Mustard gas, also known as sulfur mustard, is a chemical warfare agent used during the First World War. Yellow Cross, another chemical warfare agent, is based on mustard gas and so called because of the marking on the shells. These are a vesicant (blister agent) poison gas, one effect of which was to blister the mouth, armpits and face, and affect the eyes. It was first used in July 1917 by the Germans, causing nausea and a succession of debilitating symptoms including intense itching and painful blisters filled with yellow fluid. The gas hung low on the ground, often remaining inert until the sun's warmth caused the gas to rise.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.161.
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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