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

By B. Balmer

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

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Extra info for Britain and Biological Warfare: Expert Advice and Science Policy, 1930-65

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High-explosive shells were thought to be equally dubious by the advisors because the high temperatures involved would destroy bacteria. The subcommittee then turned to consider possible means of distributing toxic material from aeroplanes. Research was already under way at Porton on the physics of sprayed liquids and glass containers dropped from aeroplanes and so the subcommittee recommended that no further research in this area was necessary. Ledingham’s group had consulted various researchers on the use of shells fired from aircraft.

10 And, turning to specific diseases, the report promptly disposed of the threat from plague, rabies, cholera, typhoid, anthrax, psittacosis, tularemia, typhus and yellow fever. In particular, the authors rejected anthrax, psittacosis and tularemia as viable agents because they fell outside of their own definition of biological warfare. These diseases, while dangerous for those infected, would not readily spread. Without the potential to cause epidemics, their choice by any enemy would, according to the report, entail ‘the sacrifice of the main advantage of the bacteriological weapon’.

Although this hazard was linked to deliberate use of bacterial agents, it was also bound up with the consequences of conventional warfare. 23 And with each rendition of this perspective on the ‘true danger’ from bacteriological warfare there were implicit and explicit calls for a concrete, public health oriented response. Emergency response becomes the Public Health Laboratory Service Topley’s advocacy of a bacteriological service during the January 1937 meeting brought rapid action. 24 The main concern of this document was with public health during conventional bombing.

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