Biological and Chemical Warfare


Sparta, poisoned the wells with dead bodies

Approx. 404 BC

In the city of Athens in 404 BC, Sparta used dead bodies to poison the wells of the Athenians. Killing most of their population and leading to their vistory of the war.

Hannibal used jars filled with snakes to throw at enemy ships.

190 BC

Hannibal had earthen jars filled with venomous snakes, covered and taken on board his ships. When the enemy ships came within range, the earthen jars with the snakes were hurled at the enemy vessels where they broke discharging their terrifying occupants among the enemy sailors

Tartar Army, catapulted bodies of dead soliders after being bitten by rats.


Tartars catapulted bodies of plague victims over the walls of Kaffa in an attempt to initiate an epidemic upon the residents.5 The bubonic plague is primarily a disease of rats and other rodents. Only when they become very numerous in close contact with humans does the plague arise in man.

17th century Europe created a nursery rhyme to describe the plague


Ring around the rosy
(The feverous face encircled with pustules)
A pocket full of posies
(Flowers placed on the foul smelling victim)
Ashes, ashes
(Septic shock that precedes death, wearing of mourning ashes, or burning of the corpses of the plague victims?)
All fall down
(The victim dies)

Russian Army, catapulted dead bodies from plague to enemies


Russian Army besieging the Swedes holding Reval in Estonia tried the catapulting of corpses of those who died of the plague. Again the success of the tactic was due in no small way to the panic and hysteria that the plague induced in people.

The first weaponised biological agent, was brought into North America.

1754 - 1767

The agent was smallpox. The method of delivery was blankets not bombs. Sir Jeffrey Amherst who was the commander of British forces in North America created a plan thats aim was to reduce the Native Americans.

Edward Jenner, created a smallpox vaccine.


English physician, Edward Jenner who discovered the smallpox vaccine in 1796. What is also remarkable is the fact that science did not discover the germ theory and how diseases are transmitted until the late 1870's.

Better killing through chemistry


World War I became known as "the chemists' war," for the deadly gases it introduced to combat. At the Second Battle of Ypres, the German army released thousands of cylinders of yellow-green chlorine gas across the battlefield—the first major use of a chemical weapon in modern warfare. (Small amounts of tear gas had been used earlier by the French and Germans as an irritant.)

The gas, a choking agent that causes fluid to build up in victims' lungs, killed hundreds of French soldiers—at least; accounts vary—but didn't give the Germans an immediate advantage. It's been suggested that they themselves were so shocked by chlorine's effects that they failed to make an advance.

The first large-scale attack with chlorine gas occurred at Ieper in Belgium

April 22 1915

During World War I, chlorine and phosgene gases were released from canisters on the battlefield and dispersed by the wind.

Unit 731


Plague infected rats were fed upon by laboratory bred fleas. The Japanese then collected the now infected fleas, containerized them and released them over Chinese cities from low flying aircraft.

Nazi concentration camps spread Hepatitis A.


Prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were forcibly infected with a wide variety of bacteria, protozoa and even a virus, Hepatitis A. These experiments were done to study pathogenes and to develop vaccines and sulfa drugs rather than to develop weaponized versions .

US created over 5000 bombs filled with anthrax


Meanwhile the US offensive biological warfare program was begun in 1942, under the Direction of the War Reserve Service, a civilian agency. This precluded large-scale biological weapons production. However the Camp Detrick "pilot plant" produced 5000 bombs of anthrax.

British developed their own biological warfare program focused on anthrax.


The British focused on a way of weaponising anthrax by placing the deadly pathogens inside the bomb. So when the bomb went off they were realeased into the air of their enemies.

A catastrophic scale


Napalm—a sticky, gasoline-like substance that can melt the skin off its victims—was developed in 1943 by Harvard chemist Louis Fieser and his team. Though it became infamous during the Vietnam War, napalm—which Fieser had found to be an effective weed killer—had a devastating impact during World War II, when a single U.S. firebomb raid in Tokyo killed an estimated 100,000 people. That's a comparable figure to the atomic bomb casualties at Hiroshima, and more deadly than the Nagasaki blast.

During the Korean War, AR was constructed creating biosafety measures

1950 - 1953

During the Korean War (1950 - 1953) new production facility at Pine Bluff, AR was constructed incorporating adequate biosafety measures. These safety systems are to protect the staff and the people and livestock in the vicinity.

Agents of Doom


Nerve agents are the most lethal and quickest-acting category of chemical weapons. A single drop of sarin or the deadlier VX (the "V" in its code name indicates the "V-series," or venomous agents) can kill a person in minutes. Iraq became the first country to employ nerve agents on the battlefield when it released them as airborne chemicals, along with mustard gas, during the Iran-Iraq War. (Most nerve agents can also be administered in liquid form. They're tasteless in drinking water.)



Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, letters containing spores of the bacterium B. anthracis were mailed to media and public figures in the U.S. Five people died from contact with the anthrax—the country's first bioterrorism fatalities. In the following years, U.S. spending on biodefense rose exponentially, reaching more than $4 billion a year.