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Why did soldiers urinate in their socks in ww1?
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Why did soldiers urinate in their socks in ww1?


As a very primitive gas mask. When gas was first used some soldiers covered their mouths with socks or rags soaked in urine to help fight against its effects.

After the first German chlorine gas attacks, Allied troops were supplied with masks of cotton pads that had been soaked in urine.

It was found that the ammonia in the pad neutralized the chlorine. These pads were held over the face until the soldiers could escape from the poisonous fumes. Other soldiers preferred to use handkerchiefs, a sock, a flannel body-belt, dampened with a solution of bicarbonate of soda, and tied across the mouth and nose until the gas passed over.

Using gas as a weapon is as disgusting as mines or cluster bombs (Source: Me)

To try avoid getting gassed, used as a mask. Grandad failed and copped it, had gastric illnesses all his life after 1916. But at least he came home. Millions didn't.

They also urinated on bits of cloth and things like socks to cover their face in the event of a gas attack.

michael s
The answer to this is strange it was used when there was a mustard gas attack... The urin in the soks. They would take the socks and rap around mouth and nose and it prevented the affect of the gas into thier lungs....

Soldiers countered chlorine gas by urinating on their socks and holding them over their noses (the ammonia repelled the chlorine).

michelle t
so when the gas bombs were thrown over head by the enemy they cud block out the fumes with the urine sock - which could save there life

jeff the drunk
To prevent from getting trench foot or jungle rot. Think of it as really bad, horribly bad athletes foot. The ammonia in your urine kills the bacteria. I know, its gross, but hey....

I think they did it because it was probably one of the only ways they could keep their feet warm and keep from getting frostbite maybe. And it is said that the acidity would actually clean any wounds that were their, and would keep and disease's from getting them

they where trying to keep the Germans away with the smell.....hehehe...nah, i believe it was an informal way of combating trench foot.

chris b
The urine actually helps the feet in the recovery process of tired, scaled, and rashed feet due to them damn combat boots which were not very comfortable. Todays Soldiers should be fighting with Nike Ultra tread high tops, green in color.

Abdelghany S
Urine has high amount of Ammonia to help killing fungus and bacteria and irritation!

..to prevent foot diseases...

During both WW1 and WW2 soldiers urinated in their boots to try and soften them up to prevent blisters.

funky munky is back
This is because urine is a good antiseptic, and they always had sore feet and ankles with them rough socks and heavy boots. So urine being a good antiseptic was suppost to help their sore feet heal.

The earlier answers were right, it is to stop trenchrot. Even today people like bricklayers and builders piss on their hands to heal splits in their fingers during the winter months

To try to prevent blisters.

Urine is usually sterile and it has some antiseptic qualities. The biggest problem in the trenches was "foot rot"- an extreme case of "athletes foot", leading sometimes to amputation. Remember these were the times before antibiotics were invented - so it may be that urine was the only thing available to try and control the infection

El Pistolero Negra
To combat athletes foot I suppose. Or perhaps it was for the enjoyable smell of feet and urine combined.

Either to stop something, like trench foot, or to start something, like trench foot.

It got rid of athlete's feet. They were told to by Medics. (It was also safer than going to side alone to pee)

Tridon & Silverscreen
To stop trenchfoot I believe


to keep their feet warm as it was fought during winter months

to warm their feet

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