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Villainous Compounds : Chemical Weapons & the American Civil War (Hardcover) (Guy R. Hasegawa)
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Most studies of modern chemical warfare begin with World War I and the widespread use of poison gas by both sides in the conflict. However, as Guy R. Hasegawa reveals in this fascinating study, numerous chemical agents were proposed during the Civil War era. As combat commenced, Hasegawa shows, a few forward-thinking chemists recognized the advantages of weaponizing the noxious, sometimes deadly aspects of certain chemical concoctions. They and numerous ordinary citizens proposed a host of chemical weapons, from liquid chlorine in artillery shells to cayenne pepper solution sprayed from fire engines. In chilling detail, Hasegawa describes the potential weapons, the people behind the concepts, and the evolution of some chemical weapon concepts into armaments employed in future wars. As he explains, bureaucrats in the war departments of both armies either delayed or rejected outright most of these unusual weapons, viewing them as unneeded or unworkable. Nevertheless, many of the proposed armaments presaged the widespread use of chemical weapons in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Especially timely with today’s increased chemical threats from terrorists and the alleged use of chemical agents in the Syrian Civil War,Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War expands the history of chemical warfare and exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.
Number of Pages: 182
Sub-Genre: History, Inventions, Armed Forces
Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ Pr
Author: Guy R. Hasegawa
Street Date: September 4, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 248-00-9084
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