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jemm

Rumours of poisoned shellls

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jemm

Hi I have a soldier who died in Manchester from wounds recieved from a shell blast. His parents were told ( according to the newspaper report) by the hospital that it was possible the shell had been loaded with poison before being fired. I was just wondering were rumours like these quite common? Or is there some eveidence to suggest that this did actually happen?

Thanks

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centurion

There were rumours but they all seem to emanate from an advertisement by the Automatic Machine Company from I think New Jersey circa 1916 who offered to supply shells made from a special steel "guaranteed" to cause suppurating wounds. German propagandists seized upon this to suggest that the Allies (Britain and France) were buying poisoned shells. Newspapers on both sides produced stories about the other side using poisoned steel. There was some embarrassment in the US and various government denials that any such product was being made much less sold. Pressure was brought on the Automatic Machine company who withdrew their advert.

A shell blast would be likely to drive all sorts of muck into wounds anyway.

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centurion

More relevant material

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NZTR19151009.2.20&l=mi&e=-------10--1----0--

http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2985&context=ocj

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F30F13F7395B17738DDDAD0894DF405B858DF1D3

The Cleveland Automatic Machine Company received many threatening letters (including some containing powder alleged to contain deadly germs) as a result.

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jemm

Thankyou :)

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