A 1952 Department of Defense film was declassified and released on Monday. The film, Naval Concepts of Chemical and Biological Warfare, discusses the United States Navy’s early experiments in delivering gas and particulate attacks over large geographic areas. In one experiment, the Navy released a benign substance into the air off the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and found that it had spread across 20,000 square miles “proving that it is possible to contaminate extremely large land areas by releasing sprays at sea under the proper weather conditions.” The narrator goes on to say that such an attack may be carried out by a submarine at para scope depth, or a plane cruising at low altitude.
Below is the video and notable portions of the transcript.
Biological and Chemical warfare have two principle objectives: To reduce the enemy’s production of food by destroying his crops and food producing farm animals, and to incapacitate the enemy’s armed forces and that portion of his human population that directly supports them. The Navy is preparing to accomplish these objections by both biological and chemical agents.
The Navy is primarily concerned with delivery of these agents to the areas ordered for contamination and the dispersion of the agents in such form and concentration as to accomplish the desired objectives. Where can the Navy attack? As long as the Navy commands the seas, it can deliver a biological or chemical attack anywhere on that three quarters of the earth’s surface that is covered by water. And it’s carrier based aircraft can strike hundreds of miles inland from any coast line, and attack a large portion of an enemies population, shipping and industrial centers.
The Navy has given considerable attention to the dissemination of agents from the air. Any Navy or Marine plane that can carry a bomb can be provided with spray equipment.