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Modern Mysteries

Did the Nazis develop a biological weapon ?

By T.K. Randall
February 2, 2014 · Comment icon 6 comments



The research involved the use of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Image Credit: CDC/Jim Gathany
Recently discovered records suggest that Nazi scientists attempted to use mosquitoes as weapons.
While it is known that both the Allies and the Japanese had been working on creating offensive biological weapons during World War II, details of what the Germans had been up to in that area have not been quite so forthcoming.

Despite Hitler himself formally opposing the development of such weapons, newly uncovered records from the Dachau concentration camp appear to confirm what everyone had suspected all along - that the Nazis had indeed been working on their own secret biological weapons program during the war.
Unconventionally, German scientists lead by insect researcher Eduard May had opted to base their biological program on malaria-carrying mosquitoes that could be dropped out of an aircraft above their enemies. It is highly unlikely however that the system was ever completed.

"Research to assess the threat posed by different biological agents and vectors, such as May's research on mosquitoes and malaria, is especially hard to categorize as offensive or defensive," said Gregory Koblentz of George Mason University. "Even if May's intent was offensive, it was very preliminary - many steps away from actually producing a viable insect-borne biological weapon."

Source: National Geographic | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by dr no 9 years ago
I've never heard reference to that before even when I visited Dachau.I have read Churchill considered dropping anthrax on Berlin,that would've been particularly nasty
Comment icon #2 Posted by andy4 9 years ago
Hitler was opposed to it because he thought the British would align with him at first, and he didn't want it to happen to german citizens as well. Seems like they were just trying to find the most painful way to kill, as far as I'm concerned.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 9 years ago
I seem to recall Hitler was flatly against biological warfare after surviving a gas attack in WWI.
Comment icon #4 Posted by TheCanadianBear 9 years ago
Anyone heard of Plum Island? The scientist there were a mix of German and Americans. They messed up a few times and now we can thank them for Lyme Ticks and some of the Mosquitoes that were modified. Anyone heard of Plum Island? The scientist there were a mix of German and Americans. They messed up a few times and now we can thank them for Lyme Ticks and some of the Mosquitoes that were modified. Anyone heard of Plum Island? The scientist there were a mix of German and Americans. They messed up a few times and now we can thank them for Lyme Ticks and some of the Mosquitoes that were modified.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Calsoil 9 years ago
Recently discovered, I'd say more like fabricated, monuments men is opening soon, this just adds to the hype.
Comment icon #6 Posted by scowl 9 years ago
I seem to recall Hitler was flatly against biological warfare after surviving a gas attack in WWI. Not that Hitler was a man of reason, but chemical weapons are not biological weapons. There was a large chemical weapon factory in West Berlin that the allies had to avoid shelling as they entered the city. The Nazis didn't seem to have any plans for these weapons though.


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