Chemical Soldiers: British Gas Warfare in World War I (Modern War Studies)

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9780700611133: Chemical Soldiers: British Gas Warfare in World War I (Modern War Studies)
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They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the "comical chemical corporals." Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. "They wanted chemists," a young recruit later recalled, ". . . so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in."

Although the Brigade itself has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized, and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths.

Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters, and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain, and day-to-day life that followed.

Richter presents new information about the details of all the varied methods of gas warfare, from airborne discharges by cylinders and projectors to flame-throwers, smoke screens, and "Beam" attacks. He also explores the ethical and moral scruples of gas soldiers concerning their novel methods of warfare.

To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigade's leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander.

This is the first book on the Brigade since the 1934 publication of Foulkes's own Gas! The Story of the Special Brigade, a biased and self-justifying account of chemical warfare in which Foulkes exaggerated the unit's successes and ignored its failures.

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From the Back Cover:

"Richter dismantles the 'gas myth' of World War I. A convincing and highly readable account of a four-year experiment with scientific death that largely went wrong."--Samuel Hynes, author of A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture

"First-hand accounts provide a 'smell of the grass' feel for this unit. This book reveals new information on the problems of the Special Brigade at the battles of Loos and the Somme and on some of the technical problems of gas warfare."--Timothy Travers, author of The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 1900-1918

"A significant contribution to our understanding of Britain's conduct of the war on the western front. This book is the first to draw upon and make effective use of a wide range of primary source material. It is also a sustained and convincing critique of Charles Foulkes's own account of his brigade's activities."--David French, author of British Strategy and War Aims, 1914-1916

About the Author:

Donald Richter is professor of history at Ohio University. He is author of Riotous Victorians.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780700605446: Chemical Soldiers: British Gas Warfare in World War I (Modern War Studies)

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ISBN 10:  0700605444 ISBN 13:  9780700605446
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas, 1992
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9780613918916: Chemical Soldiers British Gas Warfare in Wolrd War 1

Univer..., 1992
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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the "comical chemical corporals." Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. "They wanted chemists," a young recruit later recalled, ". . . so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in."Although the Brigade itself has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized, and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths.Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters, and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain, and day-to-day life that followed.Richter presents new information about the details of all the varied methods of gas warfare, from airborne discharges by cylinders and projectors to flame-throwers, smoke screens, and "Beam" attacks. He also explores the ethical and moral scruples of gas soldiers concerning their novel methods of warfare.To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigade's leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander.This is the first book on the Brigade since the 1934 publication of Foulkes's own Gas! The Story of the Special Brigade, a biased and self-justifying account of chemical warfare in which Foulkes exaggerated the unit's successes and ignored its failures. Seller Inventory # TNP9780700611133

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the "comical chemical corporals." Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. "They wanted chemists," a young recruit later recalled, ". . . so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in."Although the Brigade itself has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized, and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths.Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters, and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain, and day-to-day life that followed.Richter presents new information about the details of all the varied methods of gas warfare, from airborne discharges by cylinders and projectors to flame-throwers, smoke screens, and "Beam" attacks. He also explores the ethical and moral scruples of gas soldiers concerning their novel methods of warfare.To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigade's leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander.This is the first book on the Brigade since the 1934 publication of Foulkes's own Gas! The Story of the Special Brigade, a biased and self-justifying account of chemical warfare in which Foulkes exaggerated the unit's successes and ignored its failures. Seller Inventory # APC9780700611133

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the "comical chemical corporals." Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. "They wanted chemists," a young recruit later recalled, ". . . so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in."Although the Brigade itself has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized, and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths.Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters, and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain, and day-to-day life that followed.Richter presents new information about the details of all the varied methods of gas warfare, from airborne discharges by cylinders and projectors to flame-throwers, smoke screens, and "Beam" attacks. He also explores the ethical and moral scruples of gas soldiers concerning their novel methods of warfare.To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigade's leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander.This is the first book on the Brigade since the 1934 publication of Foulkes's own Gas! The Story of the Special Brigade, a biased and self-justifying account of chemical warfare in which Foulkes exaggerated the unit's successes and ignored its failures. Seller Inventory # APC9780700611133

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Book Description University Press of Kansas. Paperback. Condition: New. 296 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.0in. x 0.8in.They were sometimes the butt of jokes, the comical chemical corporals. Officially they were the British Special Brigade, sent to retaliate against German chemical warfare, selected, as one of their members said, almost willy-nilly. They wanted chemists, a young recruit later recalled, . . . so I looked up the formula for water and told them it was H2O and I was in. Although the Brigade itself has received little attention since its disbandment following the war, chemical warfare in World War I has been mythologized, sentimentalized, and vilified. Its image has been distorted by legends and sensationalized by half-truths. Taking a new look at the reality of poison gas warfare in World War I and the role of the Brigade, Donald Richter exposes the myths perpetuated over the years by novelists and misinformed sentimentalists and challenges prevailing views. He weaves data from official military records with personal anecdotes from diaries, letters, and memoirs to create a real-life account of the formation of the Brigade and the frustration, fear, boredom, pain, and day-to-day life that followed. Richter presents new information about the details of all the varied methods of gas warfare, from airborne discharges by cylinders and projectors to flame-throwers, smoke screens, and Beam attacks. He also explores the ethical and moral scruples of gas soldiers concerning their novel methods of warfare. To make the story complete, Richter takes a critical look at the Brigades leader, Charles Foulkes, revealing a forceful and capable but stubbornly obstinate commander. This is the first book on the Brigade since the 1934 publication of Foulkess own Gas! The Story of the Special Brigade, a biased and self-justifying account of chemical warfare in which Foulkes exaggerated the units successes and ignored its failures. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780700611133

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