Experience in the use of chemical warfare agents in the postwar period and during the World War II

O.M. Arustamian, V.S. Tkachishin, O. Yu. Aleksiichuk


Entering the arsenals of weapons of organophosphorus compounds marked the apogee in the development of chemical weapons. In 1939, sarin was obtained, and by the end of 1944 — soman, belonging to a new class of lethal nerve agents, whose toxicity was much higher than that of chemical warfare agents in World War I. Industrial production of sarin began in 1952. In mid-1961, the United States began producing low-volatile persistent organophosphorus compounds under the code VX, especially dangerous if you get even a small amount of it on the skin. During World War II, in the United States on 17 processing plants, there were produced 135 thousand tons of chemical warfare agents, of which more than half was mustard gas. The last were filled in about 5 million chemical bombs. The result of the work in the field of chemical warfare agents affecting the central nervous system has been a detailed study in 1962 of 3-quinuclidinyl benzyl ester acid, which has the code BZ. It was in service with the US Army, and an experimental version was used in Vietnam. CS and CR — new substances adopted in the postwar years by the US Army to replace the old irritating substances. Both agents are the result of joint Anglo-American studies. As irritating substance, CS exceeds the irritants of World War I. International Chemical Weapons Convention adopted in 1993 entered into force on 29 April 1997.


World War II; chemical warfare agents; sarin; soman; mustard gas; organophosphorus compounds; CS; CR; BZ; LSD; VX


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