War Diaries Talk

C O gas

  • Stork by Stork

    I'm into chemistry, and the 11th day on this page says that "liberated C O gas" affected several men and killed a 2nd Lieut. The only reference I can find online about CO being used as a weapon was in Nazi extermination camps in WW2. Does anyone know more?


  • ral104 by ral104 moderator, scientist

    It seems that the carbon monoxide was released by mining - a great hazard for the men digging, but apparently also in this case for other men in the vicinity.


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    CO gas occurs in coal mines http://arlweb.msha.gov/Illness_Prevention/healthtopics/carbonmonoxide.htm and where this unit was, in the Loos sector, is--or was--a coal-mining region. (I don't know if there are still active coal mines there.) One of the causes of it in the mines is from explosions, which were occurring with the other type of mines both armies were using.

    The problem of CO in actual coal mines led to the practice of taking canaries into the mines with the idea that the canary, being so small, would succumb to poisonous gas in the area before the men did.