Babies, Gas, and War (1943)

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post


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There’s nothing that shouts “WRONG” with greater voice than images like this.  Like pornography and art, things that are just plain wrong are instantly recognizable, and this is a fine example of that thinking. Anti-Gas Protective Helmet for Babies, Manual of Instructions was prepared for the Office of the Director of Civil Air Raid Precautions of Ottawa, Canada, and published in 1943.  I’m not sure that the image of the nurse in the gas mask isn’t as disturbing, but the two of them together is just too much.  

I wasn’t aware of the gas attack preparations in Canada–the situation was entirely different in Britain, where everyone was required to own a gas mask, and by 1940 more than 38 million had been distributed to the population.  But the planning was underway in Ottawa in ’43 for the worst, as removed and distant from the war as just about any other place on earth–but the Air Raid Precautions people pulled no punches in their hearts and minds campaign, and I’m sure that it was very effective.  This little pamphlet certainly caught my attention. 

And it wasn’t as though the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany weren’t doing anything about poison/nerve gas during WWII–they were.  There was very little use of CW during the war, though the Japanese military did use it relatively widely against Chinese troop,s guerrillas and civilian populations during several years in the war between Japan and China leading up to the outbreak of WWII.  There were large stockpiles of CW in the U.S, Great Britain, and Germany, though the weapons were allocated for last-ditch doomsday operations should the opposing side start using them first.  

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By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries

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