Early biological warfare

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by primalclaws1974, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Biological warfare isn't new. Assyria poisoned enemy wells with fungi as far back as the 6th-century. In 1789 British marines used small pox as a weapon against New South Wales. Although still debated, supposedly the United States Army gave Native Americans purposefully-infected small pox blankets in 1769. The people had never been in contact with small pox, and had no immunity to it at all. What do you think of biological warfare, either in these rudimentary forms, or modern examples?
    Diptangshu likes this.
  2. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    '' .... Behold, the hand of the Lord will come with a very severe murrain on your livestock which are in the field .... on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks .... '' Exodus 9:3 [Anthrax ?]
    Well, so the outbreaks might have occured in Biblical times, the book of Exodus describes ten plagues that affected both humans and animals in Egypt.
    During 6th BC, the Assyrians poison every wells with poisonous rye ergot, a type of fungus that causes convulsion if injected. But back into the 20th century, Japs contaminated every available water resources with poison, during their siege of Kohima! Prior to this, their Unit 731 planned and started a bioterrorism in occupied Manchuria, '37; in the case of Chinese and Manchurian plague epidemic during '40, due to their dropping of plague-infected fleas.
    What happened to the Tartars during the siege of Kaffa (Feodosia/Crimea) is mostly well known to you all.
    The ancient writings of China telling us about the practice of biological warfare (a special poisonous gas) to discurage the besieging army from digging. The 'alchemy' of ancient Chinese military biological warfare ¿
    You may recall even Nepoleon, when he enhanced the spread of Malaria by flooding the Italian Mantua plains.
  3. When you wrote about fleas, it made me think of another type of biological warfare; this is called entomological warfare, and involves using insects on the enemy. There are many examples of nations using this, either in theory and study, or actual use. The Soviet Union was developing a strategy to use ticks to contaminate farm animals that would be used as food. The United States was working on a project to breed mosquitos and transmit yellow fever to the enemy. To see how productive it would be, they dropped 300,000 mosquitos (without yellow fever) over unsuspecting U.S. cities. The South accused the North of introducing the harlequin bug, to destroy their crops.
  4. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Hannibal used snakes during the battle of Eurymedon against Eumenes II and own!
    His men confirmed victory by catapulting pottery jars full of poisonous snakes onto the decks of the enemy's ships. Men on the ships of Eumenes II, surprised first to see the landing of such projectiles of which they didn't have any idea; they terrified by the strange weapons and returned to their naval base.
    The only incident known to me where snakes had been used as a tactic in naval warfare.
  5. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    The earliest example I can think of is the Hittites (somewhere in 1500–1200 BC) drove Tularemia victims into enemy lands to infect them. Poison tipped spears, arrows, and the like mentioned in The Illiad. Later, during the middle ages, there were examples of catapulting the corpses and/or excrement of those that died from the plague into besieged castles.

    So, it is not particularly new. Germ warfare, though, is dangerous because once unleashed, the bugs do not follow orders only infect the enemy. ;)
  6. joshposh

    joshposh New Member

    Let's not forget about during castle sieges, they use to catapult dead bodies from the black plaque over the walls. I can't imagine how the clean up is going to be. You might be able to kill off your enemies but clean up is going to be just as hazardous.
  7. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    Current research by nations such as the US, UK, Russia,China is designed to produce self-limiting diseases that cause havoc and then become harmless. But memember, "the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley".
  8. LilAnn

    LilAnn New Member

    I had no idea it went back so far. But I think my understanding of biological warfare was a bit too narrow.

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