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Chemical and Biological Weapons

The German Army first used chlorine gas against the French Army at Ypres on 15 April 1915. Both sides found that phosgene was more effective than chlorine, and by the end of the Great War nearly 100,000 soldiers had been killed by poison gas, and over ten times that number injured. At the outbreak of World War II, France had a stockpile of mustard gas and phosgene.

Testing of chemical weapons occured at a cite called B2-Namous in Algeria [possibly located at 3356'N 225'E]. No other locations associated with the French chemical weapons program are reported in the readily available open literature, though surely there must have been many.

France probably destroyed its chemical weapon stockpile before signing the Chemical Weapons Convention. French President, Mitterrand claimed in a 1988 speech to the United Nations that France had no chemical weapons, and would produce none.

The Office of Technology Assessment included France in a list of countries that have admitted to having had "offensive [biological] weapon munition supplies or development programs in the past."

Sources and Resources

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