Dew Of Death: The Story Of Lewisite, America's World War I by Joel A. Vilensky

By Joel A. Vilensky

"Dr. Vilensky increases vital issues in regards to the threats posed through lewisite and different guns of mass destruction. As he describes, non-proliferation courses are an important part within the battle on Terror." -- Richard G. Lugar, usa Senator"Joel Vilensky's ebook is a close and immensely worthwhile account of the advance and historical past of 1 of the most important chemical weapons.... we are going to consistently understand how to make lewisite, the 'Dew of Death,' yet that doesn't suggest that we should always, or be pressured to simply accept such guns in our lives." -- from the Foreword by means of Richard Butler, former head of UN detailed fee to Disarm IraqIn 1919, whilst the nice battle was once over, the hot York occasions pronounced on a brand new chemical weapon with "the body spray of geranium blossoms," a poison fuel that was once "the climax of this country's achievements within the deadly arts." The identify of this substance used to be lewisite and this is often its tale -- the tale of an American weapon of mass destruction.Discovered unintentionally by way of a graduate scholar and priest in a chemistry laboratory on the Catholic collage of the US in Washington, D.C., lewisite was once constructed right into a weapon by means of Winford Lewis, who turned its namesake, operating with a crew led via James Conant, later president of Harvard and head of presidency oversight for the U.S.'s atomic bomb application, the new york venture. After a robust German counterattack within the spring of 1918, the govt started frantic construction of lewisite in hopes of offering 3,000 lots of the stuff to be prepared to be used in Europe the next 12 months. the top of battle got here simply because the first cargo used to be being ready. It was once dumped into the ocean, yet now not forgotten. Joel A. Vilensky tells the interesting tale of the invention and improvement of lewisite and its curious heritage. in the course of global struggle II, the United States produced greater than 20,000 lots of lewisite, trying out it on infantrymen and secretly losing it from airplanes. finally, the substance was once deserted as a weapon since it used to be too volatile lower than such a lot strive against stipulations. yet a weapon as soon as found by no means disappears. It used to be utilized by Japan in Manchuria and by means of Iraq in its conflict with Iran. The Soviet Union used to be an important producer. surprisingly adequate, even though it was once built for deadly reasons, lewisite resulted in a good remedy for a unprecedented neurological illness.

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Extra info for Dew Of Death: The Story Of Lewisite, America's World War I Weapon Of Mass Destruction

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Many articles followed in newspapers and magazines across the country. Lewis was not only proud of his work on lewisite, but also advocated for the use of poison gas in war, believing it to be a step up in the evolution of weapons and a more effective offensive weapon than high explosives. On June 7, 1923, a celebration was organized in Lewis’s honor by the Pioneer Historic Association of his hometown of Gridley. Among the many people in attendance was the governor of California, Friend Richardson.

Would be taken to prevent the recurrence of such an incident. The publicity surrounding the lewisite release resulted in the Washington Board of Commissioners on October 30 requesting that such tests be moved from the AUES site. The commissioners cited as evidence both that the senator had been “disagreeably affected” and that some motorists nearby had smelled the gas. The request of the commissioners never had to be implemented, because the war ended two weeks later. Interestingly, Lewis suggested in a 1921 speech that the explosion may have been intentional, although he provided no details as to why such a lewisite release would be deliberate.

1920. Courtesy Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana. Were the conditions in Nieuwland’s ®ask correct for the formation of lewisite? Later in life Nieuwland expressed con¤dence that he had in fact synthesized lewisite. But lewisite is not tarry and does not precipitate crystals. Perhaps, though, lewisite did form in the ®ask—at least enough to make Nieuwland ill. Upon completion of his doctoral research, Nieuwland followed his plan and returned to Notre Dame to become a professor and, later, (1920–23) dean of the College of Sciences.

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