Soman (GD) 1944

In 1943, German Army recruited Nobel Prize winner (1938) Austrian-German biochemist Richard Kuhn to determine the nerve agent damage cause mechanism.
He and his research team discovered the nerve agent blocking enzyme – cholinesterase and its operation process. As part of their research, in 1944, Kuhn and colleagues synthesised a new nerve agent, soman, which was twice as good as sarin at inhibiting cholinesterase.

Sarin (GB) 1938

Sarin was the second nerve gas classified as toxic poison, and it was discovered in 1938, by a group of German scientists, while they were attempting to create a pesticide stronger than Triton83. The new agent was named in honour of its discoverers: Schrader, Ambros, Gerhard Ritter, and von der Linde.

Nitrogen Mustard (HNs) 1930’s

Nitrogen mustards were first synthesised in the 1930s as potential chemical warfare weapons, to have greater systemic toxicity than sulphur mustard. American and German defence organisations started military production in 1941 and 1943.

Lewisite (L) 1917

Julius Arhur Nieuwland, a Belgian-born Holy Cross priest and professor of chemistry and botany, made the first known synthesis of acetylene and arsenic trichloride in 1904, during his PhD studies, while conducting a research on acetylene, looking for a solution to synthetic rubber.

Cyanogen Chloride (CK) 1916

Cyanogen chlorine was synthesized for the first time in 1802 by the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet, although the correct chemical format was established by his compatriot Louis-Joseph Gay-Lussac in 1815. Cyanides have been used for their toxic potential since ancient Roman times.