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Thread: The firsthand account of Willie Siebert. A German soldier during the first gas attack of the war at Ypres

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    Team GunsNetwork PLATINUM 10/2012 rci2950's Avatar

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    The firsthand account of Willie Siebert. A German soldier during the first gas attack of the war at Ypres

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    The firsthand account of Willie Siebert. A German soldier during the first gas attack of the war at Ypres -- "Finally, we decided to release the gas. The weatherman was right. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining. Where there was grass, it was blazing green. We should have been going on a picnic, not doing what we were going to do. We sent the [German] infantry back and opened the [gas] valves with the strings. About supper time, the gas started toward the French; everything was stone quiet. We all wondered what was going to happen.

    As this great cloud of green-grey gas was forming in front of us, we suddenly heard the French yelling. In less than a minute they started with the most rifle and machine gun fire that I had ever heard. Every field artillery gun, every machine gun, every rifle that the French had, must have been firing. I had never heard such a noise.

    The hail of bullets going over our heads was unbelievable, but it was not stopping the gas. The wind kept moving the gas towards the French lines. We heard the cows bawling, and the horses screaming. The French kept on shooting. They couldn’t possibly see what they were shooting at. In about 15 minutes the gunfire started to quit. After a half hour, only occasional shots. Then everything was quiet again. In a while, it had cleared and we walked past the empty gas bottles.

    What we saw was total death. Nothing was alive.

    All of the animals had come out of their holes to die. Dead rabbits, moles, and rats and mice were everywhere. The smell of the gas was still in the air. It hung on the few bushes which were left. When we got to the French lines the trenches were empty but in a half mile, the bodies of French soldiers were everywhere. It was unbelievable. Then we saw there were some English. You could see where men had clawed at their faces, and throats, trying to get a breath. Some had shot themselves. The horses, still in the stables, cows, chickens, everything, all were dead. Everything, even the insects were dead."
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    Hitler got gassed enough to send him to the hospital in ww1. That contributed to the reason he never deployed it himself, and made carrying the gas mask mandatory for all German soldiers.
    “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”
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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    Geez thats horrible.

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    Senior Member JTHunter's Avatar

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    Remember the Sarin gas attack by that Japanese "doomsday" cult several years ago in the Tokyo subways? That could have been even worse if they had used more gas as it was confined in the tunnels.
    “I have little patience with people who take the Bill of Rights for granted. The Bill of Rights, contained in the first ten amendments to the Constitution, is every American’s guarantee of freedom.” - - President Harry S. Truman, “Years of Trial and Hope”

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    Registered User LAGC's Avatar

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    Horrific stuff.

    It's what led to the Geneva Protocol being signed by most world governments in 1925, an international compact between governments banning the use of chemical weapons even in the most contested of warfare.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Protocol

    In the Second World War, the U.S., the UK, and Germany prepared the resources to deploy chemical weapons, stockpiling tons of them, but refrained from their use due to the balance of terror: the probability of horrific retaliation.
    "That tyranny has all the vices both of democracy and oligarchy is evident. As of oligarchy so of tyranny, the end is wealth; (for by wealth only can the tyrant maintain either his guard or his luxury). Both mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms." -- Aristotle, Book V, 350 B.C.E

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