Author Topic: WW2 mustard gas disaster  (Read 3184 times)

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Offline Shelldrake

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WW2 mustard gas disaster
« on: February 24, 2012, 10:57:55 AM »
I came upon this surprising and little known (at least to me) incident while reading The Emperor of All Maladies. There were more than 2000 civilian and military casualties when a mustard gas-laden ship exploded at Bari (Italy) as the result of a German air raid.

http://fhp.osd.mil/CBexposures/ww2mustard.jsp
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Offline MIGMaster

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 11:22:18 AM »
Wow. That was an interesting read. I wonder if that event had any ramifications for the transportation and/or storage of chemical weapons during the remainder of WW II.

Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 01:40:45 PM »
I had not known about this thanks for the link.
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Offline MIGMaster

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2012, 11:24:57 AM »
I was just checking into mustard gas on Wiki and here are a few interesting facts:

he sulfur mustards, or sulphur mustards,[2] commonly known as mustard gas, are a class of related cytotoxic and vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lungs. Pure sulfur mustards are colorless, viscous liquids at room temperature. When used in impure form, such as warfare agents, they are usually yellow-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic or horseradish, hence the name. Mustard gas was originally assigned the name LOST, after the scientists Wilhelm Lommell and Wilhelm Steinkopf, who developed a method for the large-scale production of mustard gas for the Imperial German Army in 1916.[3]

Mustard agents are regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Three classes of chemicals are monitored under this Convention, with sulfur and nitrogen mustard grouped in Schedule 1, as substances with no use other than in chemical warfare. Mustard agents could be deployed on the battlefield by means of artillery shells, aerial bombs, rockets, or by spraying from warplanes.
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I'm really glad they didn't call it Horseradish Gas - what an undignified way to go !

Offline LongBlade

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2012, 11:32:23 AM »
Or Ketchup clouds. It's nearly impossible to catch up in a ketchup arms race.

Offline Shelldrake

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2012, 02:17:28 PM »
Mustard gas in liquid form injected directly into the bloodstream was one of the first effective treatments for leukemia! How is that for an amazing fact?!
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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 02:49:27 PM »
I wonder who volunteered for that first injection  :o

Offline besilarius

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 05:22:29 PM »
Back in the eighteenth century, yellow fever (yellow jack) was the great killer in the Caribbean.
Without germ theory, everyone had an idea of where it came from.  After one british army lost 80% of its force to yellow fever, two doctors came up with totally different ideas.  Reached the point of a duel, and both died from their wounds.
Sadly, naturally, both their ideas were wrong.
Another name for yellow fever was black vomit.  At the start of the revolution, there was a brig up in Massachusetts named Black Vomit.
The really interesting thing is that when Captain Horatio Nelson was in charge of the frigate Hinchingbroke, something like three quarters of the crew became sick overnight.  Coming into harbor, it couldn't even properly anchor because there were too few men to man the sails.
Somehow, Nelson survived.
How would world history have changed if he had never lived to be an admiral?
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: WW2 mustard gas disaster
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 05:51:56 PM »

Somehow, Nelson survived.
How would world history have changed if he had never lived to be an admiral?

Hitler was gassed at Ypres in 1918 by a mustard gas attack-which begs the old question:
How would the word be different if he had not recovered?
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