The first fact of using chemical weapons was recorded on 04.24.1915. It was used to defeat soldiers located near the city of Ypres (France). As a result, five thousand people died immediately, and ten thousand soldiers died later after a while, and the rest remained disabled. This was the first case of mass destruction of people by toxic substances (OM).
Why not used before
Despite the fact that chemical weapons were invented several millennia ago, they began to be used only in the twentieth century. Earlier it was not used for several reasons:
- produced in small quantities;
- methods for storing and distributing poisonous gases were unsafe;
- the military considered it unworthy to poison their opponents.
However, in the twentieth century, everything changed dramatically, and toxic substances began to be produced in large quantities. Several major facts of its application are known in history: during the First World War, in concentration camps during the Second World War, in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan, in the conflict between Iraq and Iran, in the civil war in Yemen, during the Kurdish uprisings and at the moment in the Syrian conflict. The fact is that accurate data about who used chemical weapons is carefully hidden, and you can find out only approximate information. At the moment, the largest stockpile of chemical warfare agents is in Russia, but most of them were disposed of before 2013.
Chemical weapons classification
Specialists divide toxic substances into groups according to their effect on the human body. The following types of chemical weapons are known today:
- nerve gases - the most dangerous substances, affect the nervous system, penetrating the body through the skin and respiratory organs, leading to death;
- boiling skin - affect the mucous membranes and skin, poison the entire body;
- asphyxiating substances - penetrate the body through the respiratory system, which contributes to death in agony;
- annoying - affect the respiratory tract and eyes, are used by various special services to disperse crowds during mass riots;
- common toxic - disrupt the function of blood to transfer oxygen to cells, leading to instant death;
- psychochemical - causes CNS disorders, which for a long time incapacitates people.
The terrible consequences of using chemical weapons are known in the history of mankind. Now they have refused it, but, alas, not because of humane considerations, but because its use is not too safe and it does not justify effectiveness, since other types of weapons have proved to be more effective.