Blue Cross (chemical warfare)
Blue Cross gas (Blaukreuz): A "Sneezing" gas and chemical warfare agent so called from the standard Blue Cross marking for German artillery shells with a chemical payload. It was introduced by the Germans in 1917. It consisted of diphenylchloroarsine (DA, Clark I), diphenylcyanoarsine (CDA, Clark II), ethyldichloroarsine (Dick), and/or methyldichloroarsine (Methyldick). Clark I and Clark II were the main agents used and affects the upper respiratory tract.
Clark I was used with Green Cross munition earlier; however for the first time it was used as a standalone agent in the night from 10 July to 11 July 1917 at Nieuport, Belgium, during "Operation Strandfest". The artillery munition used as a delivery vehicle contained a large amount of glass spheres closed with a cork and sealed with trinitrotoluene. Later N-ethylcarbazole was added. Depending on the caliber, the munition contained between 7 and 120 kilograms of the agent.
References / notes
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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