Herr Otto Hahn
The birth of the military chemical units
In the middle of January I received orders to go and see Gahimrat Haber (Fritz Haber), who was in Brussels on behalf of the Ministry of War. He explained to me that the Western Front, which were all bogged down, could be got moving again only by means of new weapons. One of the weapons contemplated was poison gas, in particular chlorine, which was to be blown towards the enemy from the most advanced...
Among the new weapons fielded in the conflict there were toxic gases. All the belligerent powers devoted great attention to creating and producing them. The efforts made, even by eminent scientists, turned completely unfounded: the toxic gases released into the atmosphere were difficult to be used and their effectiveness depended too much on the conditions of wind and temperature.
In the spring of 1915, the German general staff was focused on the operations that were being developed on the eastern front and limited themselves to remaining on the defensive on the one in the west. Despite this, General von Falkenhayn decided to launch a limited offensive operation in the area of Yprés, in Belgium.