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Did Any Nations Use Battlefield Chemical Weapons In Wwii?


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#1 Christian Lupine

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 0935 AM

Recent events prompted my question, did any WWII nations use battlefield chemical weapons?  My question is directed at use by combat troops against other combat troops, not the use of chemical weapons in the concentration camps.  



#2 JasonJ

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 0956 AM

Imperial Japan used chemical weapons against China. Battle of Changde in 1943 seemed to have seen a heavy use of them

 

BEIJING – China’s military said Tuesday that more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process.

Japan and China have been working together on the biggest chemical weapon cleanup effort in history, a decades-long, diplomatically sensitive project that is seen in China as a reminder of the wartime atrocities it suffered during Japan’s 1937 invasion and subsequent occupation.

Under the terms of a 1997 treaty, Tokyo is responsible for cleaning up hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons left behind by its occupation troops at the end of World War II. China says thousands of Chinese have been killed or hurt since the end of the war in 1945 by accidents related to the buried weapons.

China’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the weapons’ disposal at a facility in the city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province, neighboring Beijing, had finished in a “safe, orderly and smooth manner.” The weapons are generally burned in specially designed furnaces.

The remaining pieces of Japanese chemical weapons are difficult to find and destroy because they were scattered widely, the ministry said. It urged Japan to “increase manpower and resources” to finish the job.

China has repeatedly urged Japan to speed up the project, which was initially scheduled to be completed in 2007 but had hit delays.

China estimates that Japanese troops left behind more than 2 million chemical weapons, mostly in the northeastern region of Manchuria. The cleanup of the biggest cache — a site with nearly 700,000 chemical bombs at Haerbaling in Jilin province — is scheduled to be finished in 2022.

The Japanese government said in 2015 that it finished destroying another cache at a facility in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

 

http://www.japantime...d/#.WO-RnPl97cs



#3 TTK Ciar

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1048 AM

https://en.wikipedia...re#Nazi_Germany

The Nazis did use chemical weapons in combat on several occasions along the Black Sea, notably in Sevastopol, where they used toxic smoke to force Russian resistance fighters out of caverns below the city, in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol.[39] The Nazis also used asphyxiating gas in the catacombs of Odessa in November 1941, following their capture of the city, and in late May 1942 during the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula in eastern Crimea.[39] Victor Israelyan, a Soviet ambassador, reported that the latter incident was perpetrated by the Wehrmacht's Chemical Forces and organized by a special detail of SS troops with the help of a field engineer battalion. Chemical Forces General Ochsner reported to German command in June 1942 that a chemical unit had taken part in the battle.[40] After the battle in mid-May 1942, roughly 3,000 Red Army soldiers and Soviet civilians not evacuated by sea were besieged in a series of caves and tunnels in the nearby Adzhimuskai quarry. After holding out for approximately three months, "poison gas was released into the tunnels, killing all but a few score of the Soviet defenders."[41] Thousands of those killed around Adzhimushk were documented to have been killed by asphyxiation from gas.[40]



#4 sunday

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1125 AM

And then, there was the Bari Raid, but that was more of an chemical accident.

 

https://infogalactic...ir_raid_on_Bari



#5 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1140 AM

The JA was the only user in WWII, to include bioweapons, but Italy used various chem munitions in its Ethiopian Campaign prewar. Then there was the RAF bombing of tribes in Iraq of the 1920s, but new international agreements cut that off.

 

Except for Egyptian use in their Yemen intervention, the world had a clean slate post WWII until the Iran-Iraq War of 1980ff. US use of CS agents in VN was questioned as a law of war violation, but never had legs. 



#6 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1239 PM

I came across a couple reports of IJN troops using some sort of chemical (gas-filled) AT grenade against UK tanks in the Burma campaign, but cannot prove/disprove. 



#7 Markus Becker

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1527 PM

Recent events prompted my question, did any WWII nations use battlefield chemical weapons?  My question is directed at use by combat troops against other combat troops, not the use of chemical weapons in the concentration camps.  


CW are used in combat. Against enemy troops or territory. Until a certain someone said something, who considered gassing already imprisoned people with commercial pesticides the use of chemical weapons? Genocide yes, CW use no.

Edited by Markus Becker, 13 April 2017 - 1529 PM.


#8 DougRichards

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1542 PM

The Panzerbuchse 38 fired a 7.92mm piercing round with a .4 grain weight lachrymatory (tear) gas capsule, intended to make the interior of a tank less pleasant when hit, but the amount was so small, and probably didn't survive the heat from both firing and hitting armour that no one in a target tank ever noticed it, only being discovered by the Allies when captured rounds were inspected.

 

It has been, and continues to be, argued that white phosphorus rounds, apart from their incendiary effects, produce toxic smoke that can be considered to be a chemical weapon in its own right.  White phosphorus being commonly used by US forces in both Europe and the Pacific.



#9 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1543 PM

Gas has been used as an execution means in numerous countries.  Many states in the US executed criminals in gas chambers.  While it was exponentially greater, the use of gas as an execution method in the Nazi death camps has to be looked at as an execution means "gone nuclear" rather than as a CW military use.



#10 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1552 PM

AKA, industrialized murder. Only the Third Reich came anywhere close to achieving it on such a scale. Given a totalitarian state apparatus, very mature chemical industry and totally malevolent leadership, it was a particular match. One hopes to never again witness such an event.



#11 TTK Ciar

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 1816 PM

The whole affair reminds me of the ancient saying: "The best way to find information on the internet is to say something wrong" ;-)

#12 DougRichards

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 0518 AM

AKA, industrialized murder. Only the Third Reich came anywhere close to achieving it on such a scale. Given a totalitarian state apparatus, very mature chemical industry and totally malevolent leadership, it was a particular match. One hopes to never again witness such an event.

 

Stalin approached it without the infrastructure, by starving Ukrainians.

 

I wonder if Putin will try the same?

 

The Ottomans managed at least 500,00 (maybe 1.5million) Armenians without industrialising the process.  Churchill used the term 'holocaust', (which dated from 1671, Milton) to describe the work of the Ottomans against the Armenians two decades before the Germans, and their collaborators / allies, took it more than one stage further.

 

What Germany (and much of 'enlightened' Europe) did to the Jews, Gypsies and Slavs, was unique, but not the first example of genocide, and it won't be the last.



#13 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 0648 AM

I seem to recall Italy used chemical weapons against Ethiopia in the 1930's, but I cant recall any details.

 

My grandfather told me (I dont know if he actually saw this, or just read or heard about it) that the Germans used some form of chemical pesticide that would destroy crops, in the retreat towards Germany. I dont think you can really call that Chemical warfare any more than Agent Orange was, but interesting all that same.



#14 RETAC21

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0212 AM

Chemical weapons were also used by us in Morocco in the 20s against the Rif tribesmen, and by the RAF in the border with Afghanistan.



#15 RETAC21

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0214 AM

AKA, industrialized murder. Only the Third Reich came anywhere close to achieving it on such a scale. Given a totalitarian state apparatus, very mature chemical industry and totally malevolent leadership, it was a particular match. One hopes to never again witness such an event.

 

Rwanda in 1997, with Chinese made machetes, Congo afterwards and even today. One doesn't need sophisticated means to kill in the millions, just manpower.



#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0229 AM

Chemical weapons were also used by us in Morocco in the 20s against the Rif tribesmen, and by the RAF in the border with Afghanistan.

 

Have you got a source for that Retac? Im not saying I dont believe it, just that ive never heard of it before.

 

The RAF certainly DID use gas in Iraq against the Kurds, though im not sure what type. The following is interesting however.

http://en.internatio..._terror1920.htm

Geoff Simons (Iraq: From Sumer to Saddam, London, St. Martins Press, 1994, pp. 179-81) tells the story of British imperialism's capitalist barbarism against the Kurds and Iraqi Arabs:

"Winston Churchill, as colonial secretary, was sensitive to the cost of policing the Empire; and was in consequence keen to exploit the potential of modern technology. This strategy had particular relevance to operations in Iraq. On 19 February, 1920, before the start of the Arab uprising, Churchill (then Secretary for War and Air) wrote to Sir Hugh Trenchard, the pioneer of air warfare. Would it be possible for Trenchard to take control of Iraq? This would entail 'the provision of some kind of asphyxiating bombs calculated to cause disablement of some kind but not death � for use in preliminary operations against turbulent tribes.'

Churchill was in no doubt that gas could be profitably employed against the Kurds and Iraqis (as well as against other peoples in the Empire): 'I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.' Henry Wilson shared Churchill's enthusiasm for gas as an instrument of colonial control but the British cabinet was reluctant to sanction the use of a weapon that had caused such misery and revulsion in the First World War. Churchill himself was keen to argue that gas, fired from ground-based guns or dropped from aircraft, would cause 'only discomfort or illness, but not death' to dissident tribespeople; but his optimistic view of the effects of gas were mistaken. It was likely that the suggested gas would permanently damage eyesight and 'kill children and sickly persons, more especially as the people against whom we intend to use it have no medical knowledge with which to supply antidotes.'

Churchill remained unimpressed by such considerations, arguing that the use of gas, a 'scientific expedient,' should not be prevented 'by the prejudices of those who do not think clearly'. In the event, gas was used against the Iraqi rebels with 'excellent moral effect' though gas shells were not dropped from aircraft because of practical difficulties�

 

 

Which leaves it rather confused whether we were using such things as mustard gas or worse, or something more mild. Im not aware we had anything like CS gas till the 1950s, so probably not.



#17 DougRichards

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0535 AM

 

Chemical weapons were also used by us in Morocco in the 20s against the Rif tribesmen, and by the RAF in the border with Afghanistan.

 

Have you got a source for that Retac? Im not saying I dont believe it, just that ive never heard of it before.

 

The RAF certainly DID use gas in Iraq against the Kurds, though im not sure what type. The following is interesting however.

http://en.internatio..._terror1920.htm

Geoff Simons (Iraq: From Sumer to Saddam, London, St. Martins Press, 1994, pp. 179-81) tells the story of British imperialism's capitalist barbarism against the Kurds and Iraqi Arabs:

"Winston Churchill, as colonial secretary, was sensitive to the cost of policing the Empire; and was in consequence keen to exploit the potential of modern technology. This strategy had particular relevance to operations in Iraq. On 19 February, 1920, before the start of the Arab uprising, Churchill (then Secretary for War and Air) wrote to Sir Hugh Trenchard, the pioneer of air warfare. Would it be possible for Trenchard to take control of Iraq? This would entail 'the provision of some kind of asphyxiating bombs calculated to cause disablement of some kind but not death � for use in preliminary operations against turbulent tribes.'

Churchill was in no doubt that gas could be profitably employed against the Kurds and Iraqis (as well as against other peoples in the Empire): 'I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.' Henry Wilson shared Churchill's enthusiasm for gas as an instrument of colonial control but the British cabinet was reluctant to sanction the use of a weapon that had caused such misery and revulsion in the First World War. Churchill himself was keen to argue that gas, fired from ground-based guns or dropped from aircraft, would cause 'only discomfort or illness, but not death' to dissident tribespeople; but his optimistic view of the effects of gas were mistaken. It was likely that the suggested gas would permanently damage eyesight and 'kill children and sickly persons, more especially as the people against whom we intend to use it have no medical knowledge with which to supply antidotes.'

Churchill remained unimpressed by such considerations, arguing that the use of gas, a 'scientific expedient,' should not be prevented 'by the prejudices of those who do not think clearly'. In the event, gas was used against the Iraqi rebels with 'excellent moral effect' though gas shells were not dropped from aircraft because of practical difficulties�

 

 

Which leaves it rather confused whether we were using such things as mustard gas or worse, or something more mild. Im not aware we had anything like CS gas till the 1950s, so probably not.

 

 

For the time: Chlorine?



#18 DougRichards

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0545 AM

But according to the great Canadian classic historians, Wayne and Shuster, the Romans were aware of the usefulness of tear inducting agents, threatening to throw an onion on a spear to bring a miscreant out of his hiding hole.

 

quote

 

FLAV

All right, Brutus, this is Flavius Maximus. I know you're in there, come on out.

BRUT

COme and get me, you dirty rotten flatfoot!

FLAV

You haven't got a chance, Brutus. I got the Senate surrounded by a stake-out. Now, throw your sword down and come out with your hands up.

BRUT

Come and get me!!

FLAV

Get smart, Brutus, we can smoke you out. We'll throw in incense. We'll throw in an onion with garlic on a spear.

BRUT

I don't care what you do!

 

 

 

http://members.tripo...doffmytoga.html



#19 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0549 AM

But according to the great Canadian classic historians, Wayne and Shuster, the Romans were aware of the usefulness of tear inducting agents, threatening to throw an onion on a spear to bring a miscreant out of his hiding hole.

 

quote

 

FLAV

All right, Brutus, this is Flavius Maximus. I know you're in there, come on out.

BRUT

COme and get me, you dirty rotten flatfoot!

FLAV

You haven't got a chance, Brutus. I got the Senate surrounded by a stake-out. Now, throw your sword down and come out with your hands up.

BRUT

Come and get me!!

FLAV

Get smart, Brutus, we can smoke you out. We'll throw in incense. We'll throw in an onion with garlic on a spear.

BRUT

I don't care what you do!

 

 

 

http://members.tripo...doffmytoga.html

 

Yeah, that incense could be lethal. Im sure the Catholic church just use it just to keep Protestants out. :)

 

Yeah, fair on on chlorine. Supposedly even Mustard isnt THAT lethal unless you get a good dose on the lungs. They were testing it on Australian servicemen in the 1940s and whilst it came up with some horrific blisters, most people made a full recovery if they didnt breathe it in. Cant really see it working for crowd control though.



#20 DougRichards

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 0558 AM

 

But according to the great Canadian classic historians, Wayne and Shuster, the Romans were aware of the usefulness of tear inducting agents, threatening to throw an onion on a spear to bring a miscreant out of his hiding hole.

 

quote

 

FLAV

All right, Brutus, this is Flavius Maximus. I know you're in there, come on out.

BRUT

COme and get me, you dirty rotten flatfoot!

FLAV

You haven't got a chance, Brutus. I got the Senate surrounded by a stake-out. Now, throw your sword down and come out with your hands up.

BRUT

Come and get me!!

FLAV

Get smart, Brutus, we can smoke you out. We'll throw in incense. We'll throw in an onion with garlic on a spear.

BRUT

I don't care what you do!

 

 

 

http://members.tripo...doffmytoga.html

 

Yeah, that incense could be lethal. Im sure the Catholic church just use it just to keep Protestants out. :)

 

Yeah, fair on on chlorine. Supposedly even Mustard isnt THAT lethal unless you get a good dose on the lungs. They were testing it on Australian servicemen in the 1940s and whilst it came up with some horrific blisters, most people made a full recovery if they didnt breathe it in. Cant really see it working for crowd control though.

 

 

In cadets in the 1970s we used 'gas capes' as groundsheets.  Probably dated from the 1940s or early 1950s.  Were a reasonable poncho in heavy rain over a greatcoat.






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