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Biological Warfare: A Brief History (From Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey For the Concerned Citizen, P 219-236, 2002, by Eric Croddy, Clarisa Perez-Armendariz, et al, -- See NCJ-192083)

NCJ Number
Eric Croddy; Clarisa Perez-Armendariz; John Hart
Date Published
18 pages
This chapter contains a brief history of biological warfare.
As long ago as 400 B.C., Scythian archers dipped their arrows in feces and putrefying corpses. Before battle, Roman soldiers ran their swords into manure and the rotting offal of dead animals. If wounded by a weapon contaminated in such fashion, victims contracted infection, especially tetanus. In World War I, German secret agents used at least two bacterial pathogens, the causative agents of glanders (Burkholderia mallei) and anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). The Geneva Protocol of 1925, the first diplomatic effort to limit the use of biological weapons, prohibited the deployment, but not the research, production, or stockpiling, of BW agents. Japan, one of the few countries known to have engaged extensively in modern biological warfare, conducted an ambitious BW program in occupied Manchuria between 1937 and 1945. The Japanese experimented on prisoners with plague, cholera, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, the effects of frostbite, and even some sexually transmitted diseases. Just before the beginning of World War II, the United States, Canada, and Great Britain cooperated in BW research and development. During the Korean War, the United States expanded its BW program. By the time the program was terminated in 1969, the United States had seven standardized biological weapons: the bacterial agents that cause anthrax and tularemia, the causative agents of brucellosis, Q-Fever, and VEE. Also weaponized were botulinum and SEB toxins. The chapter includes a brief look at BW in Russia today. Figure, notes