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Aircraft Topics related to WWI aircraft, aircraft engines and armament

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Old 30 June 2004, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Did pilots ever try to droping mustard gas on the enemy?
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Old 30 June 2004, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why? When you can deliver them by artillery shell and not chance loosing an aircraft and crew.
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Old 30 June 2004, 11:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by StephenLawson@Jul 1 2004, 05:48 AM
[b] Why?* When you can deliver them by artillery shell and not chance loosing an aircraft and crew.
Range. Chemical bombs certainly existed by the early twenties so it's tempting to speculate that they were available during the war. Gas bombs were deployed by both sides during the second great unpleasentness but used only by the Japanese AFAIK. In the sixties and seventies I excersized against aircraft delivering chemical weapons in aerosol form, probably the preferred method to-day. Except of course, we don't have any, do we?
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Old 1 July 2004, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi All;

Range was certainly an issue. Payload might have been also. Until the larger bombers were available most were likely to be dropped in small quantities only.

Also larger bombers bombing the front line with gas bombs may have been subject to more concentrated fighter and AA opposition which may have been a factor considered too.

And one more. On the British side at least, gas warfare was an army preserve and was seen as a land weapon, there just may have been demarcated thinking that it wasn't considered an 'air weapon' yet perhaps?

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Old 1 July 2004, 12:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by PeterL@Jul 1 2004, 07:44 AM
[b]
Range. Chemical bombs certainly existed by the early twenties so it's tempting to speculate that they were available during the war.
Actually, the use of gas bombs - exactly the mustard gas that Ginger asks for - is a proven fact, even though not necessarily in the War to End All Wars...

The first use was most probably on December 22, 1935 in Abessinia/Ethiopia, when Italian aircraft attacked Ethiopian soldiers under the command of Ras Immiru while they were crossing the Takazze.

After this, there was regular use of mustard gas (called Yperit then), using C.500T bombs with a content of 212 kg of gas. Used both against troop concentration and against civilian targets - The description of Haille Selassies in Geneva on this use is well documented. In total, the Italians expended 300 tons of these WMD's during the Abbessinian campaign (that's at least what's claimed in the literature).

Too, I remember reading somewhere that aerial gas attacks were also carried out against the Ryf Kabyls (a north western African tribe) either by the Spaniards or maybe by the French - I think this was already in the 1920's, but whether it was mustard gas?

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Old 1 July 2004, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 1 July 2004, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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[Source: German Air-Dropped Weapons to 1945 by Wolfgang Fleischer pages 25-26]

A couple of images here provide air sprayed toxic gas in 1920s from Junkers W33. Kit was developed for the F13 aqnd W33 aircrfat by Junkers, with 200 lt tanks. Trials confucted in Kurische Nehrung in East Prussia, but with dye instead of real chemicals.

There is other data in the same source related to other later tests, but nothing mention of WWI use.
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Old 1 July 2004, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I doubt there would be much point in air-dropped gas far behind the lines because of the temporary nature of all airborne vapors. In the trenches it made some sense: achieving a localized tactical advantage. But at a railyard or depot, not much benefit for the effort. Besides, artillery (as noted) could throw gas shells many miles at no risk to personnel or hardware.
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Old 1 July 2004, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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BTW, speaking of Stupid Questions:

First day of junior English, Mr. Tolar sets the tone by saying "There's no such thing as a stupid question. That's how you learn. Remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question."

Thus encouraged, a stoont raises her hand. "Yes, Sharon," says Mr. T.

"Mr. Tolar, what language do they speak in England?"

Eyes closed, head slowly nodding, Mr. Tolar intones, "Now that's a stupid question."

Class ERUPTS in laughter. We had to dismiss early because nobody was going to restore order that afternoon.

I was there. I heard it. Honest.
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Old 2 July 2004, 01:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sorry I thought we were discuusing the possiblity of why they didn't disburse mustard gas using WWI aircraft?
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