Chemical and Biological Warfare

By Karen Judson | Go to book overview

PART II:
AN OLD SCOURGE MADE NEW

[Fondly do we hope,
Fervently do we pray,
That this mighty scourge of war
May speedily pass away…]
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


5
History and Uses of
Chemical and Biological
Weapons

Chemical and biological weapons are not new. As soon as people discovered that smoke made others choke and could fend off an attack, they probably began thinking about how to use toxic smoke to their advantage in combat. It may have taken a bit longer for people to notice that when one person was ill, others nearby soon fell ill, too, but once realization dawned, it was a short step to the use of biological weapons.

The Greek historian Thucydides reported the first recorded use of poison gas during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (431–404 B.C.E.), when flaming pitch and sulfur mixtures were used to produce toxic smoke. The Spartan armies were also said to have used vapor clouds of arsenic against the enemy. During the fourth

-64-

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Chemical and Biological Warfare
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Part I - [Man's Inhumanity to Man 7
  • 2 - The Bioterror Attacks of 2001 23
  • 3 - The Major Biological Weapons and Their Effects 37
  • 4 - The Major Chemical Weapons and Their Effects 54
  • Part II - An Old Scourge Made New 64
  • 6 - Tests and Accidents 79
  • 7 - Protecting Soldiers from Chemical and Biological Weapons 88
  • Part III - Current Events and Policy Options 96
  • 9 - Cheaters and Remedies 112
  • 10 - Protecting Ourselves and the World 121
  • Notes 130
  • Further Information 137
  • Bibliography 139
  • Index 140
  • About the Author 144
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