Allies Prepared to Use Chemical Weapons in WW2 – May 7, 2017

All the combatants in WW2 had agreed not to use chemical weapons. However the Allies had contingency plans as seen when the Nazis bombed a shipment of US mustard gas in the Italian port of Bari in Dec. 1943 with devastating effect on US sailors.
Smoke arising from Bari air raid

Smoke arising from Bari air raid

by John Hamer — ( 

At the outbreak of World War Two, both sides had poisonous gas shells.  However, the pre-emptive use of chemicals in warfare was strictly forbidden by Hitler and any retaliatory action required Hitler’s approval.  In fact, he vetoed several proposals by his Generals to use poisonous gas on the Eastern front.
The first instance of the use of chemical weapons in WW2 occurred on 8th September 1939 in Southern Poland.  The Polish army used a chemical bomb on a battalion of German engineers attempting to bridge the River Jasiolka.  The bomb exploded, seriously wounding twelve and killing two.  A subsequent investigation into the incident revealed that the bomb was manufactured in England.
By 1940, England had determined that they would use chemicals should the Germans invade. In June 1940, Winston Churchill ordered General Ismay to prepare for the use of chemicals against German forces. In April 1942, Churchill offered Stalin 1000 tonnes of Mustard Gas.  However, Stalin declined and instead requested 5000 tonnes of chlorine with which he intended to use to produce his own chemical weapons.
On 10th May 1942 Churchill claimed in a radio speech, without any evidence, that the reason for Germany’s rapid advances in Russia were due to chemical weapons.  He added, “We know the Huns, which is the reason why we are building up our storage of chemical weapons. I would say that should Germany again attack our ally Russia with more chemical weapons, then we will start using gas in our attacks on German cities and towns.”



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