This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Model 1 Frangible Toxic Gas Hand Grenade (SEISAN SHURUDAN) Glass gas grenades were captured on Guadalcanal and in Burma early in the war. Its designation is unconfirmed and is believed to have actually been developed in the 1930s. They were also identified as "T.B. grenades" by Allied intelligence, but the meaning is unknown. These are the gas grenades once employed against British tanks in Burma near Imphal in 1942. They were filled with liquid hydrocyanic acid (AC), a blood gas derived from hydrogen cyanide. These grenades were initially reported as filled with 80 percent hydrogen cyanide (aka prussic acid). They were found stabilized with either powdered copper (Cu) or arsenic trichloride (AsCl3). Both types had metal crown caps. The copper-stabilized type had a rounded bottom with a cork plug and the other a flat bottom and a rubber plug under the caps. The copper-stabilized type was packed in a metal can and the second in a cylindrical cardboard container. Both types were further packed individually in larger cylindrical metal cans with a web carrying strap. The inner containers were double walled (sides, bottom, and lid) and filled with neutralizing agent-soaked sawdust. The arsenic trichloride-stabilized type were called the 172 B-K and 172 C-K by Allied intelligence after container markings, but these were almost certainly lot numbers rather than designations. (In early 1943, the US Military Intelligence Division reported a similar grenade being used by the Germans, but this turned out to be a mistake due to misidentification of Japanese grenades captured on Guadalcanal and retuned to the States where they were mixed up.)
Weight: 1.2 lbs Diameter: 3.9 in
Construction: glass body, steel cap Filler: 12.2 oz liquid hydrocyanic acid with stabilizer Fuze: none Causality Radius: INAIdentification: clear glass body, yellowish (copper-stabilized) or greenish (arsenic trichloride-stabilized) liquid, light olive drab shipping can with brown band Fig. 9-18 There was also a glass screening smoke grenade of similar design. Yes, it is in violation of the Hague Convention, but so was mistreatment of POWs. Gordon Rottman
PPoS wrote:Hmm.. Had no clue the japs used so much gas during the war.
Peter H wrote:300,000 Frangible Hydrocyanic acid grenades were manufactured during the war.The photo of the one above was unearthed on Okinawa in 1995.
An unexploded poisonous gas weapon of the Imperial Japanese Army was found in the remains of an underground Japanese Army hospital used during the land battle on Okinawa in WWII. Although there were no reports of victims of poisonous ordnance during the battle, the finding was testimony that the Japanese Army planned to use poison in defense of Okinawa against the U.S. invasion. The secret grim operation of poison gas use during WWII was excavated after a fifty-three year silence.
Isamu Kuniyoshi, 59, is a man who volunteers on his own to excavate the ruins of War shelters in order to show people the cruelty of war by exhibiting various uncovered articles. In middle of July, as he was looking for War remains in the ruins of Arakaki Army Hospital in Itoman City, he found a glass ball ten centimeters in diameter. The underground hospital was like a deep foxhole, two meters high and extending a hundred twenty meters in length. Kuniyoshi encountered the poisonous weapon, without any gas, about seventy meters from the entrance while digging in the dirt with a scoop.
The explosive was a grenade supposedly containing hydrogen cyanide, known as "chabin," a teapot in Japanese named after its shape. The article was sent to Kanagawa University for chemical analysis and copper powder, a stabilizing material for cyanide, was found in the glass container. According to Professor Tadaomi Nishikubo, about eighty percent of the ingredients was copper powder which was intentionally put in the glass ball for some reason. Professor Keiichi Tsuneishi, who has studied poisonous gas weapons of the Imperial Japanese Army, commented "From the shape and the copper powder, we can say it is a chabin. It proves that poisonous gas weapons were assigned to Okinawa during the War." The professor explained that it was the first discovery of chabin at a battle site in War history.
The Japanese Army secretariat worked on the research and development of poison gas weapons. A hydrogen cyanide grenade, the chabin, was used in anti-tank operations. A soldier would throw the grenade into the air vent of a tank. Because the soldier had to get as close as possible, the operation was considered a suicide attack. The British Army had recorded that chabin were used in the Burma Campaign and also in China. There had been no reports of poisonous gas being used in the Okinawa Campaign.
The Japanese Army had produced three hundred thirty thousand chabin in Hiroshima and Tokyo by the end of WWII. According to testimonies of those who worked in a chemical factory, chabin were secretly sent to China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore. There was no record of poison gas on Okinawa.
Information on poison gas weaponry was hidden or abandoned in order to escape international accusation at the end of the War, but tracing the relationship between the Okinawa Campaign and poison gas has just been initiated by the event of Kuniyoshi's excavation.
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