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First World War gas masks. 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 at the Second Battle of Ypres on 22 April 1915. Around 85,000 soldiers died due to the use of chemical weapons over the remaining years of the war. To combat this, several designs of gas masks were developed, with early versions including a mask and filters in a bag carried around the neck. This photograph is from the National Photo Company Collection.
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