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The Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War by Victor LeFebure

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of view, as the troops could only make a limited use of it owing
to the difficulty of breathing or suffocation which it occasioned."

The reference to the withdrawal of troops is a picturesque misrepresentation.
The relative inefficiency of the German shell rendered this unnecessary.
In addition, as Captain Geyer explains, our troops were specially protected
in anticipation of the use of particulate clouds. An examination of our
protective device by the Germans obviously led them to believe that resistance
to breathing was too great for the protective appliance to be practicable.
But here the exceptional gas discipline of the British troops
became effective. There is no doubt that the new mask was worn just
as constantly and satisfactorily as the old. Captain Geyer's remarks are
also interesting from a point of view to which we have already referred:
they show how much this question of resistance to breathing was exercising
the minds of those responsible for German protection.

"Particulate" Clouds.--The principle of particulate clouds was not
entirely new, both sides having used smoke combined with lethal
gases with the object of forcing the removal of the respirator.
It was thought that the particulate form of the smoke
would penetrate a respirator designed purely to hold up
vapours and gases. The reasoning was perfectly sound.
It was only a question of using the right smoke in the right way.
There were good grounds to believe that such substances would
penetrate the respirator, and either produce a casualty or compel
the removal of the respirator by the paroxysms produced, to allow
some lethal gas to complete the work on the unprotected soldier.
Fortunately for us, these objectives were not attained, but this
was rather due to some hitch or miscalculation in the German
preparations than to any inherent impossibility.

After this period, although chemical warfare became increasingly
an organic part of German (and Allied) operations, yet there is no
serious field evidence of a deliberate attempt at the gas initiative.
It must be remembered, however, that gas figured very largely indeed
in the March, 1918, attempt, by Germany, to regain the general initiative.
It is stated authoritatively, for example, that in July, 1918,
the German Divisional Ammunition Dump contained normally 50 per cent.
of gas shell and, in the preparation, in May, 1918, for German attacks
on the Aisne, artillery programmes included as much as 80 per cent.
gas shell for certain objectives.

Potential Production and Peace.--Enough has been said to show
the general nature of the chemical warfare struggle.
The question of the chemical initiative is vital at the commencement
of hostilities. Unless, then, we completely rule out any possibility
whatever of a future war, it is vital for that occasion.
We have indicated sufficiently clearly the factors upon
which such initiative depends, to show the critical importance
of manufacturing capacity, and protective preparedness.

A further quotation from Schwarte's book is very much to the point.
It tells us:

"Whilst on our side only a few gases were introduced, but with successful
results, the use of gas by the enemy presents quite another picture.
We know of no less than twenty-five gases used by the enemy, and of fifteen
types of gas projectile used by the French alone, and we know, from `blind'
(dud) shells which have been found, what they contain. The only
effective gases amongst them were phosgene and dichlorodiethyl sulphide.
The other substances are harmless preparations, used most probably
for purposes of camouflage, a method highly esteemed by the enemy,
but which did not enter into the question with us, owing to the capacity
of our chemical industry for the production of effective materials."

This is true to a considerable extent. Our dependence on improvised
and relatively inefficient production imposed conditions upon
Allied policy, whereas, in Germany, they had but to command
a flexible and highly efficient producing machine.

The world movement towards disarmament will hardly countenance
the maintenance of permanent chemical arsenals. In the face of war
experience and further research developments the laborious war improvisation
of these arsenals will not save us as it did in the last struggle.
Any nation devoid of the means of production invites enemy chemical
aggression and is helpless against it. This, and the need to keep
abreast of chemical warfare development--particularly in protection--
are the chief lessons of the struggle for the chemical initiative.



Critical Importance of Production.--Our analysis of the struggle
for the initiative reveals the critical importance of production.
In the chemical more than in any other form of warfare,
production has a tactical and strategic importance and functions
as an organic part of the offensive scheme. A tendency in modern
war is to displace the incidence of initiative towards the rear.
Staffs cannot leave the discoveries of the technical
workshop or scientific laboratory out of their calculations,
for their sudden introduction into a campaign may have
more influence on its result than the massing of a million
men with their arms and equipment for a surprise assault.
The use of a new war device may shake the opposing formations
more than the most cunningly devised attack of this sort.

When, after the first brilliant assault on the Somme on July 1st, we began to
lose men, material, and the initiative, in an endless series of local attacks,
we were even then regaining it by the home development of the tank.
Even before the colossal German effort was frustrated by the first Marne
battle and the development of trench warfare, the German laboratories
were within an ace of regaining the initiative by their work on cloud gas.
After the lull in their gas attacks, when the Germans sought to gain
the initiative and a decision by the use of phosgene, the quiet work
of our defensive organisations at home had completely countered
the move weeks before.

But in all these cases the counter idea could not become effective
without large-scale production. This was absolutely fundamental.
Had we taken six years to produce the first type of tank, had the Germans
failed to manufacture mustard gas within a period of years instead of
succeeding in weeks, and had the box respirator taken longer to produce,
all the brilliant thinking and research underlying these developments
would have had practically no influence on the campaign, for they would
have had no incidence upon it. We could go on multiplying examples.
But what is the conclusion?

From this rapid development of methods a new principle emerges.
The initiative no longer remains the sole property of the staffs,
unless we enlarge the staff conception. Vital moves can be
engineered from a point very remote in organisation and distance
from the G.H.Q. of armies in the field. But there is a critical
step between the invention and its effect on military initiative.
This is production, which for these newer methods becomes an organic
part of the campaign.

But the future is our chief preoccupation. What would be
the supreme characteristics of the early stages of a future war?
It would be distinguished by attempts of belligerents to win immediate
and decisive success by large scale use of various types of surprise.
Three factors would be pre-eminent, the nature of the idea or invention,
the magnitude on which it is employed, and its actual time of incidence,
that is, the delay between the actual declaration of war and its use.
Now the invention is of no use whatever without the last two factors,
which are entirely dependent on production. When, in 1917,
the Allied staffs pressed repeatedly for gases with which to
reply to German Yellow Cross, their urgent representations met
with no satisfactory response until nearly a year had elapsed.
This was not due to lack of invention, for we had simply to copy
the German discovery. Failure to meet the crying demands of the Front
was due to delay in production.

Any eventual chemical surprise will, under genuine conditions
of disarmament, depend on peace industry, for no such conditions
will tolerate the existence of huge military arensals.
We have already indicated the type of peace-time industry
_par excellence_, which can rapidly and silently mobilise for war.
It is the organic chemical industry. Therefore, whatever the war may
have taught us as to the value of chemical industry, its importance
from the point of view of a future war is magnified many times.
The surprise factor is responsible. The next war will only
commence once, however long it may drag on, and it is to the start
that all efforts of a nation planning war will be directed.
It is, therefore, of importance to examine in detail the development
of chemical production during the recent war.

A close examination is of more than historical significance, and should
provide answers to certain vital questions. German chemical industry was the
critical factor in this new method of war which almost led to our downfall.
How did the activities of this industry compare with our own production?
To this an answer is attempted below, but graver questions follow.
Was our inferior position due to more than a combination of normal
economic conditions, and were we the victims of a considered policy?
If so, who directed it, and when did it first give evidence of activity?
An answer to these questions will be attempted in a later chapter.

Significance of the German Dye Industry.--At the end of 1914 the nation began
to realise what it meant to be at the mercy of the German dye monopoly.
Apart from the immediate economic war disadvantages, the variety and sinister
peace ramifications of this monopoly had not been clearly revealed.
Mr. Runciman, then President of the Board of Trade, stated with regard
to the dye industry: "The inquiries of the Government have led them
to the conclusion that the excessive dependence of this country on a single
foreign country for materials of such vital importance to the industry
in which millions of our workpeople were employed, constitutes a permanent
danger which can only be remedied by a combined national effort on a scale
which requires and justifies an exceptional measure of State encouragement."
Measures were defined later.

In the debate in the House of Commons in February, 1915, on the
aniline dye industry, a member prominent in the discussion,
referring to "taking sides on the question of Free Trade," stated that,
"It was a great pity that this should occur when the attention of
the House is occupied with regard to MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE WAR,"
and proceeded to draw a comparison between the national
importance of the manufacture of dyes and that of lead pencils.
Fortunately he prefaced his remarks by explaining his ignorance
of the "technical matters involved in this aniline dye industry."
These are two out of many references to the pressure due to
the absence of German dyes, which illustrate the purely economic
grounds on which the issue was being discussed, on the one hand,
and reveal the prevailing ignorance of its importance on the other.

Exactly one month later came the first German gas shock.
Such statements as the above tempt us to ask who, at this time,
realised the common source of the direct military
and indirect economic attack. It can hardly be doubted
that the existence of the German dye factories was largely
responsible for the first German use of gas on the front.
We have already seen how, from the first month of the war,
the chemical weapon was the subject of definite research.
Falkenhayn leaves us in no doubt as to the chief factor
which finally determined its use. Referring to difficulties
of production, he says, "Only those who held responsible posts
in the German G.H.Q. in the winter of 1914-15 . . . can form any
estimate of the difficulty which had to be overcome at that time.
The adjustment of science and engineering . . . took place
almost noiselessly, so that they were accomplished before
the enemy quite knew what was happening. Particular stress
was laid upon the promotion of the production of munitions . . .
as well as the development of gas as a means of warfare."
Referring to protective methods of trench warfare, he continues,
"Where one party had gained time . . . the ordinary methods of attack
often failed completely. A weapon had, therefore, to be found
which was superior to them but which would not excessively tax
the limited capacity of German war industry in its production.
Such a weapon existed in gas."

The Germans had themselves shown us where this production occurred,
and Ludendorff supplements our information by telling us how he discussed
the supply of war material with Herr Duisburg and Herr Krupp von Bohlen
in Halbach, "whom I had asked to join the train" in the autumn of 1916.
The former was the Chairman of the I.G., the great dye combine.

Those producing a new weapon of war must always consider the
possibilities possessed by their opponents to exploit the same weapon
after the first shock. For the Germans the answer was obvious.
The Allies would be held at a material disadvantage for months,
if not years. Without the means of production available in Germany,
we are not at all, convinced that the gas experiment would have been made,
and had it not been made, and its formidable success revealed,
Germany's hesitation to use this new weapon would probably have
carried the day. This, at least, is the most generous point of view.
In other words, the German poison gas experiment owed a large part
of its initial momentum to ease of production by a monopoly.
The combination of this factor with the willingness to use gas led
to the great experiment. The future may again provide this combination,
unless the monopoly is removed.

Following up this line of thought, we can see how tempting was the German
course of action. Falkenhayn has told us what a violent strain was imposed
upon Germany by the stabilisation of the Western Front early in 1915.
The tension between the Great General Headquarters and the Home Government
was already in evidence, and would have caused difficulty in attaining
suitable home and liaison organisations, in particular with regard
to supply. We can well understand this when we remember the drastic
changes which occurred in our own ministries and departments.
But what organisation was required for chemical warfare supply?
Very little! Quoting from the report of the Hartley Mission to the chemical
factories in the occupied zone, we know that when the Government wished
to produce a new gas "a conference with the various firms was held
at Berlin to determine how manufacture should be subdivided in order
to use the existing plant to the best advantage." The firms referred
to were the constituent members of the highly organised I.G. There
was no need to create a clumsy and complicated organisation with an
efficient one existing in the I.G. ready to meet the Government demands.
The path could not have been smoother. Ludendorff states in his memoirs
that the Hindenburg programme made a special feature of gas production.
Increased supply of explosives was also provided for. He says:
"We aimed at approximately doubling the previous production." And again:
"Gas production, too, had to keep pace with the increased output
of ammunition. The discharge of gas from cylinders was used less and less.
The use of gas shells increased correspondingly." This programme represented
a determined effort to speed up munitions production in the autumn of 1916.
It included not only gas but explosives, both of which could be supplied
by the I.G. Explosives demanded oleum, nitric acid, and nitrating plants,
which already existed, standardised, in the factories of the dye combine.
The unusual speed with which standard dye-producing plant was converted
for the production of explosives is instanced in the operation
of a T.N.T. plant at Leverkusen, producing 250 tons per month.
The conversion only took six weeks. The factories of the I.G. supplied
a considerable proportion of the high explosives used by Germany.

In the field of chemical warfare the relationship between war and peace
production was even more intimate. Chemical warfare products are
closely allied and in some cases almost identical with the finished
organic chemicals and intermediates produced by the dye industry.
Therefore, in most cases, even when the suggestion of the new chemical
may come from a research organisation entirely apart from the dye
research laboratories, the products fall automatically into the class
handled by the dye industry.

Is there any doubt that the I.G. was a terribly effective arsenal for the mass
production of the older war chemicals, explosives, and the newer types,
poison gases? Is there even a shadow of exaggeration in our claims?
There may be those who would see a speedy resumption of friendship with
Germany at all costs, regardless of the honourable settling of her debts,
regardless of her disarmament and due reparation for wrongs committed.
Can even such concoct material to whitewash the military front of the I.G.? If
they would, they must explain away these facts.

The plants of the I.G. produced more than two thousand tons
of explosives per week, at their average pre-war rate.
This is an enormous quantity. How can we best visualise it?
In view of the chapters on Disarmament which follow,
we will use the following comparison. The Treaty of Versailles
allows Germany to hold a stock of about half a million shell
of different stated calibres. How much explosive will these
shell require? They could be filled by less than two days'
explosives production of the I.G. at its average war rate.
Between two and three million shell could be filled by
the result of a week's production in this organisation.
Further, the average rate of poison gas production within
the I.G. was at least three thousand tons per month,
sufficient to fill more than two million shell of Treaty calibres.
Unless drastic action has been taken, the bulk of this
capacity will remain, and Germany will be able to produce
enough poison gas in a week to fill the Treaty stock of shell;
this in a country where the manufacture and use of such substances
are specially prohibited.

It is appropriate at this stage to describe as briefly as possible
the origin and composition of this great German combination,
the Interessen Gemeinschaft, known as the I.G. There is no need
to go into the gradual self-neglect, and the eventual rooting
out by Germany, of the dye-producing industry in other countries,
notably England, France, and America.

The Interessen Gemeinschaft.--By the end of the nineteenth century
the manufacture of dyes on a large scale was concentrated almost
exclusively in six great firms. These were the Badische Anilin
und Soda Fabrik, Ludwigshafen on the Rhine, known as the Badische;
the Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer, & Co., in Leverkusen,
known as Bayer; Aktien-Gesellschaft fur Anilin-Fabrikation
in Berlin; Farbwerke vorm. Meister Lucius & Bruning in Hochst am Main,
referred to as Hochst; Leopold Cassella G.m.b.H. in Frankfort;
and Kalle & Co., Aktien-Gesellschaft in Biebrich.

Each of these six great companies had attained enormous
proportions long before the war. Only two other concerns
had carried on manufacture on a comparable scale. These were
the Chemische Fabrik Greisheim-Elektron of Frankfort A.M.,
a company which has absorbed a number of smaller manufacturers,
and the Chemische Fabriken vormals Weiler-ter Meer, Uerdingen.

The position of all these establishments, with one single exception,
along the Rhine and its tributaries is well known.
Their growth has been illustrated in their own prospectuses.
Hochst was organised in 1863 and started with five workmen.
In 1912 it employed 7680 workmen, 374 foremen, 307 academically
trained chemists, and 74 highly qualified engineers.
The works of the Badische, which was organised in 1865, covered,
in 1914, 500 acres, with a water front of a mile and half on
the Rhine. There were 100 acres of buildings, 11,000 workmen,
and the company was capitalised at fifty-four million marks.
The establishment of Bayer was on a scale entirely comparable.
Quoting from an official American report,[1] "Griesheim Elektron,
prior to the war, had enormous works chiefly devoted to the
manufacture of electrolytic chemicals and became an important
factor in the dyestuff business only within recent years, when by
absorption of the Oehler Works and the Chemikalien Werke Griesheim,
its colour production reached a scale approaching that of the
larger houses." This move on the part of the Griesheim Elektron
is interesting as an example of the general tendency which has
characterised the development of the German dye industry.
This firm, producing inorganic materials and intermediates,
absorbed the Oehler Works in order to find an independent outlet
for its intermediate products, thus becoming directly interested
in dyestuffs production. This move towards independence in
the whole range of products involved is referred to elsewhere,
owing to the manner in which it simplified German production
for chemical warfare.

Combination, however, did not cease in the creation
of these enormous establishments. The cartel fever raged
here as in other German industries. By 1904 two immense
combinations had been formed in the dyestuff industry.
One of these comprised Bayer, Badische, and Berlin;
the other Hochst, Cassella, and Kalle. "By pooling profits,
by so arranging capitalisation that each company held stock in
the other companies of its own cartel, and by other familiar means,
the risks incident to the enormous expansion of the business
and the immense increases of export trade were minimised.
The centripetal tendency, however, did not stop here.
In 1916, the two pre-existing cartels were combined with
Griesheim Elektron, Weilerter Meer, and various smaller
companies in one gigantic cartel, representing a nationalisation
of the entire German dye and pharmaceutical industry."
The combination was extremely close. Profits of the companies
were pooled, and after being ascertained each year on common
principles were divided according to agreed percentages.
Each factory maintained an independent administration, but they
kept each other informed as to processes and experiences.
"There was also an agreement that in order to circumvent tariff
obstacles in other countries materials were to he produced
outside of Germany by common action and at common expense
whenever and wherever desirable.

[1] Alien Property Custodian's Report, 1919.

"At the time of the formation of this enormous organisation
the capitalisation of each of the principal component
companies was largely increased. Hochst, Badische, and Bayer
each increased their capitalisation by 36,000,000 marks,
bringing the capital of each up to 90,000,000 marks."
"Berlin increased its capital from 19,800,000 to 33,000,000 marks.
Other increases brought the total nominal capital of the group
to over 383,000,000 marks. For many years a large part of
the enormous profits of these concerns has been put back into
the works with the result indicated by the stock quotations.
The real capitalisation is thus much greater than this nominal figure.
In fact, it is estimated that the actual investment in the works
comprising the cartel is not less than $400,000,000. It cannot
be doubted that this enormous engine of commercial warfare has
been created expressly for the expected war after the war,
and that it is intended to undertake still more efficiently
and on a larger scale the various methods by which German
attacks upon all competition were carried on."

Two additional features must be indicated. A policy to
which we have referred was most actively followed, aiming at
complete independence and self-sufficiency in all matters
relevant to production, especially regarding raw materials.
We mention later how the war has strengthened the strong prewar
position of the I.G. in heavy chemicals needed as raw materials
for the intermediates and finished dyes.

Recent information reveals a further widening of their basis of operation,
including a strong hold on the electro-chemical industry and on the new
synthetic processes from carbide, for acetic acid and the other products
normally obtained by wood distillation. Again, the policy of the I.G.
appears to have moved towards more complete unity since the war.
Exchanges of directing personnel and of capital amongst the branches have
been recorded for which the term "cartel" is no longer a fair description.
In addition, considerable increases in capital have occurred which not only
reveal the vision and activity of the I.G. but which indicate its close
contact with the German Government. With such an organisation in existence
and with the complete liaison which had developed between the directors
and the German Government for other purposes than chemical warfare,
and in agreement with the paternal policy adopted by the latter towards
this chemical industry, production became simplicity itself.

War Production by the I.G.--Let us, therefore, examine in some detail
the actual production of war gases and chemicals by the I.G. In order
to obtain an idea regarding case of production, we will later make
a comparison with the magnitude and rapidity of that of the Allies.

From the point of view of this statement, there are two main classes
of production, that in which the majority of the steps involved
were actual processes employed for the manufacture of some dye,
pharmaceutical or other chemical product, and, in the second place,
that in which no such coincidence occurred, but in which the general
technique developed, and the varieties of existing plant covered
the needs of the case. Without stretching the point, every war
chemical employed came easily under one of these two categories.
In order to assist the less technical reader, we will consider
the production of the chief war chemicals in the order in which they
appeared against us on the front.

_Chlorine_.--This important raw material, used in a variety
of operations, notably for the production of indigo and sulphur black,
two highly important dyes, was produced along the Rhine
before the war to the extent of nearly forty tons a day.
The only serious expansion required for war was an increase of already
existing plant at the large factory of Ludwigshaven. The following
table of production illustrates the point:

1914 1918
Leverkusen 20 20
Hochst 4 8
Ludwigshafen 13 35
---- ----
Total 37 63

Chlorine was important, nor only as a raw material for most of the known
chemical warfare products, but also, in the liquid form, for cloud attack.
Owing to the development of protection, the use of liquid chlorine
for the latter purpose became obsolete.

_Phosgene_.--This was produced in considerable quantity
before the war at Leverkusen and Ludwigshafen, leading to many
exceedingly important dyes, amongst the most commonly used at
present being the brilliant acid fast cotton scarlets so largely
used in England. More expansion of plant was necessitated.
At Leverkusen the existing plant can produce at least thirty tons
a month, and we learn "the plant remains intact ready for use."
At Ludwigshafen the capacity was considerably higher, amounting to
600 tons per month. As production was commenced before the war,
there were no difficulties in developing the process,
expansion alone being necessary.

_Xylyl Bromide_.--This was one of the early lachrymators, and was produced
at Leverkusen in a plant with a maximum monthly output of sixty tons.
Production began, according to a statement on the works, in March, 1915.
Its case can be judged from the fact that this compound was used almost
as soon as the first chlorine cloud attack at Ypres.

The Germans undoubtedly attached considerable importance to their
brominated lachrymators. In this connection their persistent
efforts to retain the bromine monopoly with their Stassfurt product
and to crush the American industry before the war are significant.
The success of these efforts certainly placed us in a difficult
situation during the war, both with regard to production of
drugs and lachrymators.

German bromine was associated with potash in the Stassfurt mineral deposits,
whereas the American product was produced from numerous salt springs
and rock salt mines. Although Germany had not succeeded in crushing
the American industry, yet the outbreak of war found her in a
predominant position, for her two chief opponents, France and England,
were cut off from their supplies, which were German; and American production
was of little use, owing to the great excess of demand over supply,
and the manipulation of output by German agents in America. A possible
source of bromine existed in the French Tunisian salt lagoons,
whose pre-war exploitation had been considered by an Austrian combination.
The French wisely developed a Tunisian bromine industry sufficient for their
own needs, and, on different occasions, supplied us with small quantities.
But the development of such an enterprise in time of war was
a severe handicap.

_Diphosgene or Trichlormethyl Chloroformate_.--This substance was toxic,
a lachrymator, and slightly persistent. It attained a maximum
monthly Output Of 300 tons at Leverkusen, and about 250 tons
at Hochst. This was not a simple compound to make, and had no direct
relationship with the stable product of the peace-time industry.
At the same time, it provides an example of the way in which general technique
developed by the industry was rapidly used to master the new process.
In particular their method of lining reaction vessels was of value here.
The reaction occurs in two stages by the production of methyl formate
and its subsequent chlorination. The methyl-formate plant was part
of an existing installation, but the chlorination and distillation
plant were specially installed.

_Chlorpicrin_.--This was mixed with diphosgene and used
in the familiar Green Cross shell. The production was very
readily mastered and attained the rate of 200 tons per month.
Picric acid, chlorine, and lime were required, all three
being normal raw materials or products of the industry.
At Hochst no new plant was installed, the manufacture being
carried out in the synthetic indigo plant.

_Phenylcarbylamine Chloride_.--This was used in German chemical shell,
and was not particularly effective against us, although produced in large
quantities by the Germans, in vessels used in peace time for a very
common intermediate, monochlorbenzene. The ease of production of this
substance may account for its use in large quantities by the Germans,
in order to increase their gas shell programme.

_Mustard Gas or Dichlordiethyl Sulphide_.--This was prepared
in four stages:

(1) Preparation of Ethylene--by heating alcohol with an aluminium
oxide catalyst at 400'0 C.

(2) Preparation of Ethylene-chlor-hydrin, by passing ethylene
and carbon dioxide into a 10 per cent. solution of bleaching
powder at a temperature below zero centigrade, and subsequent
concentration of the product to a 20 per cent. solution.

(3) Conversion of the chlor-hydrin into thiodiglycol by treatment
with sodium sulphide.

(4) Conversion of the thiodiglycol into mustard gas
(dichlordiethyl-sulphide), using gaseous hydrochloric acid.

The thiodiglycol was produced at Ludwigshafen and provides one
of the best examples of the adaptation of the German dye works
for the purpose of producing war chemical. Technically, ethylene is
a fairly difficult gas to produce in large quantities, but, for the
Ludwigshafen works, these difficulties were a thing of the past.
There were twelve big units before the war, and, by the time
of the Armistice, these had been increased to seventy-two
in connection with mustard gas manufacture. In a similar way,
the number of the units for chlorhydrin, the next step, was increased
from three to eighteen. These two processes had all been worked
out very thoroughly in connection with the production of indigo.
These new plants were identical with the peace-time units.
The expansion was a mere question of repetition requiring no
new designs or experiments and risking no failure or delay.
Success was assured. The last step, the production of thiodiglycol,
occurred in the causticising house, to which no substantial
alterations or additions appear to have been made for the purpose.
As sodium sulphide is used in large quantities as a raw material
in the dye industry, and was already produced within the I.G.,
no difficulty was presented in connection with its supply.

The thiodiglycol was forwarded to two other factories, one of which
was Leverkusen, where 300 tons of mustard gas were produced monthly.
The reaction between thiodiglycol and hydrochloric acid was one which
required very considerable care. At one stage of the war the Allies viewed
with much misgiving the possibility of having to adopt this method.
But the technique of the German dye industry solved this as satisfactorily
and as steadily as other chemical warfare problems, bringing its technical
experience to bear on the different difficulties involved.

_Diphenychlorarsine_.--This was the earliest and main constituent
of the familiar Blue Cross shell. It was prepared in four stages:

(1) The preparation of phenyl arsinic acid.

(2) The conversion of the above to phenyl arsenious oxide.

(3) The conversion of the latter into diphenyl arsinic acid.

(4) The conversion of the latter into diphenyl-chlor-arsine.

This is another example of a highly complicated product
which might have presented great difficulties of production,
but the problem of whose manufacture was solved, almost automatically,
by the German organisation.

The first step, that of the manufacture of phenyl arsinic acid,
was carried out at Ludwigshafen in one of the existing azo dye
sheds without any alteration of plant, just as a new azo dye
might have been produced in the same shed. It is believed
that another dye factory also produced this substance.
At Ludwigshafen the conversion to diphenyl arsinic acid occurred.
This was again carried out in the azo colour shed, with no
more modification than that involved in passing, from one azo
dye to another.

This chemical mobilisation of a huge dye unit was, and could still be,
practically invisible in operation. Not only was the process practically
the same as azo dye production, but, as the compounds were not particularly
poisonous in the intermediate stages, there was no risk to the workers,
and no need to violate secrecy by indicating special precautions.

The final stage, the preparation of diphenylchlorarsine,
the actual Blue Cross shell constituent, occurred at Hochst,
which also carried out the first three stages, already outlined
as occurring at Ludwigshafen and Leverkusen. The last stage
was a simple one and was carried out in plant and buildings
previously used for peace purposes.

The other substances employed provide further examples of this ease
of production. Ethyl-dichlor-arsine was produced in homogeneously
lead-lined vessels, identical with those used for diphosgene.
Dichlor-methyl-ether presented difficulties which were solved
by applying the German method of using tiled vessels.

The part played by the I.G. in the German chemical warfare organisation
has already been outlined, and we have seen how the German Government was
content simply to place its demands before the directors of the dye combine.
The latter were left to choose the process and exploit it by making the best
use of their organisation, which was done after reviewing the plant at their
disposal in the different branches. An interesting feature of the production
of war chemicals by the I.G. is thus revealed by examining the actual locality
of the separate operations leading to any one of the individual poison gases.
The attached table shows us how the production of any particular war chemical
involved a number of stages, each of which occurred in a different factory.
The directors of the I.G. simply chose a particular plant in a particular
factory which was most suited for the operation concerned. They

{The table (spread over pages 162-163) are "raw OCR" feed! NEEDS FIXED!!!}


Phenyl Carbylamine 1. Aniline Condensation of aniline Kalle Chloride 2.
Chlorine with carbon bisul 3. Caustic phide to phenyldithio soda carbamic
acid Mustard Gas 1. Carbon Preparation of Ethyl-Ludwigs dioxide lene
from Alcohol hafen 2. Bleaching

powder 3. Sodium

sulphide 4. Hydro chloric

acid Diphenylchlorarsine I. Aniline Conversion of Diazo- Ludwigs 2.
Sodium benzene to Phenylar- hafen

nitrite sinic acid Kalle 3. Sodium Hochst

bisulphite 4. Sodium

hydrate 5. Sulphur

dioxide 6. Hydro chloric acid Ethyl -dichl or a rsine 1.
Ethyl Production of Ethylar-Ludwigs chloride sinic acid from
Ethyl hafen 2. Caustic chloride

soda 3. Sulphur

dioxide 4. Hydro chloric

acid gas 5. Iodine Sym-dichlor-methyl- I. Chlorsul- Production
of Formal- Mainz

ether phonic dehyde from Methyl116chst

acid alcohol

Z. Sulphuric

acid 162

Review of Production



Conversion of Kalle Chlorination of Hochst

Phenyidithio- Phenyl Mus carbamic acid tard Oil giving

to Phenyl Mus- Phenyl Carby tard Oil by lamine Chlo zinc chloride ride
Conversion of Lud- Conversion of Lud- Conversion of Lever Ethylene
into wigs- Chlorhydrin wigs- Thiodiglycol kusen

Ethylene hafen to Thio-di- hafen to Mustard

Chlorhydrin glycol Gas

Reduction of Lever- Conversion to Lever- Reduction of A.G.F.A. Phenyl arjinic
kusen Diphenylar- kusen Diphenylar- Hochst acid to Phenyl and sinic acid
by and sinic acid to arsenious oxide Hochst treatment Hijchst Diphenyl:

with Diazo chlor-arsine

benzene by Sulphur

dioxide in

HCl solution

Reduction of Lud- Conversion of W)chst

Ethyl arsinic wigs- Ethyl arseni acid to Ethyl hafen ous Oxide to

arsenious oxide Ethyl dichlor by sulphur arsine by

dioxide HCl and iodine Conversion of H8chst

paraformalde hyde to sym

dichlor methyl

ether by means

of chlorsul phonic acid {END OF TABLE NEEDING FIXED!} aimed at
the minimum conversion, and in a number of cases none was required.
The above analysis can leave us with no doubt in our minds that
the organic chemical industry is the logical place for efficient
chemical warfare production. It cannot leave us unconvinced as to
the vital importance of the dye industry in national defence.

Allied Difficulties.--Our own production was nothing but a
series of slow and relatively inefficient improvisations.
We have already referred to the fluctuations in chemical
warfare organisation for research and supply during the war.
These added to the difficulties of the supply department,
just as they did to its complement, the research department.
Only great patriotic endeavour could have made possible
the relative success achieved, not only by the departments,
but in particular by the firms with whom they were called
upon to co-ordinate.

We wanted mustard gas, and realised its need in July, 1917.
Research work began almost from that date, yet successful large scale
production did not materialise in England until more than a year later.
We must admit, however, that the French were in a position to use
their product on the front in July, 1918. Let us examine some
of our difficulties.

The first efforts were directed towards the process by which,
as we eventually ascertained, the Germans produced the whole
of their mustard gas. The actual chemical laboratory details
of the process presented no serious obstacle, but difficulties
multiplied as soon as we attempted large scale work.
We wanted ethylene-monochlor-hydrin. Some work had been done on this
during the war for the National Health Insurance Commissioners
in connection with the production of novocain. Half scale
work had occurred at the works of a Midland chemical firm,
and experience so gained was freely offered and used
in a scheme for the large scale production of mustard gas
by the co-operation of a number of big chemical manufacturers.
Pressing requests for the material were continually coming from
G.H.Q., the programmes outlined being more and more ambitious.
We had to reproduce the result of years of German effort spent
in developing their monochlor-hydrin process for indigo.
As a consequence, large sums of money were expended on the process,
although it never eventually operated. Its difficulties,
and other reasons, led us to research on other and more
direct methods which the French were also investigating.
The successful outcome of this early research was due, in particular,
to Sir William Pope and those associated with him in the work.
The process was so promising that the long and cumbersome chlor-hydrin
method was abandoned. As a result our five or six months'
work on the German method meant so much time lost.
The new direct, sulphur monochloride method was taken up
actively and several private firms attempted to develop
the small scale manufacture. The work was dangerous.
Lack of that highly developed organic chemical technique,
which was practically a German monopoly, rendered the task much
more dangerous than it would have been if undertaken by one
of the I.G. factories.

The French, realising the importance of the new methods,
spared nothing in their attempts to develop them.
Their casualties multiplied at the works, but the only reply was
to put the factories concerned under the same regime as the front,
and the staffs were strengthened by well-chosen military personnel.
The French realised the nature of their task, and organised
for it. When the difficulties of production were pointed
out in August, 1917, in the British Ministry of Munitions,
reports were instanced that the Germans had used forced labour.
The French in their production at Rousillon, on the Rhone,
employed volunteer German prisoners. It was a curious
contrast to see mingling together amongst the producing plants
representatives of the American, Italian, and British Missions,
with French officers, French technical men, and German prisoners.
The latter appeared to be perfectly satisfied in their work.
They were used for certain limited purposes, such as handling
raw materials, and were not, as a rule, exposed to the dangerous
operations against which the French struggled so heroically
and successfully. It was as though a small section of the front
had been transferred to the heart of France. We saw the minister
visiting a factory and pinning the Legion of Honour on to
the breast of a worker blinded by yperite. We saw messages
of congratulation from the front to the factories themselves.
The morale was wonderful. As a result, the French mastered
the technical difficulties of mustard gas production and shell
filling by June, 1918. They shared information with us, but the race
had started neck and neck, and it was impossible to discard
completely the large plants to which we were already committed.
Without disparaging our own efforts, we must pay a tribute to the
achievement of the French yperite producing and filling factories.
It is impossible to give personal credit in this matter without
going beyond our scope, and we can only draw general comparisons.
But we must draw attention to the following. The German factories
passed with ease to mustard gas production by a process which,
compared with the final Allied method, was clumsy and complicated,
but which suited their pre-war plant. Their policy was,
therefore, sound from the point of view of the campaign.
The Allies experienced great difficulty and danger in attaining
large scale manufacture with a simpler process.

The same self-sacrificing zeal and patriotic endeavour was
shown in this country, but we were handicapped in mustard gas
production by the energetic way in which we had pressed forward
the industrial realisation of the monochlor-hydrin method.
The French, less committed in terms of plant and finance, could more
readily adjust their energy, materials, and money to the new method.
It must not be forgotten, also, that, at this period,
chemical warfare supply organisation was experiencing certain
critical changes which could not but reflect upon our efficiency.
Here again the earlier centralisation of research and production
by France was a great factor in her favour.

Our difficulties with phosgene, and in particular with the arsenic compounds
described above, were of the same nature, involving us in casualties,
great expenditure, and little success, when compared with German production.
The great need for these arsenic compounds was realised as early as February,
1918, and investigations began even at that date, but they had not appeared
in the field by the time of the Armistice. Whatever mistakes we may have made
locally during the war, they are small compared with the big mistake which
was responsible for our comparative failure in chemical warfare production.
We were almost completely lacking in organic chemical industrial experience.

It is interesting to note that the activities of those elements
of organic chemical industry which did exist in France and England
fully justified the conclusions we have drawn. Thus, although
entering late into the field of chemical warfare production,
Doctor Herbert Levinstein, Professor A. G. Green, and their
collaborators of the firm of Levinstein Limited were able to develop
rapidly a successful industrial mustard gas process which was
of considerable assistance to England and America. This work,
both in research and production, deserves the greatest credit.
Again, the dye factories were called upon much earlier to assist
in French production and were of considerable assistance.

It would be well at this juncture to review very briefly the other
war activities of our own dye industries. The outbreak of war found
them by no means inactive. In this country, for example, our own dye
factories were able to keep pace with the increasing demand for dyes
created by the rapid mobilisation of military and naval equipment.
In particular the rapid large-scale production of indigo by the
Levinstein firm, at Ellesmere Port, was a considerable achievement.
In addition, the new State-aided enterprise at Huddersfield was largely
diverted to explosives production, and rendered very valuable services
in the supply of Tetryl, T.N.T., synthetic phenol, picric acid, and oleum.
For such reasons, the need for essential dyes, and the use of dye capacity
for explosives, the important part which the rapidly expanding industry
could have played in chemical warfare production was not recognised
quickly enough by the relevant authorities. This is not surprising,
for the war significance of the German dye industry was not fully
realised until the Armistice. It required the Hartley Mission
to drive this fact home. When, however, the brilliant researches,
referred to above, on the mustard gas method had decided our policy,
the dye factory of Levinstein Limited vigorously converted the process
into a technical success, and what was still a laboratory reaction
in the spring of 1917 became a successful manufacturing process in July
of that year.

Released from its war responsibilities at the time of the Armistice,
the British industry developed so rapidly that Lord Moulton, in a speech
to the Colour Users Association on November 28th, 1919, stated:
"A few months before the war broke out England produced only one-tenth
of the dyes she needed, but the amount which I am informed we shall
be able to turn out at the end of this year would, in weight,
be within one-fifth of the amount which England used before the war."

But the Allies were not only in difficulties with regard to the lack
of suitable peace-time plant, and industrial organic chemical experience--
they were hindered at almost every turn by difficulties with regard to raw
materials and intermediates, the products of other chemical manufacture.
They had to create a liquid chlorine industry. In April, 1915, the only
liquid chlorine plant in England was in the hands of the firm of
Castner Kellner, whose maximum output was not more than a few tons per day.
Increase in capacity was rendered necessary by chemical warfare developments.
Chlorine was a raw material for mustard gas and--practically every important
substance employed in chemical warfare including bleaching powder.
Tremendous tonnages of bleach were involved in the manufacture of
chlorpicrin and for use as an antidote against mustard gas on the front.
We refer elsewhere to the developing use of bleach in order to create
lanes for troops and transport through areas infected by mustard gas.
A very simple calculation will show what quantities would be required
for such an operation. It is true that, as regards chlorine, we were
more favourably situated than France, and forwarded her considerable
supplies in exchange for phosgene. This chlorine was essential for
phosgene production. New plants were brought into being at different places,
largely through the energy and experience of the above-mentioned firm,
but so great was the demand that it finally became necessary, in order
to protect the trade users and war interests at the same time, to institute
a control of chlorine. More than 20,000 tons of liquid chlorine were
produced under the administration of the supply department concerned.
When we consider the effort which such an increase in production must
have involved, and the fact that expansions occurring did not do so under
the steady and well-regulated influence of a simple demand, but were
continually being modified to meet expansions or diminutions of programme,
we can realise what a great advantage was possessed by the Germans owing
to their large initial experience and production.

We have no hesitation in stating that great credit is due to the old
Trench Warfare Supply Department and the firms with which it was in contact,
notably the one referred to above, in connection with the Loos attack.
But for them, we would not have been in a position to retaliate,
even at that date.

The Allied lachrymator campaign was terribly handicapped by lack of bromine.
The French performed the phenomenal task of creating a bromine
industry in Tunis, the development of which reads like a romance.
Apparently this industry is dying out, and German predominance in bromine
is again asserted.

French mustard gas production, for which they made such huge sacrifices,
was threatened by the lack of carbon-tetra-chloride, and examples
can be multiplied. The Germans were in a very different position.
The development of their dye industry had followed the policy
of absolute independence of external chemical industry.
This independence was acquired either by the absorption of other
enterprises or by the definite development of processes and plant
for raw materials and intermediates. In every case the war has
strengthened these factories for the manufacture of these products.
In 1918 they produced nearly thirty times as much ammonia
as in 1914, three times as much nitric acid, fifty per cent.
as much again of sulphuric acid, and twice as much
liquid chlorine. This was not purely a commercial question.
Our lack of such products was due to the fact that the Allies,
in pre-war times, possessed few or feeble industries whose
consumption would stimulate the production of these raw materials.
They lacked these industries because of a blameworthy disregard
for the fundamental importance of science, and particularly
chemical science, in industry.

Conclusion.--We have shown how, during the war, chemical warfare proved its
surprise value and how manufacture figured repeatedly as a critical factor.
We have also shown how the importance of production is magnified from
the point of view of the future. The only logical conclusion is that
the country which does not possess a strong dye industry, or enormously
comprehensive and expensive chemical arsenals, cannot hope to escape
serious military results, possibly defeat, from enemy chemical surprises.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that this critical producing capacity
exists as a monopoly in the hands of Germany. No patriotic and thinking
person can, therefore, conclude otherwise than to encourage the creation
of dye industries in countries other than Germany, particularly in our own.
It is true, however, that patriotic sentiment and political views do
not always lead to the same solution. But we must insist that there
can be no two opinions on the national defence aspect of this question,
and any political forces opposing the logical outcome of patriotic sentiment
in this case are incurring an exceedingly grave responsibility.

Further, there is a definite tendency to obscure the whole issue
by inaccurate thinking. When we find a Member of Parliament seriously
discussing disarmament, endeavouring to deal with the matter
in detail, and yet classing gas as one of those methods of warfare
in connection with which production can he easily prevented,[1]
we can only stand in amazement before our traditional fault,
deliberate sidetracking of expert guidance. When we realise that it
was not until after the Armistice that the Hartley Commission
opened our eyes to the war importance of the German dye industry,
we see how blind a nation may be in matters vital to its defence.

[1] _The Flaw in the Covenant and the Remedy_, Major David Davies, M.P.

From the point of view of results on the front, for which all were working,
the German dye factories, when considered as a war weapon, were as much
in advance of Allied improvised plants as a military quick-firing gun
is ahead of the old muzzle-loader.

Further, for progressive and flexible organic chemical production,
some such difference will always exist between the modern dye
industry and factories or arsenals improvised or maintained
to meet specific emergencies.



Special Attention Justified;--Special Value of American Opinion.--Various
reasons prompt us to pay special attention to the development of
chemical warfare by the United States of America. In the preceding
chapters we have attempted a more or less connected account of its
development during the campaign. Such an account must necessarily
make constant reference to French and British developments.
But American preparations, although on a colossal scale,
were not in time to influence the campaign seriously and directly.
Therefore, purely for the symmetry of our account, special reference
should be made to America. But a more serious reason is to be found
in the great importance attached by America to this branch of warfare.
As everybody knows, the arrival of the American troops in large numbers
was preceded by an educational period, during which American staffs,
officers, and men became acquainted with Allied staffs, operations,
and methods on the Western Front. They were less biased by military
tradition, and not under the same necessity as the European Allies
to organise in an improvised way for different violent emergencies.
Their opinions of war methods on the Western Front are, therefore,
of great interest.

Chemical warfare at once assumed a place of prime importance in
their schemes, receiving a stimulus and a momentum which, rather than
losing force during peace, appears to have gathered intensity.
There was at first no particular background of emotion,
or desire for specific retaliation in this American development.
It was purely a question of deciding on technical grounds
the relative importance of different methods of warfare.
Solid facts determined the matter later. We have it on the best
authority that 75,000 out of the total 275,000 American casualties
were due to gas.

Early American Activities.--The earliest American activities,
consisted in attaching various officers to the British formations
in France and to the French research and producing organisations
centred in Paris. A period ensued of remarkably rapid and efficient
assimilation of the best developments in allied chemical warfare.
Two American gas companies were attached to ours for instruction
in the first month of 1918, and they assisted in several gas attacks
on the British front.

Field Activities.--In a sense the development of chemical warfare
organisations by the Americans was deprived of its promised success.
The Allies regained the general and final offensive before American
plans matured. But if the latter were prevented from participating
in various types of cloud and stationary attack along the front,
yet the coincidence of their organisation with the development of more
open warfare gave them an opportunity, which they readily seized,
to demonstrate the possibilities of mobile chemical attack.
Two gas companies, known as the 30th Engineers, were assembled,
partially trained, and embarked for France at the end of 1917.
They entered upon a course of training with the British Special Brigade R.E.
while further units were being organised in America. The projector
at-tracted the Americans, and they were ready, as General Fries
informs us, to launch a big projector gas attack, when Marshal Foch's
counter attack disorganised the front concerned. They then turned
their attention to the use of the four-inch Stokes mortar in an attempt
to neutralise the German machine-gun nests, using phosphorus for smoke
and thermit shell, and continued to assist the infantry either by taking
part in the preparations for attack or in subsequent operations.

Special Difficulties.--The great length of the American
lines of communication led them to develop certain research
and experimental organisations near to the front.
These had to deal with the "short range" problems, those of
immediate importance, without referring them back
to America. The 3000 miles of ocean represented a necessary loss
of contact which prevented the home workers, however willing,
from fully realising the needs of the problems concerned.
Accordingly a strong experimental station, Hanlon Field,
was developed near Chaumont, and a well-equipped laboratory
was established at Puteaux, near Paris.

Edgewood Arsenal.--The organisations developed in America were
of very great interest. The American officers in the field,
through their contact with the British and French, realised early
that we were extended to the utmost in the matter of production,
that our demands and programmes were far ahead of our output,
and that they could not reasonably expect serious help from us,
either with regard to the results or the material means of production.
They, therefore, made surveys of our methods and wisely determined
to concentrate on production in America. As a result, they developed
the phenomenal chemical warfare arsenal of Edgewood. Had the war
lasted longer, there can be no doubt that this centre of production
would have represented one of the most important contributions
by America to the world war. Probably had production been conceived
on a smaller scale, however, its results would have materialised
sooner and produced greater actual influence.

A few facts with regard to Edgewood suffice to confirm its potentialities.
We learn[1] that the arsenal organisation comprised a huge chlorine plant,
probably the largest in the world, various chemical plants for the manufacture
of the chief chemical warfare substances adopted by the European belligerents,
and shell-filling plant capable of filling a total of more than 200,000 shell
and bomb daily.

[1] _Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry_, January, 1919.

Research.--Supporting this production, and in connection with
the other branches of chemical warfare, a tremendous research
organisation developed which, with the exception of the combined
research facilities of the I.G.[2] was probably the largest
research organisation ever assembled for one specific object.
It grew until it contained 1200 technical men and 700
service assistants, and we are told that its work covered
exhaustive research on more than 4000 different materials.
Nor were the Americans less ambitious on protection.
Wisely adopting the British Box Respirator during the
early stages, they made vigorous attempts at the same time,
with considerable success, to develop a form of their own.

[2] The great German organic chemical combine.

Production.--An American opinion on the importance of Edgewood Arsenal
at the time of the Armistice is worth quoting.[3] "Here is a
mammoth plant, constructed in record time, efficiently manned,
capable of an enormous output of toxic material, and just reaching
its full possibilities of death-dealing at the moment when news
is hourly expected of the signing of the Armistice. What a pity
we did not possess this great engine of war from the day American
troops first sailed for France, for, had we been so prepared,
how many of our boys who `have gone West' could have returned
for the welcome home! Shall we forget this lesson of preparedness?
Is this great plant to be scrapped? Possibly wise heads may find
a solution of the problem which will add this great resource
to American chemical industry, at the same time preserving its
value to the nation as a greater asset, in case of future war,
than a standing army."

[3] _Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry_, January, 1919.

Although mainly dependent on Edgewood Arsenal for their war schemes,
it is perfectly clear that the Americans realised that theirs
was not the ideal way, in fact was a very wasteful and inefficient
way to produce poison gases or chemical warfare substances.
Indeed, even during the war, in spite of their huge arsenal they
established contact with various American chemical producers.
At the present time, except in connection with its use for emergencies
during the next few years, this huge source of production
at Edgewood must be regarded as an unnecessary burden upon
the State. To be of any use, it requires costly maintenance.
It is only capable of producing a limited number of organic substances.
Some of these are likely to become obsolete as time goes on.
This reliance upon a huge fixed arsenal is not only out of accord with any
international scheme for disarmament, but it is altogether too ponderous,
and not sufficiently flexible for reliance in future emergencies.
This is fully realised in America. General Fries, addressing the
American Chemical Society, said: "The magnificent plant at Edgewood
may soon be a thing of the past. We do not believe the Government
should attempt to manufacture poisonous gases on a huge scale."
He explains how, by reliance upon normal chemical industry,
"We believe we can build up more quickly and to a greater extent
than by any other method the necessary large output of poisonous
gases required in a war with a first-class Power." Referring to
the mobilisation of industry for this purpose, he says:
"We believe that if this is done satisfactorily it will be one
of the greatest possible guarantees of future peace."

Post-Armistice Developments.--But perhaps the most interesting
and significant aspect of American chemical warfare development
concerns what has occurred since the Armistice. Valuable and
successful attempts have been made to educate not only
the public but also political leaders to its real meaning.
No one examining the American daily and scientific press,
or reading the records of the various Government Committees
on the proposed bills of chemical, or chemical warfare,
interest can doubt that the Americans are probably as a whole much
more alive to the importance of this matter than any other ally.
Discussions on the Longworth Bill and on the new chemical warfare
service have provided full ventilation for the facts of the case,
in their proper setting.

It was a striking contrast to land in America early in 1920
and find New York plastered with recruiting posters setting
forth the various reasons why Americans should join their
Chemical Warfare Service. It was not only a sign of American
methods but also one of their appreciation of the importance
of the matter. This is amply borne out by their final
step in reconstruction during the last few months.
A separate Chemical Warfare Service has been reorgan-ised in
America in such a way as to give it a position of independence
equivalent to that of the older branches of the service.
The specific possibilities in the development of this form of
warfare are acknowledged by the action of the American Congress,
and this result is very largely due to the creation of
an intelligently informed political and public opinion.
Large grants of money have been placed at the disposal of
the new Chemical Warfare Service, and its research facilities
promise to equal the war establishments of the older services
of other Allied countries.

Views of General Fries.--In view of the creation of this independent
Chemical Warfare Service in America and of its importance
when measured in terms of financial and material facilities,
it is of interest to summarise some of the views already
expressed by General Fries,[1] the head of the new service.
With regard to the general function of chemical warfare, he tells us:
"In the first place, chemical warfare is a complete science in itself.
No other invention since that of gunpowder has made so profound
a change in warfare as gas is making, or will make, in the future.

[1] _Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry_, 1920.

"To-day there are only four really distinct arms of the Service,
viz.: the Infantry, the Artillery, Aviation, and Chemical Warfare. All other
forms of warfare are a combination, more or less complete, of these.
The gases, smoke, and incendiary materials that make up chemical warfare
are used to a greater or lesser extent by other arms, but wherever gas
is used it compels precautionary measures that are found in no other branch
of the Service.

"Considering its power, it has no equal. Physical vigour is one of
the greatest assets in any army. Gas, used properly and in quantities
that will be easily obtainable in future wars, will make the wearing
of the mask a continuous affair for all troops within two to five
miles of the front line, and in certain places for many miles beyond.
If it never killed a man, the reduction in physical vigour, and, therefore,
in efficiency of an army forced at all times to wear masks, would amount
to at least 25 per cent., equivalent to disabling a quarter of a million
men out of an army of a million."

The Gas Cloud Inescapable.--He goes on to explain some of the more
specific military needs which can be met by chemical means,
and refers independently to a point which the Germans have
mentioned repeatedly in their memoirs. "One great reason why
chemical warfare will continue is that it fills a long-felt
want on the part of the soldier, that of shooting successfully
around a stump or rock. The gas cloud is inescapable.
It sweeps over and into everything in its path. No trench
is too deep for it, no dug-out, unless hermetically sealed,
is safe from it. Night and darkness only heighten its effect.
It is the only weapon that is as effective in a fog or in the inky
blackness of a moonless night as in the most brilliant sunshine.
Only the mask and the training that go with it protect.
Terror, confusion, lack of discipline and control are fatal."

Importance of Smoke.--General Fries is insistent on the future importance
of smoke in warfare:

"Chemical warfare includes gas, smoke, and incendiary materials,
and they can't well be subdivided. As before stated,
all the early gas attacks were in the form of clouds.
The value of that cloud, not only for carrying gas but for
screening purposes, began to be realised in the fall of 1917.
Clouds of smoke may or may not be poisonous, and they will or will
not be poisonous, at the will of the one producing the smoke.
For that reason every cloud of smoke in the future must be
looked upon as possibly containing some deadly form of gas.
When you consider this for a moment, you can realise
the tremendous possibilities for ingenuity that gas and smoke
afford the attacker.

"The American, trained for 300 years in meeting nature on her great
plains and in her vast forests, was early appealed to by this side
of chemical warfare. As early as November 3, 1917, the United States
was urged, in a cablegram from the Chemical Warfare Service in France,
to push the development of a large phosphorous supply for use in smokes.
Not only were the early intuitions of the value of gas borne out by
later events, but to-day the future of smoke appears greater still.
The battle-field of the future will be covered with smoke--
not the all-pervading black smoke of the battles of the Civil War
and of earlier wars before smokeless powder came into use,
but a field covered with dots and patches of smoke, big and little,
here and there and everywhere.

"Every man who has hunted ducks and been caught in a dense fog
with ducks quacking all round, and who has tried to get ducks
by firing at the quack in the fog, can realise the difficulty
of hitting a man on the battlefield when you cannot see him,
and have only a quack, or less, by which to locate him.
The smoke will be generated in candles of two or three-pound
cans that can be thrown out in front of trenches; by knapsacks
that can be carried and which will give off dense white smoke
in large volume for many minutes; by grenades which, while they
may be thrown by hand, will generally be fired from rifles;
by artillery shells reaching ten, fifteen, twenty miles back
of the main battle line; and finally, from aeroplane bombs whose
radius of action is limited only by the size of the earth.
And thus smoke becomes one of the great elements of war in the future.
It is more or less wholly protective in its nature, but as it
costs more and takes longer to train a man in the various problems
involved in modern war than ever before in this history of the world,
it is worth while taking every precaution to protect him,
once you have him trained."

Casualty Percentages.--He also brings out very dearly the unique
possibility possessed by gas warfare of increasing its military efficiency,
while decreasing its relative atrocity:

"The death rate in the first gas attack was probably
in the neighbourhood of 35 per cent. of all casualties--
and everybody in front of the wave was a casualty.
With the development of masks and training in the use of the mask
and in taking advantage of the ground, the death rate fell.
At the same time the total number of casualties fell, but not
at all in the same ratio as the decrease in the death rate.
From a probable death rate of 35 per cent. in the first attack
it fell to 24 per cent., then to 18 per cent., and, as gas
attacks by artillery became general, to 6 per cent., and finally,
with the extended use of mustard gas, the rate fell to 2.5
per cent. or less."

Again referring to casualties, he gives us the startling fact that 75,000
out of the 275,000 American casualties were caused by gas, "And yet,"
he says "the Germans used it in a halting, comparatively feeble manner."

Short Range Projectors.--Very much alive to the future of the
short-range projectors developed in connection with gas warfare,
he tells us, "The Gas Regiment in the St. Mihiel battle fired
on the Cote des Esparges one hundred of these high explosive
bombs at the zero hour on the morning of the attack. That hill,
famous for its strength through four years of struggle between the
French and Germans, dis-appeared completely as an enemy standpoint.
Nothing remained but torn and broken barbed wire, bits of concrete
pill-boxes, and trenches filled with debris, and a few scattered
fragments of clothing.

"The gas troops will, in the future, handle all short-range
methods of firing gas, smoke, or high explosive.
They will deliver the greatest quantities of material possible
up to ranges of a mile and a half or a mile and three-quarters.
So effective and so efficient are these short-range methods
of projection that the No-Man's-Land of the future will
be the width covered by these projectors and mortars.
They can't, and never will, compete with the artillery,
where range and great accuracy are the most important factors.
The efficiency of artillery gas shell or artillery smoke or high
explosive shell is only one-fifth that of the projector.
Hence, for economy and efficiency, the artillery will be used
to fire gas, smoke, high explosive, and incendiary materials
only at ranges beyond those reached by the gas troops."

Again, showing how the American authorities were seized with the importance
of the matter, we read:

Vast Expansion in Personnel.--"So greatly were these possibilities
appreciated in the summer of 1918 that the number of gas troops
authorised for use against the Germans was increased from six companies
to fifty-four. Back of all this, however, was the productive capacity
of the United States, which ensured that those troops would be able
to fight day and night, summer, winter, and fall, until the war was over.
No wonder the German quit--it was time, and he knew it."

And in conclusion General Fries tells us:

"The universal adoption of gas warfare on sea and land and in the air,
combined with its persistent quality, will make that nation able
to produce and use gas in the largest quantity superior in war
to any other nation on the globe. The United States can reach
that position and maintain it, and I believe that we are going to get
such encouragement from the War Department that we can do it.
I feel sure that the army appreciates the value of chemical warfare,
and that it appreciates also the value of the chemists to chemical warfare.

"So long as there is any danger of other nations continuing these methods
of warfare, research and experiment in chemical warfare must be pursued.
Research must not only be directed towards the gases and apparatus,
likely to be employed in the future, but also towards protection
against all possible gases. Training in the use of gas will be confined
to appropriate branches, but training in defensive measures will include
the whole army.

"We must continue our studies of what is known as chemical warfare.
No nation has renounced the use of poison gases as the result of the
Peace Conference. There are nations whose word we could not respect
if they did renounce it. It is essential to study the offensive
side of chemical warfare if we are to be prepared for defence.
The great importance of adequate defensive appliances arises
from the fact that preparations for the offensive use of gas can
be made in peace-time with great secrecy, and may have far-reaching
and even fatal results in the early stages of a war.

" . . . For these reasons it is necessary to make adequate provision
for research, experiment, and design in connection with war material.
It is equally necessary to avoid overlap, duplication of effort,
and the setting up of military institutions for scientific research
which can better be done by existing civil institutions."

He also quotes from a statement from General Debeney, Director of
the French College of Warfare:

"Should war begin now, aviation, and especially gas, would play one
of the most important parts. The progress of aviation would make
the rear of each front, and very far in rear, extremely dangerous,
and the progress of chemistry would permit the use of gas on zones
of such an extent as cannot be imagined.

"Making gas is naturally rapidly done, because all the manufacturers
of chemical product--still so numerous in Germany--can be requisitioned,
but to make airplanes is much slower.

"The defence against gas seems to be more difficult than against airplanes.
I believe that against airplanes, the anti-aircraft artillery is susceptible
of making rapid progress, and perhaps in that very instance gas will be one
of the best ways, if with appropriate shells _*the air can be poisoned all
around the attacking airplanes_.

"It would be much more effective to create, for example, a sphere
of poisoned air a mile round the airplane, instead of trying to hit
the machine directly with bits of the shell."

British, French, and even German opinion, while not
underestimating the importance of the matter, may not agree
in an unqualified way with all the above statements.
But we claim that they show vision in a branch of war which,
on account of its scientific basis, may, more than any other,
speedily prove the visionary a true prophet.



The preceding account of chemical warfare leaves the impression of a
successful Allied struggle against persistently unfavourable circumstances.
We were constantly compelled to accelerate to attain the pace set by
the enemy. There were exceptions, undoubtedly, but in the main Germany
kept ahead in the chemical struggle.

So far, in examining the root of our troubles, we have been content
to refer to the existence of the I.G., to describe its chemical
warfare activities, and to indicate, briefly, its unique power to
produce large quantities of organic chemical products at short notice.
The close connection between the German dye industry and chemical
warfare is now well recognised in official circles, and, to some extent,
by the general public. Its belated exposure was almost entirely
due to the facts revealed by the Inter-Allied Mission to the German
chemical factories some months after the Armistice.

But the situation thus revealed was not created in a day, nor by chance.
Indeed, one of the military features of industrial chemical development
in the I.G. has already been traced to pre-war activities.
I refer to the Haber process for the production of synthetic ammonia.
It would be short-sighted policy to accept the set of conditions against
which we struggled, and to explain them in terms of the I.G., without
looking more closely into the pre-war activities of this organisation.
Such an examination may reveal the basic forces which determined
our inferior position in chemical warfare at the outbreak of war.
It is true that we can explain away our inferiority by referring
to the German breach of faith, which automatically created conditions
for which we were unprepared. This is a comfortable solution.
But had chemical warfare been a strongly developed and accepted method of war
before the outbreak of hostilities, would we then have been prepared?
The records of the past, before April, 1915, must be consulted to answer
this question. We may find that our position is due to more than a mere
negative attitude, to more than our simple neglect of the organic
chemical industry. It maybe that there were forces which definitely
exploited this national characteristic to our disadvantage.
The pre-war policy and activities of the I.G. must be examined from
this point of view. In no country has such an investigation been
more complete than in America, and official statements have been issued
by the American Alien Property Custodian[1] which throw a flood of light
on the pre-war activities of the constituent branches of the I.G. They
conclusively reveal the existence of a carefully directed German chemical
policy making for world domination in the organic chemical industry,
which greatly hampered the military effectiveness of other countries,
and directly strengthened the military resources of Germany. On broad lines,
the pre-war and war activities of the I.G. produced the same result
as an attempt to strangle the economic life of possible opponents,
enfeebling their resistance to the subsequent delivery of a hammer blow
designed to take maximum advantage of the situation thus created.
Twenty years or more under the regime of a forceful economic policy,
not without its sinister aspects, prepared the ground by weakening us
in the concentrated chemical warfare which, ensued. The success of this
policy manoeuvred us into such a position that we barely escaped defeat
under the hammer blows of German chemical aggression. This, in fact,
appears to have been the German conception of modern war in its relation
to industry, and American reports have shown that it was carried through
with typical thoroughness by familiar German methods.

[1] _Alien Property Custodian Report_, Washington.
Government Printing Office, 1919.

Origin of German Chemical Monopolies.--The completeness of our organic
chemical deficiencies, and the thorough way in which we had failed
to develop organic chemical industries, creates such a sharp impression,
when thrown into relief by the outbreak of war, that we are led to
inquire into the methods by which these monopolies were established.
Let us admit, without any further delay, that Germany owed the origin
and assertion of these monopolies in part to her scientific development,
fostered by a vigorous policy of applying scientific research
to industrial enterprise. So far as her success depended upon
such factors, it merits our unqualified admiration and envy.
But stimulating these developments was a very definite general
and commercial policy which requires close examination.

German Chemical Commercial Policy;--Evidence of the
U.S.A. Alien Property Custodian.--Giving every credit to German
initiative and thoroughness in the application of science to industry,
we are still prompted to inquire how this monopoly came to be so complete.
We can rely on more than mere rumour, when examining the commercial methods
of the great I.G. The American Alien Property Custodian, Mr. Mitchell Palmer,
and, later, Mr. Francis P. Garvan, had occasion and opportunity to make
minute examination of the German dye agencies in America in connection
with general investigations on the reorganisation of alien property.
Their revelations truly merit the term, showing remarkably clearly
the unity of conception, determination of purpose, and co-operation
with the German Government which characterised the policy of the I.G.

Pre-war American Situation.--Let us briefly consider the relevant
aspects of the pre-war American situation. According to fairly
well-known facts, confirmed by the reports of the two American officials
mentioned above, the American pre-war organic chemical industry
consisted of little more than a series of small assembling plants.
Although enormous supplies of coal-tar products were available,
yet the dye intermediates derived from them were not made in America,
but imported from Germany. After various attempts to establish
the dye industry, it seemed, at one time, about 1880,
to have definitely taken root, but, within the space of five years,
there were only four dye producing establishments remaining.

German Price-cutting;--Salicylic Acid.--In every instance the manufacture
was almost immediately brought to an end by German price-cutting.
The same source reveals the direct and indirect methods used by
Germany to prevent, at all costs, the development of an independent
organic chemical industry. There are many pointed examples of
the direct method, and we will glance at the case of salicylic acid.
This is a very important chemical, used not only for certain important
drugs but also as in intermediate for dyes and photographic chemicals.
In 1903 the United States possessed five manufacturers of this product.
In ten years' time three of these had failed, and one of the survivors
was a mere branch of a German house. During this fatal ten years,
the product was being sold in that country at a price twenty-five per cent.
lower than in Germany. The manipulation of the prices of the other products
of the German monopoly enabled them, by such methods, to maintain it.
Many other examples, including such important products as bromine,
oxalic acid, and aniline, could be quoted to show the results of the German
price-cutting policy. The direct significance of bromine for chemical
warfare must be borne in mind.

Full Line Forcing.--Besides directly attacking the production
of raw materials and intermediates, the Germans used an indirect
method which has been described as "full line forcing."
They were the sole producers of certain specialities, such as
alizarine colours, anthracene colours, and synthetic indigo.
These were indispensable to the textile manufacturers,
and by refusing to supply them, except to houses which
would buy their other supplies from German manufacturers,
the latter could squeeze out home producers of simple dyes,
however efficient their production.

Bribery and Corruption;--German Patent Policy.--The dyeing
industry was peculiarly susceptible to corruption.
It was so simple for the head dyer of a mill to show
a partiality for dyes from any particular source of supply.
The American Alien Property Custodian very frankly tells us[1]: "The
methods of the great German houses in carrying on their business
in this country were from the first honeycombed with corruption.
Bribery of dyers was carried on almost universally on a large
scale. . . . So extensive was this corruption that I came across
only one American consumer that had escaped its ill effects."
Such were hardly the methods of decent commercial competition,
although it appears that the strong patriotic sense of the German
was able to justify, in his own eyes, what might be regarded
as reprehensible methods. This is not a question of bringing
up old reproaches, but merely of coldly examining facts.
We have already referred to their patent policy, whereby thousands
of patents were taken out, the only value of many of them,
being to cramp the productive initiative of possible rivals.
Professor Stieglitz explains how the German patents were useless
in developing large scale manufacture. "The patent protects
the product, but does not reveal the method." Sir William Pope
has also brought out this point, showing how the Germans use
thousands of bogus patents to protect their chemical industry.
He tells us,[1b] "In fact, some German patents are drawn
up for the purpose of discouraging investigation by more
practical methods; thus, any one who attempted to repeat
the method for manufacturing a dyestuff protected by Salzman &
Kruger in the German patent No. 12,096 would be pretty certain
to kill himself during the operation."

[1] _Alien Property Custodian Report_, 1919, p. 34.

[1b] _Science and the Nation_. A. C. Seward, F.R.S. Cambridge
University Press, 1917.

Propaganda and Information;--Espionage; Activities of
the Dye Agencies.--But another method which was used in this
commercial offensive, to which we must draw further attention,
dealt with propaganda and information. In his comprehensive report,
the American Men Property Custodian examines a number of large
industries and reveals how the German interest in these industries
through their American ramifications were active, "sowing the seeds
of German propaganda," and collecting information, both commercial
and military, for the use of the German Government and its agents.
Quoting again from this report, "In many of the large German-owned
companies taken over by the Alien Property Custodian, after investigation
it was found that espionage was one of the chief functions.
Every scrap of information of commercial or military value
to Germany was carefully gathered by the representatives of these
concerns in this country and quickly forwarded to the home office
in Germany. The German agents were particularly keen on gathering
information that would be helpful to Germany's commercial warfare.
Once in Germany, this information was carefully card-indexed
for the use of the manufacturers. Bulletins of commercial
information were also prepared and placed at their disposal.
In Germany, the collection of all commercial information is under
a bureau which is controlled and financed by the great German banks,
such as the Dresdner, Disconto, and Reichs Bank." This statement
is not mere generalisation, but is backed by innumerable examples.
Thus we find a light railway equipment manufacturer, a projectile company,
a wireless company, various magneto companies, insurance companies,
and German shipping companies, all engaged in spreading propaganda,
acquiring information, and influencing public opinion in favour
of Germany. But, undoubtedly more important than any of these,
and taking a leading part in the general scheme, was the German
dye organisation. The American publications make this quite clear.
Mr. Garvan goes so far as to say: "As long as you were supplied
by the big six (_i.e_. the I.G.), your business had no secret unknown
to Berlin. In Berlin you will find the card index system which
recites every fact connected with each and every one of your sources
which can be of any possible value to your rivals over there."
Referring to assistance rendered by various American and Allied
departments, including Military, Naval, and War Trade Intelligence,
we learn from the same sources: "All these bodies worked in close
co-operation and their mutual assistance was of inestimable value.
Information derived from these sources demonstrated that the chemical
industry was a natural centre for espionage and that this had been
true long before we entered the war--indeed, before the war began.
The relation between the German Government and the great German
chemical houses was so close that representatives of the industry
were naturally almost direct representatives of the Government,
and their work in this country gave them unequalled opportunities
for examining our industries from within."

With the outbreak of war, this organisation became more clearly defined.
It was, perhaps, difficult before the war to know where to draw the line
between purely commercial and actual governmental German activities.
The outbreak of war left no room for doubt. The German dye agencies became,
at once, the active agents of their Government in various schemes,
the nature of which we shall outline, and their "information" functions
became very definitely describable as espionage.

Manoeuvring Raw Materials.--In the first place, the Alien Property Custodian
found unexampled, evidence of a definite German scheme to corner and divert
certain important war materials destined for the Allies.

Chemical Exchange Association;--Doctor Albert's Letter.--Many such plots
could be quoted, but we will limit ourselves to one,[1] chosen because on its
stage move the chief figures of this espionage system. This case has been
described under the name of the "Chemical Exchange Association," and is much
more fitted for the pen of a Conan Doyle. The move appears to have been
initiated by Dr. Albert, the financial adviser of the German Government
in America, in collaboration with von Bernstorff. Its purpose was to
corner the immediate supplies of American phenol in order to prevent its
manufacture into high explosives, including the well-known picric acid.
The outbreak of war instantly stopped the entry of phenol into the country.
Further, this product was not manufactured there to any extent before.
Large supplies were required for the production of synthetic resins,
for the gramophone industry, This led to the development of a phenol industry
by the Edison works, and there appeared, automatically, a phenol surplus.
Dr. Albert, aware of the probable fate of this surplus as raw material
for allied munitions, determined to seize it for the German Government,
and he did this through Dr. Hugo Schweitzer, one of the most prominent
members of the American agency of the great Bayer works. In June, 1915,
Dr. Schweitzer contracted with the selling agents of the Edison Co.
for the entire surplus of phenol available for sale, offering a large cash
security which was furnished by Dr. Albert. A lapse of a week witnessed
another contract with the Heyden Chemical Works, a branch of the German house,
by which this phenol was purchased for conversion into salicylic acid and
other products. To avoid exposing the nature of the deal, Dr. Schweitzer
registered as the "Chemical Exchange Association." The profits amounted to
nearly a million dollars, half of which belonged to Dr. Schweitzer. This, we
are told, went immediately to the German Government. As a suitable
climax to such a venture, a dinner was given at the Hotel Astor by
Dr. Schweitzer in honour of Dr. Albert, and is described as a typical
gathering of the most active German propagandists in the country.
It was as a result of this deal that Dr. Albert sent Dr. Schweitzer
a memorable letter in which he praises his "breadth of highmindedness,"
and compares his work with "a military coup accomplished by an army
leader in destroying three railroad trains of forty cars containing four
and a half million pounds of explosives."

[1] _Alien Property Custodian Report_, 1919, p. 43.

Dye Agency Information System;--Dr. Albert on Chemical Warfare.--
Although a great deal has been said in America with regard to
the activities of Dr. Schweitzer and his followers, very little
has been heard on this side. Explaining the complete information
system possessed by the Germans, Mr. F. P. Garvan informs us
that the head of the system in America for years before the war
was Dr. Hugo Schweitzer, President of the Bayer Company there,
and he even quotes his secret service number given him by
the Imperial Minister of War, stating that he came to America,
became a citizen on the instruction of the German Government,
and led the espionage and propagandist movements down to the day
of his sudden death in November, 1917. The relationships between
Dr. Albert and Dr. Schweitzer, when the former was leaving for Germany
in 1917, are very illuminating. We learn from the same source
how Dr. Schweitzer received from the former nearly one and a half
million dollars, all to be spent in espionage and propaganda.
Dr. Albert, leaving Dr. Schweitzer a letter of appreciation,
to which we have referred in connection with the Chemical Exchange,
makes a very significant reference to chemical warfare.
"Of still greater and more beneficial effect is the support which you
have afforded to the purchase of bromine. We have a well-founded
hope that, with the exclusion of perhaps small quantities, we shall
be in a position to buy up the total production of the country.
Bromine, together with chloral, is used in making nitric gases,
which are of such great importance in trench warfare.
Without bromine these nitric gases are of slight effect: in connection
with bromine they are of terrible effect. Bromine is produced only
in the United States and Germany. While, therefore, the material
is on hand in satisfactory quantities for the Germans, the Allies
are entirely dependent upon importation from America." Making due
allowance for the fact that Dr. Albert was not a technical man,
this information possesses an element of truth, indeed France
was driven to the extreme of establishing a bromine industry
in the wilds of Tunis in order to counter the German attack.

The Moral Aspect.--Such facts tempt us to think hardly of these
representatives of German culture. But they were, no doubt,
fiercely patriotic Germans, and it is not difficult for us
to understand their activities after the outbreak of war.
An American, however, can hardly adopt such a lenient view, if, as has
been claimed, many of these agents were naturalised Americans,
for they were abusing the privileges and the confidence of their
adopted country. We have no wish, however, to dwell on this aspect
of the matter, and have no doubt whatever that many good Germans
could justify all these activities according to their own codes.
It would have been better not to have given this information
the light of day, were it not of some value for the future.

Report of the New York World;--German Policy Regarding Dye Supplies
to the U.S.A.--How far can the parent organisation of these
dye agencies be regarded as aware of their activities?
They were largely responsible for their inspiration.
Mr. Garvan says, "Practically all the dye salesmen were only
nominally in the employ of the branches here; all had secret
and personal contracts with the Home Office." From these facts
alone there can hardly be any doubt as to the connivance of the
home organisation. Again, on April 28, 1915, the _New York World_
printed an editorial explaining that "two large German chemical
and aniline dye concerns are reported to be establishing factories
in New Jersey, to supply American demands hither to supplied
from Germany." This statement apparently alarmed Captain Boy-Ed,
the German Naval Attache, and he communicated with Dr. Albert,
the financial representative in New York, for the establishment
of these factories would have countered the German policy
of bringing political pressure by refusing dye shipments.
Dr. Albert's reply to Boy-Ed contains the following phrase:
"With regard to the dyes, I got into touch with local experts
in order to determine what truth there is in the news.
According to my knowledge of things, the matter is a fake,
inasmuch as _*our factories have bound themselves orally
and by word of honour to do nothing in the present situation
which might help the United States_." As further evidence of this
definite policy, witness a letter from Consul-General Hossenfelder
to the Imperial German Chancellor, Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg. This
letter is dated New York, March 3, 1916, and, after a detailed
examination of the economic relationships between Germany
and America, states: "Further, we should, according to my conviction,
hold ourselves absolutely passive in relation to the proposals
for the exportation of potash, chemicals, and dyestuffs,
and if the opportunity arises, make the sanction for them,
not dependent upon the consent for an exchange of articles,
but upon the abolition _en bloc_ of all hindrances to intercourse
contrary to international laws which have been instituted
by England." Further, Dr. Albert, cabling to the German Government
in April, 1916, on the export of dyestuffs, tells us:
"The hope was entertained of bringing American industries
which were solely dependent upon German deliveries of dyestuffs
into a position that they would have to insist on the importation
of dyestuffs under the conditions demanded by Germany." There can
then be no doubt that the parent organisation of the I.G. was
in close touch with the activities of its agencies.

This, then, is a brief account of the methods by which Germany created
the monopoly whose existence threatened our success in the world war.
Before leaving the question of the monopoly, let us inquire a little
more closely into its exact nature and range. Various American official
reports have revealed the desperate measures necessitated in that country
in order to meet deficiencies in vital products when the German source
of supply was removed.

Professor Stieglitz's Evidence.--Professor Stieglitz, of the University
of Chicago, giving evidence before the United States Senate, stated:[1]

[1] Hearings before the Committee on Finance, U. S. Senate, 1920.

"I have come to the conclusion that we would have saved a great deal of
suffering and a great many lives in this country, if we had had an organic
chemical industry, as they have in Germany, before we started the war."
Characterising the dye industry as the source of war chemicals,
including explosives and poison gas, he emphasises the drug question
and shows how their development depends absolutely upon the existence
of certain raw materials, and facilities for comprehensive organic
chemical research, which only find a _raison d'etre_ in the existence
of a flourishing dye industry,

Ehrlich's Discovery.--Pointing out the difficulties in developing
the manufacture of salvarsan, he explains how the process was
originally discovered by an organic chemist, Dr. Paul Ehrlich,
co-operating with a German dye company, the crude material coming
from the dye plants, the product itself strongly resembling dyes,
"containing arsenic instead of part of their nitrogen."
The great importance of this drug is brought out by another witness
before the same committee, Mr. Francis P. Garvan, who explains how,
by refusing or neglecting to ship salvarsan, Germany wanted the
United States "to starve to death" for lack of it, and he continues:
"Think what an extension of disease and that an intensification
of suffering and distress Germany was willing to impose upon
her best market in order to obtain her imperial will."

Germany had monopolised the production of the important
synthetic drugs, including the derivatives of salicylic acid,
of which aspirin had developed wide use in Allied countries.
After every household had learnt the value of German
produced aspirin, its supply was cut off at the outbreak of war.
The same disadvantages applied in the field of anaesthetics.
For a long period America had no local anaesthetics for hospital
surgical work, being compelled to use what were termed
"Bulgarian Operations," that is, operations without anaesthetics.
Professor Stieglitz claims that the lack of drugs and
anaesthetics threw back American surgery some fifty to seventy
years in civilisation.

But what of this country? We have already outlined how the outbreak
of war found us with, at the most, two or three relatively small
producing centres, which did valiant service during the war
and amply proved the importance of the dye industry by revealing
what could have been done had we been many times stronger.
Was the same German chemical policy responsible for our
pre-war position? As far as we know official investigations
have not been pursued to the same length as in America, but it
is beyond doubt that the German dye companies took every possible
step to stifle the development of our organic chemical production.
When the war broke out, our comfortable commercial contact
with the I.G. became a strangle-hold. It could not be otherwise.
Whatever the German attitude, and we could hardly expect it to
be friendly, the strangle-hold at the outbreak of war was inevitable.
But this dye menace facing our textile industries, and weakening
our power of retaliation in the chemical war, was not the only
danger from the I.G. We were in a critical position through failure
to produce other commodities than dyes.

Drugs and Medicinal Products;--The German Monopoly;--National Health
Insurance Commission.--The question of drugs assumed critical
importance at the outbreak of war. Germany had been asserting
her monopoly for years in the field of medicinal chemicals.
Cessation of supplies at the outbreak of war caused grave
apprehension of a serious shortage in these products,
so important for the adequate treatment of disease.
In some cases we possessed neither the raw materials nor
the technical knowledge to undertake rapid home production.
But in the important group of the synthetic drugs derived from
coal-tar products, the raw materials were produced in quantity in
the United, Kingdom, only to be exported to Germany, thus contributing
to her monopoly. British manufacturers, on the other hand,
held their own in the production of certain kinds of drugs,
such as the alkaloids, gaseous anaesthetics, and some inorganic
salts of bismuth and mercury. In a summary of certain war
activities of the National Health Insurance Commission, we read:
"It was chiefly in the making of the coal-tar synthetic remedies
that Germany was pre-eminent, and that position was due not to any
lack of skill or invention on the part of the British chemists,
but to the high degree of organisation attained by the German
chemical industry, which made it possible to convert the by-products
of the aniline factories into medicaments of high therapeutic
and commercial value."

The Royal Society;--Novocain.--So serious was the situation
that for some time we existed on feeble stocks. But during this
period the utmost efforts were made to develop our own production.
The Royal Society promptly came forward with a scheme to link
up would-be producers with appropriate centres of research.
The latter not only assisted production but actually produced sufficient
quantities of important drugs to tide us over the difficult period.
Thus, for example, for the production of novocain the assistance
of about forty university laboratories throughout the country
was invoked, and they proceeded to produce the intermediates,
diethylamine and ethylene-monochlor-hydrin. These substances
were converted into diethyl-amino-ethanol, and the final step,
the production of novocain, was undertaken by manufacturers,
including a prominent dye firm. We have referred to one of these
substances in connection with the German production of mustard gas,
and need only say that in England, in a time of national emergency,
the Government had to depend on the improvised assistance
of forty teaching and research institutions for the production
of small quantities of drug intermediates. Further, this work,
although to the permanent credit of those who undertook it,
did not enable us later to produce rapidly war quantities of
mustard gas, itself dependent on the same important intermediate,
ethylene-monochlor-hydrin. Germany settled the drug and mustard
gas question by a simple demand to the I.G., because the latter,
holding the indigo monopoly, possessed actual large-scale
ethylene-chlor-hydrin production.

Other cases, although equally creditable to those actually engaged
in the work, also reflect our national unpreparedness and neglect
of chemical industry.

Beta-Eucaine.--Beta-eucaine is a very important local anaesthetic.
Before the war we obtained it almost exclusively from Germany. When urgently
needed in 1915 for the War Office and Admiralty, the Government discovered
that it could not obtain this substance from commercial sources.
Seventeen laboratories co-operated to produce two hundred and sixteen
pounds of the material. Such examples would be ludicrous did they
not possess such a serious national aspect. Our position was almost
as desperate regarding chloral-hydrate, the important hypnotic,
and the rare carbo-hydrates required for bacteriological purposes.
Sir William Pope's comprehensive statement[1] supplies further examples.

[1] _Science and the Nation_, A. C, Seward. F.R.S. Cambridge
University Press, 1917.

Photographic Chemicals.--Our dependence upon German monopoly,
so drastically revealed at the outbreak of war, was not limited
to dyes and drugs, Photographic chemicals were of special importance
for war purposes, yet, when the development of aviation increased our
demands for photographic chemicals, we had no normal sufficient source
to which to turn. We needed not only the essential bulk chemicals,
such as amidol, metol, para-amidophenol, and glycine, but also
certain rarer substances, such as the photographic sensitisers,
which were so essential for the Air Force. By calling upon chemical
industry and research institutions both needs were satisfactorily met,
but the contrast with Germany leads perforce to the same conclusion,
their case and speed of production as compared with ours.

This examination shows the fine texture of the tenacious web by which Germany
had entangled and stifled the organic chemical industries of other countries.
Although at the outbreak of war the Allies were slow to realise the war
significance of the dye industry, yet they were quick to determine that
the resumption of peace would not find them in such an ignominious position.
Steps were taken to establish dye industries in England, France,
and America. Not only did plants spring up to meet the immediate
needs of the textile industries of the world outside Germany,
but the question received considerable Government attention.
Promises were made and steps taken to encourage the growing industries.
But these cannot be examined in detail here, and the main facts are
common knowledge. Two points emerge, however, which are of prime
importance from the point of view of our discussion. In the first place,
the acute needs of the armies prevented the maximum use of the war
opportunity for developing Allied dye industries on a sound basis.
No sooner was producing capacity installed, than it was taken over for
the production of urgently needed organic chemicals for explosives.
Dye enthusiasts would have regarded the war as a supreme opportunity
for a period of concentrated organic chemical research to make up
the leeway which existed, owing to forty years of German development.
But the research energies of the country were occupied on more
pressing problems. In Germany, the war chemical activities of the dye
factories all contributed to their future post-war strength.
In England and France it was otherwise. Our equivalent energies were
concentrated on developing improvised processes and plant, absolutely
necessary to counter the German attacks, but almost without exception
of no direct ultimate value to our peace organic chemical industries.
This is a point which merits careful consideration. These industries
voluntarily threw aside what was, logically, a great opportunity for them
to push their research investigations so necessary for eventual success.
The state-aided Huddersfield factory represented national vision, whose fruits
were stolen by our ceaseless need to improvise counters to German aggression.
But we owe to our dye industry the national recognition of these facts.
Stress of war gave us true vision, but prevented its logical outcome.
War needs are now removed, and everything should be done to place at
the disposal of the dye industries those facilities which they necessarily,
but gladly, sacrificed in time of emergency.

The brief survey of the preceding pages reveals the existence of a German
chemical policy pursued vigorously for many years before the war.
It also shows how this policy developed in America, the chief neutral country,
during the war period, for two years before her entry.

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