Gas Warfare in World War I. The 3rd. Division at Chateau Thierry, July 1918
COCHRANE (REXMOND C) EDGEWOOD ARSENAL MD
Pagination or Media Count:
The threat of disaster on the Western Front presented by the great German offensives in the spring of 1918 precipitated American forces, then training in France, into battle some months before they were considered ready. The 1st and 2nd Divisions, put in the line early in July, did not meet any of these offensives head on. Only the 3rd and 42nd Divisions, at the Marne, had that experience. The present study records how the 3rd Division met the German offensive for 15 July 1918. The event from which the 3rd Division seems never to have wholly recovered was the gas bombardment of 15 July 1918. That morning, in preparation for the fifth and last German offensive, the German Seventh, First and Third Armies put down a four-hour gas and high explosive bombardment on an attack front of almost 120 kilometers. It caught the 3rd Division on the extreme left flank of the front. Like the earlier preparatory bombardments that spring, that on 15 July was not intended by the Germans to destroy the defensive works of the enemy but merely to paralyze morale until the German infantry could break through.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare