Before World War One, the use of poison gas was considered barbaric. However, the emergence of unexpected trench warfare created a dire need for armies to develop and employ new tactics in order to break the stalemate. As a result, the development and use of poison gas became a necessity.

First Use by the French
Initial German Experiments
Introduction of Poison Gas
a Missed German Opportunity

Initial German Experiments
During World War One, armies were constantly searching for new ways to break the unexpected stalemate of trench warfare.

In October 1914, during the capture of Neuve Chapelle, the Germans fired shells at the French containing a chemical irritant that caused violent fits of sneezing.

This tactic was considered uncivilized before the war, but necessity forced armies to develop and use poison gas.

Three months later, tear gas was first used by the Germans on the Eastern Front in liquid form contained in 15 cm shells fired against the Russians at Bolimov.

However, the experiment failed due to the freezing temperatures in Russia. Despite this setback, the Germans did not give up and tried again with an improved tear gas mix at Nieuport against the French in March 1915.