The use of poison gas was a major military innovation of the First
World War. The gases used ranged from tear gas to disabling chemicals
such as mustard gas and killing agents like phosgene. The killing
capacity of gas was limited — only 3% of combat deaths were due to gas
— however, the proportion of non-fatal casualties was high and gas
remained one of the soldier's greatest fears. Unlike most other
weapons of the period, it was possible to develop effective
countermeasures to gas and hence in the latter stages of the war, as
the use of gas increased, in many cases its effectiveness was
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Constantinople fell to an Ottoman army, ending the Byzantine Empire.
Oak Apple Day: Charles II regained the throne of England in the
Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Saint Lawrence River,
killing 1,012 on board.
Observations made by Sir Arthur Eddington during a solar eclipse
confirmed part of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach
the summit of Mount Everest.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing
which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured
by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is
the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
-- T. H. White