*For detailed and up to date information see the website of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Chemical warfare involves the use of chemical agents (not living organisms) in order to kill or incapacitate an enemy. The use of chemical weapons in battle came to general notice in the First World War (1914-1918).
It is notoriously difficult to say which countries still possess chemical weapons. However, it’s likely that many of those who have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have not yet destroyed all stocks.
The different types of chemical weapons produce different effects on the human body – and variations on how to protect yourself. In more recent times just the fear that an enemy could have chemical weapons has seen many battlefield troops having to wear protective clothing.
The Geneva Protocol and the Chemical Weapons Convention