1900-1919 | Chemical weapons | Germany

Mustard gas shells fired at German lines in ‘handsome quantities’

26 September 1918 Today in 1918, the British army began an offensive to break through the German ‘Hindenburg line’ in France, by firing 10,000 mustard gas shells at the enemy trenches. Another 22,000 gas shells exploded among the German lines over the next three days.1  Mustard gas was the most feared of the poison gasses…

1920-1939 | Bombing villages | Chemical weapons | Livestock targeted | RAF crimes

The RAF investigates ‘systems of attack’ against ‘uncivilised tribes’

18 December 1922 On 18 December 1922, the RAF’s Deputy Director of Operations and Intelligence, submitted a report to the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Hugh Trenchard, suggesting possible ‘systems of attack against uncivilised tribes’. Britain was facing insurgencies across the Empire, and was particularly worried about the threat to continued British rule along…

1940-1949 | Chemical weapons | Churchill's crimes | Germany

Churchill urges poison gas attacks on German cities

6 July 1944 Writing a memo to General Sir Hastings Ismay on 6 July 1944, Winston Churchill urged the Chiefs of Staff to urgently consider the use of poison gas against German towns and cities. The memo came one month after British and American soldiers had landed in France and as Germany clearly faced imminent…