Faces of war

21 06 2007

Horses wearing experimental gas masks

Image source

I stumbled across a compelling photo (below) and some great links at we make money not art, exploring the history of gas masks for animals in wartime.

Image source

There’s a great essay by Major Robert D. Walk outlining the development of protection for animals here:

With the introduction of chemical warfare in World War I, soldiers had to protect themselves and their animals in order to survive and fight. Horses, mules, dogs, and pigeons all required protection from the effects of chemical warfare.

Each animal presented different challenges in protection. Horses breathe through their noses, not through their mouths, so the respirator must only cover their nostrils. Horses’ eyes are not affected by lacrimators (tear agents), so eye protection initially was not required. More

Don’t miss this either; lots of fantastic old photos.

Related posts:

Remembering Brigadier

The Animals in War Memorial

Jeff Davis, Egypt, and Cincinnati: General Grant’s Favourite Horses

Lest we forget

Comanche: a true survivor

Equine veterans

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8 responses

21 06 2007

WOW! What a photo.

21 06 2007

What’s truly frightening is that there’s a gas mask community on LiveJournal. I knew there was a reason I stayed out of there.

22 06 2007
Dog Collar Addict

what a great photo. i remember seeing one similar in a history high school textbook. being a horse lover, i found it very compelling.

22 06 2007

wow! people do not often think about horses and war in THIS century….

the gas mask is scary!

22 06 2007

Oh dear, those pictures are truly frightening. I guess I am glad they thought to protect the animals at all, but seeing any animal in a gas mask horrifies me.

23 06 2007
Simply Marvelous Sleuthing

How upsetting ! War in any capacity is horrible, but those photos of the animals is so disturbing! The poor innocent creatures!

24 06 2007

Truly a compelling picture.

10 08 2007

what a wonderful photo !

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