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Kregs
01-01-2009, 05:31 PM
Very interesting article I came upon just very recently that states that the Soviet Army used it against Friedrich von Paulus's army. Rats spread tulameria:

Rats spread the disease in German troops very quickly. The effect was astonishing

Tulameria, or rabbit fever is reputed to be a record-breaking infection. Humans will most likely conquer the disease in the near future: scientists have recently decoded the genome of Francisella tularensis microbe. Only ten of these bacteria are enough to cause an extremely dangerous disease. Western specialists believe that the microbe can be used as a very effective biological weapon, for it possesses an inhalational capacity.


The microbe was discovered in 1911 during an outburst of rabbit fever, when the disease killed a large number ground squirrels in the area of Tulare Lake in California. The lake gave the name to the disease – tularemia. Scientists determined that tularemia could be dangerous to humans: a human being may catch the infection after contacting an infected animal. The ailment soon became frequent with hunters, cooks and agricultural workers. Pathogenic organisms penetrate into a body through damaged skin and mucous membranes.

The disease has a very fast and acute beginning. A patient suffers from headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle pains, loss of appetite and nausea. Face and eyes redden and become inflamed. Inflammation proceeds to lymphadenitis, fever and gland suppuration, which eventually develops life-threatening complications.

An epidemic of tularemia broke out in the spring of 2000 in Kosovo. About 650 people fell ill with rabbit fever by the beginning of May. Kosovo's water pipelines were destroyed with the bombing – the region was suffering from the shortage of fresh water, and it was impossible to stop the epidemic.

As it turned out later, tularemia was a respiratory-transmissible disease. An American man caught the infection in 2000, when his lawn-mower ran into an infected rabbit.

The problem became a lot more important for the USA in 2001, when tularemia obtained a potential biological threat. Francisella tularensis was a perfect example of biological weapon for terrorists. The microbe possesses a large infecting capacity, which results in a high death rate. In addition, only a microscopic amount of the bacteria will be enough to trigger a massive epidemic.

It goes without saying that secret services were conducting scientific researches of so-called “rat weapons.” The USSR used it during WWII against Friedrich von Paulus's army. The Soviet government did not risk to infect fascists with plague or ulcer – they chose tularemia. Rats spread the disease in German troops very quickly. The effect was astonishing: Paulus had to take a break in his offensive on Stalingrad. According to archive documents, about 50 percent of German prisoners, who were taken captive after the battle of Stalingrad, were suffering from classic symptoms of tularemia. Unfortunately, every action leads to a counteraction. The use of infected rats against the Nazi army had an inverse effect too: the disease came over the front line, and infected a lot of Soviet soldiers.

Soviet scientists continued their research with the tularemia microbe after the end of WWII. Military biologists brought the bacteria to perfection at the end of the 1970s, having increased its destructive capacity.

Russian medics, however, do not believe that the tularemia pathogen can be referred to as an efficient bacteriological weapon. The body develops a life-long immunity against tularemia, if the disease is treated properly and timely. Furthermore, an infected individual does not pose a danger to other people. To crown it all, direct sunlight kills Francisella tularensis in only 30 minutes. The microbe dies in boiling water within one or two minutes. Disinfecting fluids kills the pathogen in 3-5 minutes. Well-known antibiotics, such as streptomycin, levomycetin, tetracycline destroy the germ within a very short period of time too.

British scientists have recently discovered that the tularemia pathogen contains the genes, which cannot be found in any other organism in the world. The genome has been declassified: humans will soon invent the anti-tularemia vaccine, which will push aside the opportunity of using the disease as a weapon of mass destruction.

Egorka
01-02-2009, 03:26 AM
Right, except that it was actually the other way around: Germans used the "rat weapon" against RKKA in Stalingrad, but then they got hit themselves...
Try proving me to be wrong!

alephh
01-02-2009, 08:54 AM
I was under the impression that the British SOE was the first to develop rat-weapons in 1941...?

herman2
01-02-2009, 02:41 PM
Other counter points to consider to the Rat Theory:
Is there anybody here who thinks that in the last months of the Stalingrad siege the Germans enjoyed good sanitation conditions, plenty of clean fresh water to drink, and no contact with the rats infestating a dying city full of dead bodies, with bombed-out sewers?

Let's look at the one other example of a widespread epidemic: In Kosovo, a war situation, how did it happen that 650 persons were infected? Well, they lacked clean water. Does the article hypothesize that somebody used tularemia as a weapon in Kosovo? No, of course not. However, the basic data is exactly the same as in Stalingrad - an epidemic, in conditions where the disease can naturally and normally spread out.

Another small point. When were the German POWs tested for tularemia? Straight away after capture? You bet not. Stalingrad POWs died like flies, because of their previous exhaustion and wounds, because of the weather, because the Soviets were almost totally unprepared to handle such large numbers of POWs and, perhaps most importantly, because the Soviets weren't actually giving a big deal of priority to POW survival.
So would they test the ill prisoners right away? No. My bet is that, assuming the unspecified archival sources do exist, the tests were carried out some time during detention, possibly months after the capture. Which would mean
a ) that the 50% figure refers to the POWs surviving then, not to the total captured POWs - which is a remarkable downsizing, and
b ) that tularemia could very well be endemic _in POW camps_, not in Stalingrad. Which speaks ill of the Soviet treatment of POWs but proves not one thing about biological weapon use.

pdf27
01-02-2009, 03:07 PM
Going by my copy of Beevor's Stalingrad, at the time they were captured the German troops were in many cases literally starving to death, and badly infested with lice (the major vector for the transmission of Typhus, which appears to have caused a very high number of fatalities).
It is worth remembering that DDT (the first effective insecticide) was limited to the Allies during WW2 - it was a close relation to the nerve gases chemically, and the Germans assumed that because the Allies suddenly stopped talking about Organophosphates they must already have nerve gases of their own. Furthermore, it appears (although I can't be sure) that the Typhus vaccine was also limited to the Allies during the war.

Adding Tularemia to the mix is entirely plausible, either by accident or design. Remember that the Germans at the time really knew next to nothing about the Soviet Union. Their being taken by surprise by the cold is a myth (the winter clothing was instead delayed by a horrendously messed-up logistic chain), but they knew nothing of the local diseases and even the maps were often highly inaccurate. In the circumstances, unless we get a credible Russian witness to state that Biological weapons were indeed used (or something is found in the Archives - highly unlikely) then we will never know.

Kregs
01-02-2009, 10:27 PM
Going by my copy of Beevor's Stalingrad, at the time they were captured the German troops were in many cases literally starving to death, and badly infested with lice (the major vector for the transmission of Typhus, which appears to have caused a very high number of fatalities).
It is worth remembering that DDT (the first effective insecticide) was limited to the Allies during WW2 - it was a close relation to the nerve gases chemically, and the Germans assumed that because the Allies suddenly stopped talking about Organophosphates they must already have nerve gases of their own. Furthermore, it appears (although I can't be sure) that the Typhus vaccine was also limited to the Allies during the war.

Adding Tularemia to the mix is entirely plausible, either by accident or design.

I always assumed that tularemia was used during the Battle of Stalingrad, but considering the pathogen the outbreak probably resulted from natural causes.

According to Alibek, who was a Soviet biological weapons expert, has stated that the Soviets, prior to the siege of Stalingrad, released F. tularensis, which is the bacterium that causes the disease, to unsuspecting Germans. He goes on to say that Germans released the bacterium as well.

Whether he is correct in his analysis, I can't say.

Chevan
01-13-2009, 02:13 AM
I always assumed that tularemia was used during the Battle of Stalingrad, but considering the pathogen the outbreak probably resulted from natural causes.

According to Alibek, who was a Soviet biological weapons expert, has stated that the Soviets, prior to the siege of Stalingrad, released F. tularensis, which is the bacterium that causes the disease, to unsuspecting Germans. He goes on to say that Germans released the bacterium as well.

Whether he is correct in his analysis, I can't say.

This is the fary tell.
Indeed Soviet were going to fight for STalingrad till the END, so they can't to use the biological wearpon on territory where their army have to fight.
Having bacterium in Stalingrad- you seriously take a risk for your own troops.
There were no BATTLE LINE at all in sense- The soldiers were fighting next door rooms.
I think the "expert" Alibek wants the cheap glory.

Egorka
03-24-2009, 07:19 AM
About mise in Stalingrad:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?p=153986#post153986

Uyraell
03-24-2009, 06:21 PM
From the Stalingrad book I had, published about 1968, under the title "Stalingrad"; the conditions there for either side were such that there was not much need to introduce biological weaponry.

I don't believe either side "introduced" diseases at all, the conditions were bad enough to have the diseases arise from natural causes.

Animals like cats and rats were being eaten, and on the German side at least, the book records cases of human livers being taken from frozen corpses and cooked, because the Germans did not have supplies incoming, and much of the small amount that was airdropped to them fell into Russian hands, regardless.

Even if the eating of human flesh is an exaggeration, and I don't believe it is, the unburied dead would certainly contribute to increased opportunities for pathogenic bacteria to breed. In such conditions, the existence of Tularemia or any other plague bacilliform would be, I'd think, almost guaranteed. Why do I have that view? I was once an Embalmer, so I have some familiarity with death and diseases.

Regards, Uyraell.

Chevan
03-25-2009, 12:34 AM
I don't believe either side "introduced" diseases at all, the conditions were bad enough to have the diseases arise from natural causes.
.

I think exactly so too.
To use the bioligical wearpon in conditions of STalingrad should be the pure suicide for both armies.

Uyraell
03-25-2009, 06:15 AM
I think exactly so too.
To use the bioligical wearpon in conditions of STalingrad should be the pure suicide for both armies.
Exactly so, my friend.
There is absolutely no advantage to deploying any biological weapon.
No one would gain anything, since such a weapon would affect every human present.

The idea of a bio-weapon deployment at Stalingrad was discussed among my wargames friends at college. None of us could see sense in it, including one guy whose dad was a microbiologist.
I was never in that profession, but did have to acquire certain basic knowledges for my own embalming profession.

From the knowledge I accumulated, I cannot see where either side would gain, yet can see where each would lose vastly.

In short, I regard talk of bio-weapons deployed at Stalingrad or any similar battle in the then Soviet lands as pure invention, for the precise reasons I gave in My last post.

Regards, Uyraell.

RicemanCDN
03-30-2009, 05:16 PM
when i saw this post i thought it was gonna be rats with bombs attached to them.... i am so disssapointed :(

Chevan
03-31-2009, 01:05 AM
when i saw this post i thought it was gonna be rats with bombs attached to them.... i am so disssapointed :(

How do you imagine the "rat with bomb":)?

Uyraell
03-31-2009, 04:55 PM
How do you imagine the "rat with bomb":)?

Maybe clockwork rat made by Schuco company?

(Schuco of Germany made mechanical toy models, some of which were clockwork, and very very good. They had steering, transmissions that gave different speeds along with a neutral that left the "motor" running while the vehicle stood still.)
:confused::mrgreen:

Regards, Uyraell.

Chevan
04-01-2009, 10:02 AM
Maybe clockwork rat made by Schuco company?

(Schuco of Germany made mechanical toy models, some of which were clockwork, and very very good. They had steering, transmissions that gave different speeds along with a neutral that left the "motor" running while the vehicle stood still.)
:confused::mrgreen:

Regards, Uyraell.
Hmmn, i think it might be interesting for Al-qaeda now;)

Uyraell
04-04-2009, 05:02 PM
Hmmn, i think it might be interesting for Al-qaeda now;)

Rolling on floor, laughing :lol: Da, bratets !

Warm Regards, Uyraell.

Nickdfresh
04-04-2009, 05:33 PM
Didn't the Germans have a bigger problem with rats and mice eating through the electrical wiring on their static panzers near Stalingrad? And living in their engine blocks?

Maybe they were trained by the NKVD? :)

Uyraell
04-05-2009, 05:25 PM
Didn't the Germans have a bigger problem with rats and mice eating through the electrical wiring on their static panzers near Stalingrad? And living in their engine blocks?

Maybe they were trained by the NKVD? :)
As I recall from the book I had, the rats and mice ate anything they could get their teeth into. Rifle slings, boots, vehicle wiring, even eachother.
As with other things at Stalingrad, conditions were so hellish that any mammal would eat almost anything to simply survive, regardless political ideologies.
It is almost a truism to say that Stalingrad became so hellish political ideologies came very near to irrelevancy. That may be an oversimplification, but several items in have read over the years tend to support that view.

Though, I have to admit, the training of animals for warlike purposes has gone-on to this very day. As witness: the dolphins trained in the US and USSR for marine recon.
Both the CIA and KGB had some hand in that, as did the 2emeBureau in France.

Regards, Uyraell.

peopleselbow
04-19-2009, 04:20 PM
how long did it take to develop the rat weapon guys

Rising Sun*
04-19-2009, 06:46 PM
how long did it take to develop the rat weapon guys

The answer is in the posts above yours.

The Historian
10-10-2009, 08:27 PM
I remember reading somewhere about the Russians using dogs with bombs strapped to them as anti-tank weapons....

Any corroboration?

Nickdfresh
10-10-2009, 10:14 PM
There's a thread on it here in fact, but that might take a bit to find...

The Historian
10-11-2009, 02:47 PM
Speaking of animals as tools of war, I got a real kick reading about the "bat bombs" we made to terrorize the Japanese

flamethrowerguy
10-11-2009, 02:51 PM
There's a thread on it here in fact, but that might take a bit to find...

Here it is:
http://ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8457&highlight=dogs

The Historian
10-11-2009, 03:26 PM
Thanks

Chevan
10-12-2009, 01:03 AM
As with other things at Stalingrad, conditions were so hellish that any mammal would eat almost anything to simply survive, regardless political ideologies.
It is almost a truism to say that Stalingrad became so hellish political ideologies came very near to irrelevancy. That may be an oversimplification, but several items in have read over the years tend to support that view.

Noway.
The russian-borm mouses never eated the electro-equipment of russian tanks:)( the evil enemyes of russia claims it' becouse the russian didn't used any electro equipment on its tanks at all:D)
We have not the testimonies of the that from russian side at least:D
It was definitely a sort of the Patriotic mouses. Probably special trained.I suppose the NKVD political officers might to be proud of it's job on the.... "rat front".:mrgreen:
Unfortinatelly all of Russian rat and mouses had died by death of heroes of SU:)
As we know German 6 army not just had eated all the dogs and cats for dinner in Stalingrad but almost all the rats and probably mouses for supper:)

Nickdfresh
10-12-2009, 06:02 AM
Here it is:
http://ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8457&highlight=dogs

I think there's another, longer one in the archives from 2006 maybe...