These facts must be well known to the German scientists who devised this new weapon and to the military authorities who have sanctioned its use. I am of opinion that the enemy has definitely decided to use these gases as a normal procedure, and that protests will be useless.
THE “EYEWITNESS” STORY.
The following descriptive account, communicated by the British Eyewitness present with General Headquarters, continues and supplements the narrative published on April 29 of the movements of the British force and the French armies in immediate touch with it:
April 30, 1915.
As will have been gathered from the last summary, assaults accompanied with gas were not made on every position of the front held by the British to the north of Ypres at the same time. At one point it was not until the early morning of Saturday, April 24, that the Germans brought this method into operation against a section of our line not far from our left flank.
Late on Thursday afternoon the men here saw portions of the French retiring some distance to the west, and observed the cloud of vapor rolling along the ground southward behind them. Our position was then shelled with high explosives until 8 P.M. On Friday also it was bombarded for some hours, the Germans firing poison shells for one hour. Their infantry, who were intrenched about 120 yards away, evidently expected some result from their use of the latter, for they put their heads above the parapets, as if to see what the effect had been on our men, and at intervals opened rapid rifle fire. The wind, however, was strong and dissipated the fumes quickly, our troops did not suffer seriously from their noxious effect, and the enemy did not attempt any advance.
On Saturday morning, just about dawn, an airship appeared in the sky to the east of our line at this point, and dropped four red stars, which floated downward slowly for some distance before they died out. When our men, whose eyes had not unnaturally been fixed on this display of pyrotechnics, again turned to their front it was to find the German trenches rendered invisible by a wall of greenish-yellow vapor, similar to that observed on the Thursday afternoon, which was bearing down on them on the breeze. Through this the Germans started shooting. During Saturday they employed stupefying gas on several occasions in this quarter, but did not press on very quickly. One reason for this, given by a German prisoner, is that many of the enemy’s infantry were so affected by the fumes that they could not advance.
To continue the narrative from the night of Sunday, April 25. At 12:30 A.M., in face of repeated attacks, our infantry fell back from a part of the Grafenstafel Ridge, northwest of Zonnebeke, and the line then ran for some distance along the south bank of the little Haanebeek stream. The situation along the Yperlee Canal remained practically unchanged.