There was a pretty fair documentary on about 15 years ago (probably about the time of the Iraq war starting) on the Australian trials. Supposedly it was something to do with testing efficacy of mustard in a jungle environment (I guess nobody had been really interested in finding out till that point). Seem to recall it was an Australian/American program, but likely it had some commonwealth input as well.
Probably a better poncho than NBC gear Im willing to bet.
I have the book that was based on, signed by one of the key witnesses who contributed to it - and who actually lived over the back fence from my grandparents, lovely bloke still going strong in his late 90's as of a few months back.
Australia was given responsibility for testing/R&D on 'Tropical Cw' (as in 'between the tropics' so hot dry as well as hot wet) for the Empire and then in turn the Allies in WWII. In addition to that we became the US's staging post in the Pacific for Cw. So we had a LOT of Cw sloshing about the place, mostly Mustard in both UK and US forms in bulk and packaged, with a fair bit of UK Phosgene in 250lb LC bombs.
# 1 Cw with mustard type agents is at least twice, if not three (or more) times as effective under tropical conditions (compared to European). Basically the more sweat going around the worse it is, hot dry isn't fun, jungle is hell
# 2 Gasses (like Phosgene) are less effective, they lose their 'linger' the warmer it gets.
# 3 Storage of all types is harder as they out-gas more.
# 4 The addition of perspex turns mustard pink, and as a gelling agent also makes it about 1.5 times more effective. When dispersed from 'Smoke Laying Apparatus' it looks like god has sprayed the landscape with fairy/candy floss
# 5 There are real long term effects of skin contact mustard exposure, which are really hard to get addressed when 'everyone knows there was no gas in WWII'# 6
# 6 always used steel bodied trucks for transporting Cw agents, it makes decontamination a lot easier, and avoids nasty surprises when the stuff leaches out later
Edited by Argus, 20 April 2017 - 2336 PM.