Remember me - echoes from the lost generations

Official German Press Report, about the First Gas Attack at Ypres,
25 June 1915

For every one who has kept an unbiased judgment, the official assertions of the strictly accurate and truthful German military administration will be sufficient to prove the prior use of asphyxiating gases by our opponents.

On April 16th the French were making increased use of asphyxiating bombs. But let whoever still doubts, consider the following instructions for the systematic preparation of this means of warfare by the French, issued by the French War Ministry, dated February 21, 1915:

French Ministry of War Report, February 21, 1915

Remarks concerning shells with stupefying gases: The so-called shells with stupefying gases that are being manufactured by our central factories contain a fluid which streams forth after the explosion, in the form of vapours that irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. There are two kinds: hand grenades and cartridges {There follows a lengthy description of these}

Here we have a conclusive proof that the French in their state workshops manufactured shells with asphyxiating gases fully half a year ago at least.

The number must have been so large that the French War Ministry at last found itself obliged to issue written instructions concerning the use of this means of warfare. What hypocrisy when the same people grow "indignant" because the Germans much later followed them on the path they had pointed out!

Very characteristic is the twist of the French official direction: "The vapours spread by the shells with asphyxiating gases are not deadly, at least not when used in small quantities." It is precisely this limitation that contains the unequivocal confession that the French asphyxiating gases work with deadly effect when used in large quantities.’

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

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