I saw the following gas mask in the Imperial War museum in a Manchester, and it made me think of the time in the army when we were taught about chemical and biological weapons.
And also about the quote saying that generals always try to fight the last war.
After all, here we were taught about weapons that were last used in this part of the world about a century ago. And although it’s not totally impossible that in future wars chemical weapons would be used again, it seems to me highly unlikely. Not because their use is internationally banned, or because there’s no stockpiles of it across the globe, but mainly because, unless delivered with sufficient precision, their use and effectiveness is highly dependent on the weather conditions.
Also, compared to other weapons of mass destruction, they’re probably less lethal on a grand scale than nuclear weapons or even carpet bombing. As for biological weapons, they strike me more as a potential weapon for terrorists than for regular armies. After all, viruses are not that selective about who they kill, and any army using it is always in danger of falling on its own sword.
I suppose it can’t hurt knowing what to do with a gas mask, but I never was under the impression that I would ever have to use it in real life. And I didn’t.