SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Chemical weapons in World War I

The use of toxic chemicals as weapons dates back thousands of years, but the first large scale use of chemical weapons was during World War I. They were used to demoralize and kill entrenched defenders, against whom the indiscriminate and very slow-moving or static nature of gas clouds would be most effective; the types of weapons employed ranged from disabling chemicals, such as tear gas, to lethal agents like phosgene and mustard gas. This chemical warfare was a major component of the first global war and first total war of the 20th century; the killing capacity of gas was limited, with about ninety thousand fatalities from a total of 1.3 million casualties caused by gas attacks. Gas was unlike most other weapons of the period because it was possible to develop countermeasures, such as gas masks. In the stages of the war, as the use of gas increased, its overall effectiveness diminished; the widespread use of these agents of chemical warfare, wartime advances in the composition of high explosives, gave rise to an expressed view of World War I as "the chemist's war" and the era where weapons of mass destruction were created.

The use of poison gas by all major belligerents throughout World War I constituted war crimes as its use violated the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which prohibited the use of "poison or poisoned weapons" in warfare. Widespread horror and public revulsion at the use of gas and its consequences led to far less use of chemical weapons by combatants during World War II; the most used chemicals during World War I were tear-inducing irritants rather than fatal or disabling poisons. During World War I, the French army was the first to employ tear gas, using 26 mm grenades filled with ethyl bromoacetate in August 1914; the small quantities of gas delivered 19 cm³ per cartridge, were not detected by the Germans. The stocks were consumed and by November a new order was placed by the French military; as bromine was scarce among the Entente allies, the active ingredient was changed to chloroacetone. In October 1914, German troops fired fragmentation shells filled with a chemical irritant against British positions at Neuve Chapelle.

None of the combatants considered the use of tear gas to be in conflict with the Hague Treaty of 1899, which prohibited the launching of projectiles containing asphyxiating or poisonous gas. The first instance of large-scale use of gas as a weapon was on 31 January 1915, when Germany fired 18,000 artillery shells containing liquid xylyl bromide tear gas on Russian positions on the Rawka River, west of Warsaw during the Battle of Bolimov. Instead of vaporizing, the chemical failed to have the desired effect; the first killing agent was chlorine, used by the German military. Chlorine is a powerful irritant that can inflict damage to the eyes, nose and lungs. At high concentrations and prolonged exposure it can cause death by asphyxiation. German chemical companies BASF, Hoechst and Bayer had been making chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing. In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches.

It may appear from a feldpost letter of Major Karl von Zingler that the first chlorine gas attack by German forces took place before 2 January 1915: "In other war theatres it does not go better and it has been said that our Chlorine is effective. 140 English officers have been killed. This is a horrible weapon...". This letter must be discounted as evidence for early German use of chlorine, because the date "2 January 1915" may have been hastily scribbled instead of the intended "2 January 1916," the sort of common typographical error, made at the beginning of a new year; the deaths of so many English officers from gas at this time would have been met with outrage, but a recent, extensive study of British reactions to chemical warfare says nothing of this supposed attack. This letter was referring to the chlorine-phosgene attack on British troops at Wieltje near Ypres, on 19 December 1915. By 22 April 1915, the German Army had 168 tons of chlorine deployed in 5,730 cylinders from Langemark–Poelkapelle, north of Ypres.

At 17:30, in a slight easterly breeze, the liquid chlorine was siphoned from the tanks, producing gas which formed a grey-green cloud that drifted across positions held by French Colonial troops from Martinique, as well as the 1st Tirailleurs and the 2nd Zouaves from Algeria. Faced with an unfamiliar threat these troops broke ranks, abandoning their trenches and creating an 8,000-yard gap in the Allied line; the German infantry were wary of the gas and, lacking reinforcements, failed to exploit the break before the 1st Canadian Division and assorted French troops reformed the line in scattered, hastily prepared positions 1,000–3,000 yards apart. The Entente governments claimed the attack was a flagrant violation of international law but Germany argued that the Hague treaty had only banned chemical shells, rather than the use of gas projectors. In what became the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans used gas on three more occasions; the British Official History stated that at Hill 60, "90 men died from gas poisoning in the trenches or before they could be got to a dressing station.

Jordan Goldnadel

Jordan Goldnadel is a director, screenwriter and actor. Jordan Goldnadel was born and raised in Paris, where he studied acting at the prestigious Cours Florent. After graduating from High School Goldnadel moved to the US to study filmmaking and production at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, he has a master's degree in Public Policy and is a certified international mediator from the United States Peace Institute. He first directs several short films around the world. At the end of his studies, after having worked at Focus Features, NBCUniversal, he starts his own production company The Third Generation, member of Unifrance, based in Paris and with which he works on international projects. At 23, he writes, produces and acts in his first feature film, which premiered at the Montréal World Film Festival, where it received great reviews. With a great soundtrack, including some Amanda Palmer songs, the film is sold internationally by Wide Management and receives two nominations at the prestigious 2016 Prix Henri Langlois The film integrates the Eye on Films European Label and is released in several countries including the US, the UK, Ireland and South Korea.

In 2015, Goldnadel directs And Violence, which he co-wrote with Florence Chouraqui Suissa. The short film deals with the rise of violence and racist hate in France in the lights of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Kosher Supermarket terror attacks in Paris that occurred in January of the same year; the film is selected at numerous festivals and picked up for distribution in the US by 7th Art Releasing. The following year, he acts in and directs the second unit of the American-Icelandic co-production Autumn Lights, directed by Angad Aulakh, he co-directs and produces a short film called Lola & Eddie with Lola Bessis et Tom Leeb. In 2017, he co-produces Nathan Silver's feature film Thirst Street, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and screened at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival; the film stars Anjelica Huston, Lyndsay Burdge, Esther Garrel, Damien Bonnard, Lola Bessis and Alice de Lencquesaing. It's released in the US by Samuel Goldwyn. In 2018, he directs the film Chechnya, which deals with the horrific treatment of homosexuals in Chechnya for the French TV channel France 3.

The film is selected and many films festivals internationally, wins several awards. 2013: The boy & The Chess Player 2015: Happy' 2016: And Violence* 2016: Lola & Eddie * 2016: Autumn Lights de Angad Aulakh 2018: Chechnya**also editor. Jordan Goldnadel on IMDb

Simon Harmer

Simon Ross Harmer is a South African professional cricketer. He plays as an all-rounder, a right handed middle order batsman and an off-break bowler, for Warriors and has played five Test matches for South Africa. Harmer debuted for Warriors in the 2010–2011 first class season against the Cape Cobras claiming 5/98 in the first innings and 1/53 in the second innings to go along with his 46 and 69 runs with the bat, he became a regular fixture in Warriors side in the 2011–2012 side, ending the season as leading wicket taker in his full rookie season, claiming 44 wickets. These performances earned him a call up for the 3rd Test against West Indies in 2014/15, where he made his Test match debut for South Africa against the West Indies on 2 January 2015 at Newlands, Cape Town, he took his debut Test wicket by bowling Devon Smith in the last over before the lunch break on day one and ended the innings with figures of 3/71 from 26 overs. Ahead of the 2017 season, Harmer signed for Essex County Cricket Club as a Kolpak player.

In June, in the 2017 County Championship, Harmer took 9 wickets for 95 runs in the second innings against Middlesex. He was the first bowler for Essex to take nine wickets in an innings since Mark Ilott in 1995, he finished with career-best match figures of 14 for 172. Harmer continued his fantastic form and took the wicket which confirmed Essex as Champions in the win against Warwickshire. Harmer finished the 2017 season with the second-highest haul in the Country in terms of wickets taken, with 72 wickets at 19.19. Although neither he, nor his team, hit the same heights in 2018, he still managed 57 wickets at 24.45 each and provided useful runs batting at number eight in the batting order. In October 2018, he was named in Jozi Stars' squad for the first edition of the Mzansi Super League T20 tournament, he was the leading wicket-taker for Warriors in the 2018–19 CSA 4-Day Franchise Series, with 27 dismissals in seven matches. In September 2019, he was named in the squad for the Jozi Stars team for the 2019 Mzansi Super League tournament.

In September 2019, Harmer captained Essex County Cricket Club to their first T20 Blast victory against the Worcestershire County Cricket Club after taking 7 wickets across both the semi-final and final on Finals Day, the most by any bowler on a T20 English Domestic Finals Day. Simon Harmer at ESPNcricinfo