Discussion:
Poison Gas Paris Gun
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Byker
2019-08-26 20:05:33 UTC
Permalink
What if in the course of designing the Paris Gun, the Germans realize that
the small high explosive load provides a poor return on the investment and
decide to use poison gas shells instead? Thus on March 21st 1918, the
city of Paris is bombarded with 21 mustard gas shells over the course of
the day and thereafter, get hits with 15-20 gas shells a day at random
hours day and night.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Gun
Upon the arrival of the first gas shell, regardless of casualties, rumor
alone would have been enough to trigger a mass panic and stampede out of
town. Paris wasn't surrounded like in 1871...
The Horny Goat
2019-08-27 00:05:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
What if in the course of designing the Paris Gun, the Germans realize that
the small high explosive load provides a poor return on the investment and
decide to use poison gas shells instead? Thus on March 21st 1918, the
city of Paris is bombarded with 21 mustard gas shells over the course of
the day and thereafter, get hits with 15-20 gas shells a day at random
hours day and night.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Gun
Upon the arrival of the first gas shell, regardless of casualties, rumor
alone would have been enough to trigger a mass panic and stampede out of
town. Paris wasn't surrounded like in 1871...
Probably would have meant a MUCH rougher end to the war with Allied
troops being far less willing to take German prisoners.

Compared to other peace treaties of the previous 50 years (e.g. from
Prussia's victory over Austria forward to Romania and Brest-Litovsky
in 1918) Versailles just was not that harsh a treaty but it definitely
would have been rougher if mass use of poison gas against civilians
had become the new norm.

As a minimum French troops would have gone to the Rhine with no
intention of ever leaving. And if that had meant a breakdown of social
order and mass starvation of Germans, had they been gassed the French
would have been totally OK with that. I can think of few things that
would have permanently cemented the "Germans as Huns" mentality in
France and Britain.

Germany did all sorts of outrageous things in WW1 from 1914 onwards
particularly against the Belgians - I'm not aware of any mass roundup
and shooting of civilians in WW2 (which happened in 1914 when 6000
Belgian civilians were rounded up and shot in a single group) with the
obvious exception of Jews who felt into the hands of Einzatzgruppen SS
WHILE STILL IN THE FIELD (as opposed to as part of deportations "to
the east" which we all know what that meant)

But mass gassing of civilians by large artillery weapons would
definitely have polished the image of German troops as "Huns".
Byker
2019-08-27 12:48:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany did all sorts of outrageous things in WW1 from 1914 onwards
particularly against the Belgians
I guess they thought the Belgians would give them free passage on their way
to Paris. The fact that Belgium put up a fight threw a monkey wrench into
the workings of their all-important Schlieffen plan, and the Huns never got
over that...
The Horny Goat
2019-08-27 15:00:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Byker
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany did all sorts of outrageous things in WW1 from 1914 onwards
particularly against the Belgians
I guess they thought the Belgians would give them free passage on their way
to Paris. The fact that Belgium put up a fight threw a monkey wrench into
the workings of their all-important Schlieffen plan, and the Huns never got
over that...
I finally got a copy of Fritz Fischer's Germany's Aims in the First
World War from the library and am about 60-70 pages in
(Austria-Hungary has just declared war on Serbia).

Fascinating stuff and if the rest of it is up to the standard of what
I've read so far highly recommended.

So far it seems clear that Berlin was at LEAST as eager for war in
1914 as Vienna though was determined not to seem so.
Rich Rostrom
2019-08-31 22:44:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany did all sorts of outrageous things in WW1 from 1914 onwards
particularly against the Belgians - I'm not aware of any mass roundup
and shooting of civilians in WW2 (which happened in 1914 when 6000
Belgian civilians were rounded up and shot in a single group)...
Where did this happen? There were many mass shootings by the Germans
in 1914, but I never heard of one of this magnitude.
Post by The Horny Goat
...with the obvious exception of Jews who felt into the hands of
Einzatzgruppen SS WHILE STILL IN THE FIELD...
The Babi Yar massacre occurred 10 days after Kiev was occupied by
the Germans. And while Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C did
most of the killing, Ukrainian auxiliaries and Wehrmacht police
participated.

I have read that during the early part of BARBAROSSA, the Germans
captured a Soviet maternity hospital. The Germans decided they
wanted to use the hospital for German wounded, so they had all
the patients removed and "disposed of".

In March 1944, the Germans in Rome murdered 335 Italians in
reprisal for a partisan attack on an SS police detachment.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerd├ęs.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2019-09-01 17:41:27 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:44:20 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany did all sorts of outrageous things in WW1 from 1914 onwards
particularly against the Belgians - I'm not aware of any mass roundup
and shooting of civilians in WW2 (which happened in 1914 when 6000
Belgian civilians were rounded up and shot in a single group)...
Where did this happen? There were many mass shootings by the Germans
in 1914, but I never heard of one of this magnitude.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/11053962/The-city-that-turned-Germans-into-Huns-marks-100-years-since-it-was-set-ablaze.html

You're right - that was a total from Aug-Sept 1914 not a single
incident - I got it wrong.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
...with the obvious exception of Jews who felt into the hands of
Einzatzgruppen SS WHILE STILL IN THE FIELD...
The Babi Yar massacre occurred 10 days after Kiev was occupied by
the Germans. And while Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C did
most of the killing, Ukrainian auxiliaries and Wehrmacht police
participated.
By 'in the field' I meant 'not in camps' or neglect while in transport
or natural causes and was thinking specifically of events like Babi
Yar which was by no means an isolated occurance particularly in 1941.
Post by Rich Rostrom
I have read that during the early part of BARBAROSSA, the Germans
captured a Soviet maternity hospital. The Germans decided they
wanted to use the hospital for German wounded, so they had all
the patients removed and "disposed of".
Hadn't heard that one but that does seem in line with some of the
things done in the first 6 months of the invasion and was the sort of
thing that most drove the blood lust of the Red Army when on German
soil in 1944-45.

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