The first time that poison gas was ever used was in 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres. During the morning of April 22, Germans poured a heavy bombardment around Ypres. The effects of the chlorine gas were severe. Within seconds of inhaling the vapour, it destroyed the victim's respiratory organs, bringing on choking attacks.
There were three main types of poisonous gas used in trench warfare: chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas. Although it could kill, chlorine gas was easy to detect. Mustard gas was first used by the Germans in 1917 and it was incredibly effective. Although it wasn't as fatal as phosgene, mustard gas could linger over the battlefields and cause horrific burns. Phosgene however was a lot more powerful and it was difficult to detect - this became the main killing gas of WWI.
WWI: The extensive bandages on these wounded Canadian soldiers may indicate that they have suffered the effects of flame or mustard gas. Mustard gas burned the lungs, but also caused serious external blisters and disfigurement. - Found via Canada at War
Chlorine gas was the first deadly gas to be used in WWI. It was first used by the Germans in The Second Battle of Ypres. The gas looked like a yellow-green cloud. Chlorine effected lung and respiratory tracts. 10
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The first poison gas, chlorine,came on 22 April 1915, at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres. Around 5 pm, sentries posted among the French and Algerian troops noticed a curious yellow-green cloud drifting slowly towards their line. It signalled the first use of chlorine gas on the battlefield. The effects were severe. Within seconds of inhaling its vapour it destroyed the victim's respiratory organs, bringing on choking attacks. (For a memoir of the first gas attack click here.)