Austro-Hungarian chemical weapons

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Austro-Hungarian chemical weapons

Post by Mait » 15 Apr 2007 10:51


I have searched for data about gas weapons use by Austro-Hungarians during WW1 and so far found almost no data about the topic.

According to Wikipedia Austria-Hungary produced the following quantities of gas:

Production (metric tons)
Irritant 5,080
Lachrymatory 255
Vesicant —
Total 5,335

Also - the Wikipedia gives a rather obscure note that emperor Karl banned the use of poison gas by austro-Hungarian armed forces.

Perhaps some forum members could help me out with more precise data here:

Did Austro-Hungarians use chemical weapons during WW1? In which battles were they used?

Which gas types were produced and used operationally by Austro-Hungarians? Was chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas used operationally or were only milder irritants (tear gasses) used?

Which delivery methods were used?

What about the alleged self-imposed ban on the use of poison gasses?

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Post by JamesL » 15 Apr 2007 16:22

On September 27, 1918 the long range artillery of the 1st A-H Division, located on Hill 374 east of Villeneuve Feme, laid down a barrage of 'yellow cross' shells on Dannevoux and Bois des Moriaux.

The Use of Gas in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign
US Army Chemical Corps Historical Office
Washington DC
December 1958.

Link ... =ADA955196

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Post by Mait » 15 Apr 2007 19:32

If I remember correctly the "Yellow cross artillery shells" were German-made artillery shells containing German made gas. And the aforementioned case happened in German front under German leadership.

Any documented uses of Austro-Hungarian manufactured poison gas or cases where german gas weapons were used operationally by Austro-Hungarians in Austro-Hungarian fronts?

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Post by cj » 15 Apr 2007 21:06

The Austro-Hungarians used gas independently of the Germans in Italy in June 1916. They had the capibility before that date but Franz Josef refused to permit it's use.

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Post by J » 15 Apr 2007 23:02

I have this from Osprey Men at Arms 397: The AH forces in WWI (2)

At the turn 1915/16 two Sappeurbattailonen - 61. and 62. provided the nucleus for the new Spezialformationen der k.u.k Sappeurtruppe - in Feb 1916, Sappeur-Spezial-Battailon, later reverts to k.u.k. Sappeurbatailon No 62. Records show a few experimental "blown attacks", first of which taking place at Doberdo on the Isonzo (Soča) front on 29 June 1916. This event surprised the Italians and their second line trenches were taken in the assault, but gas also affected the kuk troups, and Italians managed to recover the trenches shortly.

Next use was at Assa gorge in Tyrol, but poorly documented.

Sappeur-Spezial-Battailon opperated in coordination with German units on the Eastern front for a while, and came back to Soča/Isonzo in time for 12. battle of Kobarid/Caporetto. On October 24, 1917 gas was used to great effect on the Bovec-Tolmin/Flitsch-Tolmein/Plezzo-Tolmino sector.

An action on the Piave between Nervesa and the adriatic coast was planned for 1918 but even as the cannisters were ready March 30, the use was postponed until May 2 when heavy rains prevented it alltogether.

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Re: Austro-Hungarian chemical weapons

Post by Joda » 02 Jan 2019 22:00

I rise this old thread again ;)

Any info more about this matter?

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