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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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Legacy, 1926–1929

Legacy, 1926–1929

(p.107) 5 Legacy, 1926–1929
Behind the Gas Mask

Thomas I. Faith

University of Illinois Press

This chapter evaluates the successes and failures of the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) during the second half of the 1920s, in light of the organization's ultimate incapacity to influence foreign policy. By 1926, the CWS was a well-established organization capable of supporting the continuation of poison gas work into the foreseeable future. It had successfully influenced public policy to continue chemical warfare research after World War I. However, the CWS and its supporters failed to convince people to believe that gas warfare was humane. Public hostility toward chemical weapons ultimately led to the signing of international agreements prohibiting chemical warfare. This chapter discusses the CWS's sustained accomplishment during the period 1926–1929, with particular emphasis on its new chemical weapons initiatives in partnership with other departments and branches of the military; the United States' continued support for international efforts to prevent chemical warfare; and the CWS's reorganization into the U.S. Army Chemical Corps after World War II.

Keywords:   chemical weapons, Chemical Warfare Service, foreign policy, poison gas, public policy, chemical warfare, military, U.S. Army Chemical Corps

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