Hill 60 – Gas Gas Gas

The Ypres Salient was so peculiar in its geography that both sides tried deperately to develop weapons that would provide a breakthrough in the stalemate. The low and flat land, the odd shape of the line, the muddy impassable ground and the network of roads and villages made attack and defence very difficult. Hill 60, a mere 120ft above the surrounding plain, like the ridge at Messines, was desperately fought over. One horror used at Hill 60 was poison gas. Originally chlorine which kept low to the ground and caused burning of the lungs was itself terrible, but it was followed by phosgene gas, which reacts with the tissues in the lungs causing bleeding and death by drowning (…to see blood come gurgling from froth corrupted lungs….Wilfed Owen).

Primitive Gas Masks

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