Download Chemical Weaponry: A Continuing Challenge by Edward M. Spiers PDF

By Edward M. Spiers

Chemical guns are nonetheless a manageable army alternative. This ebook assesses their attraction by means of interpreting how the brokers, munitions and protecting gear of chemical conflict have advanced given that 1915; how technological concepts and refinements in weaponry have altered tactical assumptions; and the way those guns were hired in conflicts from the 1st international conflict to the Gulf warfare. the writer argues that the weapon expertise has proved inherently dynamic, new new release of biochemical brokers may well quickly be on hand, and that palms regulate will not be in a position to slash those developments.

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Despite the wide array of weaponry and ordnance which could deliver chemical agent, it has often been argued that chemical weapons are neither particularly effective in themselves nor potentially decisive on the field of battle. The British official historian of the First World War dismissed poison gas as having 'achieved but local success; it made war uncomfortable to no purpose'. 80 Others, in arguing the case for chemical disarmament, have stressed the purported 'marginality' of chemical weapons (as compared with nuclear or conventional weapons, especially the new generation of precision-guided munitions),81 but a vast array of weapons- bayonets, rifles, machine guns, mines, high explosive shells - are not tactically decisive in and of themselves.

25 grams) to open the shell and liberate its contents, the French were able to increase the gas capacity of their shells, enhance the surprise effect, and form more potent gas clouds (by reducing 26 Chemical Weaponry the tendency of the explosive charge to throw the gas into the air or to drive it into the ground). 23 The French supremacy proved short-lived. Within three months the Germans introduced their first lethal artillery ammunitions- the Green Cross shell filled with diphosgene - in which the bursting charge was provided solely in the gaine of the fuse.

Each represented a revolution in warfare - the aeroplane on account of its strategic mobility and ability to attack the enemy homeland, and poison gas because of its area lethality. 54 There were two basic methods of disseminating gas from aircraft: spray apparatus, either based upon pressure or nonpressure as a mode of release, and bombs. Although various forms of spray apparatus were devised in the inter-war years, and some were even used in Abyssinia, 55 bombs seemed likely to prove the more versatile option.

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