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Weaponized mosquitoes

Nazis planned to weaponize mosquitoes during World War II

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: weaponized mosquitoes, malaria, Nazi Germany

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(NaturalNews) They say that desperate times call for desperate measures, and there have rarely been more desperate times in the modern era than during the two global conflicts that marked the 20th century as one of history's bloodiest periods.

Before and during World War I, for instance, Germany and its allies first employed wide-scale intelligence and counterintelligence operations aimed at disrupting the enemy's warfighting capabilities [http://www.academia.edu].

Also, a new lethality of modern weaponry was employed against armies that still utilized 19th century infantry and fighting tactics. These weapons included heavy machine guns, massive artillery pieces and poison gas.

During World War II, the development of new and unconventional types of warfare continued unabated. Some ideas were developed to their fullest, deadliest potential, like the atomic bombs; some, like Germany's plans to develop vector-borne warfare, did not come to fruition.

New research suggests that the Nazis may have tried to use mosquitoes as weapons, according to The Huffington Post. The plan appears never to have actually been implemented, but data suggest that the plan called for airplanes to release mosquitoes infected with malaria over concentrations of Allied forces.

For a regime that butchered nearly an entire ethnic group of human beings, the diabolical nature of this particular plan shouldn't surprise you. As HuffPo reports:

The plan was uncovered by Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, a biologist at the University of Tubingen, who pored over records involving the notorious Dachau concentration camp. His findings were published in the December edition of the quarterly magazine Endeavour.

Hitler used chemical weapons despite a ban

The plan apparently dates back to around January 1942, perhaps a month after Imperial Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor. Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and police in Nazi Germany, ordered the creation of an entomological institute for the purposes of studying the physiology and control of potentially harmful insects. Reinhardt, in the article's abstract, noted that the institute was headed by Eduard May, an insect researcher.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 outlawed the use of chemical and biological weapons, after the former had wreaked havoc on millions during the First World War. The question of whether Nazi Germany's leader, Adolph Hitler, actually abided by it remains questionable; obviously, he approved the use of gas in concentration camps set up to kill millions of Jews. Nevertheless, some historians have argued that Hitler did not approve the use of such weapons on the battlefield.

In his article, Reinhardt says the evidence that the Third Reich sought to utilize mosquitoes as a sort of biological weapon was not conclusive.

"The idea to grow malaria-laden mosquitoes and drop them on people is not very well documented other than by the words 'growing station' and 'airdropping site,'" Reinhardt told National Geographic in an email. "The equipment May had at hand was actually rather pathetic."

Still, this isn't the first time that scientists have put forward evidence that the Nazi regime had attempted to engage in mosquito warfare.

No smoking gun?

HuffPo adds:

In 2006, Yale history professor Frank Snowden published a book called, The Conquest of Malaria in Italy, in which he maintained that the Nazis released malaria-infected mosquitoes to try to stop advancing Allied troops in Italy.

Using American archives and the diaries of Italian soldiers, Snowden's book details how a Nazi entomologist named Erich Martinia allegedly directed the Germans to flood marshes near Rome and fill them with the larvae of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, the Telegraph reported

However, because Allied British and American forces had been vaccinated against malaria, they were not prone to developing the disease, the British paper reported. Still, malaria cases soared among civilians living in the area.

"Official malaria cases rose in the area from 1,217 in 1943 to 54,929 in 1944 in a population of 245,000. Unofficial rates, Prof Snowden suggests, were much higher," The Telegraph said.

Dr. Eric Toner, an expert in responses to bioterrorism at the University of Pittsburgh, remains unconvinced, however. He told National Geographic that, though Reinhardt "makes a good case," he fails to see "smoking gun" evidence thus far.







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