The Germans carried out the first large scale Gas attack on the Western Front today along a kilometre long line from Steenstraat to Langemarck near Ypres. Captain Louis Strange, of 6 Squadron, flying in calm and pleasant weather over the north-eastern sector of the Salient at around 5pm, observed a sudden bank of yellow-green cloud spring up along the German trenches and move towards the French line. He noted the location on his map and landed at 1 Canadian Brigade HQ to report.
French troops of the 87th Territorial Division and 45th Algerian Division, fled in disarray opening up a gap in the line.
Little could be done following the initial report, but in future RFC Squadrons will attempt to track the movement of gas and provide some advance warning to the units on the ground. Though as there is currently no effective protection against these sort of attacks, it’s unclear how useful this will be.