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Ypres Salient

Ypres is a Belgian town in Flanders that was the scene of the first Chemical Weapons attack in modern history. The attack occurred during World War I, on Thursday April 22, 1915.

On the first day of the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans released 168 tons of chlorine gas, using the wind for dispersion, at the Allies-held town. The attack resulted in several thousand casualties (#Hutchinson, 2003), and the next day the Germans attacked Canadian troops, which resulted in similar casualties.

Ypres was also the site of the first use of mustard gas in history. In July 1917, the Germans began firing mustard containing shells that resulted in numerous casualties. The Allies shortly retaliated in kind with mustard (#Tucker, 2006).


Hutchinson, Robert. Weapons of Mass Destruction: The No-nonsense Guide to Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons Today. Widenfield and Nicholson, 2003.

Tucker, Johnathon B. War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda. Pantheon Books, 2006.

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