Biological Warfare Another French Connection

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Biological Warfare : Another French Connection, is the first book to summarize the history of France’s biological warfare programs. Highlighting the complex and always secret conceptual genesis of the notion of biological warfare in France, Etienne Aucouturier shows that the contemporary institutional separation between chemical and biological weapons converges in reality on the same project, that of providing armies with the capability to selectively target living organisms or physiology by means of surgical strikes that use poisons or pathogens.

From the invention of microbial aerosols before the First World War, to the last chemical weapons tests in the Algerian desert in the 1970s, the book documents the scientific and technical research conducted to achieve this military capability. It reports on the constant interaction between the military and civil biomedical research spheres in France during the 20th century, while at the same time retracing the history of the debates between politicians, soldiers and scientists on the subject of biological warfare, and reveals how this important aspect of the military strategy of the last three French Republics was discussed at the highest levels of state, scientific and military hierarchies. Drawing on a large number of archival documents that have subsequently become difficult to consult, Aucouturier demonstrates the way in which these secret interactions gave rise to a sort of covert agreement between France’s biomedical institutions and its military strategists.

By reversing the order of current analysis - which dissociates, in principle, chemical and biological weapons - and focusing on the military's goal of selectively targeting the living, the book also provides a dynamic and historically justified conceptual framework that permits the reader to consider, and to fear, the possible future forms that biological warfare may take.

First edition en french (2017).

Auteurs Etienne Aucouturier
Titre Biological Warfare
Sous-titre Another French Connection
Édition 2e (1re ed. in french, 2017)
Date de publication May 2020
Préface Jeanne Guillemin
Traduction Etienne Aucouturier
ISSN 2556-7721
ISBN 978-2-37361-239-4
eISBN 978-2-37361-240-0
Support paperback & ebook
EAN13 Papier 9782373612394
EAN13 PDF 9782373612400
Nombre de pages 288
Nombre de figures 4
Dimensions 14,8 x 21 cm
Prix livre papier 29 €
Prix ebook pdf 19,99 €

Abbreviations … 5 

Foreword by Jeanne Guillemin (2017) … 7

Foreword by the author (2020) … 19

Introduction … 25

Definitions … 27

Structure … 31

Context and limits … 34

Chapter 1 … 41 Microbial warfare, bacteriological warfare

The art of artificial epidemics … 41

Microbial warfare and bacteriological warfare … 51

WW1 … 53

Chapter 2 … 61 Gestation and birth of the French CBW programs

Trillat’s research : artificial clouds and biological warfare … 62

Military applications … 65

Chapter 3 … 73 Inventing the French CBW program

The Poudrerie du Bouchet … 75

The German threat … 82

Chapter 4 … 91 What happened to the French CBW program under Nazi occupation ?

The SIPN and the Omnium des produits azotiques … 92

The “Débacle” and the Station d’Essais du Bouchet … 94

Biological warfare in (yet another) population-level sense … 100

Chapter 5 … 105 The Libération and the understanding of Biological Warfare in France

Physician Lieutenant-Colonel Jude’s conference … 106

The resumption and the Medical Defence Board against Modern Warfare … 109

Institut Pasteur and the Civilian-Military Commission on CBW … 111

Chapter 6 … 121 German know-how and the “unbearable constraint”

The “unbearable constraint” to think as an aggressor … 124

Aerosols and clouds : “making the rain and the sunshine” … 133

A vaccine against radioactivity ? … 136

Chapter 7 … 139 Towards biochemical warfare

The temporary end of “bacteriological” warfare … 142

A renewed trust in Institut Pasteur … 150

Chapter 8 … 155 Special weapons : The Commission on Chemical and Bacteriological Studies and Experiments (CEECB)

Mass destruction and ecological warfare … 160

Statistics and populations … 164

Chapter 9 … 171 Mass destruction and chain reaction

Producing well-defined results in space and time … 172

Decay Weapons … 181

Mechanical vectors : fuses and shells … 183

Chapter 10 … 191 Towards rearmament : 1959-1965

Some collaborations with the USA and the Netherlands … 192

A slow recovery … 199

A focus on incapacitants ? … 206

Chapter 11 … 211 Reorganizations and privatizations

An unprecedented recourse to the private sector … 213

Small and large animals … 217

Chapter 12 … 225 The Sahara trials and the Sodeteg

Aromas, spices and B2-Namous … 226

The Sodeteg sheep … 230

Lamppost and marjoram … 236

Chapter 13 … 245 State secrecy and the law

What happened to the French  biological warfare program after 1972 ? … 258

Dealing with the law : offense and prophylaxis … 260

The disturbing fate of Sodeteg … 260

Conclusion … 273

Index … 277

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