Military Intelligence Section 7b (1)

The Birthday of Poison Gas


    • The Birthday of Poison Gas was drafted in April of 1918, in time for the anniversary of its use in 1915, at Ypres. The propaganda article reminds the reader that it was the Germans who first used gas as a weapon and justifies British retaliatory action. The language used in the propaganda article "a weapon worthy of the butchers of Louvain" " in their lust for slaughter" is evidently that meant to stir up hatred of the enemy in a population now dulled and traumatised by warfare. The first two pages of the original manuscript, along with both green ink and red ink editing - can be contrasted with the typescript sent for publication.
    • The story of MI 7b and the discovery of the archive of propaganda material has been told elsewhere. I published "Tales of the VC" on this website as those stories properly belonged to those gallant men whose actions are faithfully told even though the purpose of telling those accounts was, at the time, for propaganda purposes. The remainder of the MI7b archive is different. It was written specifically to garner support for a war that had become, by 1916, unpopular to the extent that the authority of Government to prosecute the war was being widely challenged. Arguably, MI 7b was the first government institution set up to infiltrate a free press. It did so with utmost secrecy and destroyed all evidence of it's work. This archive was discovered by chance in 2013 and since then further research shows that the Government were in great haste to hide all traces of its work, beginning the disbandment of MI 7b in the weeks leading up to the Armistice.




  • Date:

    • 1918-11-22
    • 1917-07
  • Temporal:

    • 2015-06-29 13:46:20 UTC
  • Place/Time:

    • Western Front


  • Source:

    • User contributed content
  • Identifier:

    • 20025
  • Institution:

  • Provider:

  • Providing country:

  • First published in Europeana:

    • 2016-07-27
  • Last updated in Europeana:

    • 2016-07-27


  • Rights:

    • http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

References and relations


  • Location:

    • Adastral House & Adelphi Court, London
  • Place/Time:

    • Western Front

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