Chemical warfare had played an important enough role in World War I that there was widespread expectation of its use in World War II. Certainly, Germany's army and its chemists had no qualms about adding poison gas to the Third Reich's arsenal. When war began, however, many of the latest chemical warfare agents were not available in deliverable form. The early successes of conventional-war making, combined with an increasing shortage of raw material, led Germany to deemphasize gas warfare even apart from the fear of Allied retaliation that significantly influenced at least the armed forces.
Copyright © 2000 Gale, A Cengage Company. This book chapter first appeared in History in Dispute: World War II, 1943-1945.
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Legro, Jeffrey W. "Why Were Chemical Weapons Not Used in World War II?" In History in Dispute: World War II, 1943-1945, volume 5, edited by Dennis Showalter, 101-104. Farmington Hills: St James Press, 2000.