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Hitler's Final Revenge? Use of Chemical Weapons Late in the War


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#1 Richard

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:55 PM

What if Hitler gave the order to use all the chemical weapons in the last two months of the war? After all he was finished he had nothing to loose anymore.

#2 PzJgr

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:29 PM

Now that is a good question. I would guess that it would have been a 50/50 chance of his order being followed. Most Heeres Generals were not following idiotic orders and probably would not have followed this one. Hardcore SS officers would on the the other hand. Also, it would depend on where the chemical ordinance stockpile was located. Was it accessible? Good one though
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#3 Fortune

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:31 PM

that is a good question...so many variables...
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." -Winston Churchill

#4 bigiceman

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 05:35 AM

If all of the logistical requirements were able to be met I could see him using them against the Soviet forces. I don't think anyone believes that the reprisals by the Soviets could have gotten much worse than they were. It would have sent many more Russian troops to their deaths and may have allowed more of the Germans to reach the Western allies. Considering the amount of time it would have taken the Allies to get their own chemical weapons into combat there probably would have been no real possibility for a reprisal in-kind. I don't see it making more than a few days difference in the outcome of the European struggle.
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#5 Richard

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 01:36 PM

Originally posted by bigiceman:
If all of the logistical requirements were able to be met I could see him using them against the Soviet forces.

Yes I feel it's more likely against the Russians and most likely to be carried out by the SS.

#6 TheRedBaron

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:28 PM

Why more likely by the SS? I think the Wehrmacht could be just as likely to deploy it. Ironically it was a Waffen-SS force that destroyed a production facility to stop it falling into Soviet hands...

The majority of chemical production was in Wehrmacht control... Certainly the Tabun production, I think, was under Wehrmacht control and would have been the newest development ready for deployment along with mustard gas and phosgene. The Germans also had Sarin which could have been deployed but was only in available in small quantities... Not that you need alot!

Tabun and mustard gas, if delivered in a high enough concentration, probably from mortars or Nebelwerfers could have made a serious impact if it could hit high density troop concentrations... Certainly little could be done for those hit by Tabun.

There is a rumour about nerve agent use in Normandy, it appears in an appendix in Dennis Edwards memoir.

I am researching the likely results of such actions for an 'extended WW2' history/scenario I am trying to develop for my wargames group.
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#7 Kai-Petri

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 03:46 PM

I think that would be too late. Hiler did not have the army anymore which to use in order to take advantage of the situation if he had used gas. He could only defend with the number or men he had and only very poorly at that as well.

Also how would they send the gas to the front and how would they use it if they never created any real weapons for that? Or the specialized personnel to launch it so that own men were not killed by the gas.


Hitler could make the order but by march 1945 nothing would come out of it except own losses I think.
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#8 panzergrenadiere

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 06:24 PM

It is interesting to think about the damage gas could have done to the russians when they were massed on the Oder in 45. That has to be one of their highest troop concentrations of the whole war. If used at a proper time that could have really stalled the russians taking seelow heights. Then again if hilter didn't send 4panzer divisons south that could have really changed the outcome.
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#9 Kai-Petri

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:37 PM

The gas would have been an awesome weapon like today we´ve seen what it can do. However there were no suitable methods how to launch the gas to the enemy´s side, at least I haven´t read anything else except some grenades for the artillery to shoot were developed as prototypes. I think Hitler did forbid the development but some was achieved under secrecy even from Hitler himself.
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#10 Richard

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 12:07 PM

I heard there was a factory loaded with the stuff but never rec'd one hit by a bomb. Back to the subject it sounds like it would have been hit and miss.

#11 skunk works

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:42 AM

The U.S. keep mustard gas on hand and at the front. They had NO intention of using it first, but it was on hand in case someone else was Dumb enough to start that thing (WW 1 Horror) again.
There is an incident where a transport ship was hit and sinking/sunk of Italy, and the water turned "Yellow".
Of the sailors who made it to shore, most died quickly afterwards.
I'm not sure how the stuff needs to be deployed to massively work, but it was in the water.
I'm not sure if it needs to be in an aerosol/mist, airburst, shell, bomb or what.
At least with the U.S., it was on hand at the front line. In Italy anyway.
Guessing about human nature, and mutually assured destruction,
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my bet is most of us had it.
I am glad no-one decided to pull that trigger! As is the rest of the world.
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#12 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

That was Bari Italy

http://www.history.n...qs/faq104-4.htm

Of the more than 800 casualties hospitalized after the raid, 628 suffered from mustard gas exposure. Sixty-nine deaths were attributed in whole or in part to this cause.
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