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Was gas ever used in Egypt?


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#1 alf mcm

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:10 PM

I am researching a man who served only in Egypt, from about 1916 to 1918. He was consistently unwell after the war, and his family reckoned it was the result of being gassed. I would like to know if gas gas used offensively in Egypt.

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Alf McM

#2 michaeldr

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:20 AM

Alf


Gas shells were used in Second Gaza on 19th April 1917 and also during Third Gaza
see Chemical Warfare and the Palestine Campaign, 19161918 by Dr. Yigal Sheffy
[The Journal of Military History 73 (July 2009): 803-844.]

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Michael

#3 michaeldr

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:29 AM

Alf,

I should have made my previous post a little clearer
The allies used gas as stated, but it appears that the Ottoman forces did not.
quote from Sheffy:
"contrary to the situation in France and Flanders, British and Dominion troops did not sustain any casualties from chemical attacks in the Middle East, as the Ottomans never used gas, unlike their adversaries, who made preparations for its offensive use in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia and finally employed gas in Palestine."

However, this does not preclude the possibility that there may have been allied 'casualties' during either training or when the weapons were deployed.

regards
Michael

#4 alf mcm

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

Many thanks Michael. Very interesting.

Regards,

Alf McM

#5 Donald D

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:16 PM

In the "74th Yeomanry Division" history on being redeployed to France in May 1918 from Palestine is the following quote......
"lectures were given to these "green" troops from Palestine on bayonet fighting - any one platoon of the 74th Division had probably made more use of the bayonet than any battalion in France - and on gas; the latter was, indeed, a new experience.
Most of the masks given out in Palestine were found to be defective, and all the containers were obsolete.

#6 michaeldr

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

Donald,

Most of the masks given out in Palestine were found to be defective, and all the containers were obsolete.


Sheffy has "At the beginning of the battle [Third Gaza] each of the combatants carried his mask, mostly of the advanced SBR (Small Box Respirator) type of which at least 150,000 had been hurriedly rushed from England."

regards
Michael

#7 T8HANTS

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:11 PM

This is somewhere in Palestine


G

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#8 Donald D

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

Donald,

Most of the masks given out in Palestine were found to be defective, and all the containers were obsolete.


Sheffy has "At the beginning of the battle [Third Gaza] each of the combatants carried his mask, mostly of the advanced SBR (Small Box Respirator) type of which at least 150,000 had been hurriedly rushed from England."

regards
Michael

That was a direct quote from the 74th Division History.
Perhaps someone with access to the Division, Brigade or Battalion war diaries could do a look up for May 1918 to see if the quote was factual.

#9 michaeldr

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

A check-up on that would be useful

One point which occurs to me is that hurriedly rushed from England at the beginning of the battle is not quite the same as their being distributed to the front line forces at the beginning of the battle.
I wonder exactly which sort the 74th Div. were using at this time; SBR or something older?



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