Your Friendly Neighborhood MACE

Most military historians cite April 22, 1915, the day the Germans used chlorine to kill 5,000 Frenchmen, as the beginning of gas warfare in World War I. A year earlier, however, both sides had set a dangerous precedent by firing tear gas shells and grenades at each other. Still, for …

Poison Gas in Vietnam

Sometime early in 1964 the Pentagon asked the State Department to investigate and prepare a memo on the legality of the use of non-lethal gases in South Vietnam. The Pentagon’s point of view already was known: Army Field Manual 27-10, Law of Land Warfare, says “the United States is not …

Our Chemical War

Late in 1961, a Defense Department official was making his first trip to South Vietnam. The defoliation program, aimed at destroying jungle used by the Viet Cong for cover, had begun in October and the official planned to take a firsthand look. He later gave a briefing to Premier Ngo …