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Germ warfare, Anthrax & Arsenic bombs / shells

WW2 General Discuss Germ warfare, Anthrax & Arsenic bombs / shells in the World War II - General forums; Does anyone know... If the Japanese were the only people to use germ warfare (anthrax / small pox) and arsenic ...

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    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Germ warfare, Anthrax & Arsenic bombs / shells

    Does anyone know...
    If the Japanese were the only people to use germ warfare (anthrax / small pox) and arsenic / lewisite artillery shells / porcelain bombs in WW2?
    I'm sure other countries experimented but, who actually used them?
    John


    Eternal vigilance

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    Senior Member pbfoot's Avatar
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    Did not the Italians do something in Ethiopia pre 39

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    I think the Italians used mustard gas, and tear gas, but no bio. agents.

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    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Eternal vigilance

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    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Update.
    The germ warfare ordinance was a combination of freeze dried germs ( small pox) held in ceramic compartments within the bomb.

    A History of Biological Warfare from 300 B.C.E. to the Present Some interesting facts within the link.

    John

    Eternal vigilance

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    Senior Member RabidAlien's Avatar
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    The Allies, and the Germans, did not engage in chemical warfare that I know of. There were stockpiles held in reserve in case the other side unleashed theirs, but the memories of the mustard gas and phosgene (phosphorus?) gasses in the trenches of WW1 was too fresh in everybody's minds, plus even Hitler realized that, with the advent of modern weapons such as long-range artillery and aircraft, once the covers were yanked off chemical warfare, then no city was safe. A flight of Lanc's or -17's over Berlin loaded with mustard gas didn't have to actually have a specific target in mind, just unloading on a city would be catastrophic to the civilian populations, which would seriously damage production capabilities until facilities could be set up in "safer" locations. The only use of chemical warfare (that I recall, anyway) being unleashed was in Italy, where a transport ship with a bunch of mustard gas in the holds (Eisenhower had it shipped over to be held in ready reserve since there were strong rumors that Hitler/Mussolini were about to start using their own gasses....which just sounds wrong, and I can't help but snicker when I re-read that) was hit with a random bomb from a German air raid. The ship exploded, spreading mustard gas all over the harbor. Troops/seamen pulled out of the harbor with nothing more than a thorough soaking were soon crowding the hospitals. Rescuers were likewise soon overcome, yet because of the "gentleman's agreement" that no gas warfare was going to take place, medics were in the dark that they were actually dealing with mustard gas burns/symptoms, and lots of Allied troops died due to the lack of communication. I think it was finally whispered to the medics that "those symptoms look suspiciously like mustard gas, oh, hey, the treatments for that actually work, lets just go with it and not ask any questions". Eisenhower hushed the incident up, not wanting to be the first commander to be caught with gas in his front line storage areas, as well as being guilt-ridden over the loss of lives caused by his decision to move it closer to the front.


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    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    That's pretty intersting, and sad.



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    No phosphorous in Phosgene,COCl2. Very unpleasant stuff.

    We'd have got a nasty shock in Britain if we'd used our chemical weapons in 1940,provoking the Germans to use of their nerve agents.

    Cheers
    Steve

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    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Defoliation bacilli bomb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One wonders why only the Japanese used these weapons when, presumably, the technology would have been available to the other axis lunatics.

    I'm looking into any planned Imperial Japanese attacks on mainland America towards the end of WW2 using these bombs and the resultant fear as a desperate attempt to stave off defeat.

    Does anyone know anything about this?

    John

    Eternal vigilance

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    Senior Member RabidAlien's Avatar
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    I think (yeah...made my head hurt, too) that the Japanese experimented with some of those jet-stream balloons loaded with fleas/roaches/rats/mice that were infected with various nastiness, but couldn't get a carrier that would allow them to survive at altitude for the week or more that it took to drift over to our shores, then deploy (reliably) without killing everything inside. So they just stuck with incendiaries and explosives. I'm sure, given time, they would have come up with something (maybe a chicken inside, to keep things warm? ), but that was one of the major resources they did not have.


    Pillage, then burn.

    Argue not with dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well on toast.

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