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Gas attack

60 second histories
Live experience

This video covers:  An overview of the different types of gas used during WW1 together with the developments of gas masks and hoods to protect soldiers.

The first gas attack was by the Germans on the twenty second of April nineteen fifteen in Ypres. Chlorine gas was released from cylinders, it overcame the French killing up to fourteen hundred men. Two days later, the Canadians were attacked with gas, their only defence was to soak a field dressing in bicarbonate of soda or urine which acted as a filter the soldiers could just about breath through. Very soon other designs came about, the first was a flannel hood soaked in sodium hyposulphite, which countered the effects of the gas. Later a better version was introduced called the Phenate helmet and was soaked in Sodium Phenate. The best of all was the Small Box respirator, which could be used for longer periods and was a better defence against the stronger gasses such as phosgene or mustard gas. As you can see it has a filter in side the bag which is connected to the respirator by a hose, you put the mask on like so placing the mouthpiece in your mouth and the clamp over your nose and then pulling the actual mask over your face…
20th Century
WW1 British infantry soldier
Key words: 
Gas, gas attack, Germans, German, 1915, Ypres, Chlorine, bicarbonate of soda, urine, hood, flannel hood, sodium hyposulphite, Phenate, phenate helmet, sodium phenate, small box respirator, respirator, phosgene, mustard gas, KS3, Key stage 3, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9,