History 31/12/19 What chemical weapons were used by the Japanese in Port-Arthur
it is believed that chemical weapons on a large scale was first applied during the First world war. However, even during the siege of Port Arthur in late 1904, the Russian defenders of the fortress for the first time felt the consequences of the attack of toxic substances. While using gas the Japanese in the absence of gas masks dressed in diving suits.
“the machine-Gunners choked on the spot”
In November 1904, during the fourth storm of strengthenings of Port Arthur besieging punched holes in the Russian caponiers and began pumping out there poisonous gas. The consequences of this chemical attack wrote orientalist Boris Tagiev, who in the years of the Russo-Japanese war he served in Port Arthur liaison officer. According to him, the Japanese achieved a positive result. Among the Russian soldiers had died.
“Poisoned arrows or machine guns and choked on the spot, or have time to get out of the caponier in a semi – conscious condition,” described what happened Tagiev. Defense fortifications, inhaling poisonous gas, complained of vomiting and dizziness.
the Polish historian of the defense of Port Arthur Jozef Diskant tells another attempt by the use of toxic substances. December 15, the Japanese occupied part of the second Fort was set on fire a pile of felt impregnated with a toxic compound. In response, the Russian soldiers of the 26th infantry regiment under the supervision of the boatswain Kornienko threw grenades at the enemy, forcing him to retreat. At the same time the besieged staged a kind of “airing” of FORTS, trying as quickly as possible to reduce the concentration of harmful substances in the air.
As gas masks hadn’t been invented yet, the Japanese were protected from gases, wearing diving suits. What toxic substance was used in Port Arthur, is unknown. Tagiev mentions “gas picric acid” – perhaps this refers to the smoke from burnedaniya chemosis, a common explosive in Japan. It is possible that the choking effect was related to the fact that the Japanese experimented with additives (it is known that in the distillation of picric acid with chloride of lime is obtained chloropicrin is a common poison gas of the First world war).
Also the sources tell about the possibility of using laughing gas (nitrous oxide). What were the consequences in such cases, one can only assume. To laughing gas caused him to stop breathing, he should be fed in very high concentrations. It is possible that the Japanese have made inadequate behavior of the Russians – under the influence of nitrous oxide, people can not help but laugh and go into hysterics.
Note that all these actions of the Japanese was an illegal chemical weapon prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899. However, war crime Country of the Rising sun then no one is charged. Unknown influence whether a chemical attack on the plans of the Russian command, but within 5 days after the last episode of General stoessel announced the beginning of negotiations for the surrender of Port Arthur.
“the war of the future”
There is evidence that the use of poison gas for military purposes had proposed a Japanese Professor of chemistry, He is Sakurai, a Professor at Tokyo University and one of the founding fathers of chemical science in the Japanese Empire.
According to Boris Tageeva, talked with Sakurai in 1918, the scientist did not deny the priority of Japan in the practice of military use of chemicals. At that time Tokyo Professor considered all of these episodes are only limited in scale “experiments” and argued that the gas war is “the war of the future”.
Serious stocks of chemical warfare agents in Japan indeed were accumulated only to the Second world war. Mustard gas, phosgene and lewisite was used extensively by the Japanese during the war in China historians have from 530 to 2000 such cases. With chemical attacks linked up to a 10% deadweight loss Chination of the army. However, against the Russians in 1945, the generals of the Kwantung army to use chemical weapons did not dare or did not, although occupied Manchuria, the red Army soldiers found several large warehouses with chemical shells.
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