Death by Mustard Gas - How Military Secrecy and Lost Weapons by Geoff Plunkett

By Geoff Plunkett

In 1943 a best mystery consignment of chemical guns, together with lethal mustard fuel, arrived in Australia through send. yet there has been an issue - it was once leaking. army specialists speedy realised this yet, within the pursuits of secrecy, despatched unprotected and unsuspecting wharf labourers right into a deadly surroundings. the end result used to be catastrophic: everlasting incapacity and loss of life. This stunning narrative contains debts of respectable deceit, intimidation of gassed labourers and denial of common justice. the reality, buried in categorised files and the testimony of the few survivors, is that human lifestyles was once sacrificed for the sake of secrecy. virtually 70 years after battle shares of chemical guns have been it sounds as if completely destroyed, mustard gasoline continues to be current at the Australian mainland, in her oceans and alongside her coastal fringes. the entire destruction of chemical shares is just one other army assumption. actually that those lethal guns have been incompletely destroyed, buried or just misplaced. Many hold their effectiveness regardless of the passing of time, a undeniable fact that price one guy his existence and observed employees and youngsters at a college badly burned in 1964. Mustard fuel guns were retrieved as lately as 2012 and extra may perhaps lie in shallow graves ready to be exposed. this can be a very actual lesson for the army of this day. This booklet is a quantity within the Australian military historical past assortment, released via the military background Unit (Department of Defence, Australia). It featured at the 7pm ABC information on 28 November 2014.

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Extra resources for Death by Mustard Gas - How Military Secrecy and Lost Weapons can Kill

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1 hold should not be touched until Le Fevre gave the word to open the hatch. During the meeting 37 DEATH BY MUSTARD GAS McKenzie glanced across to Le Pevre and could see clearly that his eyes had been affected by the contamination in Melbourne. 5 The ship carried gas masks as required for air raid precautions but they had not been used for some time and were dirty. However they were Dark's only option as the RAAF refused to supply gas masks. Dark then asked the RAAF officers to assist him in cleaning them, but was told they had no means to do so.

Under security regulations I am unable to tell you,' was the unhelpful reply. 16 The Port Inspector was irritated by the officiousness of this response. He was bound by a secrecy oath himself and felt he had the authority to be told. Instead he was being kept in the dark when the health of his men was at stake. Captain Dark had no inkling of the evolving drama. He had been ashore taking a walk and, on his return, was met by his Chief Officer who reported that a number of men had been taken ill and the unloading had been halted.

Co. and China Mutual Steam Navigation Co, two Alfred Holt companies. I I This was the second Idomeneus that had been built for the line; the first had been transferred out of the fleet in 1922. It was to be Dark's first voyage on this ship. The mysterious Y3 was stored in sturdy steel drums in the No. 1 lower hold. No. 1 hold was divided into three floors: the upper 'tween deck at the top, the lower 'tween deck in the middle and the lower hold at the bottom. The drums were tightly sealed, the contents assuming the harmless appearance of dirty dark car oil.

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