Britain had released documents pertaining to biological warfare research done during WW2. The Brits tested everything from spreading anthrax through cows, dysentery and cholera by infecting reservoirs and restaurants and even creating bombs for their Wellington and Bleinheim bombers.
Biological warfare was not thought “likely to achieve a decisive effect, but might cause grave embarrassment at a critical stage in the conflict,” the report said. Preparation was required both to defend against such attacks by “the enemy” and as a “means of retaliation”.
Nobody on the European front actually used biological weapons. However, Japan did do many experiments at the cost of Chinese lives. Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army was the division doing all this. Over 400,000 Chinese were killed by their activities which included dropping fleas carrying the bubonic plague virus.
And both on the Japanese and the German we had “Human experimentation’. The Nazis did it on the Jews, the Japs did it on the Chinese, Filipino and others.
A jovial old Japanese farmer who in the war had been a medical assistant in a Japanese army unit in China described to a U.S. reporter recently what it was like to dissect a Chinese prisoner who was still alive.
Munching rice cakes, he reminisced: “The fellow knew it was over for him, and so he didn’t struggle when they led him into the room and tied him down. But when I picked up the scalpel, that’s when he began screaming. I cut him open from the chest to the stomach and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony.
“He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped.
“This was all in a day’s work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time.” The man could not be sedated, added the farmer, because it might have distorted the experiment.
From the jungles of war, there is much truth that still needs to be uncovered.