On August 6, 1915, one of the worst atrocities that characterized the First World War occurred. A troop of 7000 Germans had been trying for months to besiege the Osowiec Fortress in northeastern Poland. 900 Russian and Polish fighters were stationed behind its walls.
Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, knowing of the shortage of gas masks of the besieged, chose to follow the easy way: he ordered to bombard the fortification with regular artillery… and with toxic gases. Depending on the version, either chlorine gas or a mixture of chlorine and bromine was used. In any case, both elements are extremely harmful, especially at the level of the respiratory system. Bromine gas is a lung irritant. Chlorine gas is transformed into hydrochloric acid when it comes into contact with moisture. It then becomes a destructive substance that consumes the body’s mucous membranes and even the skin and eyes.
They did their best to cover their faces with their own urine soaked clothes. Water was also scarce. But the gas was unstoppable. Their skins were sloughing off, their eyes were melting, they were bleeding internally, and they were spitting out pieces of their lungs. Only about 70-100 soldiers survived. The Germans advanced, confident of a certain victory. However, from the toxic mist, shattered and broken bodies began to emerge with bayonets in their hands. The Germans, faced with such a chilling scene, retreated in terror. The undead counter-attacked, chasing and shooting their enemies. The Germans were trapped in their own wire traps and totally exposed. The living dead managed to recover that land temporarily and evacuate the survivors.
The Swedish power metal band Sabaton dedicates an epic song to this incredible and terrifying episode on their album The Great War