[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]
CHAPTER VIII. EQUIPMENT
Section VI. CHEMICAL WARFARE EQUIPMENT
3. War Gases
a. GENERAL. German war gases, generally speaking, have retained their
b. NITROGEN MUSTARDS. In addition to the more or less standard agents, there is documentary evidence to show that the Germans possess a nearly odorless gas designated as "Green Band I." It is only one of several gases with like characteristics that may be referred to as "nitrogen mustards."
Generally speaking, the nitrogen mustards are either liquids or low-melting solids, pale yellow to colorless, and are practically odorless. Their volatility varies, some being less volatile than mustard gas and some more volatile. They are fairly readily hydrolyzed by water, but the products of such hydrolysis are toxic.
Nitrogen mustard gas has a low freezing point. and might, therefore, be used for high-altitude bombing or spray (if thickened). It may be three or four times as volatile as mustard gas and therefore less persistent. Since higher concentrations are possible, it is more dangerous as a gas, though not so powerful in its vesicant effect. It would require special stabilization if used in hot climates.
The principal danger from the nitrogen mustards lies in the fact that their vapors
are not easily detected by smell. Munitions which contain these gases and have a
high bursting charge (20 to 30 per cent HE) are indistinguishable from HE on
detonation. Under such conditions, reliance must be placed on the usual U.S. detector
methods: that is, detector paint or paper and the vapor detector kit,
Nitrogen mustard is likely to be used to achieve surprise by being included in a normal HE bombardment in order to capture key positions. It is also possible that this gas would be used as a spray from airplanes, or in aerial bombs.
(Mixtures of mustard gas and Lewisite may be used in cold weather to reduce the
freezing point. A
(There have been frequent references to mixtures of these choking gases.)
(Neither of these gases was used by the Germans in the last war. They relied upon a number of bromine compounds, which are less powerful than the two substances listed. It is thought that Germany attaches little importance to tear gases alone, but the possible use of other gases camouflaged by tear gases must not be overlooked.)
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