Britain and Biological Warfare: Expert Advice and Science by B. Balmer PDF

By B. Balmer

ISBN-10: 023050809X

ISBN-13: 9780230508095

ISBN-10: 0333754301

ISBN-13: 9780333754306

From worry of sabotage within the London Underground to the 1st anthrax bomb and the big outdoors exams, Brian Balmer tells the principally untold historical past of organic guns learn and coverage in Britain. Drawing on lately declassified files, this publication charts the key historical past of germ war coverage from the 1930's to the mid-1960's. Britain and organic battle explores the function of self sufficient clinical advisors in shaping some of the most major organic conflict examine courses in heritage.

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Example text

4 Hankey therefore sought, and soon gained, approval from the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, to initiate the research ‘so as to give ourselves knowledge as to how to protect ourselves against such methods. ’5 Seeking knowledge for protection meant taking a proactive stance towards biological warfare. While this was a step away from the purely reactive policy adopted before the war, it was still intended as a defensive course of action. 6 The details of the preliminary experiments, carried out at the National Institute for Medical Research under direction of Sir Patrick Laidlaw, are not described in any of the available papers from this period.

All three had, at one time or another over the past six years, featured in intelligence reports. While the subcommittee regarded sabotage as ‘far the most effective’ means of waging bacteriological warfare, this was not the object of their deliberations. 24 First, the subcommittee considered the possibilities for contaminated rifle bullets. They mentioned French literature which suggested that vegetative forms of bacteria, such as Bacillus prodigiosus, coated on to bullets could Hankey’s ‘Step Further’ 35 survive temperatures developed on firing and even during impact.

2 They concluded that Sisson’s proposal was flawed. In their opinion, anyone breathing in anthrax spores might infrequently develop primary infection but this would hardly spread because the disease was not highly contagious. Mellanby added that this advice, like all previous counsel on biological warfare, was offered from a defensive perspective. 3 Mellanby had even gone so far as to allow his coterie of advisors to plan this experimental work, which he invited Hankey to approve. Hankey first suggested that Chatfield write back to thank Sisson but point out that his anthrax proposal would be contrary to the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

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Britain and Biological Warfare: Expert Advice and Science Policy, 1930-65 by B. Balmer

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