The Gas (Sarin, Mustard and Chlorine)

The North Americans had enormous reserves ready for deployment, and the British had experimented with anthrax on a remote Scottish island, massacring flocks of sheep and goats.

* * * *

The first gas attack in history overwhelmed the French troops entrenched near the small town of Ypres, in Belgium. When they awoke on the morning of Thursday, April 22, 1915, the soldiers saw an enormous greenish cloud creeping towards them across no-man’s land. Twice as high as a man and as dense as winter fog, it stretched from one end of the horizon to the other, as far as the eye could see. The leaves withered on the trees as it passed, birds fell dead from the sky; it tinged the pastureland a sickly metallic colour . . . Six thousand canisters of chlorine gas” were released that morning at Ypres.

When We Cease to Understand the World, pp. 24 – 25

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