World War 1 is described to be one of the most devastating wars recorded in history for a number of reasons. One of the reasons was the tactical use of chemical warfare, which was predominantly used as a weapon. Most of the course of this war was fought in trenches, strategically built for optimal leverage from either side of the line. Trenches offered substantial protection from artillery and small arm fire. However, this often resulted in a stalemate. This eventually led to a new era of weaponry involving the use of chemicals. These chemicals were specifically designed to hinder the physical capabilities of soldiers. They were capable of severely weakening and even killing soldiers.
Firstly, chemical weapons were effective during trench warfare and were capable of inflicting major injuries to soldiers from both sides. Prior to World War One, Germany and France were among the many countries that signed the Hague convention 1899. It stated that the use of chemicals or other projectiles were prohibited if they caused asphyxiation. It is often rumoured that the Germans were responsible for developing such weapons even after signing; however, it was actually the French who defied the convention first. The Germans were the ones who got publicised on the media for breaching the convention. Both countries were aware of the potency of chemical weapons.