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Bottle diggers burned in mustard gas discovery in Roughton Moor Woods

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  • Bottle diggers burned in mustard gas discovery in Roughton Moor Woods

    Two people have been treated in hospital for minor burns and respiratory problems after they found mustard gas canisters in Lincolnshire.

    Bomb disposal teams were called to Roughton Moor Woods near Woodhall Spa on Sunday.

    Police said the devices were discovered by people digging for bottles in the woods.

    The area was the former RAF Woodhall Spa base from 1942 until it was closed in the mid 1960s.

    Lincolnshire Police said it was "believed the canisters have been in situ since when the site was an operational RAF base".
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-41491942

  • #2
    Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
    Very odd. Britain never deployed Mustard Gas in WW2. However Home Guard units tasked with airfield defence were often equipped with a Northover projector firing phosphorous grenades which were glass cylinders. The Auxiliaries were also armed with the same grenades and established buried caches some of which do keep turning up (about 25 were discovered near Hereford the other day) and people still get burned by them from time to time.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      The Allies ...

      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
      Very odd. Britain never deployed Mustard Gas in WW2. However Home Guard units tasked with airfield defence were often equipped with a Northover projector firing phosphorous grenades which were glass cylinders. The Auxiliaries were also armed with the same grenades and established buried caches some of which do keep turning up (about 25 were discovered near Hereford the other day) and people still get burned by them from time to time.
      ... still deployed mustard gas overseas in WWII, there aren't any indications that it was used intentionally, but some of it still got out. This bit from Richard Overy is one of the more concise regard the German raid on Bari, and Allied (note, largely US) preps should the Axis use gas:
      "On the evening of December 2, 1943, a small raid by thirty-five German aircraft on the crowded dock at Bari led to widespread devastation and, unknown to the local population, the release of a toxic mix of oil and liquid mustard gas. The presence of this deadly mixture was suppressed by British authorities in the post-raid communiqué but was evident on the wounded men taken from the water and tended in the local hospital, where the staff were only notified that gas burns were to be expected when the symptoms were already well established and patients dying. Unknown to the Italian population, the Allies held large stocks of chemical weapons in Italy, ready to be used at a moment’s notice. Since Mussolini had been responsible for using gas in Italy’s war in Ethiopia, the prospect of a desperate act by the enemy in Italy was not entirely out of the question, but Allied chemical resources in Italy dwarfed the quantities used by Italians in Africa. By 1945, American forces had over 10 million pounds of mustard gas and 3 million pounds of other gases in the theater, to be used principally by the air forces, which had 110,000 gas bombs in store. The air force was ordered to keep on hand sufficient weapons to be able to carry out at least forty-five days of continuous gas warfare from the air, aimed at enemy ports and military installations. In the event of a chemical attack by German or Italian forces in Italy, the Mediterranean Tactical Air Forces were ordered to use gas weapons in the immediate battle area without restriction, and to drop gas bombs on other military targets away from “heavily populated areas” but, by implication, on areas that were nevertheless populated. Stocks of gas weapons were held in store in the area around Foggia, which explains the ship at Bari whose contents were destined to boost existing supplies in southern Italy.
      - "The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940-1945", by Richard Overy
      Here's a decent piece on the German raid on Bari, a notable success for the Luftwaffe:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raid_on_Bari
      "I am Groot"
      - Groot

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      • #4
        Apart from the Geneva Convention's ban on mustard gas, i suppose all sides in the war never seriously contemplated using it because every soldier and civilian carried a gas mask, so it'd have been a waste of time anyway.
        However nowadays there are different kinds of gases around that kill if they simply come into contact with human skin in which case a gas mask wouldn't help, you'd need to wear a fullscale NBC suit, the military have them and would be ok, but ordinary civilians wouldn't have a chance.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marmat View Post
          ... still deployed mustard gas overseas in WWII, there aren't any indications that it was used intentionally, but some of it still got out. This bit from Richard Overy is one of the more concise regard the German raid on Bari, and Allied (note, largely US) preps should the Axis use gas:


          Here's a decent piece on the German raid on Bari, a notable success for the Luftwaffe:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raid_on_Bari
          Shipping stocks to various locations is not deploying. Churchill's view was that stocks should be available in theatre to counter any Axis use of gas but that first use should not be considered. Although Livens projectors were available as far as I can ascertain they were never deployed. I believe that UK stocks were stored in Wales
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
            Apart from the Geneva Convention's ban on mustard gas, i suppose all sides in the war never seriously contemplated using it because every soldier and civilian carried a gas mask, so it'd have been a waste of time anyway.
            However nowadays there are different kinds of gases around that kill if they simply come into contact with human skin in which case a gas mask wouldn't help, you'd need to wear a fullscale NBC suit, the military have them and would be ok, but ordinary civilians wouldn't have a chance.
            Mustard gas burns on contact. Although Hitler was in general against the use of gas as a war weapon, in 1944/45 Germany was constructing an underground factory to produce Sarin nerve gas. It was intended that this would be filling for V3 projectiles intended to bombard London and other cities. As it was the only city to be bombarded with a version of the V3 was Luxembourg and only HE was used. Conventional Gas masks would have been useless against Sarin.

            In Britain carrying gas masks by civilians was abandoned mid war and AFAIK the military followed suit.

            BTW it wasn't mustard gas that was banned - all lethal gases were prohibited.
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

            Comment

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