Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This is coolbert:
I had forgotten about this one. From SIPRI some details of another use of chemical agents during wartime, subsequent to the end of the Great War [WW1]. Widespread and callous use of mustard agent as employed by the Italian in their one-sided war against the Ethiopian.
"The use of chemical weapons in the 1935–36 Italo-Ethiopian War"
That Ethiopian military and levee en masse not equipped for defense against chemical warfare, the Abyssinian at the mercy of the merciless fascist!!
"The war is also remembered for Italy’s successful use of chemical weapons, primarily the blister agent sulphur mustard. The use of sulphur mustard was particularly effective because the Ethiopian soldiers wore traditional light desert garb that exposed the skin. In addition, Ethiopian soldiers typically wore sandals or were barefoot."
"Sulphur mustard has been called the ‘king of war gases’ for its ability to cause casualties and its persistency. It was introduced onto the battlefield in 1917 and was responsible for more than half of all chemical weapon casualties in World War I . . . Exposure to sulphur mustard can promote the development of infections by the damage it causes to the respiratory system . . . there is strong evidence suggesting that those exposed to sulphur mustard will develop health problems, including chronic respiratory disease, cancer and an increased risk of blindness."
Masking quickly and properly while you are in the midst of a chemical warfare environment is VERY important! More than seven seconds and your eyes may be exposed to the aerosol version of mustard and you will be either temporarily blinded or even permanently so if the exposure is even slightly longer!!
A droplet of mustard agent the size of pinhead within thirty minutes causing a large blister, the pain excruciating and most terrible. THERE ARE INSTANCES RECORDED OF SOLDIERS CLAWING THEMSELVES TO DEATH WHEN SO CONTAMINATED!!
The great American baseball player Christy Mathewson during the Great War serving as an officer in a "jock" elite military unit, teaching chemical warfare defense to the troops, contaminated by accident during training, suffering permanent and debilitating injury shortening the life of man by decades!!
"In 1918, he was one of many players (and former players) that enlisted in the Army to fight in the Great War. Mathewson was assigned to train recruits how to put on gas masks, and was unfortunately exposed to mustard gas during a drill, and it permanently injured his lungs. After the war, Mathewson went to coach for the Giants, but was bothered by a nasty cough. Doctors discovered that Matty had contracted tuberculosis, a potentially fatal lung disease."
That persistency of mustard agent long-lasting and useful AS A BATTLEFIELD BARRIER, ANALOGOUS TO A MINEFIELD VERY DISRUPTIVE THE DECONTAMINATION OF WHICH IS LABORIOUS AND DANGEROUS JUST IN ITSELF!!
"Italian forces were able to deliver large quantities of sulphur mustard against target areas. Chemical weapons were used to protect the flanks of Italian supply routes and lines of attack and as a ‘force multiplier’ to increase disruption in the Ethiopian forces by hindering communication, demoralizing troops and confusing troop movements. A Soviet estimate states that 15 000 of the 50 000 Ethiopian casualties in the war were caused by chemical weapons."
Recall too the widespread use of chemical agents by the Japanese during the same time period [late 1930's]. Also chemicals the release of which was authorized by Hirohito himself. The fascist powers not hesitant or loathe to use WMD against an adversary they deemed as "lesser" beings.