Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

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Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Manstein em Qui Set 05, 2013 12:03 am

Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons
The use of chemical weapons in Syria has outraged the world. But it is easy to forget that Britain has used them – and that Winston Churchill was a powerful advocate for them Secrecy was paramount. Britain's imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia.

The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons. During the third battle of Gaza in 1917, General Edmund Allenby had fired 10,000 cans of asphyxiating gas at enemy positions, to limited effect. But in the final months of the first world war, scientists at the governmental laboratories at Porton in Wiltshire developed a far more devastating weapon: the top secret "M Device", an exploding shell containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine. The man in charge of developing it, Major General Charles Foulkes, called it "the most effective chemical weapon ever devised".

Trials at Porton suggested that it was indeed a terrible new weapon. Uncontrollable vomiting, coughing up blood and instant, crippling fatigue were the most common reactions. The overall head of chemical warfare production, Sir Keith Price, was convinced its use would lead to the rapid collapse of the Bolshevik regime. "If you got home only once with the gas you would find no more Bolshies this side of Vologda."The cabinet was hostile to the use of such weapons, much to Churchill's irritation. He also wanted to use M Devices against the rebellious tribes of northern India. "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," he declared in one secret memorandum. He criticised his colleagues for their "squeamishness", declaring that "the objections of the India Office to the use of gas against natives are unreasonable. Gas is a more merciful weapon than [the] high explosive shell, and compels an enemy to accept a decision with less loss of life than any other agency of war."

He ended his memo on a note of ill-placed black humour: "Why is it not fair for a British artilleryman to fire a shell which makes the said native sneeze?" he asked. "It is really too silly."

A staggering 50,000 M Devices were shipped to Russia: British aerial attacks using them began on 27 August 1919, targeting the village of Emtsa, 120 miles south of Archangel. Bolshevik soldiers were seen fleeing in panic as the green chemical gas drifted towards them. Those caught in the cloud vomited blood, then collapsed unconscious.

The attacks continued throughout September on many Bolshevik-held villages: Chunova, Vikhtova, Pocha, Chorga, Tavoigor and Zapolki. But the weapons proved less effective than Churchill had hoped, partly because of the damp autumn weather. By September, the attacks were halted then stopped. Two weeks later the remaining weapons were dumped in the White Sea. They remain on the seabed to this day in 40 fathoms of water. http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Winston Churchill em Qui Set 05, 2013 8:31 am

Historians from Sir Martin Gilbert forward have covered these topics so often in the past that I am surprised they still raise controversy. No doubt their shock value is still high, given what's been going on in Syria.

Churchill himself confused the subject when he referred to "poison gas" instead of tear gas (which he defined as "lachrymatory gas") on the question of Iraqi rebels in 1921. See for example Martin Gilbert's Churchill Centre lecture, "Churchill and Bombing Policy":

http://www.winstonchurchill. org/images/pdfs/for_educators/ Gilbert%20TCC%20Lecture% 20CHURCHILL%20AND%20BOMBING% 20POLICY.pdf

Quoting from the above: "Continuing to use the Royal Air Force in Iraq would entail, as Churchill explained to Air Marshal Trenchard, ‘the provision of some kind of asphyxiating bombs calculated to cause disablement of some kind but not death...'" In the event, gas of any kind was not used.

Churchill's general philosophy leading up to WW2 remained along the same lines—as illustrated by this comment to the House of Commons on 13 May 1932 (my book* page 190):

"Nothing could be more repugnant to our feelings

than the use of poison gas, but there is

no logic at all behind the argument that it is

quite proper in war to lay a man low with

high-explosive shell, fragments of which

inflict poisonous and festering wounds, and

altogether immoral to give him a burn with

corrosive gas or make him cough and sneeze

or otherwise suffer through his respiratory

organs.…The attitude of the British Government has

always been to abhor the employment of

poison gas. As I understand it, our only procedure

is to keep alive such means of studying

this subject as shall not put us at a hopeless

disadvantage if, by any chance, it were used

against us by other people."

Accordingly, in World War II he was always prepared to use gas ruthlessly--if it were first used by the enemy.

Often cited without context is his 1943 remark about "drenching Germany" with poison gas. This was a response, not a recommendation. From FINEST HOUR 117, Winter 2002-03, Q&A column, pages 43/47:

Q: "In February 1943, during the German counter-offensive in the Donets Basin, Churchill was informed that the Germans might use poison gas against the Russians. What was Churchill’s response?

A: "In a minute to the Chiefs of Staff Committee Churchill wrote, 'We shall retaliate by drenching the German cities with gas on the largest scale.'"


As to the use of "poison" gas against the Bolsheviks, I do not have a quotation to hand. But, given his consistency on what to use and when to use it, from World War I forward, I am sure it would be along the same lines.

We have to consider attitudes at the time. After the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian exit from WW1, this same Churchill advocated sending a "commissar" (as he put it) to Lenin, who would offer—in exchange for Russia re-entering the car—that Britain would guarantee Lenin's revolution!

I think this illustrates that in both World Wars, Churchill's main aim was victory. To that end he would consider almost anything, although he never advocated the first use of poison gas.

I have always been impressed with the words of his daughter Lady Soames: "My father would have done almost anything to win the war, and I daresay he had to do some pretty rough things. But they didn't unman him."

_________________
"Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but in the end, there it is."

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be."

"I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and France has suffered even more than we have....the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course."
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Dornberger em Qui Set 05, 2013 11:07 am

Já tem uma tradução em português do artigo do The Guardian no Sala de Guerra:
http://www.saladeguerra.com.br/2013/09/o-chocante-uso-de-armas-quimicas-por.html
O artigo, no geral, é sensacionalismo puro.
"The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons."
Alguém faltou à aula sobre guerra química na Primeira Guerra Mundial...
"containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine"
Difenilaminacloroarsina ou cloreto de fenarsazina, tecnicamente conhecida como Agente DM é informalmente conhecida como adamsita, em homenagem ao seu descobridor, o americano Roger Adams em 1918 (embora ela tenha sido sintetizada antes na Alemanha por Heinrich Otto Wieland, um dos pupilos de Fritz Haber, em 1915).
É um agente de controle de multidões, com efeitos similares ao Agente CS, o gás lacrimogênio mais utilizado. Como o DM demora mais para fazer efeito, demora mais para se dispersar e é relativamente mais tóxico, hoje em dia é considerado obsoleto. Os americanos usaram o DM em operações militares no Vietnã, especialmente na guerra de túneis na região de Cu Chi. Há indícios de que os norte-coreanos ainda o produzem em grande escala.
Enquanto o malvado buldogue usava esta terrível arma química contra os pobres soldados bolcheviques algumas figuras históricas igualmente conhecidas fizeram uso do mesmo contra seu próprio povo.
Em 1932 25.000 manifestantes marcharam sobre Washington, DC. Composta em sua maioria por veteranos da Primeira Guerra desempregados pela Grande Depressão, a multidão exigia o pagamento de bônus pelo serviço militar em tempo de guerra, prometido pelo Congresso mas pago em "certificados" resgatáveis num prazo de 20 anos. O movimento exigia o resgate imediato dos títulos.
Depois de um confronto com a polícia onde 2 manifestantes morreram o US Army foi chamado.
Comandando a operação estava o general Douglas MacArthur, com o major Dwight D. Eisenhower como ajudante de ordens. Além de infantaria, cavalaria com apoio de 6 tanques comandada pelo major George S. Patton.
Depois de uma carga de cavalaria e uma barragem de gás adamsita, a infantaria investiu contra a multidão com baionetas caladas.
55 veteranos ficaram feridos, 155 foram presos. Uma mulher sofreu um aborto. Um bebê de 3 meses morreu no hospital, provavelmente em consequência do gás.
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Dornberger em Qui Set 05, 2013 11:29 am

Winston Churchill escreveu:"but there is no logic at all behind the argument that it is quite proper in war to lay a man low with high-explosive shell, fragments of which inflict poisonous and festering wounds, and altogether immoral to give him a burn with corrosive gas or make him cough and sneeze or otherwise suffer through his respiratory organs…
Eu fecho com o buldogue. Fritar um sujeito com lança-chamas ou estripá-lo com baioneta é honrado, destruir os pulmões dele com gás é bárbaro? Non-sense...

Winston Churchill escreveu:if it were first used by the enemy.
O detalhe que faz toda a diferença do mundo. Se o inimigo faz torna-se um dos usos e costumes da guerra. É como acusar os ingleses de crime por bombardearem Dresden depois de bombardear Coventry. Se os ingleses fizeram melhor (ou pior no caso) a diferença é a competência. A questão é técnica, não moral.

Winston Churchill escreveu:I have always been impressed with the words of his daughter Lady Soames: "My father would have done almost anything to win the war, and I dares ay he had to do some pretty rough things. But they didn't unman him."
Guerra é o Inferno. Tentar humanizar a guerra só a prolonga e em consequência a torna mais desumana. Buscai a Vitória acima de todas as coisas e o resto vos será dado por acréscimo. Evangelho segundo WC...
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Winston Churchill em Qui Set 05, 2013 12:34 pm

Amén

_________________
"Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but in the end, there it is."

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be."

"I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and France has suffered even more than we have....the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course."
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Manstein em Qui Set 05, 2013 4:08 pm

mete o pau nele....rs....no bom sentido....
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Winston Churchill em Qui Set 05, 2013 5:01 pm

ò o cara, meu...

Manstein escreveu:mete o pau nele....rs....no  bom sentido....

_________________
"Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but in the end, there it is."

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be."

"I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and France has suffered even more than we have....the German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course."
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Re: Winston Churchill's shocking use of chemical weapons

Mensagem por Clifford Carwood Lipton em Sex Set 06, 2013 5:17 am

Que o Churchill peidava para cacete está bem registrado nos anais.
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