First World War gas mask

First World War gas mask

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Caption: First World War gas mask. German medic wearing a gas mask to protect against poison gas attacks. The Great War (or First World War, 1914-1918) saw the first large-scale use of chemical weapons, with a chlorine gas attack by German forces on French positions on 22 April 1915. Around 85,000 soldiers died due to the use of chemical weapons in this war. To combat this, several designs of gas masks were developed, with early versions including padded filters over the nose and mouth, and chest-borne respirators. This photograph is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries.

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