic projectiles. There are many instances of the use of chemical weapons in battles documented in Greek and Roman historical texts; the earliest example was the deliberate poisoning of Kirrha’s water supply with hellebore in the First Sacred War, Greece, about 590 BC.[11]

One of the earliest reactions to the use of chemical agents was from Rome. Struggling to defend themselves from the Roman legions, Germanic tribes poisoned the wells of their enemies, with Roman jurists having been recorded as declaring armis bella non venenis geri , meaning war is fought with weapons, not with poisons. Yet the Romans themselves resorted to poisoning wells of besieged cities in Anatolia in the second century BC.[12]

Before 1915 the use of poisonous chemicals in battle was typically the result of local initiative, and not the result of an active government chemical weapons program. There are many reports of the isolated use of chemical agents in individual battles or sieges, but there was no true tradition of their use outside of incendiaries and smoke. Despite this tendency, there have been several attempts to initiate large-scale implementation of poison gas in several wars, but with the notable exception of World War I, the responsible authorities generally rejected the proposals for ethical reasons.

For example, in 1854 Lyon Playfair, a British chemist, proposed using a cyanide-filled artillery shell against enemy ships during the Crimean War. The British Ordnance Department rejected the proposal as as bad a mode of warfare as poisoning the wells of the enemy.

Efforts to eradicate chemical weapons
See also: List of chemical arms control agreements

Nation CW Possession Signed CWC Ratified CWC
Albania Known January 14, 1993 May 11, 1994
Burma (Myanmar) Possible January 13, 1993 No
the People’s Republic of China Probable January 13, 1993 April 4, 1997
Egypt Probable No No
France Probable January 13, 1993 March 2, 1995
India Known January 14, 1993 September 3, 1996
Iran Known January 13, 1993 November 3, 1997
Israel Probable January 13, 1993 No
Japan Probable January 13, 1993 September 15, 1995
Libya Known No January 6, 2004
North Korea Known No No
Pakistan Probable January 13, 1993 October 28, 1997
Russia Known January 13, 1993 November 5, 1997
and Montenegro Probable No April 20, 2000
Sudan Possible No May 24, 1999
Syria Known No No
Taiwan Possible n/a n/a
United States Known January 13, 1993 April 25, 1997
Vietnam Probable January 13, 1993 September 30, 1998

* August 27, 1874: The Brussels Declaration Concerning the Laws and Customs of War is signed, specifically forbidding the employment of poison or poisoned weapons.
* September 4, 1900: The Hague Conference, which includes a declaration banning the use of projectiles the object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases, enters into force.
* February 6, 1922: After World War I, the Washington Arms Conference Treaty prohibited the use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases. It was signed by the United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy, but France objected to other provisions in the treaty and it never went into effect.
* September 7, 1929: The Geneva Protocol enters into force, prohibiting the use of poison gas.

Chemical weapon proliferation
Main article: Chemical weapon proliferation

Despite numerous efforts to reduce or eliminate them, some nations continue to research and/or stockpile chemical warfare agents. To the right is a summary of the nations that have either declared weapon stockpiles or are suspected of secretly stockpiling or possessing CW research programs. Notable examples include United States and Russia.

US Vice President Dick Cheney opposed the signing ratification of a treaty banning the use chemical weapons, a recently unearthed letter shows. In a letter dated April 8, 1997, then Halliburton-CEO Cheney told Sen. Jesse Helms, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that it would be a mistake for America to join the Convention. Those nations most likely to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention are not likely to ever constitute a military threat to the United States. The governments we should be concerned about are likely to cheat on the CWC, even if they do participate, reads the letter,[13] published by the Federation of American Scientists.

The CWC was ratified by the Senate that same month. Since then, Albania, Libya, Russia, the United States, and India have declared over 71,000 metric tons of chemical weapon stockpiles, and destroyed about a third of them. Under the terms of the agreement, the United States and Russia are supposed to eliminate the rest of their supplies of chemical weapons by 2012. But that looks unlikely – the U.S. government estimates remaining stocks will be destroyed by 2017.


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Military history




Attrition warfare
Guerrilla warfare
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Conventional warfare
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Command and control
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Technology and equipment
Supply chain management

War crimes

Ancient to medieval times

Chemical weapons have been used for millennia in the form of poisoned spears and arrows, but evidence can be found for the existence of more advanced forms of chemical weapons in ancient and classical times.

A good example of early chemical warfare was the late Stone Age (10 000 BC) hunter-gatherer societies in Southern Africa, known as the San. They used poisoned arrows, tipping the wood, bone and stone tips of their arrows with poisons obtained from their natural environment. These poisons were mainly derived from scorpion or snake venom, but it is believed that some poisonous plants were also utilized. The arrow was fired into the target of choice, usually an antelope (the favourite being an eland), with the hunter then tracking the doomed animal until the poison caused its collapse.

Ancient Greek myths about Hercules poisoning his arrows with the venom of the Hydra Monster are the earliest references to toxic weapons in western literature. Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, allude to poisoned arrows used by both sides in the legendary Trojan War (Bronze Age Greece).[12]

Textual and Literary Evidence

Some of the earliest surviving references to toxic warfare are may appear in the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. [14]

The Laws of Manu, a Hindu treatise on statecraft (ca 400 BC) forbids the use of poison and fire arrows, but advises poisoning food and water. Kautilya’s Arthashastra, a statecraft manual of the same era, contains hundreds of recipes for creating poison weapons, toxic smokes, and other chemical weapons. Ancient Greek historians recount that Alexander the Great encountered poison arrows and fire incendiaries in what is now Pakistan in the fourth century BC.[12]

Sun Tzu’s Art of War (ca 500 BC) advises the use of fire weapons. In the 4th century BC, writings of the Mohist sect in China describe the use of bellows to pump smoke from burning balls of mustard and other toxic vegetables into tunnels being dug by a besieging army. Even older Chinese writings dating back to about 1000 BC contain hundreds of recipes for the production of poisonous or irritating smokes for use in war along with numerous accounts of their use. From these accounts we know of the arsenic-containing soul-hunting fog , and the use of finely divided lime dispersed into the air to suppress a peasant revolt in AD 178.

The earliest recorded use of gas warfare in the West dates back to the 5th century BC, during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Spartan forces besieging an Athenian city placed a lighted mixture of wood, pitch, and sulfur under the walls hoping that the noxious smoke would incapacitate the Athenians, so that they would not be able to resist the assault that followed. Sparta wasn’t alone in its use of unconventional tactics during these wars: Solon of Athens is said to have used hellebore roots to poison the water in an aqueduct leading from the Pleistrus River around 590 BC during the siege of Kirrha.[12]
Chemical weapons were known and used in ancient and medieval China. Polish chronicler Jan D?ugosz mentions usage of poisonous gas by the Mongol army in 1241 in the Battle of Legnica.

Historian and philosopher David Hume, in his history of England, recounts how during early in the reign of Henry III (r.1216 – 1272) the English Navy destroyed an invading French fleet, by blinding the enemy fleet with quicklime, the old name for calcium oxide. D’Albiney employed a stratagem against them, which is said to have contributed to the victory: Having gained the wind of the French, he came down upon them with violence; and throwing in their faces a great quantity of quicklime, which he purposely carried on board, he so blinded them, that they were disabled from defending themselves.[15]

Archaeological Evidence

There is archaeological evidence that the Sasanians deployed chemical weapons against the Roman army in 3rd century AD/CE. Research carried out on the collapsed tunnels at Dura-Europos in Syria suggests that the Iranians used bitumen and sulphur crystals to get it burning. When ignited, the materials gave off dense clouds of choking gases which killed 20 Roman soldiers in the matter of 2 minutes.[16]


During the Renaissance, people again considered using chemical warfare. One of the earliest such references is from Leonardo da Vinci, who proposed a powder of sulfide of arsenic and verdigris in the 15th century:

throw poison in the form of powder upon galleys. Chalk, fine sulfide of arsenic, and powdered verdegris may be thrown among enemy ships by means of small mangonels, and all those who, as they breathe, inhale the powder into their lungs will become asphyxiated.

It is unknown whether this powder was ever actually used.

Earlier, in the 13th century, of Henry III the English Navy destroyed an invading French fleet, by blinding the enemy fleet with quicklime, the old name for calcium oxide. (See Calcium oxide#use as a weapon) In the 17th century during sieges, armies attempted to start fires by launching incendiary shells filled with sulphur, tallow, rosin, turpentine, saltpeter, and/or antimony. Even when fires were not started, the resulting smoke and fumes provided a considerable distraction. Although their primary function was never abandoned, a variety of fills for shells were developed to maximize the effects of the smoke.

In 1672, during his siege of the city of Groningen, Christoph Bernhard van Galen, the Bishop of Münster, employed several different explosive and incendiary devices, some of which had a fill that included belladonna, intended to produce toxic fumes. Just three years later, August 27, 1675, the French and the Germans concluded the Strasbourg Agreement, which included an article banning the use of perfidious and odious toxic devices.

In 1854, Lyon Playfair, a British chemist, proposed a cacodyl cyanide artillery shell for use against enemy ships as way to solve the stalemate during the siege of Sevastopol. The proposal was backed by Admiral Thomas Cochrane of the Royal Navy. It was considered by the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, but the British Ordnance Department rejected the proposal as as bad a mode of warfare as poisoning the wells of the enemy. Playfair’s response was used to justify chemical warfare into the next century:

There was no sense in this objection. It is considered a legitimate mode of warfare to fill shells with molten metal which scatters among the enemy, and produced the most frightful modes of death. Why a poisonous vapor which would kill men without suffering is to be considered illegitimate warfare is incomprehensible. War is destruction, and the more destructive it can be made with the least suffering the sooner will be ended that barbarous method of protecting national rights. No doubt in time chemistry will be used to lessen the suffering of combatants, and even of criminals condemned to death.

Later, during the American Civil War, New York school teacher John Doughty proposed the offensive use of chlorine gas, delivered by filling a 10 inch (254 millimeter) artillery shell with 2 to 3 quarts (2 to 3 liters) of liquid chlorine, which could produce many cubic feet (a few cubic meters) of chlorine gas. Doughty’s plan was apparently never acted on, as it was probably presented to Brigadier General James Wolfe Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, who was described as being congenitally immune to new ideas.

A general concern over the use of poison gas manifested itself in 1899 at the Hague Conference with a proposal prohibiting shells filled with asphyxiating gas. The proposal was passed, despite a single dissenting vote from the United States. The American representative, Navy Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, justified voting against the measure on the grounds that the inventiveness of Americans should not be restricted in the development of new weapons.

World War I
Aerial photograph of a German gas attack on Russian forces circa 1916
A Canadian soldier with mustard gas burns, ca. 1917–1918.
Main article: Poison gas in World War I

The Hague Declaration of 1899 and the Hague Convention of 1907 forbade the use of poison or poisonous weapons in warfare, yet more than 124,000 tons of gas were produced by the end of World War I. The French were the first to use chemical weapons during the First World War, using tear gas.
The German’s first use of chemical weapons were shells containing xylyl bromide that were fired at the Russians near the town of Bolimów, Poland in January 1915.[17] The first full-scale deployment of chemical warfare agents was during World War I, originating in the Second Battle of Ypres, April 22, 1915, when the Germans attacked French, Canadian and Algerian troops with chlorine gas. Deaths were light, though casualties relatively heavy.

A total 50,965 tons of pulmonary, lachrymatory, and vesicant agents were deployed by both sides of the conflict, including chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas. Official figures declare about 1,176,500 non-fatal casualties and 85,000 fatalities directly caused by chemical warfare agents during the course of the war.[18]

To this day unexploded WWI-era chemical ammunition is still frequently uncovered when the ground is dug in former battle or depot areas and continues to pose a threat to the civilian population in Belgium and France and less commonly in other countries. The French and Belgian governments have had to launch special programs for treating discovered ammunition.

After the war, most of the unused German chemical warfare agents were dumped into the Baltic Sea, a common disposal method among all the participants in several bodies of water. Over time, the salt water causes the shell casings to corrode, and mustard gas occasionally leaks from these containers and washes onto shore as a wax-like solid resembling ambergris. Even in this solidified form, the agent is active enough to cause severe contact burns to anybody coming into contact with it.[citation needed]

Interwar years

After World War I chemical agents were occasionally used to subdue populations and suppress rebellion.

Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1917, the Ottoman government collapsed completely, and the former empire was divided amongst the victorious powers in the Treaty of Sèvres. The British occupied Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and established a colonial government.

In 1920, the Arab and Kurdish people of Mesopotamia revolted against the British occupation, which cost the British dearly. As the Mesopotamian resistance gained strength, the British resorted to increasingly repressive measures. Much speculation was made about aerial bombardment of major cities with gas in Mesopotamia, with Winston Churchill, then-Secretary of State at the British War Office, arguing in favor of it.[19] In the 1920s generals reported that poison had never won a battle. The soldiers said they hated it and hated the gas masks. Only the chemists spoke out to say it was a good weapon.

In 1925, sixteen of the world’s major nations signed the Geneva Protocol, thereby pledging never to use gas in warfare again. Notably, in the United States, the Protocol languished in the Senate until 1975, when it was finally ratified.

The Bolsheviks also employed poison gas in 1921 during the Tambov Rebellion. An order signed by military commanders Tukhachevsky and Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko stipulated: The forests where the bandits are hiding are to be cleared by the use of poison gas. This must be carefully calculated, so that the layer of gas penetrates the forests and kills everyone hiding there. [20]

During the Rif War in Spanish Morocco in 1921–1927, combined Spanish and French forces dropped mustard gas bombs in an attempt to put down the Berber rebellion. (See also: Chemical weapons in the Rif War)

In 1935, Fascist Italy used mustard gas during the invasion of Ethiopia in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Ignoring the Geneva Protocol, which it signed seven years earlier, the Italian military dropped mustard gas in bombs, sprayed it from airplanes, and spread it in powdered form on the ground. 150,000 chemical casualties were reported, mostly from mustard gas.

World War II
The chemical structure of Sarin nerve gas, developed in Germany (1939)

Despite article 171 of the Versailles Peace Treaty, article V of the Treaty in Relation to the Use of Submarines and Noxious Gases in Warfare [3] and a resolution adopted against Japan by the League of nations on 14 May 1938, the Imperial Japanese Army frequently used chemical weapons. Because of fear of retaliation however, those weapons were never used against Westerners, but against other Asians judged inferior by the imperial propaganda.

According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, the chemical weapons were authorized by specific orders given by Emperor Showa himself, transmitted by the chief of staff of the army. For example, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions during the battle of Wuhan from August to October 1938.[21]

They were also profusely used during the invasion of Changde. Those orders were transmitted either by prince Kotohito Kan’in or general Hajime Sugiyama.[22]

The Imperial Japanese Army used mustard gas and the recently-developed blister agent Lewisite against Chinese troops and guerrillas. Experiments involving chemical weapons were conducted on live prisoners (Unit 731 and Unit 516). The Japanese also carried chemical weapons as they swept through Southeast Asia towards Australia.

Some of these items were captured and analyzed by the Allies. Greatly concerned, Australia covertly imported 1,000,000 chemical weapons from the United Kingdom from 1942 onwards[23] [4][24] [5][6].[25][26][27]

Shortly after the end of World War I, Germany’s General Staff enthusiastically pursued a recapture of their preeminent position in chemical warfare. In 1923, Hans von Seeckt pointed the way, by suggesting that German poison gas research move in the direction of delivery by aircraft in support of mobile warfare. Also in 1923, at the behest of the German army, poison gas expert Dr. Hugo Stolzenberg negotiated with the USSR to built a huge chemical weapons plant at Trotsk, on the Volga river.

Collaboration between Germany and the USSR in poison gas continued on and off through the 1920s. In 1924, German officers debated the use of poison gas versus non-lethal chemical weapons against civilians. Even before World War II, chemical warfare was revolutionized by Nazi Germany’s discovery of the nerve agents tabun (in 1937) and sarin (in 1939) by Gerhard Schrader, a chemist of IG Farben.

IG Farben was Germany’s premier poison gas manufacturer during World War I, so the weaponization of these agents can not be considered accidental.[28] Both were turned over to the German Army Weapons Office prior to the outbreak of the war.

The nerve agent soman was later discovered by Nobel Prize laureate Richard Kuhn and his collaborator Konrad Henkel at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg in spring of 1944.[29][30] The Nazis developed and manufactured large quantities of several agents, but chemical warfare was not extensively used by either side. Chemical troops were set up (in Germany since 1934) and delivery technology was actively developed.

Recovered Nazi documents suggest that German intelligence incorrectly thought that the Allies also knew of these compounds, interpreting their lack of mention in the Allies’ scientific journals as evidence that information about them was being suppressed. Germany ultimately decided not to use the new nerve agents, fearing a potentially devastating Allied retaliatory nerve agent deployment. Fisk, Robert (December 30, 2000). Poison gas from Germany . Independent. http://www.zmag.org/hussein.htm.

William L. Shirer, in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, writes that the British high command considered the use of chemical weapons as a last-ditch defensive measure in the event of a Nazi invasion of Britain.

On the night of December 2, 1943, German Ju 88 bombers attacked the port of Bari in Southern Italy, sinking several American ships – among them SS John Harvey, which was carrying mustard gas intended for use in retaliation by the Allies if German forces initiated gas warfare. The presence of the gas was highly classified, and authorities ashore had no knowledge of it – which increased the number of fatalities, since physicians, who had no idea that they were dealing with the effects of mustard gas, prescribed treatment improper for those suffering from exposure and immersion.

The whole affair was kept secret at the time and for many years after the war (in the opinion of some, there was a deliberate and systematic cover-up). According to the U.S. military account, Sixty-nine deaths were attributed in whole or in part to the mustard gas, most of them American merchant seamen [31] out of 628 mustard gas military casualties.[32] The large number of civilian casualties among the Italian population were not recorded. Part of the confusion and controversy derives from the fact that the German attack was highly destructive and lethal in itself, also apart from the accidental additional effects of the gas (it was nicknamed The Little Pearl Harbor ), and attribution of the causes of death between the gas and other causes is far from easy.[33][34]

Rick Atkinson, in his book The Day of Battle, describes the intelligence that prompted Allied leaders to deploy mustard gas to Italy. This included Italian intelligence that Adolf Hitler had threatened to use gas against Italy if the state changed sides, and prisoner of war interrogations suggesting that preparations were being made to use a new, egregiously potent gas if the war turned decisively against Germany. Atkinson concludes that No commander in 1943 could be cavalier about a manifest threat by Germany to use gas.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, the senior Islamic religious authority of the Palestinian Arabs and ally of Adolf Hitler was accused of sponsoring an unsuccessful chemical warfare assault on the Jewish community in Tel-Aviv during 1944 by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Allegations suggest that five parachutists were supplied with maps of Tel Aviv, canisters of a German–manufactured fine white powder, and instructions from the Mufti to dump chemicals into the Tel Aviv water system. District police commander Fayiz Bey Idrissi later recalled, The laboratory report stated that each container held enough poison to kill 25,000 people, and there were at least ten containers. [35]

North Yemen Civil War

The first attack took place on June 8, 1963 against Kawma, a village of about 100 inhabitants in northern Yemen, killing about seven people and damaging the eyes and lungs of twenty-five others. This incident is considered to have been experimental, and the bombs were described as home-made, amateurish and relatively ineffective . The Egyptian authorities suggested that the reported incidents were probably caused by napalm, not gas. The Israeli Foreign Minister, Golda Meir, suggested in an interview that Nasser would not hesitate to use gas against Israel as well.

There were no reports of gas during 1964, and only a few were reported in 1965. The reports grew more frequent in late 1966. On December 11, 1966, fifteen gas bombs killed two people and injured thirty-five. On January 5, 1967, the biggest gas attack came against the village of Kitaf, causing 270 casualties, including 140 fatalities. The target may have been Prince Hassan bin Yahya, who had installed his headquarters nearby. The Egyptian government denied using poison gas, and alleged that Britain and the US were using the reports as psychological warfare against Egypt. On February 12, 1967, it said it would welcome a UN investigation. On March 1, U Thant said he was powerless to deal with the matter.

On May 10, the twin villages of Gahar and Gadafa in Wadi Hirran, where Prince Mohamed bin Mohsin was in command, were gas bombed, killing at least seventy-five. The Red Cross was alerted and on June 2, it issued a statement in Geneva expressing concern. The Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Berne made a statement, based on a Red Cross report, that the gas was likely to have been halogenous derivatives – phosgene, mustard gas, lewisite, chloride or cyanogen bromide.

The gas attacks stopped for three weeks after the Six-Day War of June, but resumed on July, against all parts of royalist Yemen. Casualty estimates vary, and an assumption, considered conservative, is that the mustard and phosgene-filled aerial bombs caused approximately 1,500 fatalities and 1,500 injuries.

Cold War

After World War II, the Allies recovered German artillery shells containing the three German nerve agents of the day (tabun, sarin, and soman), prompting further research into nerve agents by all of the former Allies. Although the threat of global thermonuclear war was foremost in the minds of most during the Cold War, both the Soviet and Western governments put enormous resources into developing chemical and biological weapons.
[edit] Developments by the Western governments

In 1952, researchers in Porton Down, England, invented the VX nerve agent but soon abandoned the project. In 1958 the British government traded their VX technology with the United States in exchange for information on thermonuclear weapons; by 1961 the U.S. was producing large amounts of VX and performing its own nerve agent research. This research produced at least three more agents; the four agents (VE, VG, VM, VX) are collectively known as the V-Series class of nerve agents.

Also in 1952 the U.S. Army patented a process for the Preparation of Toxic Ricin , publishing a method of producing this powerful toxin.

During the 1960s, the U.S. explored the use of anticholinergic deleriant incapacitating agents. One of these agents, assigned the weapon designation BZ, was allegedly used experimentally in the Vietnam War. These allegations inspired the 1990 fictional film Jacob’s Ladder.

In 1961 and 62 the Kennedy administration authorized the use of chemicals to destroy vegetation and food crops in South Vietnam. Between 1961 and 1967 the US Air Force sprayed 12 million US gallons of concentrated herbicides, mainly Agent Orange (containing dioxin as an impurity in the manufacturing process) over 6 million acres (24,000 km²) of foliage and trees, affecting an estimated 13% of South Vietnam’s land. In 1965, 42% of all herbicides were sprayed over food crops. Besides destroying vegetation used as cover by the NLF and destroying food crops the herbicide was used to drive civilians into RVN-controlled areas.[36]

In 1997, an article published by the Wall Street Journal reported that up to half a million children were born with dioxin related deformities, and that the birth defects in South Vietnam were fourfold those in the North. The use of Agent Orange may have been contrary to international rules of war at the time. It is also of note that the most likely victims of such an assault would be small children. A 1967 study by the Agronomy Section of the Japanese Science Council concluded that 3.8 million acres (15,000 km²) of land had been destroyed, killing 1000 peasants and 13,000 livestock.

Between 1967 and 1968, the U.S. decided to dispose of obsolete chemical weapons in an operation called Operation CHASE, which stood for cut holes and sink ’em. Several shiploads of chemical and conventional weapons were put aboard old Liberty ships and sunk at sea.

In 1969, 23 U.S. servicemen and one U.S. civilian stationed in Okinawa, Japan, were exposed to low levels of the nerve agent sarin while repainting the depots’ buildings. The weapons had been kept secret from Japan, sparking a furor in that country and an international incident. These munitions were moved in 1971 to Johnston Atoll under Operation Red Hat.
George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signing the bilateral treaty on 1990-06-01

A UN working group began work on chemical disarmament in 1980. On April 4, 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons. U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a bilateral treaty on June 1, 1990, to end chemical weapon production and start destroying each of their nation’s stockpiles. The multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was signed in 1993 and entered into force (EIF) in 1997.

In December, 2001, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, NIOSH, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), along with the U.S. Army Research, Development Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical/Biological Center (ECBC), and the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published the first of six technical performance standards and test procedures designed to evaluate and certify respirators intended for use by civilian emergency responders to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon release, detonation, or terrorism incident. To date NIOSH/NPPTL has published six new respirator performance standards based on a tiered approach that relies on traditional industrial respirator certification policy, next generation emergency response respirator performance requirements, and special live chemical warfare agent testing requirements of the classes of respirators identified to offer respiratory protection against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agent inhalation hazards. These CBRN respirators are commonly known as open-circuit self-contained breathing apparatus (CBRN SCBA), air-purifying respirator (CBRN APR), air-purifying escape respirator (CBRN APER), self-contained escape respirator (CBRN SCER) and loose or tight fitting powered air-purifying respirators (CBRN PAPR). Current NIOSH-approved/certified CBRN respirator concept standards and test procedures can be found at the webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/standardsdev/cbrn/

United States Senate Report

A 1994 United States Senate Report, entitled Is military research hazardous to veterans health? Lessons spanning a half century, [37] detailed the United States Department of Defense’s practice of experimenting on animal and human subjects, often without their knowledge or consent. This included:

* Approximately 60,000 [US] military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test the chemical agents mustard gas and lewisite. Mustard section,[37]
* Between the 1950s through the 1970s, at least 2,200 military personnel were subjected to various biological agents, referred to as Operation Whitecoat. Unlike most of the studies discussed in this report, Operation Whitecoat was truly voluntary. Seventh section,[37]
* Between 1951 and 1969, Dugway Proving Ground was the site of testing for various chemical and biological agents, including an open air aerodynamic dissemination test in 1968 that accidentally killed, on neighboring farms, approximately 6,400 sheep by an unspecified nerve agent. Dugway section,[37]

Developments by the Soviet government

Due to the secrecy of the Soviet Union’s government, very little information was available about the direction and progress of the Soviet chemical weapons until relatively recently. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian chemist Vil Mirzayanov published articles revealing illegal chemical weapons experimentation in Russia.

In 1993, Mirzayanov was imprisoned and fired from his job at the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, where he had worked for 26 years. In March 1994, after a major campaign by U.S. scientists on his behalf, Mirzayanov was released.[38]

Among the information related by Vil Mirzayanov was the direction of Soviet research into the development of even more toxic nerve agents, which saw most of its success during the mid-1980s. Several highly toxic agents were developed during this period; the only unclassified information regarding these agents is that they are known in the open literature only as Foliant agents (named after the program under which they were developed) and by various code designations, such as A-230 and A-232.[39]

According to Mirzayanov, the Soviets also developed weapons that were safer to handle, leading to the development of the binary weapons, in which precursors for the nerve agents are mixed in a munition to produce the agent just prior to its use. Because the precursors are generally significantly less hazardous than the agents themselves, this technique makes handling and transporting the munitions a great deal simpler.

Additionally, precursors to the agents are usually much easier to stabilize than the agents themselves, so this technique also made it possible to increase the shelf life of the agents a great deal. During the 1980s and 1990s, binary versions of several Soviet agents were developed and are designated as Novichok agents (after the Russian word for newcomer ).[40] Together with Lev Fedorov, he told the secret Novichok story exposed in the newspaper Moscow News.[41]

Iran–Iraq War
Victims of Iraq’s poison gas attack in civil area during Iran–Iraq War

Chemical weapons employed by Saddam Hussein killed and injured numerous Iranians, and even Iraqis. According to Iraqi documents, assistance in developing chemical weapons was obtained from firms in many countries, including the United States, West Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and China.[42]

The Iran–Iraq War began in 1980 when Iraq attacked Iran. Early in the conflict, Iraq began to employ mustard gas and tabun delivered by bombs dropped from airplanes; approximately 5% of all Iranian casualties are directly attributable to the use of these agents.[citation needed]

About 100,000 Iranian soldiers were victims of Iraq’s chemical attacks. Many were hit by mustard gas. The official estimate does not include the civilian population contaminated in bordering towns or the children and relatives of veterans, many of whom have developed blood, lung and skin complications, according to the Organization for Veterans. Nerve gas agents killed about 20,000 Iranian soldiers immediately, according to official reports. Of the 80,000 survivors, some 5,000 seek medical treatment regularly and about 1,000 are still hospitalized with severe, chronic conditions.[43][44][45]

Iraq also targeted Iranian civilians with chemical weapons. Many thousands were killed in attacks on populations in villages and towns, as well as front-line hospitals. Many still suffer from the severe effects.

Despite the removal of Saddam and his regime by Coalition forces, there is deep resentment and anger in Iran that it was Western companies based in the Netherlands, West Germany, France, and the U.S. that helped Iraq develop its chemical weapons arsenal in the first place, and that the world did nothing to punish Iraq for its use of chemical weapons throughout the war.[46]
Main article: Halabja poison gas attack

Shortly before war ended in 1988, the Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja was exposed to multiple chemical agents, killing about 5,000 of the town’s 50,000 residents [47]. After the incident, traces of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX were discovered.

During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Coalition forces began a ground war in Iraq. Despite the fact that they did possess chemical weapons, Iraq did not use any chemical agents against coalition forces. The commander of the Allied Forces, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, suggested this may have been due to Iraqi fear of retaliation with nuclear weapons.[citation needed]

Falklands War

Technically, the reported employment of tear gas by Argentine forces during the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands constitutes chemical warfare.[48] However, the tear gas grenades were employed as nonlethal weapons to avoid British casualties. The British claim that more lethal, but legally-justifiable as they are not considered chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention, white phosphorus grenades were used.[49] The barrack buildings the weapons were used on proved to be deserted in any case.


For many terrorist organizations, chemical weapons might be considered an ideal choice for a mode of attack, if they are available: they are cheap, relatively accessible, and easy to transport. A skilled chemist can readily synthesize most chemical agents if the precursors are available.

The earliest successful use of chemical agents in a non-combat setting was in 1946, motivated by a desire to obtain revenge on Germans for the Holocaust. Three members of a Jewish group calling themselves Dahm Y’Israel Nokeam ( Avenging Israel’s Blood ) hid in a bakery in the Stalag 13 prison camp near Nuremberg, Germany, where several thousand SS troops were being detained. The three applied an arsenic-containing mixture to loaves of bread, sickening more than 2,000 prisoners, of whom more than 200 required hospitalization.

In July 1974, a group calling themselves the Aliens of America successfully firebombed the houses of a judge, two police commissioners, and one of the commissioner’s cars, burned down two apartment buildings, and bombed the Pan Am Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three people and injuring eight. The organization, which turned out to be a single resident alien named Muharem Kurbegovic, claimed to have developed and possessed a supply of sarin, as well as 4 unique nerve agents named AA1, AA2, AA3, and AA4S. Although no agents were found at the time he was arrested in August 1974, he had reportedly acquired all but one of the ingredients required to produce a nerve agent. A search of his apartment turned up a variety of materials, including precursors for phosgene and a drum containing 25 pounds of sodium cyanide.[50]

The first successful use of chemical agents by terrorists against a general civilian population was on March 20, 1995. Aum Shinrikyo, an apocalyptic group based in Japan that believed it necessary to destroy the planet, released sarin into the Tokyo subway system killing 12 and injuring over 5,000. The group had attempted biological and chemical attacks on at least 10 prior occasions, but managed to affect only cult members. The group did manage to successfully release sarin outside an apartment building in Matsumoto in June 1994; this use was directed at a few specific individuals living in the building and was not an attack on the general population.

On 29 December, 1999, four days after Russian forces began assault of Grozny, Chechen terrorists exploded two chlor tanks in town. Because of the wind conditions, no Russian soldiers were injured.[51]

In 2001, after carrying out the attacks in New York City on September 11, the organization Al Qaeda announced that they were attempting to acquire radiological, biological and chemical weapons. This threat was lent a great deal of credibility when a large archive of videotapes was obtained by the cable television network CNN in August 2002 showing, among other things, the killing of three dogs by an apparent nerve agent.[52]

On October 26, 2002, Russian special forces used a chemical agent (presumably KOLOKOL-1, an aerosolized fentanyl derivative), as a precursor to an assault on Chechen terrorists, ending the Moscow theater hostage crisis. All 42 of the terrorists and 120 of the hostages were killed during the raid; all but one hostage, who was killed, died from the effects of the agent.

In early 2007 multiple terrorist bombings have been reported in Iraq using chlorine gas. These attacks have wounded or sickened more than 350 people. Reportedly the bombers are affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Iraq[53] and have used bombs of various sizes up to chlorine tanker trucks.[54] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks as, clearly intended to cause panic and instability in the country. [55]

See also

* Wikimedia Commons logo Media related to Chemical warfare at Wikimedia Commons
* Area denial weapons
* Biological warfare
* Chemical Ali
* Chemical Weapons Convention
* Exotic pollution
* List of chemical warfare agents
* List of highly toxic gases
* Psychochemical weapon
* Saint Julien Memorial
* Sardasht (A town attacked with chemical weapons during the Iran–Iraq War.)
* Stink bomb
* Weapons of mass destruction
* Zyklon B
* Ronald Maddison


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29. ^ Schmaltz, Florian (2005), Kampfstoff-Forschung im Nationalsozialismus Zur Kooperation von Kaiser-Wilhelm-Instituten, Militär und Industrie , Wallstein Verlag
30. ^ Schmaltz, Florian (2006), Neurosciences and Research on Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction in Nazi Germany , Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 15: 186–209, doi:10.1080/09647040600658229
31. ^ US Naval Historical Center, Naval Armed Guard Service: Tragedy at Bari, Italy on 2 December 1943, http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq104-4.htm
32. ^ Niderost, Eric (Full text), World War II: German Raid on Bari, HistoryNet.com, http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-german-raid-on-bari.htm
33. ^ Infield, Glenn B. Infield. Disaster at Bari.
34. ^ Reminick, Gerald. Nightmare in Bari: The World War II Liberty Ship Poison Gas Disaster and Coverup.
35. ^ Korn, Benyamin, Arab Chemical Warfare Against Jews–in 1944 , The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, http://www.wymaninstitute.org/articles/2003-03-chemical.php
36. ^ Anatomy of a War by Gabriel Kolko, ISBN 1-56584-218-9 pages 144-145
37. ^ a b c d Staff, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, US Senate (December 8, 1994), Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons spanning half a century, 103d Congress, 2d Session – COMMITTEE PRINT – S. Prt. 103-97, http://www.gulfweb.org/bigdoc/rockrep.cfm
38. ^ Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia – Past, Present, and Future, 1994. ISBN 0-374-18104-7 (see pages 325–328)
39. ^ Fedorov, Lev (27 July 1994), Chemical Weapons in Russia: History, Ecology, Politics, Center of Ecological Policy of Russia, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/cbw/jptac008_l94001.htm
40. ^ Birstein, Vadim J. (2004), The Perversion Of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science, Westview Press, ISBN 0-813-34280-5
41. ^ Federov, Lev; Mirzayanov, Vil (1992), A Poisoned Policy , Moscow News (weekly No. 39)
42. ^ Lafayette, Lev (July 26, 2002). Who armed Saddam? . World History Archives. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/040.html.
43. ^ Fassihi, Farnaz (October 27, 2002), In Iran, grim reminders of Saddam’s arsenal , New Jersey Star Ledger, http://www.nj.com/specialprojects/index.ssf?/specialprojects/mideaststories/me1209.html
44. ^ Hughes, Paul, It’s like a knife stabbing into me , The Star (South Africa), http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=39470
45. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (February 13, 2003), Iraq Chemical Arms Condemned, but West Once Looked the Other Way , New York Times, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0213-05.htm
46. ^ Timmerman, Kenneth R. (1991). Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-59305-0.
47. ^ Death Clouds: Saddam Hussein’s Chemical War Against the Kurds
48. ^ The Argentine Fight for The Falklands, Lieutenant-Commander Sanchez-Sabarots
49. ^ Falkland Islanders at war, Bound, Graham, Pen and Sword Books Limited, ISBN 1 84415 429 7.
50. ^ T Is for Terror: A mad bomber who stalked Los Angeles in the ’70s could be the poster boy for the kind of terrorist the FBI fears today , Newsweek Web Exclusive, 9 July 2003, http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3070093
51. ^ ?????? ????. ?????? ? ????????? ????? XX ????: ? ??????? ??????? ????????????. ????? 5: ????????? ????. ?.: ????, 2002
52. ^ Robertson, Nic (August 19, 2002), Disturbing scenes of death show capability with chemical gas , Cable News Network, http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/08/19/terror.tape.chemical/
53. ^ Multi-National Force Iraq, Combined Press Information Center (20 April 2007), Chlorine Tanks Destroyed, Terrorists Killed in Raids, Press Release A070420a, http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11530&Itemid=128
54. ^ Multi-National Force Iraq, Combined Press Information Center (6 April 2007), Suicide Vehicle Detonates outside Police Checkpoint, Press Release 20070406-34, http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11185&Itemid=128
55. ^ Ban, Ki-Moon (19 March 2007), Secretary-General Condemns Chlorine Attack in Iraq , United Nations Radio, http://www.un.org/radio/6542.asp


* CBWInfo.com (2001). A Brief History of Chemical and Biological Weapons: Ancient Times to the 19th Century. Retrieved Nov. 24, 2004.
* Chomsky, Noam (Mar. 4, 2001). Prospects for Peace in the Middle East, page 2. Lecture.
* Cordette, Jessica, MPH(c) (2003). Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction. Retrieved Nov. 29, 2004.
* Croddy, Eric (2001). Chemical and Biological Warfare. Copernicus. ISBN 0-387-95076-1.
* Smart, Jeffery K., M.A. (1997). History of Biological and Chemical Warfare. Retrieved Nov. 24, 2004.
* United States Senate, 103d Congress, 2d Session. (May 25, 1994). The Riegle Report. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2004.
* Gerard J Fitzgerald. American Journal of Public Health. Washington: Apr 2008. Vol. 98, Iss. 4; p. 611

Further reading

* Leo P. Brophy and George J. B. Fisher; The Chemical Warfare Service: Organizing for War Office of the Chief of Military History, 1959; L. P. Brophy, W. D. Miles and C. C. Cochrane, The Chemical Warfare Service: From Laboratory to Field (1959); and B. E. Kleber and D. Birdsell, The Chemical Warfare Service in Combat (1966). official US history;
* Gordon M. Burck and Charles C. Flowerree; International Handbook on Chemical Weapons Proliferation 1991
* L. F. Haber. The Poisonous Cloud: Chemical Warfare in the First World War Oxford University Press: 1986
* James W. Hammond Jr.; Poison Gas: The Myths Versus Reality Greenwood Press, 1999
* Jiri Janata, Role of Analytical Chemistry in Defense Strategies Against Chemical and Biological Attack, Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry, 2009
* Benoit Morel and Kyle Olson; Shadows and Substance: The Chemical Weapons Convention Westview Press, 1993
* Adrienne Mayor, Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World Overlook-Duckworth, 2003, rev ed with new Introduction 2008
* Geoff Plunkett, Chemical Warfare in Australia, Australian Military History Publications, 2007
* Jonathan B. Tucker. Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda (2006)

External links

* ATSDR Case Studies in Environmental Medicine: Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Including Insecticides and Chemical Warfare Nerve Agents U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
* Russian Biological and Chemical Weapons, about the danger posed by non-state weapons transfers
* Gaddum Papers at the Royal Society
* Chemical Weapons stored in the United States
* [7] The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW
* [8] Chemical Warfare in Australia
* Classes of Chemical Agents U.S. National Library of Medicine
* Chemical warfare agent potency, logistics, human damage, dispersal, protection and types of agents (bomb-shelter.net)
* ‘War of Nerves’: A History of Chemical Weapons (interview with Jonathan Tucker from National Public Radio Talk of the Nation program, May 8, 2006

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare
Categories: Chemical warfare



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MKULTRA redirects here. For other uses, see MKULTRA (disambiguation).
Declassified MKULTRA documents
Project MK-ULTRA, or MKULTRA, was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control and chemical interrogation research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. The program began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s, and it used United States citizens as its test subjects.[1][2][3] The published evidence indicates that Project MK-ULTRA involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs, as well as other methods, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function.

Project MK-ULTRA was first brought to wide public attention in 1975 by the U.S. Congress, through investigations by the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MK-ULTRA files destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms’ destruction order.[4]

Although the CIA insists that MK-ULTRA-type experiments have been abandoned, 14-year CIA veteran Victor Marchetti has stated in various interviews that the CIA routinely conducts disinformation campaigns and that CIA mind control research continued. In a 1977 interview, Marchetti specifically called the CIA claim that MK-ULTRA was abandoned a cover story. [5][6]

On the Senate floor in 1977, Senator Ted Kennedy said:

The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an extensive testing and experimentation program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign. Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to unwitting subjects in social situations. At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.[7]

To this day most specific information regarding Project MKULTRA remains highly classified.


* 1 Title and origins
* 2 Goals
* 3 Budget
* 4 Experiments
o 4.1 Drugs
+ 4.1.1 LSD
+ 4.1.2 Other drugs
o 4.2 Hypnosis
o 4.3 Canadian experiments
* 5 Revelation
* 6 U.S. General Accounting Office Report
* 7 Deaths
* 8 Legal issues involving informed consent
* 9 Extent of participation
* 10 Notable subjects
* 11 Conspiracy theories
* 12 Popular culture
* 13 See also
* 14 Footnotes
* 15 Further reading
* 16 External links

Title and origins
Dr. Sidney Gottlieb approved of an MKULTRA subproject on LSD in this June 9, 1953 letter.

The project’s intentionally oblique CIA cryptonym is made up of the digraph MK, meaning that the project was sponsored by the agency’s Technical Services Division, followed by the word ULTRA (which had previously been used to designate the most secret classification of World War II intelligence). Other related cryptonyms include MK-NAOMI and MK-DELTA.

A precursor of the MK-ULTRA program began in 1945 when the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established and given direct responsibility for Operation Paperclip. Operation Paperclip was a program to recruit former Nazi scientists. Some of these scientists studied torture and brainwashing, and several had just been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.[8][9]

Several secret U.S. government projects grew out of Operation Paperclip. These projects included Project CHATTER (established 1947), and Project BLUEBIRD (established 1950), which was later renamed to Project ARTICHOKE in 1951. Their purpose was to study mind-control, interrogation, behavior modification and related topics.

Headed by Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the MK-ULTRA project was started on the order of CIA director Allen Dulles on April 13, 1953,[10] largely in response to Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean use of mind-control techniques on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea.[11] The CIA wanted to use similar methods on their own captives. The CIA was also interested in being able to manipulate foreign leaders with such techniques,[12] and would later invent several schemes to drug Fidel Castro.

Experiments were often conducted without the subjects’ knowledge or consent.[13] In some cases, academic researchers being funded through grants from CIA front organizations were unaware that their work was being used for these purposes.[14]

In 1964, the project was renamed MK-SEARCH. The project attempted to produce a perfect truth drug for use in interrogating suspected Soviet spies during the Cold War, and generally to explore any other possibilities of mind control.

Another MK-ULTRA effort, Subproject 54, was the Navy’s top secret Perfect Concussion program, which used sub-aural frequency blasts to erase memory.[15]

Because most MK-ULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then CIA Director Richard Helms, it has been difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to gain a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research sub-projects sponsored by MK-ULTRA and related CIA programs.[16]


The Agency poured millions of dollars into studies probing dozens of methods of influencing and controlling the mind. One 1955 MK-ULTRA document gives an indication of the size and range of the effort; this document refers to the study of an assortment of mind-altering substances described as follows:[17]

1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
2. Substances which increase the efficiency of mentation and perception.
3. Materials which will prevent or counteract the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
4. Materials which will promote the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
5. Materials which will produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc.
6. Materials which will render the induction of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness.
7. Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called brain-washing .
8. Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.
9. Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use.
10. Substances which produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.
11. Substances which will produce pure euphoria with no subsequent let-down.
12. Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced.
13. A material which will cause mental confusion of such a type that the individual under its influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning.
14. Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts.
15. Substances which promote weakness or distortion of the eyesight or hearing faculties, preferably without permanent effects.
16. A knockout pill which can surreptitiously be administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol, etc., which will be safe to use, provide a maximum of amnesia, and be suitable for use by agent types on an ad hoc basis.
17. A material which can be surreptitiously administered by the above routes and which in very small amounts will make it impossible for a man to perform any physical activity whatsoever.

Historians have asserted that creating a Manchurian Candidate subject through mind control techniques was a goal of MK-ULTRA and related CIA projects.[18]


A secretive arrangement granted the MK-ULTRA program a percentage of the CIA budget. The MK-ULTRA director was granted six percent of the CIA operating budget in 1953, without oversight or accounting.[19] An estimated US$10m or more was spent[20].


CIA documents suggest that chemical, biological and radiological means were investigated for the purpose of mind control as part of MK-ULTRA.[21]


Early efforts focused on LSD, which later came to dominate many of MK-ULTRA’s programs.
Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject’s knowledge or informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after World War II.

Efforts to recruit subjects were often illegal, even discounting the fact that drugs were being administered (though actual use of LSD, for example, was legal in the United States until October 6, 1966). In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, the brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors, and the sessions were filmed for later viewing and study.[22]

Some subjects’ participation was consensual, and in many of these cases, the subjects appeared to be singled out for even more extreme experiments. In one case, volunteers were given LSD for 77 consecutive days.[23]

LSD was eventually dismissed by MK-ULTRA’s researchers as too unpredictable in its results.[1] Although useful information was sometimes obtained through questioning subjects on LSD, not uncommonly the most marked effect would be the subject’s absolute and utter certainty that they were able to withstand any form of interrogation attempt, even physical torture.

Other drugs

Another technique investigated was connecting a barbiturate IV into one arm and an amphetamine IV into the other.[24] The barbiturates were released into the subject first, and as soon as the subject began to fall asleep, the amphetamines were released. The subject would begin babbling incoherently at this point, and it was sometimes possible to ask questions and get useful answers.

Other experiments involved heroin, morphine, temazepam (used under code name MK-SEARCH), mescaline, psilocybin, scopolamine, marijuana, alcohol, sodium pentothal,[25] and ergine (in Subproject 22).


Declassified MK-ULTRA documents indicate hypnosis was studied in the early 1950s. Experimental goals included: the creation of hypnotically induced anxieties, hypnotically increasing ability to learn and recall complex written matter, studying hypnosis and polygraph examinations, hypnotically increasing ability to observe and recall complex arrangements of physical objects, and studying relationship of personality to susceptibility to hypnosis. [26]

Canadian experiments

The experiments were exported to Canada when the CIA recruited Scottish physician Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the psychic driving concept, which the CIA found particularly interesting. Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 to carry out MKULTRA experiments there. In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power. His driving experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced coma for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were typically carried out on patients who had entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanently from his actions.[27] His treatments resulted in victims’ incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and thinking their interrogators were their parents.[28] His work was inspired and paralleled by the British psychiatrist Dr William Sargant at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and Belmont Hospital, Surrey, who was also involved in the Intelligence Services and who experimented extensively on his patients without their consent, causing similar long-term damage.[29] Dr. Cameron and Dr. Sargant are the only two identified Canadian experimenters, but the MKULTRA file makes reference to many other unnamed physicians who were recruited by the CIA.[citation needed]

It was during this era that Cameron became known worldwide as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations. Cameron had also been a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal in 1946-47.[30]


In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MK-ULTRA files destroyed. Pursuant to this order, most CIA documents regarding the project were destroyed, making a full investigation of MK-ULTRA impossible.

In December 1974, The New York Times reported that the CIA had conducted illegal domestic activities, including experiments on U.S. citizens, during the 1960s. That report prompted investigations by the U.S. Congress, in the form of the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission that looked into domestic activities of the CIA, the FBI, and intelligence-related agencies of the military.

In the summer of 1975, congressional Church Committee reports and the presidential Rockefeller Commission report revealed to the public for the first time that the CIA and the Department of Defense had conducted experiments on both unwitting and cognizant human subjects as part of an extensive program to influence and control human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological means. They also revealed that at least one subject had died after administration of LSD. Much of what the Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission learned about MKULTRA was contained in a report, prepared by the Inspector General’s office in 1963, that had survived the destruction of records ordered in 1973.[31] However, it contained little detail.

The congressional committee investigating the CIA research, chaired by Senator Frank Church, concluded that [p]rior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects . The committee noted that the experiments sponsored by these researchers … call into question the decision by the agencies not to fix guidelines for experiments.

Following the recommendations of the Church Committee, President Gerald Ford in 1976 issued the first Executive Order on Intelligence Activities which, among other things, prohibited experimentation with drugs on human subjects, except with the informed consent, in writing and witnessed by a disinterested party, of each such human subject and in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Commission. Subsequent orders by Presidents Carter and Reagan expanded the directive to apply to any human experimentation.

On the heels of the revelations about CIA experiments, similar stories surfaced regarding U.S. Army experiments. In 1975 the Secretary of the Army instructed the Army Inspector General to conduct an investigation. Among the findings of the Inspector General was the existence of a 1953 memorandum penned by then Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson. Documents show that the CIA participated in at least two of Department of Defense committees during 1952. These committee findings led to the issuance of the Wilson Memo, which mandated—in accord with Nuremberg Code protocols—that only volunteers be used for experimental operations conducted in the U.S. armed forces. In response to the Inspector General’s investigation, the Wilson Memo was declassified in August 1975.

With regard to drug testing within the Army, the Inspector General found that the evidence clearly reflected that every possible medical consideration was observed by the professional investigators at the Medical Research Laboratories. However the Inspector General also found that the mandated requirements of Wilson’s 1953 memorandum had been only partially adhered to; he concluded that the volunteers were not fully informed, as required, prior to their participation; and the methods of procuring their services, in many cases, appeared not to have been in accord with the intent of Department of the Army policies governing use of volunteers in research.

Other branches of the U.S. armed forces, the Air Force for example, were found not to have adhered to Wilson Memo stipulations regarding voluntary drug testing.

In 1977, during a hearing held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to look further into MKULTRA, Admiral Stansfield Turner, then Director of Central Intelligence, revealed that the CIA had found a set of records, consisting of about 20,000 pages,[32] that had survived the 1973 destruction orders, due to having been stored at a records center not usually used for such documents.[31] These files dealt with the financing of MKULTRA projects, and as such contained few details of those projects, but much more was learned from them than from the Inspector General’s 1963 report.

In Canada, the issue took much longer to surface, becoming widely known in 1984 on a CBC news show, The Fifth Estate. It was learned that not only had the CIA funded Dr. Cameron’s efforts, but perhaps even more shockingly, the Canadian government was fully aware of this, and had later provided another $500,000 in funding to continue the experiments. This revelation largely derailed efforts by the victims to sue the CIA as their U.S. counterparts had, and the Canadian government eventually settled out of court for $100,000 to each of the 127 victims. None of Dr. Cameron’s personal records of his involvement with MKULTRA survive, since his family destroyed them after his death from a heart attack while mountain climbing in 1967.[33]

U.S. General Accounting Office Report

The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on September 28, 1994, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, DOD and other national security agencies studied thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances.

The quote from the study:

… Working with the CIA, the Department of Defense gave hallucinogenic drugs to thousands of volunteer soldiers in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In addition to LSD, the Army also tested quinuclidinyl benzilate, a hallucinogen code-named BZ. (Note 37) Many of these tests were conducted under the so-called MKULTRA program, established to counter perceived Soviet and Chinese advances in brainwashing techniques. Between 1953 and 1964, the program consisted of 149 projects involving drug testing and other studies on unwitting human subjects…[34]


Harold Blauer, a professional tennis player in New York City, died as a result of a secret Army experiment involving MDA.[35]

Frank Olson, a United States Army biochemist and biological weapons researcher, was given LSD without his knowledge or consent in 1953 as part of a CIA experiment, and died under suspicious circumstances (initially labeled suicide) a week later following a severe psychotic episode. A CIA doctor assigned to monitor Olson’s recovery claimed to be asleep in another bed in a New York City hotel room when Olson jumped through the window to fall ten stories to his death.[36]

Olson’s son disputes this version of events, and maintains that his father was murdered due to the belief that he was going to divulge his knowledge of the top-secret interrogation program code-named Project ARTICHOKE.[37] Frank Olson’s body was exhumed in 1994, and cranial injuries indicated Olson had been knocked unconscious before exiting the window.[38]

The CIA’s own internal investigation, by contrast, claimed Gottlieb had conducted the experiment with Olson’s prior knowledge, although neither Olson nor the other men taking part in the experiment were informed as to the exact nature of the drug until some 20 minutes after its ingestion. The report further suggested that Gottlieb was nonetheless due a reprimand, as he had failed to take into account Olsen’s already-diagnosed suicidal tendencies, which might well have been exacerbated by the LSD.[36]

Legal issues involving informed consent

The revelations about the CIA and the Army prompted a number of subjects or their survivors to file lawsuits against the federal government for conducting illegal experiments. Although the government aggressively, and sometimes successfully, sought to avoid legal liability, several plaintiffs did receive compensation through court order, out-of-court settlement, or acts of Congress. Frank Olson’s family received $750,000 by a special act of Congress, and both President Ford and CIA director William Colby met with Olson’s family to publicly apologize.

Previously, the CIA and the Army had actively and successfully sought to withhold incriminating information, even as they secretly provided compensation to the families. One subject of Army drug experimentation, James Stanley, an Army sergeant, brought an important, albeit unsuccessful, suit. The government argued that Stanley was barred from suing under a legal doctrine—known as the Feres doctrine, after a 1950 Supreme Court case, Feres v. United States—that prohibits members of the Armed Forces from suing the government for any harms that were inflicted incident to service.

In 1987, the Supreme Court affirmed this defense in a 5–4 decision that dismissed Stanley’s case.[39] The majority argued that a test for liability that depends on the extent to which particular suits would call into question military discipline and decision making would itself require judicial inquiry into, and hence intrusion upon, military matters. In dissent, Justice William Brennan argued that the need to preserve military discipline should not protect the government from liability and punishment for serious violations of constitutional rights:

The medical trials at Nuremberg in 1947 deeply impressed upon the world that experimentation with unknowing human subjects is morally and legally unacceptable. The United States Military Tribunal established the Nuremberg Code as a standard against which to judge German scientists who experimented with human subjects… . [I]n defiance of this principle, military intelligence officials … began surreptitiously testing chemical and biological materials, including LSD.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing a separate dissent, stated:

No judicially crafted rule should insulate from liability the involuntary and unknowing human experimentation alleged to have occurred in this case. Indeed, as Justice Brennan observes, the United States played an instrumental role in the criminal prosecution of Nazi officials who experimented with human subjects during the Second World War, and the standards that the Nuremberg Military Tribunals developed to judge the behavior of the defendants stated that the ‘voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential … to satisfy moral, ethical, and legal concepts.’ If this principle is violated, the very least that society can do is to see that the victims are compensated, as best they can be, by the perpetrators.

This is the only Supreme Court case to address the application of the Nuremberg Code to experimentation sponsored by the U.S. government. And while the suit was unsuccessful, dissenting opinions put the Army—and by association the entire government—on notice that use of individuals without their consent is unacceptable. The limited application of the Nuremberg Code in U.S. courts does not detract from the power of the principles it espouses, especially in light of stories of failure to follow these principles that appeared in the media and professional literature during the 1960s and 1970s and the policies eventually adopted in the mid-1970s.

In another law suit, Wayne Ritchie, a former United States Marshall, alleged the CIA laced his food or drink with LSD at a 1957 Christmas party. While the government admitted it was, at that time, drugging people without their consent, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel found Ritchie could not prove he was one of the victims of MKULTRA and dismissed the case in 2007.[40]

Extent of participation

Forty-four American colleges or universities, 15 research foundations or chemical or pharmaceutical companies and the like including Sandoz (currently Novartis) and Eli Lilly & Co., 12 hospitals or clinics (in addition to those associated with universities), and 3 prisons are known to have participated in MKULTRA.[41][42]

Notable subjects

A considerable amount of credible circumstantial evidence suggests that Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, participated in CIA-sponsored MK-ULTRA experiments conducted at Harvard University from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962. During World War II, Henry Murray, the lead researcher in the Harvard experiments, served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was a forerunner of the CIA. Murray applied for a grant funded by the United States Navy, and his Harvard stress experiments strongly resembled those run by the OSS.[43] Beginning at the age of sixteen, Kaczynski participated along with twenty-one other undergraduate students in the Harvard experiments, which have been described as disturbing and ethically indefensible. [43][44]

Merry Prankster Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, volunteered for MK-ULTRA experiments while he was a student at Stanford University. Kesey’s ingestion of LSD during these experiments led directly to his widespread promotion of the drug and the subsequent development of hippie culture.[45]

Candy Jones, American fashion model and radio host, claimed to have been a victim of mind control in the ’60s.[46]

Infamous Irish mob boss James Whitey Bulger volunteered for testing while in prison.[47]

Conspiracy theories

MK-ULTRA plays a part in many conspiracy theories given its nature and the destruction of most records.
Lawrence Teeter, attorney for convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan, believed Sirhan was under the influence of hypnosis when he fired his weapon at Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Teeter linked the CIA’s MKULTRA program to mind control techniques that he claimed were used to control Sirhan.[48]

Jonestown, the Guyana location of the Jim Jones cult and Peoples Temple mass suicide, was thought to be a test site for MKULTRA medical and mind control experiments after the official end of the program. Congressman Leo Ryan, a known critic of the CIA, was assassinated after he personally visited Jonestown to investigate various reported irregularities.[49]

Popular culture

* MKULTRA is referenced in the plots of The Ambler Warning by Robert Ludlum, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, Firestarter by Stephen King, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito, The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon, The Telling of Lies by Timothy Findley; and The Watchmen by John Altman; the films The Bourne Ultimatum, Conspiracy Theory, The Good Shepherd, Jacob’s Ladder, and The Killing Room; the television series Angel, The West Wing. The Lone Gunmen, Numb3rs, Bones, Quincy M.E. and The X-Files; the games Conspiracy X and The Suffering: Prison is Hell; the character Deathstroke the Terminator in the Teen Titans by DC Comics.
* The bands mk Ultra, MK-ULTRA, and a side project of Frank Tovey took their names from these projects. MKULTRA is also referenced by such musical artists as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Canibus, Exit Clov, Fatboy Slim, Green Magnet School, Immortal Technique, Manic Street Preachers, Muse, The Orb, Sirius Isness, Lustmord side project Terror Against Terror, Tokyo Police Club, and Unwound.
* MKULTRA also provides a name for a move by professional wrestler Sterling James Keenan.

See also

* Brainwashing
* CIA operations
* Human radiation experiments
* Louis Jolyon West
* Macy conferences
* Project MKDELTA
* Project MKNAOMI
* Operation Paperclip
* Sidney Gottlieb
* United States v. Stanley
* William Sargant


1. ^ Richelson, JT (ed.) (2001-09-10). Science, Technology and the CIA: A National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book . George Washington University. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB54/. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
2. ^ Chapter 3, part 4: Supreme Court Dissents Invoke the Nuremberg Code: CIA and DOD Human Subjects Research Scandals . Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments Final Report. http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/achre/chap3_4.html. Retrieved 2005-08-24.
3. ^ The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence . Church Committee report, no. 94-755, 94th Cong., 2d Sess.. Washington, D.C..: United States Congress. 1976. pp. 392. http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book1/html/ChurchB1_0200b.htm.
4. ^ An Interview with Richard Helms . Central Intelligence Agency. 2007-05-08. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/docs/v44i4a07p_0021.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
5. ^ Interview with Victor Marchetti . http://www.skepticfiles.org/socialis/marcheti.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
6. ^ Cannon, M (1992). Mind Control and the American Government . Lobster Magazine 23.
7. ^ Opening Remarks by Senator Ted Kennedy . U.S. Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, and Subcommittee On Health And Scientific Research of the Committee On Human Resources. 1977-08-03. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/e1950/mkultra/Hearing01.htm.
8. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4443934.stm
9. ^ http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/NaziMedEx.html
10. ^ Church Committee; p. 390 MKULTRA was approved by the DCI [Director of Central Intelligence] on April 13, 1953
11. ^ Chapter 3, part 4: Supreme Court Dissents Invoke the Nuremberg Code: CIA and DOD Human Subjects Research Scandals . Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments Final Report. http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/chap3_4.html. Retrieved August 24 2005. MKULTRA, began in 1950 and was motivated largely in response to alleged Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean uses of mind-control techniques on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea.
12. ^ Church Committee; p. 391 A special procedure, designated MKDELTA, was established to govern the use of MKULTRA materials abroad. Such materials were used on a number of occasions.
13. ^ Church Committee; The congressional committee investigating the CIA research, chaired by Senator Frank Church, concluded that ‘[p]rior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects.’
14. ^ Price, David (June 2007). Buying a Piece of Anthropology: Human Ecology and unwitting anthropological research for the CIA (PDF). Anthropology Today 23 (3): 3–13. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8322.2007.00510.x. https://secure.wikileaks.org/w/images/AT-june07-Price-PT1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
15. ^ http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/e1950/mkultra/Hearing05.htm, retrieved 25 April 2008
16. ^ Chapter 3, part 4: Supreme Court Dissents Invoke the Nuremberg Code: CIA and DOD Human Subjects Research Scandals . Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments Final Report. http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/chap3_4.html. Retrieved August 24 2005. (identical sentence) Because most of the MK-ULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 … MK-ULTRA and the related CIA programs.
17. ^ Senate MKULTRA Hearing: Appendix C–Documents Referring to Subprojects, (page 167, in PDF document page numbering). (pdf). Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Committee on Human Resources. August 3, 1977. http://www.arts.rpi.edu/~pellr/lansberry/mkultra.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
18. ^ Ranelagh, John (March 1988). The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA. Sceptre. pp. 208–210. ISBN 0-340-41230-5.
19. ^ Declassified
20. ^ Mind Control and the Secret State
21. ^ Declassified
22. ^ Marks, John (1979). The Search for the Manchurian Candidate. New York: Times Books. pp. 106–7. ISBN 0-8129-0773-6.
23. ^ NPR Fresh Air. June 28, 2007 and Tim Weiner, The Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.
24. ^ Marks 1979: pp 40-42.
25. ^ Marks 1979: chapters 3 and 7.
26. ^ Declassified
27. ^ Marks 1979: pp 140-150.
28. ^ Turbide, Diane (1997-04-21). Dr. Cameron’s Casualties . http://www.ect.org/dr-camerons-casualties/. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
29. ^ Collins, Anne ([1988] 1998). In the Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. Toronto: Key Porter Books. pp. 39, 42–3, 133. ISBN 1550139320.
30. ^ Marks 1979: p 141.
31. ^ a b Prepared Statement of Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence
32. ^ Government Mind Control Records of MKULTRA & Bluebird/Artichoke
33. ^ HistoryOnAir Podcast 98 – MKULTRA
34. ^ Quote from Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans Health? Lessons Spanning Half A Century , part F. HALLUCINOGENS 103rd Congress, 2nd Session-S. Prt. 103-97; Staff Report prepared for the committee on veterans’ affairs December 8, 1994 John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia, Chairman. Online copy provided by gulfweb.org, which describes itself as Serving the Gulf War Veteran Community Worldwide Since 1994 . (The same document is available from many other (unofficial) sites, which may or may not be independent.)
35. ^ Marks 1979: p 72n.
36. ^ a b Marks 1979: chapter 5.
37. ^ Olson, E (2002-08-22). Family Statement on the Murder of Frank Olson . http://www.frankolsonproject.org/Statements/FamilyStatement2002.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
38. ^ Ronson, Jon (2004). The Men Who Stare at Goats. Picador. ISBN 0-330-37548-2.
39. ^ United States v. Stanley, 483 U.S. 669 (1987)
40. ^ Ritchie v. United States of America: United States District Court, Northern District of California No. C 00-3940 MHP. Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law Re: Motion for Judgment on Partial Findings (pdf). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5c/Ritchie.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
41. ^ Book Review: Search for the Manchurian Candidate by John Marks
42. ^ CIA Off Campus: Building the Movement Against Agency Recruitment and Research
43. ^ a b Chase, A (2000-06-01). Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber . The Atlantic Monthly. pp. 41-65. http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2000/06/chase.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
44. ^ Cockburn, A; St Clair J (1999-10-18). CIA Shrinks and LSD . CounterPunch. http://www.counterpunch.org/ciashrinks.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
45. ^ Baker, Jeff (November 11, 2001). All times a great artist, Ken Kesey is dead at age 66 . The Oregonian: pp. A1.
46. ^ Bennett, C (2001-07-01). Candy Jones: How a leading American fashion model came to be experimented upon by the CIA mind control team . Fortean Times. http://www.forteantimes.com/features/profiles/497/candy_jones.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
47. ^ Bruno, A. James Whitey Bulger . truetv.com. http://www.trutv.com//library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/mob_bosses/james_whitey_bulger/2.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
48. ^ Teeter, Lawrence. Interview with Sirhan’s attorney Lawrence Teeter . KPFA 94.1/Guns & Butter show. http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=8965&page=2&type=.
49. ^ Meier, M (1989). Was Jonestown a CIA Medical Experiment?: A Review of the Evidence. New York: Edwin Mellen. ISBN 0-8894-6013-2.

Further reading

* U.S. Congress: The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence (Church Committee report), report no. 94-755, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1976), 394 . http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book1/contents.htm.
* U.S. Senate: Joint Hearing before The Select Committee on Intelligence and The Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. August 3 1977 . http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/e1950/mkultra/index.htm.

External links

* Short documentary about MKULTRA and the Frank Olson incident
* The Most Dangerous Game Downloadable 8 minute documentary by independent filmmakers GNN
* GIF scans of declassified MKULTRA Project Documents
* Interview of Alfred McCoy on CIA mind control research
* U.S. Supreme Court CIA v. SIMS, 471 U.S. 159 (1985) 471 U.S. 159
* U.S. Supreme Court UNITED STATES v. STANLEY, 483 U.S. 669 (1987) 483 U.S. 669

v • d • e
United States chemical weapons program
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Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA
Categories: Devices to alter consciousness | History of the United States government | Central Intelligence Agency operations | Psychedelic research | LSD | Medical research | Military history of the United States | Military psychiatry | Mind control | 1953 establishments | Secret government programs | Human experimentation in the United States | Investigations and hearings of the United States Congress | Code names



Operation WASHTUB
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Operation WASHTUB was a CIA-organized covert operation to plant a phony Soviet arms cache in Nicaragua to demonstrate Guatemalan ties to Moscow. It was part of the effort to overthrow the President of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in 1954.[1][2]

On February 19, 1954, the CIA planted a cache of Soviet-made arms on the Nicaraguan coast to be discovered weeks later by fishermen in the pay of Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza García. On May 7, 1954, President Somoza told reporters at a press conference that a Soviet submarine had been photographed, but that no prints or negatives were available. The story also involved Guatemalan assassination squads. The press and the public were skeptical and the story did not get much press. .[3]


1. ^ Ward, Matthew. Washington Unmakes Guatemala, 1954 Appendix A: Timeline of Events . Council on Hemispheric Affairs. http://www.coha.org/NEW_PRESS_RELEASES/Matt%20Ward/MW_Appendix_A.htm.
2. ^ Piero Gleijeses, Nick. Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954. Page 57
3. ^ Piero, p. 57 referring to Gleijeses, Shattered Hope, p. 294

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_WASHTUB
Categories: Conflicts in 1954 | Central Intelligence Agency operations | False flag operations | History of Guatemala



Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

P2OG stands for Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, a U.S. intelligence agency that would employ black world (black operations) tactics.


* 1 General information
* 2 See also
* 3 References
* 4 External links

General information

The Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a 2002 DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism. [1] Excerpts from that study, dated August 16, 2002, recommend the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception.[2] For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT), forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.[3] Concerning the tactics P2OG would use,

Among other things, this body would launch secret operations aimed at stimulating reactions among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction—that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to quick-response attacks by U.S. forces.

Such tactics would hold states/sub-state actors accountable and signal to harboring states that their sovereignty will be at risk , the briefing paper declares.[2]
[edit] See also

Operation Northwoods
[edit] References

1. ^ Defense Science Board, DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, U.S. Department of Defense, Final Outbrief, August 16, 2002; 78 pages (in PowerPoint format). Text of the document in HTML format. Here is a 30-page excerpt from the foregoing (in PowerPoint format). This is the publicly published U.S. government document which proposes P2OG.
2. ^ a b William M. Arkin, The Secret War: Frustrated by intelligence failures, the Defense Department is dramatically expanding its ‘black world’ of covert operations, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2002. Also available here.
3. ^ David Isenberg, ‘P2OG’ allows Pentagon to fight dirty, Asia Times, November 5, 2002.

[edit] External links

* Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government Secrecy, DOD Examines ‘Preemptive’ Intelligence Operations, Secrecy News, Vol. 2002, Issue No. 107, October 28, 2002.
* Chris Floyd, Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks, CounterPunch, November 1, 2002. Also appeared in Moscow Times, November 1, 2002, pg. XXIV; St. Petersburg Times, November 5, 2002; and under the title Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism, Collected Writings: Past Articles by Chris Floyd, April 15, 2005. This article was chosen number four in Project Censored’s Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2002-2003, (#4) Rumsfeld’s Plan to Provoke Terrorists.
* Seymour M. Hersh, The Coming Wars: What the Pentagon can now do in secret, The New Yorker, January 24, 2005 edition. Referenced by the below Chris Floyd article.
* Chris Floyd, Global Eye, Moscow Times, January 21, 2005, Issue 3089, pg. 112; also appeared as Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism is Now in Operation, Collected Writings: Past Articles by Chris Floyd, April 15, 2005.

Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactive,_Preemptive_Operations_Group
Categories: Espionage | Official documents of the United States | United States intelligence agencies | United States intelligence operations | 2002 works | Counter-terrorism



Operation Gladio
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emblem of Gladio , Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind paramilitary organizations. The motto means In silence I preserve freedom .

Gladio (Italian for Gladius, a type of Roman short sword) is a code name denoting the clandestine NATO stay-behind operation in Italy after World War II, intended to continue anti-communist resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organisations, Operation Gladio is used as an informal name for all stay-behind organisations, sometimes called Super NATO .[1]

Operating in many NATO and even some neutral countries,[2] Gladio was first coordinated by the Clandestine Committee of the Western Union (CCWU), founded in 1948. After the creation of NATO in 1949, the CCWU was integrated into the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC), founded in 1951 and overseen by the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), transferred to Belgium after France’s official withdrawal from NATO’s Military Committee in 1966 — which was not followed by the dissolution of the French stay-behind paramilitary movements.

The role of the CIA in sponsoring Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, and its relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the Years of Lead and other similar clandestine operations is the subject of ongoing debate and investigation. Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.[3]


* 1 General stay-behind structure
o 1.1 European Parliament resolution concerning Gladio
* 2 Allegations
o 2.1 Gladio’s strategy of tension and internal subversion operations
* 3 Gladio operations in NATO countries
o 3.1 First discovered in Italy
+ 3.1.1 Giulio Andreotti’s October 24, 1990 revelations
+ 3.1.2 2000 Parliamentary report: a strategy of tension
+ 3.1.3 General Maletti’s testimony concerning alleged CIA involvement
+ 3.1.4 A quick chronology of Italy’s strategy of tension
+ 3.1.5 The DSSA, another Gladio?
o 3.2 Belgium
o 3.3 France
o 3.4 Denmark
o 3.5 Germany
+ 3.5.1 The 1980 Oktoberfest bomb blast
+ 3.5.2 CIA’s documents released in June 2006
+ 3.5.3 Norbert Juretzko’s 2004 revelations
o 3.6 Greece
o 3.7 The Netherlands
o 3.8 Norway
o 3.9 Portugal
o 3.10 Turkey
o 3.11 The United Kingdom
+ 3.11.1 General Serravalle’s revelations
+ 3.11.2 The Guardian’s November 1990 revelations concerning plans under Margaret Thatcher
* 4 Parallel stay-behind operations in non-NATO countries
o 4.1 Austria
o 4.2 Finland
o 4.3 Spain
o 4.4 Sweden
o 4.5 Switzerland
* 5 The Order of the Solar Temple mystery
* 6 FOIA requests and US State Department’s 2006 communiqué
* 7 Politicians on Gladio
* 8 Gladio in Fiction
* 9 References
* 10 Bibliography
* 11 Films

General stay-behind structure
Emblem of NATO’s stay-behind paramilitary organizations.

The command structure of stay-behind forces, as suggested in Field Manual 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces.

After World War II, the UK and the US decided to create stay-behind paramilitary organizations, with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Arms caches were hidden, escape routes prepared, and loyal members recruited: i.e. mainly hardline anticommunists, including many ex-Nazis or former fascists, whether in Italy or in other European countries. In Germany, for example, Gladio had as a central focus the Gehlen Org — also involved in ODESSA ratlines — named after Reinhard Gehlen who would become West Germany’s first head of intelligence, while the predominantly Italian P2 masonic lodge was composed of many members of the neofascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), including Licio Gelli. Its clandestine cells were to stay behind (hence the name) in enemy controlled territory and to act as resistance movements, conducting sabotage, guerrilla warfare and assassinations.

] . . . [

In 1991, a report by Swiss magistrate Pierre Cornu was released by the Swiss defence ministry. It said that P26 was without political or legal legitimacy , and described the group’s collaboration with British secret services as intense . Unknown to the Swiss government, British officials signed agreements with the organisation, called P26, to provide training in combat, communications, and sabotage. The latest agreement was signed in 1987… P26 cadres participated regularly in training exercises in Britain… British advisers — possibly from the SAS — visited secret training establishments in Switzerland. P26 was led by Efrem Cattelan, known to British intelligence.[75]

In a 2005 conference presenting Daniele Ganser’s research on Gladio, Hans Senn, General Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army between 1977 and 1980, explained how he was informed of the existence of a secret organisation in the middle of his term of office. According to him, it already became clear in 1980 in the wake of the Schilling/Bachmann affair that there was also a secret group in Switzerland. But former MP, Helmut Hubacher, President of the Social Democratic Party from 1975 to 1990, declared that although it had been known that special services existed within the army, as a politician he never at any time could have known that the secret army P26 was behind this. Hubacher pointed out that the President of the parliamentary investigation into P26 (PUK-EMD), the right-wing politician from Appenzell and member of the Council of States for that Canton, Carlo Schmid, had suffered like a dog during the commission’s investigations. Carlo Schmid declared to the press: I was schocked that something like that is at all possible, and said to the press he was glad to leave the conspirational atmosphere which had weighted upon him like a black shadow during the investigations.[89] Hubacher found it especially disturbing that, apart from its official mandate of organizing resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, P26 had also a mandate to become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority.[86]
[edit] The Order of the Solar Temple mystery

Psychiatrist Jean-Marie Abgrall has alleged[90] that the collective suicides allegedly committed by various Order of the Solar Temple (OST) members, in December 1995 in the Vercors region of France, were somehow related to Gladio. According to Jean-Marie Abgrall’s declarations to Le Point magazine and Nice Matin newspaper in February 2003, which he renewed in official justice documents, the Renewed Order of the Solar Temple cult ( Ordre Rénové du Temple – ORT[91]), ancestor of the OTS, had relations with Gladio networks. Abgrall also claimed that the AMORC, of which he had been a member, was also related to Foccart networks (Jacques Foccart was De Gaulle’s spindoctor for African affairs, and retained an important role long after him).

The theory of the mass suicide has been heavily contested by family of the victims Alain Vuarnet, René and Muguette Rostan, Willy and Giséla Schleimer and their lawyer, Alain Leclerc. According to a Reuters cable dated March 22, 2004 (19:03:46), the lawyer explained that he had two documents upholding the theory of a murder, the first one being Jean-Marie Abgrall’s juridical declaration above-mentioned. According to the lawyer, psychiatrist Jean-Marie Abgrall reveals… that the Order of the Solar Temple, as the AMORC and the ORT, were created and controlled by French and foreign secret services . Those information weren’t given at the time of investigations; the lawyer thus asked that Dr. Abgrall be heard by the judge, according to a Reuters cable.

One document was a copy of an April 21, 1997 letter addressed by a lawyer office to a bank, concerning the distribution of 17 million French Francs (about 2.5 millions Euros) between various personalities and political parties, the OST and the Rosicrucian Order AMORC (Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis), an organization suspected of links with the OST. In his demand for more investigation, Dr. Leclerc wrote: If the document is true, it shows that the Order of the Solar Temple was in activity after the last March 22, 1997 massacre (the collective suicide of five adepts in Canada) and that the responsibles of this organization are still alive . However, the court refused further expertise: thus, it hasn’t been possible to verify the validity of this document.

A third document was sent by the French secret services (RG) to the judge, discrediting the family of the victims’ claims and demands for further investigations. If Jean-Marie Abgrall’s claims of relationship between the ORT (OST’s ancestor) and Gladio may seem far-fetched, Propaganda Due’s juridically proven involvement[citation needed] in Gladio’s strategy of tension inclines one to keep open various possibilities during investigations. Furthermore, connections between ORT founder Luc Jouret and far-right Belgian activist Jean Thiriart have been alleged by other sources; together, they had found in the 1970s a far-right party which was controlled by Belgium’s branch of Gladio. In any case, the mass suicides haven’t been clearly explained, let alone financial links concerning those various cults.[92][93][94]

FOIA requests and US State Department’s 2006 communiqué

Three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been filed to the CIA, which has rejected them with the Glomar response: The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request. One request was filed by the National Security Archive in 1991; another by the Italian Senate commission headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino in 1995 concerning Gladio and Aldo Moro’s murder; the last one in 1996, by Oliver Rathkolb, of Vienna university, for the Austrian government, concerning the secret stay-behind armies after a discovery of an arms-cache.[28]

Furthermore, the US State Department published a communiqué in January 2006 which, while confirming the existence of stay-behind armies, in general, and the presence of the Gladio stay-behind unit in Italy, in particular, with the purpose of aiding resistance in the event of Soviet aggression directed Westward, from the Warsaw Pact, dismissed claims of any United States ordered, supported, or authorized skullduggery by stay-behind units. In fact, it claims that, on the contrary, the accusations of US-sponsored false flag operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets themselves forged; specifically the researchers are alleged to have been influenced by the Westmoreland Field Manual, whose forged nature was confirmed by former KGB operatives, following the end of the Cold War. The Soviet-authored forgery, disseminated in the 1970s, explicitly formulated the need for a strategy of tension involving violent attacks blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It also rejected a Communist Greek journalist’s allegations made in December 2005 (See above).[61]

Politicians on Gladio

Whilst the existence of a stay-behind organization such as Gladio was disputed, prior to its confirmation by Giulio Andreotti, with some skeptics describing it as a conspiracy theory, several high ranking politicians in NATO countries have made statements appearing to confirm the existence of something like what is described:

* Former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti ( Gladio had been necessary during the days of the Cold War but, that in view of the collapse of the East Bloc, Italy would suggest to NATO that the organisation was no longer necessary. )
* Former French minister of defense Jean-Pierre Chevènement ( a structure did exist, set up at the beginning of the 1950s, to enable communications with a government that might have fled abroad in the event of the country being occupied. ).
* Former Greek defence minister, Yannis Varvitsiotis ( local commandos and the CIA set up a branch of the network in 1955 to organise guerrilla resistance to any communist invader )

As noted above, the US has now acknowledged the existence of Operation Gladio.

Gladio in Fiction

A precise analogue of Operation Gladio was described in the 1949 fiction novel An Affair of State by Pat Frank.[95] In Frank’s version, U.S. State Dept officers recruit a stay-behind network in Hungary to fight an insurgency against the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union launches an attack on and captures Western Europe.
[edit] References

1. ^ Çelik, Serdar (February/March 1994). Turkey’s Killing Machine: The Contra-Guerrilla Force . Kurdistan Report 17. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/017.html. Retrieved 2008-09-20. quoting Bülent Ecevit from a newspaper interview (in Turkish). Milliyet. 1990-11-28. Özel Harp Dairesinin nerede bulundug(unu sordum ‘Amerikan Askerî Yard?m Heyetiyle ayn? binada’ yan?t?n? ald?m.
2. ^ Haberman, Clyde (1990-11-16). EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas . New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE5D61031F935A25752C1A966958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink. Retrieved 2008-10-11. Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Luxembourg have all acknowledged that they maintained Gladio-style networks to prepare guerrilla fighters to leap into action in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion. Many worked under the code name Stay Behind. Greece called its operation Red Sheepskin.
News reports in recent days assert that similar programs have also existed in Britain, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Turkey and Denmark, and even in neutral countries like Switzerland and Sweden.
3. ^ Belgian parliamentary report concerning the stay-behind network, named Enquête parlementaire sur l’existence en Belgique d’un réseau de renseignements clandestin international or Parlementair onderzoek met betrekking tot het bestaan in België van een clandestien internationaal inlichtingenetwerk pg. 17-22
4. ^ a b c d Vulliamy, Ed (1990-12-05). Secret agents, freemasons, fascists… and a top-level campaign of political ‘destabilisation’ . The Guardian. http://www.cambridgeclarion.org/press_cuttings/vinciguerra.p2.etc_graun_5dec1990.html.
5. ^ Fitchett, Joseph. (1990-11-13) Paris Says it Joined NATO ‘Resistance’, International Herald Tribune
6. ^ Duraud, Bernard (2005-10-07). La critique – Récit d’un brigadiste (in French). L’Humanité. http://www.humanite.fr/2005-10-07_International_La-critique-Recit-d-un-brigadiste.
7. ^ a b c d e Ganser, Daniele. Terrorism in Western Europe: An Approach to NATO’s Secret Stay-Behind ArmiesPDF (162 KB), Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, South Orange NJ, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 6, No. 1.
8. ^ O’Shaughnessy, Hugh. Gladio: Europe’s Secret Networks, The Observer, 18 November 1990.
9. ^ Gelli arrest is another chapter in Vatican bank scandal . American Atheists. 1998-09-16. http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/vatican2.htm. Retrieved February 2006.
10. ^ See for ex. links between Italian neofascist terrorist Stefano delle Chiaie, whom was protected by the Italian SISMI, and the DINA; including assassination attempts on Bernardo Leighton, Carlos Altamirano, Andrés Pascal Allende (Salvador Allende’s nephew), etc. Delle Chiaie also worked with Argentine death-squad Triple A and Bolivian dictator Hugo Banzer. Las relaciones secretas entre Pinochet, Franco y la P2 , Conspiración para matar, Sergio Sorin, February 4, 1999
11. ^ Secret Cold-War Network Group Hid Arms, Belgian Member Says . Brussels: Reuters. 1990-11-13.
12. ^ Pedrick, Clare; Lardner, George Jr (1990-11-14). CIA Organized Secret Army in Western Europe . Washington Post. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/8457082.html?dids=8457082:8457082&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=NOV+14%2C+1990&author=Pedrick%2C+Clare%3B+Lardner%2C+George+Jr&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=CIA+Organized+Secret+Army+in+Western+Europe&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
13. ^ Vulliamy, Ed (1990-08-03). Grieving Bologna looks back in anger on bombing . The Guardian.
14. ^ Patrice, Claude (1990-11-07). ITALIE : face aux interrogations de l’opinion M. Andreotti lève le voile sur le passé d’une structure armée parallèle patronnée par l’OTAN et la CIA (in French). Le Monde. http://www.lemonde.fr/cgi-bin/ACHATS/506729.html.
15. ^ a b Gardais, Pierre (1990-11-29). Le chef du gouvernement italien a dû reconnaître son existence (in French). L’Humanité. http://www.humanite.fr/1990-11-29_Articles_-Le-chef-du-gouvernement-italien-a-du-reconnaitre-son-existence. Retrieved 2008-08-21. Selon les cas, on excitait ou en empêchait le terrorisme d’extrême gauche ou d’extrême droite (English translation)
16. ^ a b Willan, Philip. Paolo Emilio Taviani , The Guardian, June 21, 2001. (Obituary.)
17. ^ a b Herman, Edward S (June 1991). Hiding Western Terror . Nation: 21–22.
18. ^ Barbera, Myriam. Gladio: et la France?, L’Humanité, November 10, 1990 (French).
19. ^ Caso Moro. Morire di Gladio (in Italian). La Voce della Campania. January 2005. http://www.lavocedellevoci.it/inchieste1.php?id=32.
20. ^ Gladio e caso Moro: Arconte su morte Ferraro, La Nuova Sardegna (Italian)
21. ^ a b Pallister, David. How M16 and SAS Join In, The Guardian, December 5, 1990
22. ^ Willan, Philip. US ‘supported anti-left terror in Italy’ , The Guardian, June 24, 2000.
23. ^ CIA knew, but didn’t stop bombings in Italy – report. CBC
24. ^ a b Willan, Philip. Terrorists ‘helped by CIA’ to stop rise of left in Italy, The Guardian, March 26, 2001.
25. ^ Protest marches as the Milan bomb outrage five go free . The Guardian. 1985-08-03.
26. ^ Neo-fascists Cleared of 1973 Bomb Attack for Second Time . ANSA. 2004-12-01.
27. ^ CIA rejects accusation of involvement in bombings in Italy . AFP. 2000-08-04.
28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chronology, Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO’s Stay-Behind Armies, ETH Zurich
29. ^ a b c Strage di Piazza Fontana spunta un agente USA . La Repubblica. 1998-02-11. http://www.repubblica.it/online/fatti/fontana/fontana/fontana.html. Retrieved 2006-02-02. (With original documents, including juridical sentences and the report of the Italian Commission on Terrorism (Italian)
30. ^ Richards, Charles (1990-12-01). Gladio is still opening wounds . The Independent: p. 12. http://www.cambridgeclarion.org/press_cuttings/gladio.parliamentary.committee_indep_1dec1990.html. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
31. ^ a b Charles Richards & Simon Jones, Skeletons start emerging from Europe’s closet, The Independent, November 16, 1990, quoted in (Statewatch 1991).
32. ^ Agnew, Paddy. Report of NATO-sponsored secret army shocks Italy, The Irish Times, on November 15, 1990 pg. 8. Quoted by (Statewatch 1991).
33. ^ Willan, Philip. Moro’s ghost haunts political life , The Guardian, May 9, 2003.
34. ^ Vulliamy, Ed. The Guardian, January 16, 1991. Quoted by (Statewatch 1991).
35. ^ Translated from Bologna massacre Association of Victims Italian website Original page (Italian)
36. ^ Ganser, Daniele (2005-04-07). The Secret Side of International Relations: An approach to NATO’s stay-behind armies in Western Europe (PDF). Political Studies Association Annual Conference.
37. ^ Italy probes ‘parallel police’ . BBC News. July 1, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4640247.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
38. ^ Philips, John (2005-07-05). Up to 200 Italian police ‘ran parallel anti-terror force’ . The Independent. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050705/ai_n14681859. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
39. ^ Selvatici, Franca (2005-07-02). Macché Gladio bis, le autorità sapevano Gaetano Saya si difende (in Italian). La Repubblica. http://www.repubblica.it/2005/g/sezioni/cronaca/polipala/nogladio/nogladio.html. (Google translation available)
40. ^ Ceccarelli, Filippo (2005-07-03). Gladio, P2, falangisti l’Italia che sogna il golpe (in Italian). La Repubblica. http://www.repubblica.it/2005/g/sezioni/cronaca/polipala/sognigolpe/sognigolpe.html.
41. ^ Imarisio, Marco (2005-07-03). Così reclutavano: «Facciamo un’altra Gladio» (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. http://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Cronache/2005/07_Luglio/02/imarisio.shtml.
42. ^ Official site of the Belgian Permanent Committee for the Control of Intelligence Services See history section in the Presentation part.
43. ^ Kwitny, Jonathan (1992-04-06). The C.I.A.’s Secret Armies in Europe . The Nation: pp. 446-447. http://www.thenation.com/archive/detail/9203303730. Quoted in Ganser’s Terrorism in Western Europe .
44. ^ Cogan, Charles (2007). ‘Stay-Behind’ in France: Much ado about nothing? . Journal of Strategic Studies 30 (6): 937–954. doi:10.1080/01402390701676493.
45. ^ Daeninckx, Didier. Du Temple Solaire au réseau Gladio, en passant par Politica Hermetica…, February 27, 2002.
46. ^ a b Colby, William. A Scandinavian Spy, Chapter 3. (Former CIA director ‘s memoirs.)
47. ^ a b Lee, Christopher. CIA Ties With Ex-Nazis Shown, Washington Post, June 7, 2006.
48. ^ Alleged Secret Organization . The Times. 1952-10-09.
49. ^ a b ‘Partisans’ in Germany . The Times. 1952-10-11.
50. ^ a b c d e Norton-Taylor, Richard and David Gow. Secret Italian Unit, The Guardian, November 17, 1990
51. ^ Ban In Hesse On Youth Union . The Times. 1953-01-10.
52. ^ Further Ban On Union Of German Youth . The Times. 1953-01-15.
53. ^ Police say suspect committed suicide . United Press International. 1981-11-01.
54. ^ a b c Why Israel’s capture of Eichmann caused panic at the CIA, The Guardian, June 8, 2006
55. ^ Opening of CIA Records under Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, May 8, 2002 NARA communique (English)
56. ^ Peter Murtagh, The Rape of Greece. The King, the Colonels, and the Resistance (London, Simon & Schuster, 1994), p.29, quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005), p.213
57. ^ Ganser (2005), pp.213-214 (his quote)
58. ^ Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (Secaucus: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1978), p.154 (quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005) p.216
59. ^ a b c d Richard Norton-Taylor, The Gladio File: did fear of communism throw West into the arms of terrorists? , in The Guardian, December 5, 1990
60. ^ NATO’s secret network ‘also operated in France’ , The Guardian, November 14, 1990, pg.6
61. ^ a b c Misinformation about Gladio/Stay Behind Networks Resurfaces . United States Department of State. http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2006/Jan/20-127177.html.
62. ^ ‘MIVD verzwijgt wapenvondst in onderwereld’ . Nu.nl. 2007-09-09. http://www.nu.nl/news/1228111/13/%27MIVD_verzwijgt_wapenvondst_in_onderwereld%27.html. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
63. ^ GLADIO IN NEDERLAND . http://reporter.kro.nl/uitzendingen/2007/0909_gladio_in_nederland/intro.aspx. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
64. ^ Olav Riste (1999). The Norwegian Intelligence Service: 1945-1970. Routledge. ISBN 0714649007.
65. ^ Secret Anti-Communist Network Exposed in Norway in 1978 . Associated Press. 1990-11-14.
66. ^ (Ganser 2005, p. 119) Quotes Joao Paulo Guerra, Gladio actuou em Portugal , in O Jornal, 16 November 1990 and Stuart Christie, Stefano delle Chiaie, London, 1984, p.30.
67. ^ Turkone, Mumtaz’er (2008-07-05). Only a coup prevented? . Today’s Zaman. http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=146630. Retrieved 2008-11-15. It was known that Turkey also had a similar organization but it was only the Turkish counter-guerilla group that rode out this purging process intact.
68. ^ Kilic, Ecevit (2008-04-28). I.talyan Gladiosu’nu çözen savc?: En etkili Gladio sizde (in Turkish). Sabah. http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2008/04/28/haber,B9DE249697B646F0939528BF8FA2BE4C.html. Retrieved 2008-11-15. Türkiye’nin ise ‘Özel Harp Dairesi’, halk aras?ndaki ad?yla ‘kontrgerilla.’ Yap?n?n iki unsuru vard?; askeri görevliler ve siviller. Sivillerden olus,an yap?n?n ad? ise ‘Ergenekon’. 1990’l? y?llar?n bas,?nda bat? ülkeleri, Gladio’nun faaliyetlerine son verdi. Sorumlular? yarg?land?. Türkiye hariç.
69. ^ Gölbas,? cephanesi I.talyan savc?y? hakl? ç?kard? (in Turkish). Zaman. 2009-01-09. http://www.zaman.com.tr/haber.do?haberno=801635. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
70. ^ Üstel, Aziz (2008-07-14). Savc?, Ergenekon’u Kenan Evren’e sormal? as?l (in Turkish). Star Gazete. http://www.stargazete.com/gazete/yazar/savci-ergenekon-u-kenan-evren-e-sormali-asil-113287.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-21. Türkiye’deki gizli ordunun ad? kontr gerillad?r.
71. ^ David Lampe, The Last Ditch: Britain’s Resistance Plans against the Nazis Cassell 1968 ISBN 0304925195
72. ^ Dan van der Vat. Obituary: General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, Guardian. 15 March 2006
73. ^ Gerardo Serravalle, Gladio (Rome: Edizione Associate, ISBN 88-267-0145-8, 1991), p.78-79 (Italian)
74. ^ Belgian Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry into Gladio, quoted by Daniele Ganser (2005)
75. ^ a b Norton-Taylor, Richard. UK trained secret Swiss force in The Guardian, September 20, 1991, pg.7.
76. ^ Crimes of Montejurra (Good Google translation)
77. ^ Un informe oficial italiano implica en el crimen de Atocha al ‘ultra’ Cicuttini, relacionado con Gladio, El País, December 2, 1990 (Spanish)
78. ^ Suárez afirma que en su etapa de presidente nunca se habló de la red Gladio, El País, November 18, 1990 (Spanish)
79. ^ Calvo Sotelo asegura que España no fue informada, cuando entró en la OTAN, de la existencia de Gladio, El País, November 21, 1990 (Spanish)
80. ^ Italia vetó la entrada de España en Gladio, según un ex jefe del espionaje italiano, El País, November 17, 1990 (Spanish)
81. ^ Serra ordena indagar sobre la red Gladio en España, El País, November 16, 1990 (Spanish)
82. ^ La ‘red Gladio’ continúa operando, según el ex agente Alberto Volo, El País, August 19, 1991 (Spanish)
83. ^ El secretario de la OTAN elude precisar si España tuvo relación con la red Gladio, El País, November 24, 1990 (Spanish)
84. ^ Indicios de que la red Gladio utilizó una vieja estación de la NASA en Gran Canaria, El País, November 26, 1990 (Spanish)
85. ^ La red secreta de la OTAN operaba en España, según un ex agente belga, El País, November 14, 1990
86. ^ a b The Dark Side of the West, Conference Nato Secret Armies and P26, ETH Zurich, 2005. Published 10 February 2005. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
87. ^ Ganser, Daniele. The British Secret Service in Neutral Switzerland: An Unfinished Debate on NATO’s Cold War Stay-behind Armies , published by the Intelligence and National Security review, vol.20, nE4, December 2005, pp.553-580 ISSN 0268–4527 print 1743–9019 online.
88. ^ Major Hans von Dach, 1958. Der totale Widerstand…; Total Resistance reed. Paladin Press, 1992 ISBN 978-0873640213.
89. ^ Schwarzer Schatten (in German). Der Spiegel 50: 194b-200a. 1990-12-10. http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/dokument/dokument.html?id=13502168&top=SPIEGEL. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [verification needed]
90. ^ p.14 quote from Libération concerning OST, Gladio and Jacques Foccart, on Survie NGO web site: La justice française n’a fait que combattre la pertinence des parties civiles au lieu de les soutenir dans la recherche de la vérité
91. ^ The Renewed Order of the Solar Temple (ORT — Ordre Rénové du Temple ) is listed as a cult composed of 50 to 500 French members by the 1995 French Parliamentary Commission of investigation of Cults activities (See here [1] for original report).
92. ^ Les familles des victimes veulent rouvrir l’instruction, Reuters, 2004-03-22 (French)
93. ^ Refus de rouvrir l’enquête, colère des familles , Reuters, 2004-03-25 (French)
94. ^ Declaration to the media of Alain Vuarnet, family of the OTS victims
95. ^ Pat Frank. An Affair of State. J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1949


* Statewatch (January 1991), Operation Gladio, http://www.thejohnfleming.com/gladio.html, retrieved 2008-07-30
* Secret Warfare : Operation Gladio and NATO’s Stay-Behind Armies. Edited by Daniele Ganser and Christian Nuenlist. 29 Nov 2004. Parallel History Project, ETH Zürich
* Ganser, Daniele (2005), NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass Publishers, ISBN 0-7146-8500-3 (resume)
* Daniele Ganser, Les Armées Secrètes de l’OTAN, Gladio et Terrorisme en Europe de l’Ouest, ISBN 978-2-917112-00-7 éditions Demi-Lune, 2007. Same book as above, in French. (a quick resume in French)
* William Colby (former CIA director), Honorable Men (1978) extract
* David Hoffman, The Oklahoma City bombing and the Politics of Terror , 1998 (chapter 14 online on strategy of tension
* Giovanni Fasanella and Claudio Sestieri with Giovanni Pellegrino, Segreto di Stato. La verità da Gladio al caso Moro , Einaudi, 2000 (see civic website of Bologna) (Italian)
* Jan Willems, Gladio, 1991, EPO-Dossier, Bruxelles (ISBN 2-87262-051-6). (French)
* Jens Mecklenburg, Gladio. Die geheime terrororganisation der Nato, 1997, Elefanten Press Verlag GmbH, Berlin (ISBN 3-88520-612-9). (German)
* Leo A. Müller, Gladio. Das Erbe des kalten Krieges, 1991, RoRoRo-Taschenbuch Aktuell no 12993 (ISBN 3499 129930). (German)
* Jean-François Brozzu-Gentile, L’Affaire Gladio. Les réseaux secrets américains au cœur du terrorisme en Europe, 1994, Albin Michel, Paris (ISBN 2-226-06919-4). (French)
* Anna Laura Braghetti, Paola Tavella, Le Prisonnier. 55 jours avec Aldo Moro, 1999 (translated from Italian: Il Prigioniero), Éditions Denoël, Paris (ISBN 2207248887) (Italian)/(French)
* Regine Igel, Andreotti. Politik zwischen Geheimdienst und Mafia, 1997, Herbig Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH, Munich (ISBN 3776619511). (German)
* Arthur E. Rowse, Gladio: The Secret U.S. War to Subvert Italian Democracy in Covert Action #49, Summer of 1994.]
* Anti-Fascist Action (AFA), Staying Behind: NATO’s Terror Network in Fighting Talk #11, May 1995.
* François Vitrani, L’Italie, un Etat de ‘souveraineté limitée’ ? , in Le Monde diplomatique, December 1990. (French)
* Patrick Boucheron, L’affaire Sofri : un procès en sorcellerie? , in L’Histoire magazine, nE217 (January 1998) Concerning Carlo Ginzburg’s book The judge and the historian about Adriano Sofri (French)
* Les procès Andreotti en Italie ( The Andreotti trials in Italy ) by Philippe Foro, published by University of Toulouse II, Groupe de recherche sur l’histoire immédiate (Study group on immediate history). (French)
* Angelo Paratico Gli assassini del karma Robin editore, Roma, 2003.


* Michele Placido, Romanzo Criminale (2005, concerning the strategy of tension and the Banda della Magliana)
* Renzo Martinelli, Five Moons Plaza at the Internet Movie Database (Piazza delle cinque lune) (2003)
* Allan Francovich, Gladio (1992), (aired on the BBC) – Watch Online
* Conspirator: The Story of Licio Gelli at the Internet Movie Database (2009)

v • d • e
Cold War
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See also
Soviet and Russian espionage in U.S. A Soviet Union–United States relations A NATO-Russia relations
ASEAN A Central Intelligence Agency A Comecon A European Community A KGB A Stasi
Arms race A Nuclear arms race A Space Race
Capitalism A Liberal democracy A Communism A Stalinism A Trotskyism A Maoism
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Foreign policy
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Timeline of events A Portal A Category
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio
Categories: Anti-communism | Central Intelligence Agency operations | Contemporary British history | Contemporary French history | Contemporary Italian history | History of modern Greece | History of Turkey | Operation Gladio | Military scandals | Military operations involving NATO | Stay-behind organizations | Warfare by type | Cold War


Emblem of NATO’s stay-behind paramilitary organizations.

The command structure of stay-behind forces, as suggested in Field Manual 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces.


Description FM 31-15 figure 3.png
English: U.S. Army Field Manual 31-15: Operations Against Irregular Forces Figure 3: Possible relationships in a cold war situation.
May 1951(1951-05)

Click to access GetTRDoc


Headquarters, Department of the Army

Approved for public release. Distribution unlimited.


[Excerpt from Operation Gladio entry above – ]

In 1990, Colonel Herbert Alboth, a former commander of the Swiss secret stay-behind army P26 declared in a confidential letter to the Defence Department that he was willing to reveal the whole truth . He was later found in his house, stabbed with his own military bayonet. The detailed parliamentary report on the Swiss secret army was presented to the public on November 17, 1990.[28] According to The Guardian, P26 was backed by P27, a private foreign intelligence agency funded partly by the government, and by a special unit of Swiss army intelligence which had built up files on nearly 8,000 suspect persons including leftists , bill stickers , Jehovah’s witnesses , people with abnormal tendencies and anti-nuclear demonstrators. On November 14, the Swiss government hurriedly dissolved P26 — the head of which, it emerged, had been paid £100,000 a year. [59]



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Li Tungsten Corporation Nassau County Glen Cove NPL
Liberty Industrial Finishing Nassau County Farmingdale NPL
Little Valley Cattaraugus County Little Valley NPL
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Love Canal Niagara County Niagara Falls NPL
Ludlow Sand & Gravel County Paris Oneida NPL
Mackenzie Chemical Works Suffolk County Central Islip NPL
Malta Rocket Fuel Area Saratoga County Malta and Stillwater NPL
Marathon Battery Corp. Putnam County Cold Spring NPL
Mattiace Petrochemical Co. Inc. Nassau County Glen Cove NPL
McKesson Envirosystems Onondaga County Syracuse RCRA
Mercury Refining Inc. Albany County Colonie NPL
Mercury Refining Company Inc. MERECOsa Albany County Albany RCRA
Mohonk Road Industrial Plant Ulster County Marbletown NPL
Momentive Performance Materials Silicones, LLC Saratoga County Waterford RCRA
Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant Suffolk County Calverton RCRA
Nepera Chemical Plant Orange County Hamptonburgh NPL
Newtown Creek Kings County Brooklyn Study
Niagara County Refuse Niagara County Wheatfield NPL
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Niagara Mohawk Seventh North Onondaga County Syracuse RCRA
North Sea Municipal Landfill Suffolk County Southampton NPL
Northeast Environmental Services Madison County Lenox RCRA
Northrop Grumman Corporation – Bathpage Nassau County Bethpage RCRA
Occidental Chemical Corporation – Buffalo Avenue Niagara County Niagara Falls RCRA
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Pasley Solvents & Chemicals Inc. Nassau County Hempstead NPL
Peter Cooper Cattaraugus County Gowanda NPL
Peter Cooper Markhams Cattaraugus County Dayton NPL
Pfohl Brothers Landfill Erie County Cheektowaga NPL
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Plattsburgh Air Force Base Clinton County Plattsburgh NPL
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Port Washington Landfill Nassau County North Hempstead NPL
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Radium Chemical Company Inc. Queens County Woodside/Queen NPL
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Smithtown Ground Water Contamination Suffolk County Smithtown NPL
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Tronic Plating Co. Inc. Suffolk County Farmingdale NPL
USDOE Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory Schenectady County Niskayuna RCRA
Vestal Water Supply Well 1-1 Broome County Vestal NPL
Vestal Water Supply Well 4-2 Broome County Vestal NPL
Volney Municipal Landfill Oswego County Volney NPL
Von Roll Isola USA Incorporated – Riverview Schenectady County Schenectady RCRA
Warwick Landfill Orange County Warwick NPL
Watervliet Arsenal Albany County Watrevliet RCRA
West Valley Demonstration Project USDOE Cattaraugus County West Valley RCRA
Western NY Nuclear Service Center Cattaraugus County Ashford RCRA
White Mop Wringer Montgomery County Fultonville RCRA
Wide Beach Development Erie County Brant NPL
Wyeth – Ayerst Laboratories Rockland County Pearl River RCRA
Xerox Corporation Monroe County Webster RCRA
York Oil Company Franklin County Next to the Town Hall and the Moira Town Highway Garage NPL

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Last updated on Thursday, October 1st, 2009.


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USDOE – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
EPA Identification Number: NY6890008992
Facility Location: 2401 River Road, Niskayuna, New York

Site Map
Facility Contact Name: J.H. Robillard, (518) 395-6366
EPA Contact Name: Michael Infurna, (212) 637-4177, infurna.michael@epa.gov
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Case Manager: Margaret Rogers, (518) 357-2353, morogers@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Last Updated: September 2005
Environmental Indicator Status:

Human Exposures Under Control [PDF 415.68 KB, 26 pp] has been verified.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control [PDF 814.28 KB, 20 pp] has been verified.
Site Description

The Knolls site is located at 2401 River Road in the Town of Niskayuna, Schenectady County, New York, on the south bank of the Mohawk River. Construction of the site began in 1948 and laboratory operations began in 1949. The site consists of 170 acres of land, extending 4,200 feet along the river. Most of the property is located on a bluff about 100 feet high with a steep slope dropping off to a low bench about 15 to 20 feet above the river.

The principal function of the site is research and development in the design and operation of naval nuclear propulsion engines. As a result of these activities, various types of hazardous and mixed wastes are generated. Mixed waste contains both hazardous waste and radioactive material. The majority of hazardous and mixed wastes are generated from laboratory operations and facility renovation activities.

Container storage areas are used for hazardous and mixed waste prior to shipment off-site to licensed/permitted treatment, storage or disposal facilities. The Knolls site may also accept mixed waste to consolidate wastes for shipment to out-of-state treatment facilities. There is no disposal of hazardous waste or mixed waste at the facility.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation completed a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Assessment preliminary review and a visual site inspection of this facility, and determined that investigations will be required at 31 of the identified solid waste management units (SWMUs) and four areas of concern (AOCs). Conditions have been included in the NYS hazardous waste permit to require Knolls to submit investigation work plans for all SWMUs and AOCs that require further corrective action activities.
Site Responsibility and Legal Instrument

The State is responsible for corrective action through issuance of a NYS Part 373 operating permit for storage of hazardous and mixed waste.
Permit Status

The NYS Part 373 operating permit, issued July 20, 1998, allows for hazardous and mixed waste storage in four areas. These areas are:

* The Building Q1 complex with an authorized capacity of 6,600 gallons;
* Two prefabricated modular additions located in the Building E11 truck bay with an authorized capacity of 1,320 gallons;
* Four floor vaults (numbered 2, 3, 5 & 6) with an authorized capacity of 3,520 gallons each; and
* Building M10 with an authorized capacity of 36,800 gallons.

The types of containers used for storage of hazardous waste include bottles, cans, jugs, drums and large volume boxes.
Potential Threats and Contaminants

The four potential exposure pathways for this site are surface water, groundwater, sediment and soil. Some potential receptors in the area are:

* Mohawk River users (via recreation and drinking water),
* Terrestrial and aquatic biota, and
* On and off-site employees and residents in the area.

Current effluent discharges to the Mohawk River are regulated under a permit issued by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Knolls is also monitoring on-site stream and Mohawk River water quality. This surface water monitoring shows that there have been only occasional water quality exceedences for two non-hazardous compounds, both of which are attributable to natural conditions. Knoll’s groundwater monitoring network consists of 56 wells, of which 33 are currently monitored for chemical constituents.

Within the monitoring well system there have been elevated levels of phenols, in an isolated area, and volatile organic compounds in three areas of the site. Sediment sampling has been done in the on-site streams, which flow toward the Mohawk River. Detectable concentrations of contaminants were found in all sediments, but no appreciable difference between upstream and downstream concentrations are clear, with one exception (manganese, a non-hazardous metal) at Mid-line Stream.

Localized soil contamination, which can be traced to specific sources, has been discovered. Soil contamination includes polychlorinated biphenyls in two areas (one area of which has been remediated), heavy metals in two areas (one area of which has been remediated), and volatile organic compounds in a fifth area.
Cleanup Approach and Progress

Based upon available data, no imminent danger to human health or the environment has been identified. However, implementation of corrective action programs is required to control certain potential risks. The goal of these programs is to seek complete characterizations of, and final solutions for, environmental contamination that has been, or may yet be, identified. The on-going routine monitoring programs undertaken by Knolls, in addition to the corrective action programs, are designed to alert Knolls and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation of any health or environmental risks.

Knolls has been required by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to supplement previously conducted geophysical/soil gas surveys to determine the horizontal and vertical extent of suspected waste deposition in certain areas of the site, as well as supplementing existing groundwater monitoring data. These surveys will be used as a basis for site visits to determine whether contaminant releases to the soils within the boundaries of the suspected waste deposition areas have occurred.

In other areas, site visits have been or will be used to either discover whether contaminant releases have occurred, or to confirm the removal of contaminated materials from soils. In the remaining areas, Knolls will be required to conduct a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation to determine the extent and concentration of already confirmed contamination, or to perform phased evaluations of in-ground portions (industrial sewers) of systems as part of a required work plan.
Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in this site fact sheet are available for public review at:

NYSDEC Region 4
1150 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, New York 12306-2014
Telephone (518) 357-2353 B Margaret Rogers

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) makes its public records available for a review under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

The Town of Niskayuna Public Library
2400 Nott Street East
Niskayuna, New York 12309
Telephone (518) 386-2249





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Radiation Technology, Inc.
Rockaway Township, NJ
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EPA added the Radiation Technology, Inc. (RTI) site in Rockaway Township, New Jersey to the National Priorities List on September 1, 1984 because volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or potentially harmful chemicals that can easily evaporate into the air, were found in onsite water supply wells. The 263-acre Superfund site, located in Morris County, was used for testing and developing rocket engines and propellants. Onsite operations also included radiation sterilization, production of architectural products, and hardwood flooring production. RTI improperly stored and disposed of waste drums containing solvents and other chemicals.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the Rockaway Township Health Department closed onsite contaminated wells. During the first part of the cleanup, RTI installed wells to measure and monitor the ground water contamination, and also removed abandoned tanks and drums under NJDEP supervision. At New Jersey’s request, EPA took over the cleanup. EPA oversaw ground water investigation and removed material containing asbestos in a portion of the site. In early 2007, the U.S. Army Military Munitions Response Program notified EPA that a portion of the site fell within the boundaries of a historic practice projectile firing area, and could have contained unexploded materials. The U.S. Army conducted an investigation, and no dangerous materials were found or removed. As a precaution, EPA requested that safety procedures related to unexploded materials be included in the site’s work plans.



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The 1978 discovery of toxic chemicals beneath the suburban infrastructure of Love Canal, in Niagara Falls, New York first illuminated the consequences of environmental neglect. For decades, many American businesses had disposed of hazardous waste improperly, contaminating tens of thousands of sites nationally, including nearly 250 within Region 2 alone. Accidents, spills, and leaks of hazardous materials resulted in land, water, and air that pose immediate and potential threats to public and environmental health.

Citizen reaction to these localized threats led Congress to establish the Superfund Program in 1980, an initiative designed to locate, investigate, and clean up the most hazardous sites nationwide. Superfund is officially called CERCLA, or the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The EPA administers the Superfund Program in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments.

The national EPA office that oversees management of the program is the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI). The sites dealt with under Superfund are listed on the NPL, or National Priorities List. Superfund constitutes a crucial environmental and economic precedent within American legislative history.

1980 legislation to locate, investigate, and clean up hazardous waste sites in the United States
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Last updated on Thursday, August 20th, 2009.




Lindane Dump

EPA ID# PAD980712798

NPL Status: Final

Route 28 & Spring Hill Rd
Harrison Twp, PA 15065
Allegheny County

Remedial Project Manager
Bradley White
(215) 814-3217

Community Involvement Coordinator
Carrie Deitzel

Governmental Liaison
Megan Mackey
Administrative Record Locations

Public files (Administrative Record) on EPA’s actions and decisions for this site can be examined at the following location:

U.S. EPA Region 3

U.S. EPA Region III
6th Floor Docket Room
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Current Site Information

Site Progress Profile

Administrative Record

Fact Sheet


March 1998

Press Release
* 10/12/1999: Cleanup Underway at 13 Toxic Sites in Pennsylvania (Contact: Ruth Podems, (215) 814-5540)
* 07/21/1999: ALLEGHENY LUDLUM TO PAY $150,000 FOR BLOCKING EPA ACCESS TO SUPERFUND CLEANUP (Contact: David Sternberg (21…)

Record of Decision

Site Actions

Site Map

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund



Lindane Dump
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
Allegheny County
Harrison Township
EPA ID# PAD980712798

4th Congressional District

Last Update: March 2009
Other Names

Pennwalt Lindane Dump
Alsco Community Park
Current Site Status
EPA completed the Second Five-Year Review of the Site in September 2008. The purpose of the Five-Year Review is to determine if the remedy at the Site is protective of human health and the environment. The remedy at the Site has been determined to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled, and institutional controls are preventing exposure to, or the ingestion of, contaminated wastes, soils, and ground water. Contaminated leachate and shallow ground water are being controlled by the successful operation of the leachate/shallow ground water collection and treatment system. The quality of the effluent from the treatment system achieves discharge standards. To ensure long term protectiveness, 1,4-dioxane will be added to the list of sampled contaminants and additional monitoring will be performed to assess potential downgradient plume migration. Long term protectiveness of the remedy is expected to be achieved through the continued operation and maintenance of the leachate/shallow ground water collection and treatment system and continued compliance with institutional controls. EPA continues to review quarterly monitoring reports and annual groundwater monitoring reports.
Site Description
The Lindane Dump site, located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, consists of a recreational park about 14-acres in size and a 47 ½-acre lower project zone that includes a closed landfill area. About 400 tons of powdered lindane pesticide waste and other industrial waste were dumped at the site from 1900 to 1950. Industrial waste dumping continued after the sale of the property in 1965. In 1976, a portion of the site was donated by the owner to Harrison Township for use as a park area. There are approximately 13,000 people living within one-mile of the site. Residents near the site obtain water from a municipal system that draws water from the Allegheny River.

Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed through Federal, State, and potentially responsible parties (PRPs) actions.

NPL Listing History
Our country’s most serious, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List. This site was proposed to the list on September 30, 1982 and formally added to the list on September 8, 1983.

Threats and Contaminants

The ground water and soil are contaminated with pesticides. The site has been capped and an upgraded leachate collection and treatment system has been installed. These actions have significantly reduced the possibility that pesticide residues in the soil might leach into the ground water and surrounding soils. The cap and leachate collection and treatment system also prevent humans and wildlife from accidentally ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated ground water, soil, or leachate which may pose health risks.

Contaminant descriptions and associated risk factors are available at: (ATSDR web site).

Cleanup Progress

A leachate treatment system has been installed and activated to control the spread of pesticide residues. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Pennwalt, a potentially responsible party have conducted an investigation into the nature and extent of contamination at the site. The investigation defined the contaminants and recommended alternatives for the final cleanup. In 1983, the State and Pennwalt, agreed to conduct a leachate treatability study to evaluate short- and long-term treatment and disposal alternatives. In 1992, EPA selected the remedy for cleanup of the site which includes capping the site and installing an upgraded leachate control system. In 1993, EPA and Elf-Atochem, a successor of Pennwalt, agreed to a Consent Decree, requiring Elf-Atochem to conduct the remedial design and construction activities for the site. The leachate treatment system has reduced the further spread of contaminated materials from the Lindane Dump. Construction of the cap began in the spring of 1998 and was completed in the spring of 1999. A baseball field and tennis courts were constructed on the upper portion of the site which is commonly known as the Alsco Community Park. Operation and maintenance activities will continue for at least 30 years.

Site Contacts
Administrative Record Locations

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[ All Sites | District of Columbia | Delaware | Federal Facilities | Maryland | Pennsylvania | Virginia | West Virginia ]
Site Name EPA ID NPL Status City County State Zip
8th and Plutus Streets Pottery WVN000305784 Non Chester Hancock WV 26034
12th Street Dump DESFN0305510 Non Wilmington New Castle DE 19802
16th Street Quarry DESFN0305308 Non Wilmington New Castle DE n/a
2020 Chestnut St VA0002366946 Non Portsmouth Portsmouth VA 23701
2020 Daniels Road Non Ellicott City Howard MD 21043
2314 N. American Street PAD048613368 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19123
50th and Hayes DCSFN0305431 Non Washington DC DC 20019
68th Street Dump MDD980918387 Proposed Rosedale Baltimore MD 21237
70th and Kingsessing Trailer PAD987332848 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19142
A-1 Auto Body Tire Dump PAD987334679 Non Erie Erie PA 16501
Abandoned Chemical Trailer PAD982363939 Non North Versailles Allegheny PA 15137
Aberdeen Proving Ground – Edgewood Area MD2210020036 Final Aberdeen Harford MD 21001
Aberdeen Proving Ground – Michaelsville LF MD3210021355 Final Aberdeen Harford MD 21005
Abex Corp VAD980551683 Final Portsmouth Portsmouth VA 23704
Action Manufacturing Company PAD987366515 Non Atglen Chester PA 19310
AES-Monsanto Property WVSFN0305408 Non Nitro Putman WV 25143
A.I.W. Frank/Mid-County Mustang PAD004351003 Final Exton Chester PA 19341
Ainsworth Paint Mfg. MDD025722786 Non Baltimore Baltimore MD 21231
Aladdin Plating PAD075993378 Deleted Clarks Summit Lackawanna PA 18411
Alderfer Landfill PAD981939051 Non Franconia Twp Montgomery PA 18924
Allegany Ballistics Lab WV0170023691 Final Short Gap Mineral WV 26753
Allentown Mercury Spill PASFN0305569 Non Allentown Lehigh PA 18102
Allied Chemical Corp Works VAD003064003 Non Front Royal Warren VA 22630
Allied-Pulaski VAD980551915 Non Pulaski Pulaski VA 24301
Ambler Asbestos Piles PAD000436436 Deleted Ambler Montgomery PA 19002
Amchem Products, Inc PAD002348324 Non Ambler Montgomery PA 19002
American Insulator Company PAD075274431 Non New Freedom York PA 17349
American Street Tannery PAD981939267 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19147
AMP, Inc PAD041421223 Deleted Glen Rock York PA 17327
Anacostia River Initiative Non Washington DC DC
Andela aka Warwick Twp Real Estate PA0000585901 Non Warwick Twp Bucks PA 18929
Andrews Air Force Base MD0570024000 Final Andrews AFB Prince Georges MD 20331
Anne Arundel County Landfill MDD980705057 Withdrawn Glen Burnie Anne Arundel MD 21061
Army Creek Landfill DED980494496 Final New Castle New Castle DE 19720
Arrowhead Associates VAD042916361 Final Montross Westmoreland VA 22520
Ashland Chemical Co. PAD043394683 Non Easton Northampton PA 18042
Ashland Chemical Company PAD980552251 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19148
Atlantic Avenue Drum DED981739469 Non Elsmere New Castle DE 19703
Atlantic Wood Industries VAD990710410 Final Portsmouth Portsmouth VA 23704
Atwell Mountain Drum WVD982363780 Non Atwell McDowell WV 24813
Austin Ave. Radiation Site PAD987341716 Deleted Lansdowne Delaware PA 19050
AVCO Lycoming PAD003053709 Final Williamsport Lycoming PA 17701
Avtex Fibers, Inc. VAD070358684 Final Front Royal Warren VA 22630
Bahn Warehouse/Strawberry Alley PAD987277977 Non Mechanicsburg Cumberland PA 17055
Baker Brothers Scrap Yard PAD987389624 Non Lewisburg Union PA 17837
Baldwin Defiance PAD987285079 Non Darby Borough Delaware PA 19036
Baldwin Street PCB Drum VA0001995349 Non Danville Danville VA 24541
Bally Groundwater PAD061105128 Final Bally Berks PA 19503
Barefoot Disposal PAD981040611 Non Hollidaysburgh Blair PA 16648
Barney Circle DC0001840818 Non Washington DC DC 20032
Basic Tool Company VAD988212429 Non Hampton Hampton VA 23661
Bay Products PA0002298107 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19136
Bayway Refining Company MDSFN0305426 Non Baltimore Baltimore MD 21226
Beaumont Glass Co. WVD988788345 Non Morgantown Monongalia WV 26505
Belfield Avenue PAD982364036 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19144
Belfield Paint PA0000694513 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19144
Bell Landfill PAD980705107 Final Wyalusing Bradford PA 18853
Belle Isle Playground Drums WV0001584994 Non Wheeling Ohio WV 26003
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (USDA) MD0120508940 Final Beltsville Prince Georges MD 20705
Bendix Flight Systems PAD003047974 Final South Montrose Susquehanna PA 18843
Berkley Products Co. Dump PAD980538649 Deleted Denver Lancaster PA 17517
Berks Landfill PAD000651810 Final Sinking Springs Berks PA 19608
Berks Sand Pit PAD980691794 Final Longswamp TWP Berks PA 19539
Better Homes Trailer Park Clandestine Lab Assessment VAN000306111 Non Sugar Grove Smyth VA 24375
Bickmore Drum Dump WVD988770350 Non Bickmore Clay WV 25019
Big Island Run Oil Site Girta Wirt WV
Big John Salvage – Hoult Rd WVD054827944 Final Fairmont Marion WV 26554
Blosenski Landfill PAD980539985 Final West Caln TWP Chester PA 19376
Blue Ribbon Paint Company WVD004319158 Non Wheeling Ohio WV 26003
Boarhead Farms PAD047726161 Final Bridgeton TWP Bucks PA 18972
Bolling Air Force Base Non Washington DC DC 20331
Bollinger Steel Plant PAD987279346 Non Ambride Beaver PA 15003
BoRit Asbestos Site PAD981034887 Proposed Maple Street Ambler PA 19082
Boyertown Farms PASFN0305457 Non Gilbertsville Montgomery PA 19525
Boyle Galvanizing PA0000569244 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19125
Brandywine Creek Mystery Oil DEN000305651 Non Wilmington New Castle DE 19802
Brandywine DRMO MD9570024803 Final Andrews Prince Georges MD 20331
Braxton Industries, Inc. WVD056805674 Non Ireland Braxton WV 26374
Breslube-Penn, Inc. PAD089667695 Final Coraopolis Allegheny PA 15108
Brodhead Creek PAD980691760 Deleted Stroudsburg Monroe PA 18360
Brooke County Glass Dump WV0002456275 Non Wellsburg Brooke WV 26070
Brown’s Battery Breaking PAD980831812 Final Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Browning Lumber WVD054116538 Non Bald Knob Boone WV 25010
Bruin Lagoon PAD980712855 Deleted Bruin Butler PA 16022
Buckeye Pipeline Emergency Response–Nestle Purina Alpo Plant PAN000306205 Non Allentown Lehigh PA 18104
Buckingham County LF VAD089027973 Final Dillwyn Buckingham VA 23936
Buckingham Landfill Drum VASFN0305528 Non Buckingham Buckingham VA 23921
Buffalo Run #1 Oil Site Petroleum Ritchie WV
Buffalo Run #2 Oil Site Petroleum Ritchie WV
Bush Valley Landfill MDD980504195 Final Abingdon Harford MD 21009
Butler Mine Tunnel PAD980508451 Final Pittston TWP Luzerne PA 18640
Butyric Acid Drum PAD987379203 Non Strattonville Clarion PA 16258
Butz Landfill PAD981034705 Final Jackson TWP Monroe PA 18360
C & D Recycling PAD021449244 Final Freeland Luzerne PA 18224
C & R Battery VAD049957913 Final Richmond Chesterfield VA 23234
Camp Simms DC0001840669 Non Washington DC DC 20032
Capitol Assay Labs MDD108981531 Non Baltimore Baltimore MD 21230
Capitol Hill Anthrax DCN000305703 Non Washington DC DC 20002
Cardozo High School Mercury Spill DC0001840669 Non Washington DC DC
Cemetary Lane MDD985366632 Non-Archived Elkridge Howard MD 21227
Central Chemical MDD003061447 Final Hagerstown Washington MD 21740
Centre County Kepone PAD000436261 Final State College Centre PA 16801
C G Wood PAD981113558 Non Jamestown Mercer PA 16134
Chain Bike Corp PAD053061909 Non Allentown Lehigh PA 18103
Charlestown Coal Tar WVD988767612 Non Charlestown Jefferson WV 25438
Chauncey PCB WVN000305921 Non Chauncey Logan WV 25612
Chem-Fab Corp PAD002323848 Final Doylestown Bucks PA 18901
Chemical Metals Industries MDD980555478 Deleted Baltimore Baltimore MD 21230
ChemSolv, Inc DED980714141 Final Dover Kent DE 19901
Cherry Pit Drum MD0001406867 Non Baltimore Baltimore MD 21226
Cherry Valley Furniture Removal WVN000306572 Non Richwood Nicholas WV 26261
Chesapeake PLT VAD001704808 Non Chesapeake Chesapeake VA 23320
Chillum Gasoline Release MDN000305887 Non Chillum Prince Georges MD 20783
Chillum PERC MDN000305887 Non Chillum Prince Georges MD 20783
Chisman Creek VAD980712913 Final Seaford York VA 23690
Cochranville Tire Fire PAD982367831 Non West Oxford Twp Chester PA 19330
Coker’s Sanitation Landfill DED980704860 Final Cheswold Kent DE 19936
Cockerille Estate Abandoned Lab VAD988167771 Non Greenwood Albemarle VA 22943
Coeburn Battery Disposal VAD988174835 Non Coeburn Wise VA 24230
Coeburn Town Dump VAD988226429 Non Coeburn Wise VA 24230
Coleman Company PAD987390523 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19140
College Avenue Chemical VAN000306642 Non Pembrooke Giles VA 24136
Collegeville Radium PASFN0305467 Non Collegeville Montgomery PA 19426
Collins Well Service WVSFN0305395 Non West Union Doldridge WV 26456
Colonial Pipeline VAD988225876 Non Reston Fairfax VA 22091
Columbia Gas Transmission WV0000229666 Non Charleston Kanawha WV 25314
Columbia Plating PAD981741176 Non Columbia Lancaster PA 17512
Commodore Semiconductor Group PAD093730174 Final Norristown Montgomery PA 19403
Concept Science Explosion PASFN0305433 Non Hanover Twp Lehigh PA 18103
Congo Road Boron PASFN0305500 Non Congo Montgomery PA 19505
Consolidated Pharmacutical MDN000306570 Non Baltimore Anne Arundel MD 21225
Cosmechem MDN000306098 Non Baltimore Anne Arundel MD 21223
Courtaulds Lead WVD004319208 Non Wheeling Ohio WV 26003
Craig Branch Drum Dump WVD988775441 Non Sissonville Kanawha WV 25312
Craig Farm Drum PAD980508527 Final Parker Armstrong PA 16049
Crater Resources PAD980419097 Final King of Prussia Montgomery PA 19406
Crawford Station HSCA PAD987270188 Non Middletown Dauphin PA 17057
Creek Road Sand Blasting aka River Bend PASFN0305402 Non Hartsville Bucks PA 18974
Crossley Farm PAD981740061 Final Hereford TWP Berks PA 18056
Croydon TCE PAD981035009 Final Croydon&Bristol Bucks PA 19020
Crozet Township VAN000305873 Non Crozet Albemarle VA 22932
Cryochem PAD002360444 Final Boyertown Berks PA 19512
CSX Pump House Drive Locomotive Spill PASFN0305485 Non Richmond Richmond VA
Culpeper Wood Preservers VAD059165282 Final Culpeper Culpeper VA 22701
Cummings Landfill WVD980830731 Non Hurricane Putnam WV 25526
Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard MD4690307844 Final Baltimore Anne Arundel MD 21226
Dallas Cleaner Site PAN000306173 Non Dallas Luzerne PA 18612
Dalzell Viking Glass Co. WVSFN0305531 Non New Martinsville Wetzell WV 26155
Deardorff Drive/Ridge Road HSCA PAD981939937 Non Etters York PA 17319
Defense General Supply Center VA3971520751 Final Richmond Chesterfield VA 23297
Defense Supply Center Philadelphia PA09715900005 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19101
Delaware City PVC DED980551667 Final Delaware City New Castle DE 19706
Delaware Sand & Gravel DED000605972 Final New Castle New Castle DE 19720
Delta Quarries PAD981038052 Final Antis & Logan TWP Blair PA 16602
Dewart Farms PASFN0305473 Non Watsontown Northumberland PA 17777
Dewey Beach Cylinder DED984067207 Non Dewey Beach Sussex DE 19971
Diamond State Salvage DE0000122218 Non Wilmington New Castle DE 19805
Dixie Caverns County LF VAD980552095 Deleted Salem Salem VA 24153
Donegal TWP Midnight Drum Dump PAD981738982 Non Donegal TWP Butler PA 16025
Dorney Road Landfill PAD980508832 Final Mertztown Berks PA 19539
Douglassville Disposal PAD002384865 Final Douglassville Berks PA 19518
Dover AF Base DE8570024010 Final Dover Kent DE 19901
Dover Gas Light DED980693550 Final Dover Kent DE 19901
Doyle Wood Treating VA0000094490 Non Martinville Martinville VA 24115
Drake Chemical PAD003058047 Final Lock Haven Clinton PA 17745
Drumco Drum Dump MDD985386119 Non Baltimore Anne Arundel MD 21240
Dublin TCE PAD981740004 Final Dublin Bucks PA 18917
Duncanville Tanker PAD981736325 Non Duncanville Blair PA 16635
Dupont Explosives PAD981939325 Non Bradford McKean PA 16701
Durham Township Solvent Spill PAD981738925 Non Rieglesville Bucks PA 18077
E.I. DuPont (Newport Landfill) DED980555122 Final Newport New Castle DE 19804
E-Z Chemical PAD987271194 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19123
Eager Beaver Lumber PAD004375192 Non Townville Crawford PA 16360
East Mount Zion PAD980690549 Final Springettsbury York PA 17402
East Norriton PCE PAN000306145 Non East Norriton Montgomery PA 19404
East 7th Street Drum DESFN0305397 Non Wilmington New Castle DE 19809
East Tenth Street PAD987323458 Proposed Marcus Hook Delaware PA 19061
East Coast Trailer Sales PA0000634659 Non Bensalem Bucks PA 19020
Eastern Diversified Metals PAD980830533 Final Hometown Schuylkill PA 18252
Eastern Maryland Wood Treating Co. MDD981040207 Non Federalsburg Dorchester MD 21632
Eddystone Ave. Trailer PAD987269941 Non Eddystone Delaware PA 19094
Edwards Road Spill WVD981738750 Non Coalburg Kanawha WV 25035
Elizabethtown Landfill PAD980539712 Final Elizabethtown Lancaster
Elkton Farm MDD985407196 Non Elkton Cecil MD 21921
Elkton Farm Firehole MDN000306146 Non Elkton Cecil MD 21921
Elkview Drum Dump WVD988767901 Non Elkview Kanawha WV 25071
Elrama School PAD981034994 Non Union Twp Washington PA 15332
Enterprise Avenue PAD980552913 Deleted Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19153
Enterprise Transformer Dump WVD988770665 Non Enterprise Harrison WV 26568
Evans Chemical Site VASFN0305570 Non Roanoke Roanoke VA 24016
Everdure, Inc. VAD003121142 Non Orange Orange VA 22960
Exeter PCB VAD988222972 Non Hopewell Hopewell VA 23875
Fairview Water Co. PAD987392271 Non Mt. Pocono Boro. Monroe PA 18344
Falkenstein Electroplating PAD002268944 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19133
Fine Petroleum/Mariner Hi Tech VAD023837628 Non Norfolk Norfolk VA 23504
First Piedmont Rock Quarry VAD980554984 Final Chatham Pittsylvania VA 24531
Fifth Street Drum Dump WVD982367443 Non Huntington Wayne WV 25701
Fike Chemical, Inc WVD047989207 Final Nitro Kanawha WV 25143
Fischer & Porter PAD002345817 Final Warminster Bucks PA 18974
FMC Corp VAD980714877 Non Fredericksburg Spotsylvania VA 22553
Follansbee Site WVD004336749 Deleted Follansbee Brooke WV 26037
Foote Mineral PAD077087989 Final Frazer Chester PA 19355
Former Mohr Orchards PAN000306624 Non Schnecksville Lehigh PA 18078
Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot VAD123933426 Final Suffolk Suffolk VA 23434
Ft. Detrick Area B Groundwater MDD985397249 FInal Frederick Frederick MD
Ft. Eustis VA6210020321 Final Newport News Newport News VA 23604
Ft. George G. Meade MD9210020567 Final Odenton Anne Arundel MD 20755
Ft. Pickett VA2210020705 Non Blackstone Nottoway VA 23824
Ft. Ritchie MD0000795211 Non Cascade Washington MD 21719
Foster Lab VASFN0305571 Non Shenandoah Warren VA 22630
Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation/Church Road TCE PAD003031788 Proposed Mountaintop Luzerne PA 18707
Franklin Slag Pile PASFN0305549 Final Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19134
Franklin Smelting PAD002280725 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19134
Frazier’s Bottom PCB Site WVD981738875 Non Frazier’s Bottom Putnam WV 25082
Garfield Street Drum Dump WVD982363913 Non McMechin Marshall WV 26040
GE Railcar MDN000306575 Non Elkton Cecil MD 21922
General Electric – Hammermill PAD981114820 Non Lawrence Park TWP Erie PA 16511
Glen Dale TCE WVSFN0305381 Non Glendale Marshall WV 26038
Glen Morgan Drum Dump WVD988767455 Non Glen Morgan Raleigh WV 25847
Glenside Mercury Spill PA0001401520 Non Glenside Montgomery PA 19038
Goodwin Junkyard VAD988187076 Non Carrollton Isle of Wight VA 23314
Goose Creek Abandoned Well WV0001095413 Non Cairo Ritchie WV 26337
Grant Chemical PA0001017144 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19135
Greenwood Chemical VAD003125374 Final Greenwood Albemarle VA 22943
Halby Chemical DED980830954 Final New Castle New Castle DE 19720
H & H Inc., Burn Pit VAD980539878 Final Montpelier Hanover VA 23192
Hamburg – Pine Creek (PDF) (3 pp, 30.8K, About PDF) PAN000306001 Non Albany Berks PA 19529
Hamburg – Pleasant Hills Trailer Park PAN000305911 Non Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Hamburg – Port Clinton Avenue PAN000305872 None Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Hamburg Lead – Kaercher Creek PAN000305723 Non Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Hamburg Lead – Railcut PAN000305725 Non Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Hamburg Playground PAD987332541 Non Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Hampton Industrial Plating VAD988201992 Non Tabb York VA 23690
Hanlin-Allied-Olin WVD024185373 Final Moundsville Marshall WV 26041
Hannibal Lock & Dam WVD988768941 Non New Martinsville Wetzel WV 26155
Hanover Avenue Rocket VAN000305932 Non Richmond Richmond VA 23221
Harbeson Dead Swan DESFN0305412 Non Harbeson Sussex DE 19947
Harrison County PCB WVD981738941 Non Fairmont Harrison WV 26554
Harvey & Knott Drum, Inc DED980713093 Final Kirkwood New Castle DE 19708
Havertown PCP PAD002338010 Final Haverford TWP Delaware PA 19041
Healthways Inc. DED984072249 Non Odessa New Castle DE 19730
Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard PAD980829329 Deleted Upper Macungie TWP Lehigh PA 18062
Heisman Field PA0002377828 Non Titusville Crawford PA 16354
Heizer Creek Landfill WVD980538656 Non Poca Putnam WV 25159
Heleva Landfill PAD980537716 Final Coplay Lehigh PA 18037
Hellertown Manufacturing PAD002390748 Final Hellertown Northampton PA 18055
Henderson Road PAD009862939 Final Upper Merion Twp Montgomery PA 19406
Henshell Corporation PAD987283520 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19132
Hidden Lane Landfill VAD980829030 Final Sterling Loudoun VA 21065
Hilltop Residential Lab PASFN0305565 Non Upper Darby Delaware PA 19082
Histand’s Supply PAD069027027 Non Wycombe Bucks PA 18980
Hranica Landfill PAD980508618 Deleted Buffalo TWP Butler PA 16055
Hoffman Metal Removal WVN000305643 Non Mabscott Raleigh WV 25827
Holly Hill Subdivision WV0001095421 Non Fairdale Raleigh WV 25839
Hunter Farm Drum PAD987332533 Non Bakerstown Allegheny PA 15007
Hunterstown Road PAD980830897 Final Gettysburg Adams PA 17325
Hutchinson Mine PCB PAD982364275 Non Hutchinson Westmoreland PA 15640
Hyman-Viener VAD003112364 Non Richmond Richmond VA 23231
I-81 Tractor Trailor Chemical Spill Site VAN000306150 Non Fort Defiance Augusta VA 24437
Iaeger PCB Site WVD988784641 Non Iaeger McDowell WV 24844
Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center MD7170024684 Final Indian Head Charles MD 20640
Industrial Lane PAD980508493 Final Easton Northampton PA 18042
J & L Industries, Inc. MDD022527584 Non Baltimore Baltimore MD 21220
JF & M Co. PCB WVD054114707 Non Huntington Cabell WV 25701
Jacks Creek/Sitkin Smelting PAD980829493 Final Lewistown Mifflin PA 17044
Jackson Ceramix Inc. PAD001222025 Final Falls Creek Jefferson PA 15840
JenkinJones Drum Dump WVD988768552 Non JenkinJones McDowell WV 24848
Joe’s Creek Well Oil Site Tango Lincoln WV
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA
Johnson Bronze Co. PAD981036171 Non New Castle Lawrence PA 16103
Joyce National Powder PAD101274686 Non Eldred McKean PA 16731
Kanawha Motive Power WVSFN0305389 Non Montgomery Fayette WV 25136
Kanawha River Site WVSFN035516 Non Kanawha WV
Kane & Lombard Street Drums MDD980923783 Final Baltimore Baltimore MD 21224
Kay Lane Drum Dump WVD988767463 Non Charleston Kanawha WV 25302
Kelly Drive Sulfuric Acid Spill PAN000305641 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19131
Kenilworth Landfill DCSFN0305462 Non Washington DC DC 20020
Kennett Square Junkyard PAD980692776 None Kennett Square Chester PA 19348
Kent County (Houston) Landfill DED980705727 Remove Houston Kent DE 19954
Kessel Lumber Supply WVD041014572 Non Keyser Mineral WV 26726
Kevak Property PAD981740129 Non Glen Lyon Luzerne PA 18617
Keyser Avenue Borehole PAD981036049 Removed Scranton Lackawanna PA 18508
Keystone Sanitation Landfill PAD054142781 Final Hanover York PA 17331
Keystone Drive WVD982363046 Non Charleston Kanawha WV 25311
Kimberton Site PAD980691703 Final Kimberton Chester PA 19442
Kim-Stan Landfill VAD077923449 Final Selma Alleghany VA 24474
Klotz Brothers Courtyard VA0001907831 Non Staunton Staunton VA 24401
Komak/Ontario Street PAD982364416 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19140
Koppers Co, Inc DED980552244 Final Newport New Castle DE 19804
Krewatch Farm DED981039878 Non Seaford Sussex DE 19973
Krieger’s Landfill DED981736317 Non Wilmington New Castle DE 19720
L.A. Clarke & Son VAD007972482 Final Spotsylvania Spotsylvania VA 22553
Lackawanna Refuse PAD980508667 Deleted Old Forge Lackawanna PA 18504
Lake Street Oil Farm Oil Site Salisbury Wicomico MD
Lakin State Farm WVD982363855 Non Camp Conley Mason WV 25550
Langley AFB/NASA Research Cntr VA2800005033 Final Hampton Hampton VA 23665
Lansdowne Radiation Site PAD980830921 Deleted Lansdowne Delaware PA 19050
Laurel Chlorine Cylinder MDSFN0305488 Non Laurel Prince Georges MD 20707
Layton Landfill PAD981044845 Non Perry Twp. Fayette PA 15482
Leetown Abandoned Chemical Drum WVD988766119 Non Leetown Jefferson WV 25430
Leetown Pesticide WVD980693402 Deleted Leetown Jefferson WV 25430
Lehigh Electric and Engineering Co. PAD980712731 Deleted Old Forge Lackawanna PA 18518
Lehman MTBE PA0000057471 Non Lehman Luzerne PA 18627
Letterkenny Army Depot PDO Area PA2210090054 Final Chambersburg Franklin PA 17201
Letterkenny Army Depot SE Area
PA6213820503 Final Chambersburg Franklin PA 17201
Level A Field Exercise at Ft. Meade Non Odenton Anne Arundel MD
Lewes Coal Gas DED984066209 Non Lewes Sussex DE 19958
Limestone Rd MDD980691588 Final Cumberland Allegany MD 21502
Lindane Dump PAD980712798 Final Harrison TWP Allegheny PA 15065
Lo-Ming WVN000306106 Non Sara Ann Logan WV 25644
Logan Section Contamination Site PASFN0305530 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19120
Lord-Shope Landfill PAD980508931 Final Girard Erie PA 16417
Lower Darby Creek Area PASFN0305521 Final Darby TWP Delaware and Philadelphia PA 19023
MW Manufacturing PAD980691372 Final Valley TWP Montour PA 17821
Macson’s, Inc. VA0001118207 Non Chesapeake Chesapeake VA 23324
Main Avenue Lead VA0001992957 Non Big Stone Gap Wise VA 24219
Malitovsky Drum Company PAD980831408 Non Pittsburgh Allegheny PA 15201
Malvern TCE PAD014353445 Final Malvern Chester PA 19355
Manilla Creek Landfill WVD980537526 Non Raymond City Putnam WV 25159
Marcus-Paulsen PA0001411552 Non Denbo Washington PA 15429
Marinace Ficam MDSFN0305383 Non Johnsville Frederick MD 21701
Marine Corps Combat Development Comand VA1170024722 Final Quantico Prince William VA 22134
Marjol Operation PAD003041910 Non Throop Lackawanna PA 18512
Matthews Electroplating VAD980712970 Deleted Roanoke Roanoke VA 24153
Mayburg Tar Pit PAD980832612 Non Mayburg Forest PA 16347
McAdoo Associates PAD980712616 Deleted McAdoo Schuylkill PA 18237
Mechling Hill Drum Dump WVD982367500 Non Follansbee Brooke WV 26037
Merit Products PAD987322534 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19132
Metal Bank PAD046557096 Final Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19135
Metcoa PAD080719446 Non Pulaski TWP Lawrence PA 16143
Metro Container Corp PAD044545895 Non Trainer Delaware PA 19013
Metropolitan Mirror & Glass PAD982366957 Deleted Frackville Schuylkill PA 17931
Micucio Brothers DED984075127 Non Middletown New Castle DE 19709
Mid-Atlantic Wood Preservers MDD064882889 Deleted Harmans Anne Arundel MD 21077
Middletown Air Field PAD980538763 Deleted Middletown Dauphin PA 17057
Middletown Road Dump MDD980705099 Deleted Annapolis Anne Arundel MD 21401
Mill Creek Dump PAD980231690 Final Erie Erie PA 16505
Millsboro TCE Site DEN000306645 Proposed Sussex DE
Misplaced Cesium 137 Gauge WV0001411446 Non Dairy McDowell WV 24828
Modern Sanitation PAD980539068 Final York York PA 17404
Monroe Street PAD982367625 Non York York PA 17404
Moosic PA0002008506 Non Avoca Luzerne PA 18641
Morrison Plant Site VASFN0305388 Non Lynchburg Lynchburg VA 24501
Motiva Enterprises Sulphuric Acid Spill DEN000305677 Non Delaware City New Castle DE 19706
Mount Clare Drum Dump WVD988767042 Non Mount Clare Harrison WV 26408
Mount Vernon Mills VAD988207957 Non Fries Grayson VA 24330
Moyers Landfill PAD980508766 Final Collegeville Montgomery PA 19426
Municipal/Industrial Disposal Corp PAD982366353 Non Elizabeth Twp Allegheny PA 15037
Mt. Sidney VAN000305720 Non Mt. Sidney Augusta VA 24467
Nanticoke Homes DED054719851 Non Greenwood Sussex DE 19950
NASA Wallops Island VA8800010763 Non Wallops Island Accomack VA 23337
National Vulcanized Fiber PAD107214116 Non Kennett Square Chester PA 19348
Naval Air Development Center PA6170024545 Final Warminster Bucks PA 18974
Naval Amphibious Base VA5170022482 Final Norfolk Virginia Beach VA 23521
Naval Support Station PA3170022104 Non Mechanicsburg Cumberland PA 17055
Naval Surface Warfare Center VA7170024684 Final Dahlgren King George VA 22448
Naval Surface Warfare Center – White Oak MD0170023444 Non Silver Spring Montgomery MD 20903
Naval Training Center Bainbridge MDD985397256 Non Bainbridge Cecil MD 21904
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown VA8170024170 Final Yorktown York VA 23690
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown – Cheatham Annex VA3170024605 Final Williamsburg Williamsburg VA 23185
Navy Ships Parts Control Center PA3170022104 Final Mechanicsburg Cumberland PA 17055
Nazcon Concrete MDSFN0305379 Non Beltsville Prince Georges MD 20705
NCR Corp DED043958388 Final Millsboro Sussex DE 19966
Nelson Electric Co VAD003115706 Non Richmond Richmond VA 23214
Neutron Products, Inc. MDN000305785 Non Dickerson Montgomery
New Castle Spill DED058980442 Deleted New Castle New Castle DE 19720
New Castle Steel DED980705255 Deleted New Castle New Castle DE 19720
Newport Drum DED984066696 Non-Archived Newport New Castle DE 19804
Nichols #1 Well Non Looneyville Roane WV
Nickel Plate Road PAD982367369 Non Cochranton Crawford PA 16314
Nitro Municipal Landfill WVD980538722 Non Nitro Putnam WV 25143
Nitro Sanitation Landfill WVD980513642 Non Nitro Kanawha WV 25143
Norfolk Naval Base VA6170061463 Final Norfolk Norfolk VA 23511
Norfolk Naval Shipyard VA1170024813 Final Portsmouth Portsmouth VA 23709
North Penn Area 1 PAD096834494 Final Souderton Montgomery PA 18964
North Penn Area 2 PAD002342475 Final Hatfield Montgomery PA 19440
North Penn Area 5 PAD980692693 Final Colmar Montgomery PA 18915
North Penn Area 6 PAD980926976 Final Lansdale Montgomery PA 19446
North Penn Area 7 PAD002498632 Final Lansdale Montgomery PA 19446
North Penn Area 11 PA0001412311 Non Creamery Montgomery PA 19474
North Penn Area 12 (Transicoil) PAD057152365 Final Worcester Montgomery PA 19490
Northeastern Pennsylvania Inland Sub-Area Plan Non
Novak Sanitary Landfill PAD079160842 Final Allentown Lehigh PA 18104
NVF Yorklyn DE0002337806 Non Yorklyn New Castle DE 19736
O’Brien Machinery PAD987379187 Non Downingtown Chester PA 19335
Oakland Junkyard Site MDD981739584 Non-Archived Oakland Garrett MD 21053
Oceana Salvage VAN000306180 Non Virginia Beach City Virginia Beach VA 23454
Occidental Chemical Corp PAD980229298 Final Pottstown Montgomery PA 19464
Ohio River Park PAD980508816 Final Neville Island Allegheny PA 15225
Ohio River Wells Non St. Marys Pleasants WV
Oil Tank Lines Inc. PA0001909522 Non Darby Delaware PA 19023
Old Athens Turnpike Lead WVN000305682 Non Princeton Mercer WV 24740
Old Barrett Building PAD987277175 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19146
Old Brine Sludge Landfill DED980704894 Removed Delaware City New Castle DE 19706
Old City of York Landfill PAD980692420 Final Seven Valleys York PA 17360
Old National Carbide VAD988166146 Non Raketown Carroll VA 24350
Old Salem Tannery VAD988170437 Non Salem Salem VA 24153
Old Wilmington Road Ground Water Comtamination / Perry Phillips Landfill PAD981938939 Final Sadsburyville Chester PA 19320
Ordnance Products, Inc MDD982364341 Final Northeast Cecil MD 21901
Ordnance Works Disposal Area WVD000850404 Final Morgantown Monongalia WV 26505
ORFA Manufacturing Co PAD987400561 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19143
Osborne Landfill PAD980712673 Final Grove City Mercer PA 16127
Otsego PCB Capacitor WVD988767448 Non Otsego Wyoming WV 25882
P&W Tire Fire VA0001120260 Non Axton Henry VA 24054
Pagan Road PAD981033632 Non Summit Twp Erie PA 16509
Palmerton Zinc Piles PAD002395887 Final Palmerton Carbon PA 18071
Paoli Rail Yard PAD980692594 Final Paoli Chester PA 19301
Pathan Chemical PAD067399378 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19125
Patuxent River Naval Air Station MD7170024536 Final Patuxent River St Marys MD 20670
Peach Alley Parking Lot PAN000305909 Non Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Peck Iron and Metal VAN000306115 Proposed Portsmouth Portsmouth VA 23704
Peninsula Plating DE0001167998 Non Blades Sussex DE 19973
Penn Foam Corp PAD080874282 Non Raubsville Northampton PA 18042
Pennsylvania 500 Non Long Pond Monroe PA 18334
Pennsylvania Dept of Transportation Lab PAD980827851 Non Harrisburg Dauphin PA 17101
Penrose Drum PAD987279890 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19145
Perkasie TCE PAN000306027 Non Perkasie Bucks PA 18944
Philadelphia Naval Complex PA4170022418 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19112
Pigeon Point Landfill DED980494603 Removed New Castle New Castle DE 19720
Plymouth TWP CO2 Release PASFN0305547 Non Plymouth TWP Montgomery PA 19428
Point of Rocks VAD982363798 Non Enon Chesterfield VA 22401
Potomac Yard Site VAD020312013 Non Alexandria Arlington VA 22301
Pottstown Drum PAD981738818 Non Pottstown Montgomery PA 19464
Powers Boss Batteries, Inc. VAD988169900 Non Saltville Smyth VA 24370
Precision National Corp. PAD053676631 Non Clarks-Summit Lackawanna PA 18411
Presque Isle PAD980508865 Deleted Erie Erie PA 16501
Price Battery PAN000305679 Final Hamburg Berks PA 19526
Princeton Enterprises WVD988790333 Non Clarksburg Harrison WV 26304
Printed Circuits PAD054717475 Non Bristol Twp Bucks PA 19007
Professional Food Service VASFN0305449 Non Bedford Bedford VA 24523
Publicker Industries PAD981939200 Deleted Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19148
Purolite Chemical PAD987277498 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19122
Ravenswood PCE WVSFN0305428 Final Ravenswood Jackson WV 26164
Ray York Body Shop WVD981939697 Non Oak Hill Fayette WV 25901
Raymark PAD039017694 Final Hatboro Montgomery PA 19040
Recticon/Allied Steel PAD002353969 Final Parker Ford Chester PA 19457
Reeser’s Landfill PAD980829261 Deleted Upper Macungie Twp Lehigh PA 18062
Rentokil, Inc. VAD071040752 Final Richmond Henrico VA 23228
Resin Disposal PAD063766828 Deleted Jefferson Boro Allegheny PA 15025
Revere Chemical PAD051395499 Final Revere Bucks PA 18953
Rhinehart Tire Fire VAD980831796 Deleted Winchester Frederick VA 22601
Ridgeview PCB WVD981738883 Non Ridgeview Boone WV 25169
River Bend aka Creek Road Sand Blasting PASFN0305402 Non Hartsville Bucks PA 18974
River Road Landfill PAD000439083 Deleted Sharpsville Mercer PA 16146
Roanoke Drum Recycling VA0001897289 Non Roanoke Roanoke VA 24019
Robesonia Mercury PA0002122927 Non Robesonia PA 19551
Rodale Manufacturing PAD981033285 Final Emmaus Lehigh PA 18049
Roger’s Electric Company MDD024275257 Non-Archived Cheverly Prince Georges MD 20785
Rohm and Haas Landfill PAD091637975 Removed Bristol Township Bucks PA
Round Bottom Hill WVD988796587 Non Moundsville Marshall WV 26041
Route 52 / Washington Street Extension WVD981939622 Non Bluefield Mercer WV 24701
Route 522 Bridge PA0002021731 Non Lewistown Mifflin PA 17044
Route 563 Drum PAD981738867 Non Salford Twp Montgomery PA 18957
Route 735 Abandoned Barrel VAD988212379 Non Coatesville Hanover VA 23069
Route 940 Drum Dump PAD981034630 Deleted Tobyhanna Monroe PA 18350
Royal Dry Cleaners PAD987279817 Non Lansdale Montgomery PA 19446
RR2 Emlenton Lead PASFN0305448 Non Emlenton Venango PA 16373
Rustin Barrel VAD988212361 Non Mechanicsville Hanover VA 23069
Ryeland Road PAD981033459 Final Heidelberg Berks PA 19567
Sable Diamonds PAD982364234 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19106
Sabol Farm Drum PA0001096171 Non Girard Erie PA 16417
Sackville Mills Property PA0000198846 Non Nether Providence Delaware PA 19086
Saegertown Industrial Area PAD980692487 Final Saegertown Crawford PA 16433
Safety Light Corporation PAD987295276 Final Bloomsburg Columbia PA 17815
Salford Quarry PAD980693204 Final Lower Salford TWP Montgomery PA 19438
Salt Service PAD987387578 Non Ridley Park Delaware PA 19078
Saltville Power Plant VA0000878090 Non Saltville Smyth VA 24370
Saltville Waste Disposal VAD003127578 Final Saltville Smyth VA 24370
Sam Jones’ Junkyard VAD981036858 Non Gainesville Prince William VA 22065
Sand, Gravel, & Stone MDD980705164 Final Elkton Cecil MD 21921
Sasser Electric Company Drum WVD123625709 Non Mt Hope Fayette WV 25880
Saunders Supply Co. VAD003117389 Final Chuckatuck Suffolk VA 23432
Scott Robinson Lead Battery VAD988176368 Non Wise Wise VA 24293
Seaford-Arbutus Well Field DED984075523 Non-Archived Seaford Sussex DE 19973
Sealand Limited DED981035520 Deleted Mt Pleasant New Castle DE 19709
Second Street Electoplating PAD987270964 Non PA
Sellite Area Drum Site WVSFN0305501 Non Point Pleasant Mason WV 25550
Sewell Bottom Drum Dump WVD988768743 Non New River, George Nat’l PA Fayette WV 25936
Shaffer Equipment WVD981038300 Non Minden Fayette WV 25879
Shaler/JTC Properties PAD981041064 Non Bruin Twp Butler PA 16022
Sharon Steel Corporation (Fairmont Coke Works) WVD000800441 Final Fairmont Marion WV 26554
Sharon Steel Corp. (Farrell Works Disp Area) PAD001933175 Final Farrell Mercer PA 16121
Shriver’s Corner PAD980830889 Final Gettysburg Adams PA 17325
Singleton Drum VAD988222220 Non Rappahannock Culpeper VA 22701
Skipjack Chemicals, Inc. MDD985390327 Non Denton Caroline MD 21629
Sloan Glass WV0004294104 Non Culloden Cabel WV 25510
Small Lab Site MDD985382456 Non-Archived Sykesville Carroll MD 21784
Snow Hill Lane MDD981108467 Non Brooklyn Baltimore MD 21225
Solly Ave. Midnight Dump Site PAD981738800 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19111
Sophia Battery Dump WVSFN0305434 Non Sophia Raleigh WV 25921
South West Philadelphia Sludge Spill PAD987336989 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19153
Southeast Federal Center Non Washington DC DC 20408
Southern International Wood Treatment Co. VAD139372239 Non Miller’s Tavern King and Queen VA 23085
Southern MD Wood Treating MDD980704852 Deleted Hollywood St Marys MD 20686
Spectron, Inc MDD000218008 Final Elkton Cecil MD 21921
Spelter Smelter WV0000634584 Non Clarksburg Harrison WV 26438
Spencer Transformer PCB WVD021607494 Non Spencer Roane WV 25276
SSCD Schoolyard Site PAD981738743 Non Punxsatawney Jefferson PA 15767
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Non Washington DC DC 20032
St Julien’s Creek Annex (US Navy) VA5170000181 Final Chesapeake Chesapeake VA 23702
St. Mary’s Salvage MDD985370030 Non-Archived St Marys St Marys MD 20686
Standard Chlorine of DE
aka Metachem DED041212473 Final Delaware City New Castle DE 19706
Stanley Kessler PAD014269971 Final King of Prussia Montgomery PA 19406
Starbrick Area PAD980918510 Non Conewango Twp Warren PA 16365
Starlight Lane Tire Fire VAN000305871 Non Roanoke Roanoke VA 24001
State Road PAD002279040 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19135
Stoney Creek PAN000306567 Non Trainer Delaware PA 19061
Stauffer Chemical Company VAD980551634 Non Bentonville Warren VA 22610
Strasburg Landfill PAD000441337 Final Newlin TWP Chester PA 19320
Strube Inc. PAN000306591 Non Marietta Lancaster PA 17547
Struble Trail Drums PA0001405166 Non E. Caln. Twp. Chester PA 19335
Suffolk City LF VAD980917983 Deleted Suffolk Suffolk VA 23434
Sussex County Landfill DED980494637 Deleted Laurel Sussex DE 19956
Sutton Enterprises, Inc. VAD988173548 Non Chesapeake Chesapeake VA 23320
Swanson Creek Oil Spill/Pepco Oil Pipeline Spill Charles and Prince George’s MD
Swissvale Auto Surplus Parts PAD980692560 Non Swissvale Allegheny PA 15218
Sycamore Well VASFN0305541 Non Danville Danville VA 24540
Sykesville Oil Spill Non Sykesville Carroll MD 21784
TMC Asbestos PA0002269660 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19145
Tacony Warehouse PA0210000931 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19135
Taylor Borough Dump PAD980693907 Deleted Taylor Lackawanna PA 18517
Taylor County Mercury WV0001986744 Non Grafton Taylor WV 26354
Tennessee Ave. Lead VA0001412600 Non Big Stone Gap Wise VA 24219
Thompson Street Trailer PAD987268646 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19125
Thompson’s Auto Parts Fire WVD988768800 Non Huntington Cabell WV 25701
Tobyhanna Army Depot PA5213820892 Final Tobyhanna Monroe PA 18466
Tonolli Corp PAD073613663 Final Nesquehoning Carbon PA 18240
Tordon Herbicide Chem Drum WVD982366908 Non Mechanicsville Hampshire WV 26757
Tranguch Gasoline PA0001409671 Non Hazelton Luzerne PA 18201
Trowbridge Estates Mercury PAD982363160 Non Feasterville Bucks PA 19020
Turpin Property VAD988168902 Non Wytheville Wythe VA 24382
Twin City Iron & Metal Co., Inc. VAD034557579 Non Bristol Bristol VA 24201
Tybouts Corner Landfill DED000606079 Final Wilmington New Castle DE 19899
Tyler Refrigeration Pit DED980705545 Deleted Smyrna Kent DE 19977
Tysons Dump PAD980692024 Final Upper Merion TWP Montgomery PA 19406
UGI Columbia Gas Plant PAD980539126 Final Columbia Lancaster PA 17512
United Chemical Technologies PA0000382820 Non Bristol Bucks PA 19007
Upper Glade Drum Dump WVD982362980 Non Upper Glade Webster WV 26266
Upshur County 4-H Tarpit WVD981941685 Non Selbyville Upshur WV 26263
U.S. Titanium VAD980705404 Final Piney River Nelson VA 22964
USA Cameron Station VA4210220139 Non Alexandria Alexandria VA 22304
USA Radford Ammuntion Plant VA1210020730 Non Radford Radford City VA 24141
USA Support Oakdale
formerly: C.E. Kelly Support Facility PA5210022344 Non Oakdale Allegheny PA 15071
USAF Andrews Air Force Base MD0570024000 Final Andrews AFB Prince Georges MD 20331
USN NRTF-Driver VA9170022488 Non Suffolk Suffolk VA 23434
Valley Forge National Historic Park PA9141733080 Non Valley Forge Chester PA 19481
Valley Plating VAD980832836 Non Richmond Henrico VA 23222
Valmont TCE (Former Valmont Industrial Park) PAD982363970 Final West Hazleton Luzerne PA 18201
Verdict Chemical Site PAN0000305629 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19133
Vermiculite WRG4 PAN000305592 None Ellwood City Lawrence PA 16117
Vienna Tetrachloroethene WVD988798401 Final Vienna Wood WV 26105
Vint Hill Farms Station VA8210020931 Non Warrenton Fauquier VA 22186
Vinton Drum Site VASFN0305390 Non Vinton Bedford VA 24179
Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal VA0000807156 Non Roanoke Roanoke VA 24015
Voortman Farm PAD980692719 Deleted Ladark Lehigh PA 18034
W & G Electroplating WVD988769642 Non Fairmont Marion WV 26554
Wach’s Landfill PAD980918767 Non S. Huntingdon Westmoreland PA 15089
Wade (ABM) PAD980539407 Deleted Chester City Delaware PA 19013
Walker Creek Well Non Parkersburg Wood WV
Walsh Landfill aka Welsh Landfill PAD980829527 Final Honeybrook Chester PA 19344
War Memorial Hospital Oil Spill WV0001766864 Non Berkeley Springs Morgan WV 25411
Warrenton PCE VA0000180836 Non Warrenton Fauquier VA 22186
Warrenton Training Center VAD988189312 Non Warrenton Fauquier VA 22186
Warwick Twp Real Estate aka Andela PA0000585901 Non Warwick Twp Bucks PA 18929
Washington D.C. Chemical Munitions (Spring Valley) DCD983971136 Non Washington DC DC 20015
Washington DC Mercury Incident DCN000306000 Non Washington DC DC 20032
Washington Gas & Light Non Washington DC DC 20019
Washington National Airport VAD988166518 Non Arlington Arlington VA 22030
Washington Navy Yard DC9170024310 Final Washington DC DC 20374
Watson Johnson Landfill PAD980706824 Final Richlandtown Bucks PA 18955
Weirton Drum Disposal WVD988776258 Non Weirton Hancock WV 26062
West Dauphin Chemical PAN000305598 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19132
West Virginia Ordnance WVD980713036 Final Pt Pleasant Mason WV 25550
Westinghouse Electric (Sharon) PAD005000575 Final Sharon Mercer PA 16146
Westinghouse Elevator Co. PAD043882281 Final Gettysburg Adams PA 17325
Westline PAD980692537 Deleted Westline McKean PA 16751
Wheeling Acid Spill WVD981739295 Non Wheeling Ohio WV 26003
Wheeling Scrap Radiation Source WVD000895987 Non Wheeling Ohio WV 26003
Whitemarsh Twp. Drum Dump PAD982366841 Non Plymouth Meeting Montgomery PA 19462
Whitmoyer Labs PAD003005014 Final Myerstown Lebanon PA 17067
Wildcat Landfill DED980704951 Final Dover Kent DE 19901
William Dick Lagoons PAD980537773 Final West Caln TWP Chester PA 19376
Willow Grove Naval Air Station PAD987277837 Final Willow Grove Montgomery PA 19090
Windsor Manor Road MDD985382829 Non Brandywine Prince Georges MD 20613
Woodard Property Abandoned Drums PAD987329794 Non Erie Erie PA 16501
Woodbridge Research Facility (WRF) VA7210020981 Non Woodbridge Prince William VA 22191
Woodlawn County Landfill MDD980504344 Final Woodlawn Cecil MD 21904
Yankee Street Arsenic WVN000306642 Non Wellsburg Brooke WV 26070
York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority PAD980830715 Deleted Hopewell TWP York PA 17363
York Metal Finishing PAN000305638 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 19133

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Last updated on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009.




Federal Facilities Superfund Sites

[ All Sites | District of Columbia | Delaware | Federal Facilities | Maryland | Pennsylvania | Virginia | West Virginia ]
Site Name EPA ID NPL Status City County Zip State
Aberdeen Proving Ground – Edgewood Area MD2210020036 Final Aberdeen Harford 21001 MD
Aberdeen Proving Ground – Michaelsville LF MD3210021355 Final Aberdeen Harford 21005 MD
Allegany Ballistics Lab WV0170023691 Final Short Gap Mineral 26753 WV
Andrews Air Force Base MD0570024000 Final Andrews AFB Prince Georges 20331 MD
Barney Circle Non Washington DC 20032 DC
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (USDA) MD0120508940 Final Beltsville Prince Georges 20705 MD
Bolling Air Force Base Non Washington DC 20331 DC
Brandywine DRMO MD9570024803 Final Andrews Prince Georges 20331 MD
Camp Simms Non Washington DC 20032 DC
Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard MD4690307844 Proposed Baltimore Anne Arundel 21226 MD
Defense Supply Center Philadelphia PA09715900005 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia 19101 PA
Defense General Supply Center VA3971520751 Final Richmond Chesterfield 23297 VA
Dover AF Base DE8570024010 Final Dover Kent 19901 DE
Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot VAD123933426 Final Suffolk Suffolk 23434 VA
Fort Eustis VA6210020321 Final Newport News Newport News 23604 VA
Ft. Detrick Area B Groundwater MDD985397249 Final Frederick Frederick MD
Ft. George G. Meade MD9210020567 Final Odenton Anne Arundel 20755 MD
Fort Pickett VA2210020705 Non Blackstone Nottoway 23824 VA
Ft. Ritchie MD0000795211 Non Cascade Washington 21719 MD
Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center MD7170024684 Final Indian Head Charles 20640 MD
Langley AFB/NASA Research Cntr VA2800005033 Final Hampton Hampton 23665 VA
Letterkenny Army Depot PDO Area
PA2210090054 Final Chambersburg Franklin 17201 PA
Letterkenny Army Depot
SE Area

Final Chambersburg Franklin 17201 PA
Marine Corps Combat Development Comand VA1170024722 Final Quantico Prince William 22134 VA
Middletown Air Field PAD980538763 Deleted Middletown Dauphin 17057 PA
NASA Wallops Island VA8800010763 Non Wallops Island Accomack 23337 VA
Naval Air Development Cntr PA6170024545 Final Warminster Bucks 18974 PA
Naval Amphibious Base VA5170022482 Final Norfolk Virginia Beach 23521 VA
Naval Support Station PA3170022104 Non Mechanicsburg Cumberland 17055 PA
Naval Surface Warfare Center VA7170024684 Final Dahlgren King George 22448 VA
Naval Surface Warfare Center – White Oak MD0170023444 Non Silver Spring Montgomery 20903 MD
Naval Training Center Bainbridge MDD985397256 Non Bainbridge Cecil 21904 MD
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown VA8170024170 Final Yorktown York 23690 VA
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown – Cheatham Annex VA3170024605 Final Williamsburg Williamsburg 23185 VA
Norfolk Naval Base VA6170061463 Final Norfolk Norfolk 23511 VA
Norfolk Naval Shipyard VA1170024813 Final Portsmouth Portsmouth 23709 VA
Patuxent River Naval Air Station MD7170024536 Final Patuxent River St Marys 20670 MD
Philadelphia Naval Complex PA4170022418 Non Philadelphia Philadelphia 19112 PA
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Non Washington DC 20032 DC
St Julien’s Creek Annex (US Navy) VA5170000181 Final Chesapeake Chesapeake 23702 VA
Southeast Federal Center Non Washington DC 20408 DC
Tobyhanna Army Depot PA5213820892 Final Tobyhanna Monroe 18466 PA
USA Cameron Station VA4210220139 Non Alexandria Alexandria 22304 VA
USA Radford Ammuntion Plant VA1210020730 Non Radford Radford City 24141 VA
USA Support Oakdale
formery: C.E. Kelly Support Facility PA5210022344 Non Oakdale Allegheny 15071 PA
USN NRTF-Driver VA9170022488 Non Suffolk Suffolk 23434 VA
Valley Forge National Historic Park PA9141733080 Non Valley Forge Chester 19481 PA
Vint Hill Farms Station VA8210020931 Non Warrenton Fauquier 22186 VA
Warrenton Training Center VAD988189312 Non Warrenton Fauquier 22186 VA
Washington DC Chemical Munitions (Spring Valley) DCD983971136 Non Washington DC 20015 DC
Washington Gas & Light Non Washington DC 20019 DC
Washington National Airport VAD988166518 Non Arlington Arlington 22030 VA
Washington Navy Yard DC9170024310 Final Washington DC 20374 DC
West Virginia Ordnance WVD980713036 Final Pt Pleasant Mason 25550 WV
Willow Grove Naval Air Station PAD987277837 Final Willow Grove Montgomery 19090 PA
Woodbridge Research Facility (WRF) VA7210020981 Non Woodbridge Prince William 22191 VA

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage



My Note – there had been a chemical weapons lab somewhere near Cleveland, Ohio – in a small town. What happened to that area’s cleanup – has it ever been checked or did they simply build people’s houses on top of it as they did in Washington, DC and other places?

– cricketdiane

P.S. I don’t think it was Colonel Mustard that did this one . . .