Hoe het Amerikaners geweet dat hulle pokke -geïnfekteerde komberse moet gebruik voor die teorie van kieme?

Hoe het Amerikaners geweet dat hulle pokke -geïnfekteerde komberse moet gebruik voor die teorie van kieme?


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Hoe het Amerikaners geweet dat inheemse Amerikaners honderde jare voor die kiemteorie met pokke, uit komberse wat besmet was, besmet sou word?


Voor die teorie van kieme was daar soortgelyke konsepte van aansteeklike siektes- slegte humors, slegte lug, ens. Girolamo Fracastoro het verder gegaan en in die 1500's 'n protokiemteorie ontwikkel. So het mense die idee gekry.


Hoe het Amerikaners geweet dat inheemse Amerikaners honderde jare voor die kiemteorie met pokke, uit komberse wat besmet was, besmet sou word?

Het Amerikaners weet of bloot hoop dat inheemse Amerikaners besmet is met pokke, van komberse wat met pokke besmet is?

Klaarblyklik kan pokke deur besmette voorwerpe versprei word, al versprei dit gewoonlik deur virusse wat deur infeksies veroorsaak word.

Die Britse bevelvoerder in Noord -Amerika, Lord Jefffrey Amherst, het beslis gehoop dat die inheemse Amerikaners komberse van pokke -slagoffers sou besmet.

Maar wyser mense het hom moontlik gewaarsku dat sy bose en volksmoordplan baie gebrekkig was en waarskynlik nie goed genoeg sou werk om 'n verskil te maak nie.

Die inheemse Amerikaanse bevolkings is beslis die afgelope paar eeue baie keer deur aansteeklike siektes gedemineer en hul getalle is aansienlik verminder. Maar Amherst het nog steeds 'n vreeslike probleem met vyandige inheemse Amerikaners gehad. Dit was wensdenkery om te hoop dat 'n nuwe epidemie genoeg sou wees om probleme met die inheemse Amerikaners tydens sy bewindstyd te beëindig. Veral omdat die blootstelling van Amherst se eie beleid teenoor die inheemse Amerikaners en die toekenning van wat hulle wou, die probleem baie vinniger sou beëindig het.

Maar ten minste het Amherst se bose en te optimistiese plan daartoe bygedra dat die getalle van die oostelike stamme verminder is, sodat hulle na 'n paar jaar nie meer probleme ondervind het nie, soos Richard Butler en Francis Dade kon getuig. Reg?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Butler_(general)1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_L._Dade2

Baie later is baie vlaktes van die Indiese stamme verwoes deur 'n pokke -epidemie in 1837. En daarna was die stamme van die Indiërs nooit talryk genoeg om die Amerikaanse regering te beveg nie, reg? Dit is die rede waarom in die jaar 1890 sulke ou soldate soos John Lawrence Grattan, William Judd Fetterman en George Armstrong Custer gesê het dat die vreedsame geskiedenis van die vlaktes sedert ongeveer 1840 veroorsaak is deur die groot pokke -epidemie in 1837, en sonder dit baie dapper soldate sou gesterf het in die stryd teen die Indiërs. Reg?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lawrence_Grattan3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Fetterman4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Armstrong_Custer5


Koloniale oorlogvoering: Is komberse wat met pokke besmet is, aan inheemse Amerikaners gegee?

Die oorlog in Noord -Amerikaanse koloniste teen inheemse Amerikaners was dikwels gruwelik. Maar op een metode blyk dit dat hulle selfs meer skokke gebruik het as al die bloedige slagting: die gee van komberse en linne wat met pokke besmet is. Die virus veroorsaak 'n siekte wat letsels, blindheid en dood kan veroorsaak. Die taktiek vorm 'n kru vorm van biologiese oorlogvoering - maar die koloniste wat dit gebruik, is eintlik min.

William Trent, 'n handelaar, landspekulant en militia -kaptein, het in sy dagboek geskryf dat op 23 Junie twee afgevaardigdes van Delaware die fort besoek het en die volgende dag gevra het om gesprekke te voer. Op daardie vergadering, nadat die inheemse Amerikaanse diplomate onsuksesvol probeer het om die Britte te oorreed om Fort Pitt te laat vaar, vra hulle proviand en drank vir hul terugkeer. Die Britte het gehoor gegee en ook geskenke aan hulle gegee - twee komberse en 'n sakdoek wat uit die pokke -afdeling gekom het.

[Historikus Paul Kelton] sê die taktiek, hoe gevoelig en brutaal ook al, is slegs 'n klein deel van 'n groter verhaal van brutaliteit in die 1600's en 1700's. Gedurende hierdie tydperk het Britse magte inheemse Amerikaners probeer verdryf deur hul koring af te sny en hul huise te verbrand en van hulle vlugtelinge te maak. Volgens Kelton was dit baie kwesbaarder vir siektes as 'n hoop besmette komberse.


Inhoud

Die vroegste gedokumenteerde voorval van die voorneme om biologiese wapens te gebruik, is moontlik aangeteken in Hetitiese tekste van 1500–1200 v.C., waarin slagoffers van tularemie na vyandelike lande gedryf is en 'n epidemie veroorsaak het. [1] Alhoewel die Assiriërs geweet het van ergot, 'n parasitiese rogskimmel wat ergotisme veroorsaak tydens inname, is daar geen bewyse dat hulle vyandige putte met die swam vergiftig het nie, soos beweer is.

Volgens Homer se epiese gedigte oor die legendariese Trojaanse oorlog, het die Ilias en die Odyssey, spiese en pyle is met gif getip. Tydens die Eerste Heilige Oorlog in Griekeland, in ongeveer 590 vC, vergiftig Athene en die Amphictionic League die watertoevoer van die beleërde stad Kirrha (naby Delphi) met die giftige plant hellebore. [2] Volgens Herodotus het Skytiese boogskutters gedurende die 4de eeu vC hul pylpunte gedoop in ontbindende kadavers van mense en slange [3] of in bloed gemeng met mis, [4] wat hulle vermoedelik besmet het met gevaarlike bakteriese middels soos Clostridium perfringens en Clostridium tetani, en slanggif. [5]

In 'n seestryd teen koning Eumenes van Pergamon in 184 v.C. het Hannibal van Kartago kleipotte gevul met giftige slange en het hy sy matrose opdrag gegee om dit op die dekke van vyandelike skepe te gooi. [6] Die Romeinse bevelvoerder Manius Aquillius het die putte van beleërde vyandelike stede in ongeveer 130 vC vergiftig. Omstreeks 198 nC het die Parthiese stad Hatra (naby Mosul, Irak) die Romeinse leër onder leiding van Septimius Severus afgeweer deur kleipotte gevul met lewende skerpioene na hulle te gooi. [7] Net soos Skytse boogskutters, het Romeinse soldate hul swaarde ook in uitwerpsels gedoop en kadawers - slagoffers is gevolglik deur tetanus besmet. [8]

Daar is talle ander gevalle van die gebruik van planttoksiene, gifstowwe en ander giftige stowwe om biologiese wapens in die oudheid te skep. [9]

Die Mongoolse Ryk het kommersiële en politieke verbindings tussen die oostelike en westelike gebiede van die wêreld gevestig deur die mees mobiele weermag wat ooit gesien is. Die leërs, saamgestel uit die snelste bewegende reisigers wat ooit tussen die steppe van Oos -Asië getrek het (waar builepes endemies was onder klein knaagdiere), het daarin geslaag om die infeksieketting te hou sonder om te onderbreek totdat hulle dit bereik en besmet het, mense en knaagdiere wat dit nog nooit teëgekom het nie. Die daaropvolgende Swart Dood het moontlik tot 25 miljoen in totaal gesterf, insluitend China en ongeveer 'n derde van die Europese bevolking en in die komende dekades, wat die verloop van die Asiatiese en Europese geskiedenis verander het.

Biologies is in die dele van Afrika sedert die sestiende eeu nC in baie dele van Afrika wyd gebruik, meestal in die vorm van vergiftigde pyle, of poeier wat op die oorlogsfront versprei is, asook perdevergiftiging en watervoorsiening van die vyandelike magte. [10] [11] In Borgu was daar spesifieke mengsels om die vyand dood te maak, te hipnotiseer, dapper te maak en ook as 'n teenmiddel teen die gif van die vyand op te tree. Die skepping van biologiese middels is voorbehou vir 'n spesifieke en professionele klas medisyne. [11] In Suid -Soedan het die mense van die Koalit -heuwels hul land vry gehou van Arabiese invalle deur tsetsevlieë as 'n oorlogswapen te gebruik. [12] Verskeie verslae kan 'n idee gee van die doeltreffendheid van die biologiese middels. Byvoorbeeld, Mockley-Ferryman het in 1892 kommentaar gelewer op die Dahomese inval in Borgu en gesê dat "hul (Borgawa) vergiftigde pyle hulle in staat gestel het om hul eie te hou met die magte van Dahomey, ondanks laasgenoemde se muskiete." [11] Dieselfde scenario het met Portugese stropers in Senegambië gebeur toe hulle deur die Gambiese magte van Mali verslaan is, en met John Hawkins in Sierra Leone, waar hy 'n aantal van sy mans aan vergiftigde pyle verloor het. [13]

Gedurende die Middeleeue is slagoffers van die builepes gebruik vir biologiese aanvalle, dikwels deur fomiete soos besmette lyke en uitwerpsels oor kasteelmure met katapulte. Lyke sou met kanonskoppe vasgemaak word en na die stadsgebied geskiet word. In 1346, tydens die beleg van Caffa (nou Feodossia, Krim), het die aanvallende Tartar -magte (wat meer as 'n eeu gelede deur die Mongoolse ryk onderwerp was onder Genghis Khan) die lyke van Mongoolse krygers van die Golden Horde wat aan pes gesterf het, gebruik. as wapens. 'N Pestuitbraak het gevolg en die verdedigende magte het teruggetrek, gevolg deur die verowering van die stad deur die Mongole. Daar word bespiegel dat hierdie operasie moontlik verantwoordelik was vir die koms van die Swart Dood in Europa. Die aanvallers het destyds gedink dat die stank genoeg was om hulle dood te maak, alhoewel dit die siekte was wat dodelik was. [14] [15]

By die beleg van Thun-l'Évêque in 1340, tydens die Honderdjarige Oorlog, het die aanvallers ontbinde diere in die beleërde gebied laat katapulteer. [16]

In 1422, tydens die beleg van Karlstein-kasteel in Bohemen, het die Hussitiese aanvallers katapulte gebruik om dooie (maar nie plaagbesmette) lyke en 2000 wa-vragte mis oor die mure te gooi. [17]

Engelse Longbowmen het gewoonlik nie hul pyle uit 'n koker getrek nie, maar hulle het hul pyle in die grond voor hulle gesteek. Dit het hulle in staat gestel om die pyle vinniger vas te maak, en die vuil en grond sou waarskynlik by die pylpunte vassit, waardeur die wonde baie meer besmet sou raak.

Europa Wysig

Die laaste bekende voorval van die gebruik van peslike lyke vir biologiese oorlogvoering het plaasgevind in 1710, toe Russiese magte die Swede aangeval het deur plaagbesmette lyke oor die stadsmure van Reval (Tallinn) te gooi. [18] Tydens die beleg van La Calle in 1785 het Tunisiese magte egter siek klere die stad ingegooi. [17]

Noord -Amerika Redigeer

Die Britse leër het probeer om pokke te gebruik teen inheemse Amerikaners tydens die beleg van Fort Pitt in Junie 1763. [19] [20] [21] Tydens 'n parlement te midde van die beleg op 24 Junie 1763, het kaptein Simeon Ecuyer verteenwoordigers van die beleër Delawares twee komberse en 'n sakdoek in klein metaalkassies wat aan pokke blootgestel was, in 'n poging om die siekte na die inboorlinge te versprei om die beleg te beëindig. [22] William Trent, die handelaar wat die bevelvoerder van die burgermag was, wat met die plan vorendag gekom het, het 'n rekening aan die Britse leër gestuur wat aandui dat die doel om die komberse te gee, was "om die pokke aan die Indiane oor te dra." Die goedkeuring van die faktuur bevestig dat die Britse bevel Trent se optrede onderskryf het. [19] [20] 'n Aangemelde uitbraak wat die lente begin het, het soveel as honderd inheemse Amerikaners in Ohio Country van 1763 tot 1764 dood gelaat. Dit is egter nie duidelik of die pokke die gevolg was van die Fort Pitt -voorval of die virus was reeds onder die Delaware -mense, aangesien uitbrake elke dosyn of so jaar [23] vanself gebeur het en die afgevaardigdes later weer ontmoet is en skynbaar nie pokke opgedoen het nie. [24] [25] [26] Handel en gevegte bied ook ruim geleentheid vir die oordrag van die siekte. [21]

'N Maand later het die Britse bevelvoerder Lord Jeffery Amherst en die Switsers-Britse offisier kolonel Henry Bouquet die onderwerp bespreek oor die gebruik van komberse om pokke onder inboorlinge te versprei. Vier briewe word aangehaal vanaf 29 Junie, 13, 16 en 26 Julie 1763. Uittreksels: Amherst het op 16 Julie 1763 geskryf: 'PS U sal goed doen om die Indiërs te probeer beset deur middel van komberse, en om elke ander metode wat kan dien om hierdie Execrable Race uit te wis. Ek sou baie bly wees dat u plan om hulle deur honde te jag, in werking kan tree. " Die sein vir Indiese boodskappers en al u aanwysings word nagekom. " Pokke was baie aansteeklik onder die inheemse Amerikaners, en was saam met masels, griep, waterpokkies en ander siektes uit die ou wêreld 'n groot oorsaak van dood sedert die aankoms van Europeërs en hul diere. [27] [28] [29]

Nieu -Suid -Wallis Redigeer

Australiese inboorlinge (Kooris) het altyd volgehou dat die Britte doelbewus pokke in 1789 versprei het, [30], maar hierdie moontlikheid is eers deur historici uit die 1980's aangeneem toe dr Noel Butlin voorgestel het "daar is 'n paar moontlikhede wat. Die siekte kon doelbewus as 'n uitwismiddel gebruik word. ” [31]

In 1997 beweer David Day dat daar "nog groot omstandigheidsgetuienis bly" wat daarop dui dat ander beamptes as Phillip, of miskien veroordeelde of soldate ... opsetlik pokke onder die inboorlinge versprei het [32] en in 2000 het dr John Lambert aangevoer dat "sterk omstandigheidsgetuienis die pokke aandui 'n epidemie wat Aborigines in 1789 verwoes het, het moontlik as gevolg van doelbewuste infeksie ontstaan. [33]

Judy Campbell het in 2002 aangevoer dat dit hoogs onwaarskynlik is dat die Eerste Vloot die bron van die epidemie was, aangesien "pokke nie by enige lede van die Eerste Vloot voorgekom het nie", die enigste moontlike bron van infeksie van die Vloot as blootstelling aan variëteit wat ingevoer is die doeleindes van inenting teen pokke. Campbell het aangevoer dat, hoewel daar aansienlike bespiegelinge was oor 'n hipotetiese blootstelling aan die uiteenlopende aangeleenthede van die Eerste Vloot, daar geen bewyse was dat Aboriginale mense ooit daaraan blootgestel is nie. Sy het gewys op gereelde kontak tussen vissersvlote uit die Indonesiese argipel, waar pokke altyd voorkom, en Aboriginals in die noorde van Australië as 'n meer waarskynlike bron vir die bekendstelling van pokke. Sy merk op dat hoewel hierdie vissers in die algemeen 'Macassane' genoem word, met verwysing na die hawe van Macassar op die eiland Sulawesi waarvandaan die meeste vissermanne kom, 'sommige van eilande gereis het wat so ver as Nieu -Guinee was'. Sy het opgemerk dat daar min onenigheid bestaan ​​dat die pokke -epidemie van die 1860's deur Macassaanse vissers opgedoen is en deur die Aboriginale bevolking versprei is deur Aborigines wat uitbrake vlug en ook via hul tradisionele sosiale, verwantskaps- en handelsnetwerke. Sy het aangevoer dat die epidemie van 1789–90 dieselfde patroon volg. [34]

Hierdie bewerings is omstrede, aangesien daar aangevoer word dat enige pokkevirus wat na Nieu -Suid -Wallis gebring is, waarskynlik gesteriliseer sou gewees het deur hitte en humiditeit wat tydens die reis van die Eerste Vloot uit Engeland ondervind is en nie in staat was om biologiese oorlog te voer nie. In 2007 het Christopher Warren egter getoon dat die Britse pokke moontlik nog lewensvatbaar was. [35] Sedertdien het sommige geleerdes aangevoer dat die Britte in 1789 biologiese oorlogvoering gevoer het naby hul nuwe veroordeelde nedersetting in Port Jackson. [36] [37]

In 2013 hersien Warren die kwessie en voer aan dat pokke nie voor 1824 oor Australië versprei het nie en het getoon dat daar geen pokke by Macassar was wat die uitbraak in Sydney kon veroorsaak het nie. Warren het egter nie die kwessie aangespreek van persone wat by die Macassan -vloot aangesluit het van ander eilande en van dele van Sulawesi behalwe die hawe van Macassar nie. Warren het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die Britte in 1789 'die mees waarskynlike kandidate was om pokke vry te laat' naby Sydney Cove. Warren het voorgestel dat die Britte geen keuse het nie, want hulle word gekonfronteer met haglike omstandighede, onder meer sonder ammunisie. muskiete. Warren gebruik ook inheemse mondelinge tradisie en die argeologie van inheemse grafte om die oorsaak en gevolg van die verspreiding van pokke in 1789 te analiseer. [38]

Voor die publikasie van Warren se artikel (2013), het 'n professor in fisiologie John Carmody aangevoer dat die epidemie 'n uitbraak van waterpokkies was wat 'n drastiese tol geëis het op 'n Aboriginale bevolking sonder immunologiese weerstand. [39] Met betrekking tot hoe pokke die Sydney-streek kon bereik, het dr Carmody gesê: "Daar is absoluut geen bewyse om enige van die teorieë te ondersteun nie, en sommige daarvan is fantasieus en vergesog." [40] [41] Warren betoog teen die waterpokkisteorie in eindnoot 3 van Pokke by Sydney Cove - Wie, wanneer, hoekom?. [42] In 'n gesamentlike artikel oor historiese Aboriginale demografie van 2014 het Carmody en Boyd Hunter van die Australiese nasionale universiteit egter aangevoer dat die aangetekende gedrag van die epidemie pokke uitsluit en dui op waterpokkies. [43]

Teen die begin van die 20ste eeu het die vordering in die mikrobiologie die denke oor 'kiemoorlogvoering' deel gemaak van die tydsgees. Jack London, in sy kortverhaal '' Yah! Yah! Yah! '' (1909), beskryf 'n strawwe Europese ekspedisie na 'n eiland in die Stille Oseaan wat die Polinesiese bevolking doelbewus blootstel aan masels, waarvan baie van hulle gesterf het. Londen skryf die volgende jaar nog 'n science fiction -verhaal, "The Unparalleled Invasion" (1910), waarin die Westerse nasies die hele China met 'n biologiese aanval uitwis.

Eerste Wêreldoorlog Edit

Tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (1914-1918) het die Duitse Ryk vroeë pogings aangewend tot biologiese oorlogvoering teen die landbou. Hierdie pogings is gedoen deur 'n spesiale sabotasiegroep onder leiding van Rudolf Nadolny. Met behulp van diplomatieke sakkies en koeriers het die Duitse Algemene Staf klein spanne saboteurs voorsien in die Russiese Hertogdom Finland en in die destydse neutrale lande Roemenië, die Verenigde State en Argentinië. [44] In Finland het saboteurs wat op rendiere gemonteer is, in 1916 ampules antraks in stalle van Russiese perde geplaas. [45] Miltsiekte is ook aan die Duitse militêre attaché in Boekarest gelewer, net soos glanders, wat teen vee bestem was wat vir geallieerde diens bestem was . Die Duitse intelligensiebeampte en die Amerikaanse burger, dr.Anton Casimir Dilger, het 'n geheime laboratorium in die kelder van sy suster se huis in Chevy Chase, Maryland, gevestig, wat kliere produseer wat gebruik is om vee in hawens en binnelandse versamelpunte te besmet, waaronder ten minste Newport News , Norfolk, Baltimore en New York City, en waarskynlik St. Louis en Covington, Kentucky. In Argentinië het Duitse agente ook kliere in die hawe van Buenos Aires gebruik en ook probeer om koringoes met 'n vernietigende swam te verwoes. Ook Duitsland het self 'n slagoffer geword van soortgelyke aanvalle - perde wat na Duitsland was, is deur Franse agente in Switserland met Burkholderia besmet. [46]

Die Geneefse protokol van 1925 verbied die gebruik van chemiese wapens en biologiese wapens, maar sê niks oor eksperimentering, vervaardiging, berging of oordrag van latere verdrae nie. Twintigste-eeuse vordering in mikrobiologie het die eerste suiwer kultuur biologiese middels deur die Tweede Wêreldoorlog ontwikkel.

Tussentydse oorlog en Tweede Wêreldoorlog Wysig

In die tussenoorlogstyd is aanvanklik min navorsing gedoen oor biologiese oorlogvoering in beide Brittanje en die Verenigde State. In die Verenigde Koninkryk was die besorgdheid veral om die verwagte konvensionele bomaanvalle te weerstaan ​​wat in die geval van oorlog met Duitsland ontketen sou word. Namate die spanning toeneem, begin sir Frederick Banting met die Britse regering om 'n navorsingsprogram vir die navorsing en ontwikkeling van biologiese wapens op te stel om die Duitsers effektief te weerhou om 'n biologiese aanval te loods. Banting het 'n aantal innoverende skemas voorgestel vir die verspreiding van patogene, insluitend lugbespuitingsaanvalle en kieme wat deur die posstelsel versprei word.

Met die aanvang van vyandelikhede het die Ministerie van Aanbod uiteindelik 'n program vir biologiese wapens in Porton Down opgestel, onder leiding van die mikrobioloog Paul Fildes. Die navorsing is deur Winston Churchill bepleit en gou is tularemie, miltsiekte, brucellose en botulisme gifstowwe effektief gewapen. In die besonder was Gruinard -eiland in Skotland gedurende 'n reeks uitgebreide toetse gedurende die volgende 48 jaar met miltsiekte besmet. Alhoewel Brittanje nooit die biologiese wapens wat dit ontwikkel het, aanvallend gebruik het nie, was sy program die eerste om 'n verskeidenheid dodelike patogene suksesvol te bewapen en in industriële produksie te bring. [47] Ander lande, veral Frankryk en Japan, het hul eie biologiese wapensprogramme begin. [48]

Toe die Verenigde State die oorlog betree, het toenemende Britse druk vir die opstel van 'n soortgelyke navorsingsprogram vir die geallieerde hulpbronne daartoe gelei dat 'n groot industriële kompleks in Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 onder leiding van George W. Merck ontstaan ​​het. [49] Die biologiese en chemiese wapens wat gedurende daardie tydperk ontwikkel is, is op die Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah getoets. Binnekort was daar fasiliteite vir die massaproduksie van miltsiekte -spore, brucellose en botulisme -gifstowwe, hoewel die oorlog verby was voordat hierdie wapens van groot nut kon wees. [50]

Die mees berugte program van die tydperk is egter tydens die oorlog deur die geheime keiserlike Japanse leereenheid 731 bestuur, gebaseer in Pingfan in Mantsjoerije en onder bevel van luitenant -generaal Shirō Ishii. Hierdie eenheid het navorsing oor BW gedoen, dikwels dodelike menslike eksperimente op gevangenes uitgevoer en biologiese wapens vir bestryding gebruik. [51] Alhoewel die Japannese poging nie die tegnologiese gesofistikeerdheid van die Amerikaanse of Britse programme ontbreek het nie, het dit dit ver oortref in die wydverspreide toepassing en onoordeelkundige brutaliteit. In verskeie militêre veldtogte is biologiese wapens teen sowel Chinese soldate as burgerlikes gebruik. Drie veterane van eenheid 731 getuig in 'n 1989 -onderhoud aan die Asahi Shimbun dat hulle die Horustein -rivier met tifus naby die Sowjet -troepe besmet het tydens die Slag van Khalkhin Gol. [52] In 1940 het die Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Ningbo gebombardeer met keramiekbomme vol vlooie wat die builpes dra. [53] 'n Film wat hierdie operasie toon, is deur die keiserlike prinses Tsuneyoshi Takeda en Takahito Mikasa gesien tydens 'n vertoning wat deur meesterbrein Shiro Ishii gemaak is. [54] Tydens die oorlogsmisdaadproewe in Khabarovsk het die beskuldigdes, soos generaal-majoor Kiyashi Kawashima, getuig dat ongeveer 40 lede van eenheid 731 reeds in 1941 ongeveer 7 lede van plaagbesmette vlooie op Changde laat val het. Hierdie operasies het epidemies veroorsaak. [55]

Baie van hierdie operasies was ondoeltreffend weens ondoeltreffende afleweringstelsels, deur insekdraende insekte te gebruik eerder as om die middel as 'n bioaerosolwolk te versprei. [51]

Ban Shigeo, 'n tegnikus by die Japanse weermag se 9de tegniese navorsingsinstituut, het 'n verslag gelaat oor die aktiwiteite by die Instituut wat gepubliseer is in "The Truth About the Army Noborito Institute". [56] Ban bevat 'n verslag van sy reis na Nanking in 1941 om deel te neem aan die toets van gifstowwe op Chinese gevangenes. [56] Sy getuienis het die Noborito -instituut verbind tot die berugte eenheid 731, wat aan biomediese navorsing deelgeneem het. [56]

Gedurende die laaste maande van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog was Japan van plan om pes te gebruik as 'n biologiese wapen teen Amerikaanse burgers in San Diego, Kalifornië, tydens Operasie Cherry Blossoms at Night. Hulle het gehoop dat dit tienduisende Amerikaanse burgers sou doodmaak en Amerika daardeur sou weerhou om Japan aan te val. Die plan sou snags op 22 September 1945 begin word, maar dit het nooit tot stand gekom nie as gevolg van Japan se oorgawe op 15 Augustus 1945. [57] [58] [59] [60]

Toe die oorlog geëindig het, het die Amerikaanse weermag in die beginjare van die Koue Oorlog stil stil sekere lede van Noborito ingeroep in sy pogings teen die kommunistiese kamp. [56] Die hoof van eenheid 731, Shiro Ishii, is immuniteit verleen teen die vervolging van oorlogsmisdade in ruil vir die verskaffing van inligting aan die Verenigde State oor die aktiwiteite van die eenheid. [61] Bewerings is gemaak dat 'n 'chemiese afdeling' van 'n Amerikaanse klandestiene eenheid wat in die Yokosuka -vlootbasis versteek was tydens die Koreaanse Oorlog in werking was, en daarna van ongespesifiseerde projekte in die Verenigde State van 1955 tot 1959 gewerk het, voordat hy na Japan teruggekeer het om in te gaan die private sektor. [56] [62]

Sommige van die eenheid 731 se personeel is deur die Sowjette opgesluit [ aanhaling nodig ], en was moontlik 'n moontlike bron van inligting oor Japannese wapening.

Naoorlogse tydperk Redigeer

Tydens die Koue Oorlog -era is aansienlike navorsing oor BW uitgevoer deur die VSA, die Verenigde Koninkryk en die USSR, en waarskynlik ook ander groot nasies, hoewel daar algemeen geglo word dat sulke wapens nooit gebruik is nie.

In Brittanje het die 1950's die plaag, brucellose, tularemie en later perde -enkefalomiëlitis en vaccinia -virusse gewapen. Proeftoetse op see is uitgevoer, insluitend Operasie ketel by Stornoway in 1952. Die program is in 1956 gekanselleer, toe die Britse regering eensydig afstand doen van die gebruik van biologiese en chemiese wapens.

Die Verenigde State het in 1953 sy pogings tot wapening met siektevektore begin, gefokus op pesvlooie, EEE-muskiete en geelkoors-muskiete (OJ-AP). [ aanhaling nodig ] Amerikaanse mediese wetenskaplikes in die besette Japan het egter reeds in 1946 uitgebreide navorsing gedoen oor insekvektore, met die hulp van voormalige personeel van die eenheid 731. [61]

Die United States Army Chemical Corps het daarna 'n ongeluksprogram begin om miltsiekte (N) in die E61 1/2-lb uurglasbom te bewapen. Alhoewel die program daarin geslaag het om sy ontwikkelingsdoelwitte te bereik, het die gebrek aan validering van die aansteeklikheid van miltsiekte gestandaardiseer. [ aanhaling nodig ] Die Amerikaanse lugmag was ook ontevrede met die operasionele eienskappe van die M114/US -barsbom en het dit as 'n tussentydse item bestempel totdat die Chemical Corps 'n superieure wapen kon lewer. [ aanhaling nodig ]

Rond 1950 het die Chemical Corps ook 'n program begin om tularemie (UL) te bewapen. Kort nadat die E61/N nie gestandaardiseer het nie, is tularemie gestandaardiseer in die M143-barsbol van 3.4 ". Dit was bedoel vir aflewering deur die MGM-29 Sergeant raketkop en kan 50% infeksie veroorsaak oor 'n 7 vierkante myl ( 18 km 2) gebied. [63] Alhoewel tularemie behandelbaar is met antibiotika, verkort behandeling nie die verloop van die siekte nie. Amerikaanse gewetensbeswaardes is gebruik as toestemmingsproefpersone vir tularemie in 'n program bekend as Operation Whitecoat. [64] Daar was ook baie ongepubliseerde toetse wat tydens die Koue Oorlog op openbare plekke met bio-agensimulante uitgevoer is. [65]

Benewens die gebruik van bars wat bots vir die skep van biologiese aërosols, het die Chemical Corps in die vyftigerjare begin met die ondersoek van aërosolgenererende bomme. Die E99 was die eerste werkbare ontwerp, maar was te kompleks om vervaardig te word. Teen die laat vyftigerjare is die 4,5 "E120 spuitvormige bolletjie ontwikkel, 'n B-47-bomwerper met 'n SUU-24/A-dispenser wat 50% of meer van die bevolking van 'n oppervlakte van 16 vierkante myl (41 km2) met tularemie kan besmet met die E120. [66] Die E120 is later deur droë tipe agente vervang.

Droë tipe biologiese middels lyk soos talkpoeier, en kan as aërosols versprei word met behulp van gasafvoertoestelle in plaas van 'n bors of komplekse spuit. [ aanhaling nodig ] Die Chemical Corps het Flettner-rotorbomme en later driehoekige bomme gevorm vir 'n groter dekking as gevolg van verbeterde glyhoeke oor sferiese bomme met Magnus-lift. [67] Teen die tyd dat die program geëindig het, was hierdie tipe wapens in gevorderde ontwikkeling. [67]

Vanaf Januarie 1962 het Rocky Mountain Arsenal 'n groeiende, gesuiwerde en bio -gemilitariseerde plantpatogeen Koringstamroes (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, vir die lugmag se biologiese oesbestrydingsprogram. Graan wat met TX behandel is, is van 1962–1968 in die artikels 23–26 by die Arsenal verbou. Onverwerkte TX is ook vanaf Beale AFB vervoer vir suiwering, berging en wegdoening. [68] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is 'n gifstof wat uit koringstamroes en rysblaas onttrek kan word en kan doodmaak of ongeskik raak, afhangende van die konsentrasie wat gebruik word. Die 'rooivormsiekte' van koring en gars in Japan kom algemeen voor in die gebied wat na die Stille Oseaan kyk. Giftige trichothecene, insluitend nivalenol, deoxynivalenol en monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) van Fusarium nivale, kan van muwwe korrels geïsoleer word. In die voorstede van Tokio is 'n siekte soortgelyk aan 'rooi skimmelsiekte' beskryf in 'n uitbraak van 'n voedselgedraagde siekte as gevolg van die verbruik van rys wat deur Fusarium besmet is. Inname van muwwe korrels wat besmet is met trichothecene, word geassosieer met mikotoksikose. [69]

Alhoewel daar geen bewyse is dat biologiese wapens deur die Verenigde State gebruik is nie, het China en Noord-Korea die VSA daarvan beskuldig dat hulle BW tydens die Koreaanse Oorlog (1950–1953) op groot skaal getoets het. Ten tye van die Koreaanse Oorlog het die Verenigde State slegs een agent, brucellose ('Agent US'), wat deur Brucella suis. Die oorspronklike gewapende vorm gebruik die M114 -barsbom in M33 -groepbomme. Terwyl die spesifieke vorm van die biologiese bom tot 'n paar jaar na die Koreaanse Oorlog geklassifiseer is, het niks in die verskillende uitstallings van biologiese wapens wat na bewering op Korea op hul land neergelê is, op 'n M114 -bombal gelyk nie. Daar was keramiekhouers wat soortgelyk was aan Japannese wapens wat tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog teen die Chinese gebruik is, ontwikkel deur eenheid 731. [51] [70]

Kuba het die Verenigde State ook daarvan beskuldig dat hulle mens- en dieresiektes op hul eilandnasie versprei het. [71] [72]

Tydens die Palestynse oorlog van 1947–1949 het Internasionale Rooi Kruis -verslae die vermoede laat ontstaan ​​dat die Israeliese Haganah -milisie Salmonella typhi -bakterieë in die watervoorsiening vir die stad Acre vrygelaat het, wat 'n uitbraak van tifus onder die inwoners veroorsaak het. Egiptiese troepe het later beweer dat hulle vermomde Haganah -soldate gevang het naby putte in Gaza, wat hulle tereggestel het omdat hulle na bewering 'n ander aanval probeer het. Israel ontken hierdie bewerings. [73] [74]

Konvensie oor biologiese en giftige wapens Redigeer

In die middel van 1969 het die VK en die Warskou-verdrag afsonderlik voorstelle aan die VN voorgelê om biologiese wapens te verbied, wat sou lei tot die ondertekening van die konvensie oor biologiese en gifstowwe in 1972. Die Amerikaanse president, Richard Nixon, het 'n uitvoerende bevel onderteken November 1969, wat die produksie van biologiese wapens in die Verenigde State gestaak het en slegs wetenskaplike navorsing oor dodelike biologiese middels en verdedigingsmaatreëls soos immunisering en bioveiligheid moontlik gemaak het. Die biologiese ammunisievoorrade is vernietig en ongeveer 2 200 navorsers het oorbodig geraak. [75]

Spesiale ammunisie vir die Amerikaanse spesiale magte en die CIA en die Groot Vyf wapens vir die weermag is vernietig in ooreenstemming met Nixon se uitvoerende bevel om die offensiewe program te beëindig. Die CIA het sy versameling biologiese produkte tot in 1975 gehandhaaf toe dit die onderwerp van die senaatkerkkomitee geword het.

Die konvensie oor biologiese en gifstowwe is in 1972 deur die VSA, die Verenigde Koninkryk, die USSR en ander lande onderteken as 'n verbod op "ontwikkeling, vervaardiging en opberging van mikrobes of hul giftige produkte, behalwe in bedrae wat nodig is vir beskermende en vreedsame navorsing" in 1972. Die konvensie het sy ondertekenaars gebind aan 'n veel strenger stel regulasies as wat die Geneefse protokolle van 1925 voorgestel het. Teen 1996 het 137 lande die verdrag onderteken, maar daar word geglo dat sedert die ondertekening van die Konvensie die aantal lande toegeneem het wat sulke wapens kan vervaardig.

Die Sowjetunie het navorsing en produksie van aanvallende biologiese wapens voortgesit in 'n program genaamd Biopreparat, ondanks die ondertekening van die konvensie. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site. [76] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic. [77]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to use chemical and biological warfare agents. Watercourses at several sites inside the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. The Rhodesians also experimented with several other pathogens and toxins for use in their counterinsurgency. [78]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation, [79] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage. [80]


Religio-Political Talk (RPT)

Updated a bit…

Usually treated as an isolated anomaly, the Fort Pitt episode itself points to the possibility that biological warfare was not as rare as it might seem. dit is conceivable [e.g., makes for good suspense and is merely a guess with no historical proof], of course, that when Fort Pitt personnel gave infected articles to their Delaware visitors on June 24, 1763, they acted on some earlier communication from Amherst that does not survive today. 8

[8] Such a communication might have been either written or oral in form. It is also possible that documents relating to such a plan were deliberately destroyed.

In other words, it’s anybody’s guess if this is real history OF an author’s guess.

Selfs die HISTORY CHANNEL at the worst says this of the “event”:

  • For all the outrage the account has stirred over the years, there’s only one clearly documented instance of a colonial attempt to spread smallpox during the war, and oddly, Amherst probably didn’t have anything to do with it. There’s also no clear historical verdict on whether the biological attack even worked.

They continue with the “did it work” line of reasoning:

It’s not clear smallpox-infected blankets even worked.

It’s also not clear whether or not the attempt at biological warfare had the intended effect. According to Fenn’s article, the Native Americans around Fort Pitt were “struck hard” by smallpox in the spring and summer of 1763. “We can’t be sure,” Kelton says. Around that time, “we know that smallpox was circulating in the area, but they [Native Americans] could have come down with the disease by other means.”

Historian Philip Ranlet of Hunter College and author of a 2000 article on the smallpox blanket incident in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, also casts doubt. “There is no evidence that the scheme worked,” Ranlet says. “The infection on the blankets was apparently old, so no one could catch smallpox from the blankets. Besides, the Indians just had smallpox—the smallpox that reached Fort Pitt had come from Indians—and anyone susceptible to smallpox had already had it.”

The most important indication that the scheme was a bust, Ranlet says, “is that Trent would have bragged in his journal if the scheme had worked. He is silent as to what happened.”

Even if it didn’t work, British officers’ willingness to contemplate using smallpox against the Indians was a sign of their callousness. “Even for that time period, it violated civilized notions of war,” says Kelton, who notes that disease “kills indiscriminately—it would kill women and children, not just warriors.”

… Now, about these smallpox blankets.

During the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763 — 13 years before American independence — Delaware and Shawnee Indians, aroused by Pontiac’s Rebellion , attacked Fort Pitt, which was near modern day Pittsburgh. Shortly after the siege began, British General Jeffrey Amherst wrote to Colonel Henry Bouquet, who was preparing to lead a party of troops to relieve the siege, “Could it not be contrived to Send the Small Pox among those Disaffected Tribes of Indians? We must, on this occasion, Use Every Stratagem in our power to Reduce them.” Bouquet agreed, but there is no evidence that he actually carried out the suggestion, and he indicated in a letter that he was afraid he could contract smallpox himself.

However, those besieged in the fort had already, of their own initiative, tried to infect the besiegers with smallpox and failed. During a parley, the fort’s leader, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, gave blankets and a handkerchief from a smallpox ward to two of the native American delegates, Turtleheart and Mamaltee. However, the effort evidently failed, because they came back for further talks a month later with no signs of disease, and smallpox normally shows signs within two weeks. Furthermore Turtleheart was one of the signatories in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix five years later. Modern historians believe that the blankets had been unused for too long, and any virus present on the blankets would have already died. It is also possible that the Delaware Indians who were given the blankets were immune through prior contact. Smallpox kills 30-35% of those who get it those who survive are immune from then on.

One thing that is certain is that many native Americans had already contracted smallpox in the ordinary way, unintentionally though contacts with infected whites. There is no example of an outbreak in the Fort Pitt region following the siege. Daar is a documented outbreak elsewhere in the region among a different people, the Lenape, who had attacked a white settlement where smallpox was present.

  • Infecting people with smallpox was not US government policy or practice, and the only effort to do so occurred prior to US independence.
  • The Fort Pitt event was undertaken by Captain Simeon Ecuyer of the British army on his own initiative it was neither official British policy or official army policy. In fact, King George III’s Royal Proclamation of 1763verbied colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains because that territory belonged to the native Americans.
  • There is no evidence that it succeeded there is some evidence that it failed, as the people given the blankets are known to have survived.

And another post by Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay has the common sense commentary about the incident:

… Although we do not know how the plan worked out, modern medicine suggests that it could not possibly have succeeded. Smallpox dies in several minutes outside of the human body. So obviously if those blankets had smallpox germs in them, they were dead smallpox germs. Dead smallpox germs don’t transmit smallpox.

In addition to the apparent scientific impossibility of disease transmission, there is no evidence that any Indians got sick from the blankets, not that they could have anyway. The two Delaware chiefs who personally received the blankets were in good health later. The smallpox epidemic that was sweeping the attacking Indians during this war started before the incident. The Indians themselves said that they were getting smallpox by attacking settler villages infected with smallpox and then bringing it back to their villages.

So, it’s certain that one British commander (British – not even an American, mind you), and not even the one usually accused, did give Indians what he mistakenly thought were smallpox-infected blankets in the course of a war that was genocidal on both sides.

Keep in mind that the men who did this were in their forts, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements, facing an army of genocidal Indians who were more numerous and better armed than they were, Indians who were given to killing all defenders whether they surrendered or not.

If a fort was overwhelmed, all Whites would be immediately killed, except for a few who were taken prisoner by the Indians so they could take them back to the Indian villages to have some fun with them. The fun consisted of slowly torturing the men to death over a 1-2 day period while the women and children watched, laughed and mocked the helpless captives. So, these guys were facing, if not certain death, something pretty close to that.

And no one knows if any Indians at all died from the smallpox blankets (and modern science apparently says no one could have died anyway). I say the plan probably didn’t even work and almost certainly didn’t kill any of the targeted Indians, much less 50% of them. Yes, the myth says that Amherst’s germ warfare blankets killed 50% of the attacking Indians!

Another example of a big fat myth/legend/historical incident, that, once you cut it open – well, there’s nothing much there …


Were blankets infected with smallpox intentionally given to Native Americans?

Was this a tactic used by either the British or Americans?

I actually never questioned this until recently. I just accepted it as fact. I was always under the belief that it was a common tactic used by American settlers and soldiers who wanted to expand westward.

And again, it's only recently that I'd even heard of the accusations being leveled against the British as well.

So, what's the truth of the matter?

Lord Fairfax

Was this a tactic used by either the British or Americans?

I actually never questioned this until recently. I just accepted it as fact. I was always under the belief that it was a common tactic used by American settlers and soldiers who wanted to expand westward.

And again, it's only recently that I'd even heard of the accusations being leveled against the British as well.

So, what's the truth of the matter?

There is documentary evidence that Baron Amherst (Governor of Virginia, Governor of Quebec) advocated distributing smallpox blankets to natives at Fort Pitt.

Tripwire

Yes, at the siege of Fort Pitt in 1763 during Pontiac's War the defenders gave Delaware negotiators smallpox-infected blankets and a handkerchief in hopes of spreading it to the beseiging forces outside.

And General Amhurst during the Seven Years War suggested spreading smallpox-infected material to the Indians with the explicitly genocidal goal of wiping them out. However there's no evidence that this was ever carried out.

It should be noted that from what I've heard, smallpox transmits very poorly outside of human hosts and transmitting smallpox via infected blankets would be unlikely to be successful.

Asherman

Broaden the question to, "Did anyone deliberately and knowingly infect an "enemy" with diseases known to be frequently fatal?" The answer is, of course, yes. We know that diseased corpses were just another weapon in siege warfare from early times. Finding evidence that living people with horrific diseases were sent into the "enemy camp" is difficult to come by, but its the sort of thing that humans would do.

For most of human history the causes of epidemics and plagues were unknown, so in most cases it is likely that biological warfare was often unintentional. So when did diseases with high mortality rates become well-enough understood to be used as biological war? The Spanish were the first modern Europeans to enter the New World, and they brought with them a host of diseases fatal to the aboriginal inhabitants. Diseases that Europeans were immune to cut down as much as half the native population of the Americas (only speculative figures available), but the introduction of disease was not intentional.

As noted above a Colonial Governor in Virginia advocated biological war against the Indians, but I don't believe the strategy was used much before the second quarter of the 19th century. As infection vectors became better understood, the use of biological agents against the Indian tribes of North America almost certainly did happen, but finding documentation for it is hard. No one was going around bragging that they killed helpless women and children by deliberately infecting them with fatal diseases. There are a few documented cases. If memory serves, the Cayuse Tribe was deliberately infected to produce a plague that wiped out the tribe. Vir watter doel? The tribe was famous for their horses quality. An Americanism is "Old Cayuse" referring to the quality of old frontiersmen.

Doubtless disease, cold and famine did more to decimate the American Aboriginal population than any other European cause.


Were infected blankets given to Native Americans?

There are history book that accused a half black freedman Trapper named Jim beckwourth with giving infected blankets to indians- however- at the time he was reported to have done so, he was actually in washington DC giving testimony regarding the Chivington massacre on Sand Creek.

The sad truth is that accounts of smallpox among the indians are almost always false. Smallpox- though deadly- needs direct physical contact to spread- and it is the usual culprit that is blamed Because of the massive death toll- early historians assumed it had to be a disease that was AS deadly in white populations.

But in fact- almost all cases of smallpox among natives were actually measles. The symptoms are similar in terms of small pocks all over the body- but early white historians did not think measles because among europeans measles is not nearly that deadly, thanks to thousands of years of evolved resistance.

But Native Americans had never encountered measles and for them it was devastating. Measles is the single most infectious disease known to man and its long incubation period gives it ample time to spread before it starts to kill. Accounts of these plagues preceding white contact are the proof that it had to be measles. because measles can spread thru the air and can survive in an enclosed space for days before infecting someone else.
For europeans, a single person who has measles, and for whom the illness is no worse than an itchy rash, can infect a hundred people in a single walk thru a public space.
If that public space is a meeting place where natives are parleying with trappers, or dignitaries, they will not show symptoms in the several days it takes to return to their tribe.

Hoosierhiver

There are history book that accused a half black freedman Trapper named Jim beckwourth with giving infected blankets to indians- however- at the time he was reported to have done so, he was actually in washington DC giving testimony regarding the Chivington massacre on Sand Creek.

The sad truth is that accounts of smallpox among the indians are almost always false. Smallpox- though deadly- needs direct physical contact to spread- and it is the usual culprit that is blamed Because of the massive death toll- early historians assumed it had to be a disease that was AS deadly in white populations.

But in fact- almost all cases of smallpox among natives were actually measles. The symptoms are similar in terms of small pocks all over the body- but early white historians did not think measles because among europeans measles is not nearly that deadly, thanks to thousands of years of evolved resistance.

But Native Americans had never encountered measles and for them it was devastating. Measles is the single most infectious disease known to man and its long incubation period gives it ample time to spread before it starts to kill. Accounts of these plagues preceding white contact are the proof that it had to be measles. because measles can spread thru the air and can survive in an enclosed space for days before infecting someone else.
For europeans, a single person who has measles, and for whom the illness is no worse than an itchy rash, can infect a hundred people in a single walk thru a public space.
If that public space is a meeting place where natives are parleying with trappers, or dignitaries, they will not show symptoms in the several days it takes to return to their tribe.


Did Europeans realize they were spreading Smallpox during their journeys to the New World?

The incubation period for Smallpox is about 12 days. Columbus' first journey took 29 days. So this gives the travelers time to develop the disease mid-voyage. Did they truly not know they were sick and develop symptoms on the ship? If so, were there any measures taken to reduce exposure to others? Or were these men asymptomatic due to surviving the disease for generations and passing along traits that kept the virus contagious but otherwise dormant in their bodies?

I ask because astronauts go through intense physicals etc. It would seem odd that anyone would want to board a ship with a sick person, especially since diseases back in the 15th century were probably nothing to laugh about. Sharing a boat with a sick person for a month would probably not be ideal.

As colonization started before the development of the germ theory, Europeans had no direct proof they were responsible for the spread of infectious organisms among the Native American population. That said, Europeans realized infections could spread, and mortality from infectious diseases seemed to follow the Europeans as they arrived in the New World.

Europeans knew diseases could be transmitted in some way. The practice of quarantine was established in the 14th century in an effort to restrict the spread of the bubonic plague. When faced with high Native American mortality many colonists were apt to interpret Native American deaths as a sign of divine favor for European efforts. The idea of disease transmission varied among Native American populations. Some did not know disease could spread person to person, while others, for whatever reason, took protective measures. For example, by 1523 Abenaki living along the coast of Maine refused to conduct face-to-face trade with Verrazzano, preferring instead to pass trade goods via a rope over the open water. We don't know if this was a response to prevent disease spread, or an attempt to prevent Europeans from kidnapping and selling them into slavery.

We have no evidence that anyone on Columbus's first voyage was infected with smallpox. The virus arrived later, reaching Hispaniola by 1509. The first recorded introduction of smallpox to the New World mainland occurred with Cortez's 1529 venture into Mexico. It is important to remember that smallpox was only one of a cocktail of infectious organisms introduced to the New World. Measles, typhoid, influenza, cholera, and others added to the infectious disease mortality.

As an aside, pathogens constantly evolve and modify their virulence in response to changing host/environmental conditions. There is no reason to assume all New World epidemics were the result of introduced organisms. For example, a cocolitzli epidemic that burned through Mexico in 1545 and again in 1576 was likely caused by a Hanta Virus-like pathogen native to the New World. When the environment changed, like the extreme drought conditions seen those two years, the opportunity for pathogen transmission to human hosts changed and resulted in an extremely virulent epidemic with high mortality.

Or were these men asymptomatic due to surviving the disease for generations and passing along traits that kept the virus contagious but otherwise dormant in their bodies?

No, smallpox is only contagious when you have an active infection. Once the lesions go away, you are not contagious. However, dried lesions on clothing or bedding can infect others.

Did they truly not know they were sick and develop symptoms on the ship?

You are assuming that the spreading/killing rate of smallpox among Europeans was the same as in Amerindians. Obviously, it wasn't. Most Europeans old enough to join a crew and sail the Atlantic would have already been exposed to the disease and survived it (it was most common and deadly among European children and teenagers back then). Most people aboard this given ship, in consequence, would be immune to smallpox and not get the infection from the one or two odd adults in the ship that was suffering from the disease. These sick Europeans wouldn't be as likely to die as the natives either. What caught the Europeans' attention was not that the natives were catching smallpox and other diseases, it was that so baie of them caught the diseases at the same time, and so many died of it so quickly, rather than recovering. That was not how things usually went in Europe.

Now, as anthropology_nerd said, it wasn't Columbus who introduced smallpox in the New World anyway and it arrived later to the Caribbean. The great plague wave that hit the Aztecs and also caused the Inca Civil War in the late 1520s is believed to have arrived from Cuba in an African slave that was part of the Narvaez expedition against Cortés in 1520. But that doesn't mean this African slave brought the smallpox and was suffering from it all the way from Africa. He could have caught it in the Havana docks the day before leaving, for all we know.

There is actually much scholarly debate on the topic. This is a famous example from later colonial history. This is from a scholarly article discussing this very topic, and one of the few cases of evidence we have for it.

During the Indian resistance to British imperialism in the Great Lakes area (Pontiac's Rebellion, 1763-1764), Amherst brought up the idea of germ warfare in writing to Colonel Henry Bouquet (their correspondence is preserved in the British Museum). Scholars dispute the handwriting, signatures, chronology, authenticity, responsibility, and outcome. According to some, Amherst was only recommending biological warfare when he suggested in a letter sometime in 1763, "Could it not be contrived to send the small pox among the disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every strategem [sic] in our power to reduce them." Bouquet wrote back in July, "I will try to inoculate [them] with some blankets that may fall in their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself" (Heagerty 1928:43 Hopkins 1983:246 McConnell 1992:194 Simpson 1980:30).

Others stress that Amherst issued a direct command: "Infect the Indians with sheets upon which smallpox patients have been lying, or by any other means which may exterminate this accursed race" (Utley and Washburn 1977:98 Wright 1992:136-137). Still others quote Amherst thus: "You do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as try every other method that can serve to extirpate this excrable race" *(Knollenberg 1954:492-493 Parkman 1991:648). *

The Nessus Shirt in the New World: Smallpox Blankets in History and Legend Adrienne Mayor The Journal of American Folklore , Vol. 108, No. 427 (Winter, 1995) , pp. 54-77

Here is a primary source, with citation :

The case you mention is one where a local smallpox outbreak was intentionally spread to nearby native people, but that is very different from Europeans understanding that they were carrying diseases with them on their journeys across the Atlantic to a place that had previously not had those diseases.

Before Girolamo Fracastoro theorized that disease epidemics were caused by the transfer of small spores/seeds/particles that could transmit the infection, most educated Europeans believed the Miasma theory that postulated that diseases were the result of pollution, rotting organic matter, contaminated water, etc. Less educated Europeans may have believed in a variety of disease causes, including witchcraft and sorcery. Fracastoro proposed his theory in 1546, after Colombus Caral Cabot Champlain Balboa Cortez Pizarro, and also after small pox epidemics had ravaged the native populations in successive waves. Further, it probably took a while for his idea to catch on. It wasn't until 1668 that another Italian performed an experiment that provided evidence against the notion of spontaneous generation. 1670 was the first observation of microorganism and it wouldn't be until 1700 that Nicolas Andry claimed that small pox and other diseased were spread by microorganism. By then, Europeans had many settlements in the New World and some pretty extensive contact with native people most of the major diseases had already found their way to the new world.

Amherst would not likely have known that his proposal was to employ "germ warfare" but he might have. His stratagem would indicate that he subscribed to something like either Fracastoro's or Andry theories of disease transmission, at least enough to take a chance on one or the other or both.

It is also worth noting that Amherst was not Journeying to the new world but rather was operating in the New World well after Europeans and their diseases had long established a firm foothold there. I cannot say whether it is possible that someone like Amherst or any other European would have learned by then that so many of the diseases in his time and place had been unknown to the natives before European contact. Certainly, none of the sailors on the earliest voyages to the New World would have fathomed what little surprises they brought with them and what destruction they would bring.

As for the OP's scenario of the sailors on a ship, the answer would depend on the time. If there had been sailors falling ill on one of Columbus's ships, the sailors would have not understood some of the mechanisms for limiting exposure to others, however the practice of quarantining goes back long before Columbus's era and may have been practiced in such an event.


How did Americans know to use smallpox infected blankets, before germ theory? - Geskiedenis

Lord Jeffery Amherst was the commanding general of British forces in North America during the final battles of the French and Indian war (1754-1763). During this war, the French allied with the Indians in an attempt to drive the British out of North America. The evidence that suggests a possible "germ warfare" tactic during this war consists entirely of postscripts attached to the ends of two letters from Colonel Henry Bouquet during Pontiac's Rebellion:

Colonel Henry Bouquet to General Amherst, dated 13 July 1763:

Amherst responded to Bouquet, in a letter dated 16 July 1763:

A third letter on 26 July 1763 from Colonel Bouquet acknowledges receipt of the approval:

The original letters were microfilmed in Britain during World War II to protect them from possible damage. Assuming that these letters are authentic, it seems clear from the foregoing that Amherst was caught up in war fever, and not at all fond of Indians, and that plans were made to inoculate them with some disease. This disease is presumed to be smallpox, because one earlier letter contains the line:

However, there is not a shred of evidence that this plan was actually carried out. Conspicuous by its absence is any letter indicating that either of them took any action on the plan. It is inconceivable that such a letter, if it existed, would not have been found, with the armies of revisionist historians undoubtedly searching for it. Since smallpox was known to be in the area at the time, any disease outbreak among the Indians would prove little. It is also not clear why Lord Amherst hated Indians so much. Although there were often conflicts between the settlers and native Indians, history shows that in most cases both sides went to great lengths to maintain peaceful relations. Thomas Jefferson, for example, had a Romantic conception of the Indians, speculating at one point that they might be one of the lost tribes of Israel. One possibility for the anger is that the British may have felt betrayed by the Indians, who sided with their mortal enemies, the despised French.

In those days, smallpox was epidemic throughout Europe and North America. Contact between the two continents spread this and other diseases through the population. Just as the European continent had been ravaged by plague after contact with Asia, the Indian population had been decimated by smallpox and other diseases unintentionally brought from Europe. Pocahontas, for example, an Indian who was idolized by the British, died tragically in Britain from pulmonary disease.

In this era of frenetic Western civilization-bashing, however, the smallpox story has taken on a life of its own, with any document containing the word "blanket" being reinterpreted to generate a sort of conspiracy theory. For example, the diary of William Trent, who was a commander of the militia of the townspeople of Pittsburgh during Pontiac's siege of the fort, contains an entry from which the following line is often quoted: "We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect." (May 24, 1763). Taken out of context, this sounds quite sinister. But the entire diary entry shows that this was clearly intended as a gesture of friendship:

Indeed, in those days, the idea that microorganisms caused disease had not even been imagined. In 1796 Jenner performed the first vaccination against smallpox, with no clue about its actual nature. The concept that diseases were caused by living organisms was unknown. In fact, the theory of spontaneous generation was widely held until Louis Pasteur's famous experiment in 1859. Robert Koch was the first to prove that a bacterium caused disease, in this case anthrax, in 1876. Viruses were not conceptualized until the late 19th century.

Given today's knowledge of smallpox as a disease, we must also ask whether it is even possible to spread smallpox with blankets. Since American scientists led the drive to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, the average person today has little intuition for how effective a blanket would be at spreading contagion.

The Poxviridae family of viruses, which includes the variola virus that causes smallpox, are DNA-containing viruses that are among the largest and most complex of all animal viruses. The virus particles consist of an outer coat consisting of proteins crosslinked by disulfide bonds. These particles, isolated from cells, are called intracellular naked virions or IMV. Virus particles isolated from tissue culture medium are called extracellular enveloped virions (EEV), and contain an additional lipoprotein envelope. Both types of particles are infectious. EEVs would be the particles that would be shed into the environment by infected patients.

According to the U.S. Government's book Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare , the smallpox EEV is highly stable and can retain its infectivity for long periods outside the host however, sunlight and air greatly reduce the viability of virus particles. Smallpox is highly infectious when spread by aerosol, but infectivity from contaminated cotton bedding is infrequent (Bull. WHO 1957, 16:247-254), because the virus must enter through the nose to create infection. Thus, although it is certainly not impossible for a blanket to carry smallpox, transmission by blankets would be inefficient at best.

The Amherst letters suggest that Colonel Bouquet undoubtedly considered the possibility of infecting Indians with smallpox. In legal terms, this shows ``intent''. But continuing the analogy to a legal case, much more is needed to prove that a historical event occurred than intent. Even to indict someone for conspiracy, in which an actual crime need not be committed, a prosecutor still has to prove that some action took place in furtherance of the conspiracy. It's not too much to ask that historians, whose goal is (or should be) to determine whether an event occurred, be held to a similar standard. If the only evidence we had for World War II was a letter by some guy in Austria saying how nice it would be to start a war and kill off all the Jews, few would believe that WWII had actually occurred. Yet even without evidence, many are willing to believe this act of biological warfare took place.

It's important to maintain a skeptical attitude of the uncertainty surrounding events such as this. To this day, for example, many people still believe the politically-motivated stories, now known to be false, of J. Edgar Hoover being a transvestite, and of Nixon and Kissinger having overthrown Chilean president Salvador Allende. While we can recognize that our ancestors were often brutal, we must also guard against politically-inspired disinformation masquerading as historical fact.


How did Americans know to use smallpox infected blankets, before germ theory? - Geskiedenis

Lord Jeffery Amherst (Wikipedia)

Every year around Thanksgiving, many of the anti-western leftists start to pick up steam in their America-bashing. Thanksgiving, after all, is a celebration of evil genocidal white men brutally killing and torturing the peace-loving natives who enjoyed an earthly utopia of plenty and lived in perfect harmony with nature. The most dastardly example of all, of course, is the fact that white settlers actually handed over smallpox-infected blankets to the natives in order to kill them quickly and efficiently so they could steal their land.

This is a story that everyone takes as true, but is actually almost heeltemal onwaar. I was originally going to do a lot of research for this post, but why re-invent the wheel when someone else has already done it for me. Robert Lindsay has a pretty thorough post on this topic up on his blog, with plenty of links to his sources.

To make a long story short, there is a whopping een documented instance in all of colonial American history of such a thing having occurred, by British (not American, as this happened prior the revolutionary war) troops who were being besieged and were desperate for anything that might alleviate the situation. There is no concrete evidence that the stratagem actually worked (the tribes in question had already been exposed to smallpox generally), or was ever repeated.

As a side note: Germ theory proper was actually developed in the 19th century, so the idea that a low ranking British Officer could have engineered such an elaborate and dastardly scheme 50 years prior to the birth of Louis Pasteur while being certain of its results should seem incredibly suspicious. If it is true that Lord Amherst developed a comprehensive strategy of engaging in genocide through smallpox-infected blankets, than surely he deserves tremendous accolades for being one of the pioneers of modern medicine.


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