As we celebrate Earth Day and Record Store Day on THIS day of April 22nd, a more insidious remembrance needs to be reminded. On this date in 1915 on the gentle slopes facing the French Canadien salient outside the war ravaged town of Ypres Belgium on the western Front in WW1 when the soft winds of Spring finally turned into the proper direction, the 60,000 cannisters of poison gas specially installed by German scientist Fritz Haber’s chemical warfare stormtroopers were released into the air around 5PM along a multi mile front. It introduced a sinister new element to trench warfare and immediately killed around 3600 soldiers in the unfortunate place at the wrong time as the innocent looking green cloud approached. They died a ghastly death. Ironically the Germans failed to exploit the obvious opportunity out of fear of infecting their own troops and within a few months both the Germans and the Allies were lobbing poison gas artillery shells at each other muting the advantage forever.

Written by Michael E Dehn

Founder and CEO of Metro Pulse a continually running enterprise since May 1980.

April 23, 2023

The first large-scale use of lethal poison gas on the battlefield was by the Germans on 22 April 1915 during the Battle of Second Ypres.