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History of WW1 gas masks in photos

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History of gas mask in photos

History of gas mask in photos: German soldiers and their mule

War history didn’t know gas attacks before WW1, and these photos will show you how combatants, civils, and sometimes animals, protected themselves with gas masks against this new mortal threat.

The historical appearance of gas attacks

Germans were the first to realize the efficiency of the gas attacks, but other countries followed them very soon. The very first german forces used chemical shells on April 22 versus the french division. Russian forces faced the green gas threat on May 31, 1915. A greenish cloud that appeared above the trenches at about 3:30 a.m. was mistaken for a well-known smoke screen, usually followed by an attack. Therefore, reserves tightened around the front line, and the forward line as crowded as possible.

Two Russian regiments were virtually destroyed as a result. Losses included 16 officers and 3147 soldiers. Total casualties on the entire front sector hit eight thousand.

WWI German horse rider equipped with a spear and a gas mask

WWI German horse rider equipped with a spear and a gas mask

All allied countries started their researches towards any protection from gas attacks. Russian scientists played an exceptional role in the history of chemical warfare, and in particular, in the history of the development of gas masks.

Both in the pre-war period and during the war of 1914-1918, there were many outstanding world-famous scientists among the Russian professors. Most of them were involved in defense researches.

Check other war history photos: Crimean War.

History of gas masks in photos: horse protection

History of gas masks in photos: horses needed protection too

The best mean of protection involved activated charcoal, which performed as a natural filter for gas masks. The crush-testing was pretty simple: sulfur was burned in an empty room, and when the concentration of sulfur dioxide reached a level at which it was impossible to enter the room without a gas mask, people came into it with worn gauze bandages, between the layers of which fine-grained activated charcoal was wrapped. Charcoal showed the best result when used with a tight fit of a gas mask.

Nonetheless, the history of the gas mask is not that simple. Russians somewhat improved gas masks and adjusted them to the gas attacks protection then invented them. Let’s note that the modern gas mask was designed in 1912 by the American Garret Morgan. True, it was intended to protect firefighters and engineers during toxic environments works. Lewis Haslet claimed the first American patent for a “lung protection device” in 1849. The German Alexander Drager patented his gas mask design in America in 1914. All of these history devices are here, in this gas masks photos collection.

Check other war history photos: Korean War.

History of gas mask in photos

History of gas mask in photos: German soldier and his dog

WW1 history in photos: Verdun gas masks

History photos of Verdun rumble preparations

US soldiers are checking masks

US soldiers are checking their gas masks, WW1.

History photos of Somme battle preparations

History photos of Somme battle preparations

Soldiers of 279th brigade, 1915

Soldiers of 279th brigade, 1915

history photos of Soldiers from Senegal in  gas masks

Soldiers from Senegal are training to wear gas masks.

History photos of Pate-De-Vensen factory workers producing masks

History photos of Pate-De-Vensen factory workers producing masks

Mother and child wearing gas masks, somewhere in the French countryside along the Western front, 1918

Mother and child wearing gas masks, somewhere in the French countryside along the Western front, 1918

machine gunners wearing gas protection ww1

Machine gunners wearing gas protection, 1916

German soldiers wearing four different types of gas masks that were used in the early years of World War 1, c. 1916

German soldiers were wearing four different types of gas masks that were used in the early years of World War 1, c. 1916

German machine gun crew wearing Grabenpanzer and gas masks man a Becker-Flugzeugkanone repurposed as an anti aircraft gun, 1916

German machine gun crew wearing Grabenpanzer and gas masks man a Becker-Flugzeugkanone repurposed as an anti-aircraft gun, 1916

Gas mask training before battle of Somme

History photos of Gas mask training before the battle of Somme

french soldier with dog in a mask

French soldier with a dog in a gas mask

History picture of anti-gas sign

History picture of the anti-gas sign: Wear the mask!

history photos  of German soldiers wearing gas masks

Four heavily armed German soldiers wearing gas masks and an early type of steel helmet called the Gaede which was introduced on the Vosges Front in late 1915

Children of Reims in gas masks, 1916

History photos of children of Reims in gas masks, 1916

bell in Marna alarmed about gas attacks

History photos of the bell in Marna that alarmed about gas attacks, 1917

history photo of the Verdun battle

History photos of the Verdun battle: German soldier in a gas mask

Battle of Amiens. Tanks advancing. Prisoners bring in wounded wearing gas masks. August, 1918

Battle of Amiens. Tanks are advancing. Prisoners bring in wounded wearing gas masks. August 1918

Shooting the chemical shells, 1916

Shooting the chemical shells, 1916

dog wearing a gas mask

Dog wearing a gas mask, 1917

An armed German soldier wearing a gas mask posing with a sign celebrating Easter and an Easter egg snowball in a trench on the Eastern Front, 1917

An armed German soldier wearing a gas mask posing with a sign celebrating Easter and an Easter egg snowball in a trench on the Eastern Front, 1917

 

An American soldier chokes on phosgene gas after failing to put on his gas mask in time.

An American soldier chokes on phosgene gas after failing to put on his gas mask in time.

A young schoolboy of Reims wearing his gas mask, France, January 1916

A young schoolboy of Reims wearing his gas mask, France, January 1916

History photo of a nurse wearing a gas mask, 1918

History photo of a nurse wearing a gas mask, 1918

alarm signaling a gas attack

Alarm signaling a gas attack, 1916

history photos of post pigeons cages

These cages saved post pigeons’ lives during the gas attacks.

 

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