Military History/vx gas

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Question
With all this stuff about chemical weapons.lately how does one store that stuff and.how.lethal is that? Like cyanide? And if the US has stockpiles stored where is it and does the president even know?

Answer
Nes:

Gas weapons have evolved since the Germans first used them in WWI.  Back then they had a lot of noxious and lethal stuff from their chemicals and dye industries.  They tried releasing gas the first time, from large tanks moved to the front lines, and simply opening the valves and letting the wind do the work for them, but winds change and in several instances the wind blew the stuff back on their own troops.

Then the binary shell was invented and introduced.  It holds the chemical components in two parts and the two constituents are mixed when the shell explodes, creating the chemical gas.

Biologial agents work in a similar fashion or are in solid form that gasifies when the shell explodes.  Bio agents along with persistent chemical agents like mustard gas, sufluric acid gas, persist on the ground and are used to deny an area to the enemy as much as to kill them outright.  They lay on the ground and can kill and incapacitate by coming in contact with the soil or gas in low lying areas.

Collecting "proof" that an agent was used is as simple as collecting soil and analysing it.

Sarin and other nerve agents are very similar to commercially available pesticides.  They block an enzyme necessary for the proper functioning of our nervous systems, and also those of insects.  Nerve agents are hundreds of times more concentrated.  Look at your average container of malathion or other insecticide and you'll see the actvie ingredient makes up only 1-2% of the material.  Overdose symtoms are the same, trembling loss of motor control, suffocation and death.  Allied Chemicals released Kepone a chemical pesticide into the James River of Va. in the 1960's and 70's as part of industrial effluent.  Poisoning the river and parts of Chesapeak bay ending crabbing, fishing, shrimping and shell fishing in the area.  I worked on a project in 1977 investigating the problem.  The workers at the plant exhibited all the symptons of nerve gas exposure due to exposure to high levels of the stuff on a daily basis.  This was before all the OSHA and environmental regulations were put in place in the early 1980's.

The military stores such munitions in isolated bases across the country.  Walker Lake Nevada has a huge artillery storage faciltiy for the navy.  Bunkers can be seen built into the hillsides for miles.  With the end of the battleship era those are probably history now.  Places like Mcallister Oklahoma are home to a US Army Munitions plant and there is a huge base complete with bunkers to store the shells in.  Don't know if there are binary shells though.  Binary shells have a shelf life after wihch they deteriorate an a high rate.  The chemicals are unstable and the shells leak and degrade over time.  So if we have any, they have to be disposed of and new ones manufactured.

I can's swear to it, but we were supposed to destroy ours, but the best deterrent to them being used it to have some on hand just in case your enemy uses them.  In WWII a munitions ship was sunk during the invasion of Sicily.  That ship contained our mustard gas just in case stockpile and a lot of the surviors suffered mustard gas burns from the stuff just leaking into the water.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/m110.htm

The M110 155mm Projectile consists of a hollow steel shell containing 11.7 lbs of sulfur mustard H or HD blister gas. Assembled Chemical Weapons (ACW) are defined as munitions containing both chemical agent and energetic material (explosives and propellants) that are stored in the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile. The agent is in the form of either blister agent [mustard agent H, HD, or HT] or nerve agent [GB, also known as Sarin, or VX]. The M121, M121A1, M104, M110, M122 155-mm projectiles include GB, VX, H, and HD. The M104 contains 11.7 lbs of sulfur mustard blister gas. The M121 contains 6.5 lbs of sarin nerve gas. The M121A1 contains 6.5 lbs of sarin or 6 lbs of VX nerve gas. The weapon also has a supplementary charge of 0.3 lbs TNT. The M122 contains 6.5 lbs of sarin nerve gas. Three closely related types of blister agents are used in ACWs: the mustard agents H, HD, and HT. Exposure to liquid, aerosol, or vapor forms of these agents causes severe disruption of skin and membrane functions. Major symptoms of mustard exposure commonly do not appear until several hours after exposure. Death may occur if the skin and membrane disruption is sufficiently widespread over the body.

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Keith H. Patton

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I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.

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