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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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Improvement, 1921–1925

Improvement, 1921–1925

(p.77) 4 Improvement, 1921–1925
Behind the Gas Mask

Thomas I. Faith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the Chemical Warfare Service's (CWS) efforts to improve its public image and its reputation in the military in the first half of the 1920s. It shows that while the National Defense Act preserved the CWS as an organization within the military, it was surrounded by army officers who still had doubts about chemical weapons. It highlights the tenuous relationship between the CWS and the rest of the military that was exacerbated by the financial constraints of the postwar period. It considers the ways that Amos A. Fries and his fellow CWS officers continued to build on the foundations they had laid during the U.S. Army's reorganization crisis and tried to change public opinion with respect to chemical weapons, mainly by cultivating relationships within the military and with civilians in the chemical industry, as the organization struggled to consolidate its gains and carry out its mission in the postwar world.

Keywords:   chemical weapons, Chemical Warfare Service, public image, military, National Defense Act, Amos A. Fries, U.S. Army, public opinion, civilians, chemical industry

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