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ADMIRAL'S SECRET WEAPON


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Lord Dundonald and the origins of chemical warfare. The compelling story of Lord Dundonald's secret war plans, rejected by the Admiralty in 1811 as ungentlemanly, kept secret for almost a century, only to disappear before the outbreak of the First World War What were the secrets and did they lead to the use of poison gas in 1915? The tenth Earl of Dundonald (1775-1858) had as Lord Cochrane been a dashing and highly successful naval captain, the model for Patrick O'Brian's fictional hero Jack Aubrey. In 1811 he presented details of his secret war plans to the Admiralty, who thought them likely to be highly effective, but uncivilised, and did not take them up, and they remained secret. From time to time throughout the rest of his life Lord Dundonald lobbied again on behalf of his plans, without success. In 1908 the German butler of the then Lord Dundonald allegedly stole the secret documents and passed them to his government, to the subsequent consternation of the Dundonald family, who feared that German use of poison gas in 1915 was the result of this theft. Just what were the secrets? And did their loss lead to the development of German chemical weapons in the Great War? Using previously unseen material from the Dundonald family archive, Charles Stephenson tells this remarkable story of an inventive soldier and his discovery which was to change the path of modern warfare.

  • AUTHOR: Stephenson, C
  • FORMAT: 224pp 234x156 Hb
  • Code: 21488

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