prisoners; left naked men outdoors in 40 degrees below
Steven M. Block. "The Growing Threat of Biological Warfare."
American R & D efforts encompassed bacteria such as anthrax, brucellosis (undulant fever), and tularemia, rickettsia such as psittacosis (parrot fever), Q-fever and Rocky Mountain fever, and viruses such as smallpox, yellow fever, equine encephalitis, and Rift Valley fever, among others (Harris 210). Building upon British preliminary laboratory research, Camp Detrick scientists also experimented with anti-crop toxins, including rice blast effective against rice crops and stem rust and other herbicides and defoliants, some of which were later used by the United States in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Stephen Endicott, and Edward Hagerman. The United States and
Biological Warfare. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1999.
British-Canadian Biological Research, Testing and Production. According to Harris & Paxman, between 1937 and 1940 "Britain began to stockpile vaccines, fungicides and insecticides against biological attack" (79). Development of offensive biological weapons began at Porton Downs in 1941 under the direction of bacteriologist Paul Fildes. The British concentrated principally on cultivating and producing anthrax and botulinus toxin or BTX. According to Block, anthrax bacteria has been a favorite biological weapon because it "has the ability to form resistant spores, which can remain viable for over a hundred years --if kept desiccated and out of direct sunlight" (28). He reported that if the symptoms of anthrax, which resemble those produced by the common cold or influenza, are not detected within the first day or so after it has been inhaled and treated with antibiotics, mortality rates of 80 percent or more occur (28). The British learned how to dry and preserve anthrax spores and to weaponize them at Porton Downs. British experiments with dropping airborne con