did not use biological or chemical weapons on enemy combatants during World War
This can be explained by several
- Most of the Allied powers (except the U.S.)
signed the Geneva Protocol in 1925.
They agreed not to be the first to use chemical and
bacteriological agents in war, but reserved the right to use them if
attacked with them. The ample
threat posed by Allied chemical weapons would have been a distinct
- The German military strategy of Blitzkreig did not require the
use of chemical weapons for success.
Unlike the trench warfare of WWI, it would not have been so
feasible to limit friendly-fire incidents, nor to expose mass numbers of enemy
- As a
sergeant in the Kaiser's army, Adolf Hitler was gassed by British troops
in 1918. He was temporarily blinded
by a British gas attack at Flanders. The first-hand agony may have caused
him to refrain from using it as a tactical weapon himself.
refrained from using Chemical Weapons, despite a large stockpile
did employ chemical, particularly hydrogen cyanide gas, in concentration camp gas
chambers, such as the one at Stutthof.
The walls have been stained an iron blue because of continued exposure
to hydrogen cyanide.
Gas Chamber at Sutthof
Although they never deployed chemical or
biological weapons, Nazi Germany did have a very sophisticated Some information
chemical and biological programs throughout the Nazi Era:
- The first nerve agent
(called "Tabun" or "GA") for military use was made in Germany
- Another nerve agent,
"sarin" or "GB," was made in 1938
- Soman" or
"GD" was made in 1944.
- It has been estimated that the Germans
had stockpiles of tons of both Tabun and Sarin.
- Testing of chemical and
biological agents was conducted on inmates at the concentration camps.
- British intelligence
suspected that the Germans were capable of using chemical and biological
weapons not only on enemy combatants but also affixed to V1 and V2 rockets
for use on a civilian population.
After the war, much of the remnants of Hitlers chemical weapons programs
were dumped into the ocean. Six decades
after the defeat of Nazi Germany,
Hitler's chemical weapons are coming back to haunt Europe
as they ooze from rusting and poorly mapped graves on the seabed.
Norway knows the exact locations of just 15 of a probable 36 ships
in waters about 600 metres (1,970 feet) deep off the southern town of Arendal,
one of the main postwar chemical dumps with 168,000 tonnes of Nazi
ammunition. The disposal of Nazi
chemical weapons was far from clean, and is still causing problems today.