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Lecture 7

HST702 - Lecture 7 1915 and the New Technologies of Death.docx

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Ryerson University
HST 702
Tomaz Jardim

HST702 October 9, 2013 Tomaz Jardim 1915 and the New Technologies of Death - 1915 was a very bad year for the Entente - Things weren't over by Christmas and there was no end in sight - Fighting in 1915 became endlessly bloody - British army had lost 300,000 soldiers, Germans lost more that 600,000, French lost 1.3M 1 - The Second Battle of Ypres (April 1915) - Only major German offensive launched on the Western front in 1915 - Germans had been seeing success on the Eastern Front but not in the West - They tried to take troops out of the West and take them to the East to fight the Russians - Launched the offensive to prove they're still a strong nation despite taking troops out - Germans fail miserably o The Terrible Death of Poison Gas - French had previously tried to use tear gas, but it wasn't major because it didn't work - Germans attempt to use poison gas in January 1915 - Fire poison gas to the Germans - Wasn’t as prestigious a debut as they had hoped for - 22nd April 1915, Germans began attack with a heavy bombardment, but German lines fell silent at noon - At 5PM, bombardment begins all over again, but French sentries on tops of trenches noticed cloud of gas moving towards them - French think Germans have fired something to block vision (smokescreen) - French order men to go into the cloud, they thought it was an attack - Gas was chlorine gas, used for the first time in battle - Soldiers begin to choke, gas begins to kill them form the inside - Germans didn't realize how well the gas attack would go - French troops flee backwards - French give up 4 miles of territory, and a while in the line develops - Germans are not prepared to take advantage of the gained land and gap in French line - Germans didn't have reinforcements because they hadn't anticipated the breach in land - Entente troops could regroup and bring in more troops o Canadian Forces and a Temporary Cure - 6000 Canadians dead at Ypres - Canadians were the first ones to figure out how to deal with poison gas - Canadian pharmacist on medical staff realizes the gas is chlorine and tells soldiers to pee on handkerchiefs and put them on their face, stopping the gas from killing them - Entente powers were able to hold the lines and Germans were under equipped to take advantage - Entente lost 70,000 troops, Germans lost 130,000 troops 2 - New Weapons of War o Chlorine, Phosgene and M
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