The Scientific Barbarian (10 June 1915)

scientific barbarianPortrayals of German soldiers were usually not favourable in English language newspapers, as is clear by this image printed by the Berlin Daily Telegraph. While the image and text is used to evoke fear and distrust in the reader, it also demonstrates how the First World War was changing the way Western countries fought and the equipment used. Before the war, Germany had the strongest chemical dye industry in the world and when the war started, it turned into a war industry. Initially, Germany was hesitant about using the gas as many of the soldiers and Generals did not like the idea of gassing soldiers as if they were insects. As the war continued, the German high command became desperate and at the Battle of Ypres, the Duke of Wurttemberg decided to use the poisonous gas.


“The Scientific Barbarian,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, June 10, 1915.

Tim Cook, At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916 Volume 1 (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2007).