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This article from THE LITERARY DIGEST is a typical 1920s piece of journalism that reconsidered the the concept that chemical warfare is inhumane. Having examined the collected data from the First World War, scientists and soldiers alike were drawing surprising conclusions as to the inefficiency of chemical agents in warfare. No doubt, it was articles such as this that lead to the decision not to use gas in the Second World War:

"Poisonous gas as used in warfare is 'a blessing, not a curse,' and makes for the future security and peace of the world, declares J.E. Mills, of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service...Theoretically one ton of mustard gas could kill 45,000,000 men. Actually one ton of mustard gas as used at the front caused about twenty-nine casualties, of which one died."

"Is gas warfare inhumane? All warfare is inhumane and barbarous, but the facts are that 2 percent of American gas casualties died, while more than 24 percent of American battle casualties died."

Click here to read more about gas warfare during World War One.

     


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The Blessings of Poison Gas (Literary Digest, 1927)

The Blessings of Poison Gas (Literary Digest, 1927)

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