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Behind the Gas MaskThe U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace$
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Thomas I. Faith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038686

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038686.001.0001

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Crisis, 1919–1920

Crisis, 1919–1920

(p.56) 3 Crisis, 1919–1920
Behind the Gas Mask

Thomas I. Faith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the Chemical Warfare Service's (CWS) struggle to continue chemical weapons work in the face of a hostile political environment as the U.S. Army sought to digest the lessons learned from World War I under the budget constraints of the postwar period. It considers the uncertain future of the CWS and chemical weapons after the war as the American public reacted against modern weapons in general and poison gas in particular because of the battlefield suffering it had caused. It also discusses the attempts of policymakers in the Department of War and the U.S. Army to limit all chemical warfare activities in the armed forces after the armistice. Finally, it examines how the CWS, primarily under the leadership of Amos A. Fries, tried to counter anti-gas sentiment and promote chemical weapons and manage to lay a foundation that would allow them to continue improve their reputation through the 1920s.

Keywords:   poison gas, Chemical Warfare Service, chemical weapons, U.S. Army, Department of War, chemical warfare, Amos A. Fries

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