a. Axis Symbols Names and Markings
The accompanying chart is compiled primarily for quick comparison of
German, Italian, and Japanese names and markings with those of the
United States Army.
By following a chemical or common name from left to right one can easily
obtain the Axis equivalent. Should an Axis shell marking or name be known, the
American or British equivalent may be found easily.
Identifying odors, physiological effects and tactical classification are also shown.
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b. All Known Gases are Not Shown
Some of the British and American "Secret" or experimental gases are
not shown. Likewise, Axis "Secret" or "Rumor" gases are not included. Twenty-nine
gases are now symbolized by the British and American authorities, although
this chart identifies only twenty-three due to its restricted classification.
c. German Markings
The Germans may use the word cross or band interchangeably. Recent
reports state that they have concluded that a band around a gas shell is easier to
apply than a stencilled cross such as they used in the first World War. On this
chart a "Gelbkreuz" (yellow cross) gas would appear as a "yellow band" marking.
d. Japanese Markings
Little is known about Japanese gas shells. Although Chinese reports claim
that many have been captured, none have been examined in this office.
It has been confirmed however, that Japanese gas shells have been found, and
that all have had a blue and red band on their nose.
e. French Markings
The French gases are listed solely because it is generally believed that
the Germans have acquired the complete stock of French chemical munitions. The
numbers accompanying the names have been known to supplant the French
name as a shell marking. These are code numbers for the gas.
f. British and American Symbols (Abbreviations) Identical
The British and American authorities have recently adopted the same
symbols for the common war gases. The standardized symbols (or abbreviations) are
used in the chart.
The band markings of the American and British armies remain different
and the British tie up band markings, code letters and numbers with their various
gases. These, however, are secret, and cannot be included in this chart. The
American band markings are shown for comparison with the known Axis markings.
Information on all markings is scarce due to the fact that gas has not been
used yet by the Germans or Italians. Drastic changes in this chart probably will
be required when and if gas warfare breaks out. It is more than likely, if gas is
used by the enemy, that one or more of the gases shown on the accompanying
chart will be employed. Officers in the field, regardless of the branch of service
to which they may be attached, should always note very carefully any shell
markings and color bands. This information with their reports should be forwarded
promptly together with a complete description of the ammunition. In this way
locations and date of use can be identified with all field laboratory reports.
*Prepared by the Office of the Chief of Chemical Warfare Service. The accompanying
chart does not include the chemical name and formula for each gas.