gas mask for sale

With World War I in a seeming stalemate, German forces in late April 1915 introduced a horrific new weapon to the fighting. In a conflict that already was infamous for reaching new depths in the shameful chronicle of man’s inhumanity to man, the new weapon proved to be so heinous that it was never used again on such a massive scale. It was poison gas. For soldiers on both sides, the horrific effects of the new weapon added another vital piece of equipment to the soldiers’ needs—the gas mask.

While the first widespread use of poison gas occurred on April 22, 1915, near Ypres, Belgium, there had been previous small experiments by the Germans in the weeks prior to the attack. But it was that calm April day that marked how truly devious gas could be as a weapon of war. And while the gas actually killed very few combatants when compared to the vast numbers who gave their lives in the war (according to some sources, as many as 93 percent of gas casualties returned to duty within a few weeks), it was quite a success as a psychological weapon.

Introduced during World War I, the French Army used the ARS 1917 until 1935.
The first chlorine gas attack, which hit French Colonial and Canadian troops, appeared as a yellowish-green cloud. When inhaled, the gas destroyed the alveoli of the lungs, causing men to essentially “drown” on the liquid created by their own bodies. This attack caused an immediate panic leading to a massive retreat. So devastating was the attack that it almost enabled a rare German breakthrough. As a result, Allied forces struggled to find effective countermeasures. Early gas masks were nothing more than cotton wool pads or cloth soaked in water or in some cases urine. But, interestingly, they were not the first true gas masks.

As far back as ancient times, the Greeks used sponges as masks to protect the wearer from smoke and other hazardous fumes, both on and off the battlefield. Much later, in the 19th century, American mining engineer Lewis Haslett invented a device that filtered dust from the air. This evolved over the next half century into devices used by miners and for tunneling. However, gas mask protection went into full gear following the German attack at Ypres.

Both the British and French looked to devise new ways of protecting soldiers against the sinister new form of attack. The basic cloth and cotton pads evolved into strips of chemically soaked fabric called the black veil respirator. The next step was to develop a hood worn completely over the head. Designed by Captain Cluny Macpherson, a medical officer to the Newfoundland Regiment, the hood featured a single-windowed visor to allow the user to see. This was unofficially known the Hypo helmet, but was officially dubbed the British smoke hood.

Macpherson’s hood was essentially a khaki-colored flannel bag soaked in a solution of glycerin and sodium thiosulphate—thus. a hypo solution. It was meant to protect against chlorine directly and thus couldn’t protect against other gases, notably phosgene, which was developed by the Germans over the summer of 1915 and proved far more powerful than chlorine while being relatively difficult to detect. gas mask for sale

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top