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Additional resources for 4th Panzer Division on the Eastern Front: 1941-1943 v. 1 (Armor at War 7000)
The second major inter-war advance in chemical warfare technology was the means of delivery, in particular, delivery by aircraft. In the mid-1920s public discussion of long-range aerochemical attacks had been stimulated by air-power advocates, including Doubet and Mitchell. In the early 1930s, H. G. Wells described the effects of an air attack with 'permanent death gas' in his book The Shape of Things to Come. Aerochemical attack was pictured as the ultimate weapon. By the end of the 1930s, such concepts were no longer flights of fancy.
Poland had signed and ratified the Geneva Protocol. In 1941, Japanese troops had been specifically ordered not to employ chemical weapons in attacks on the Western Powers. As the war continued, the Germans and apparently the Japanese both became concerned with the possibility ofaccidential initiation of chemical warfare. The German High Command issued orders strictly forbidding the transportation or storage of chemical weapons outside the German Reich. Similarly, once the Japanese had decided, in 1944, that they would not be initiating the use of chemical weapons against the Western Powers, they also decided to recall all chemical munitions stocked with troops in the field.
The fragmentation of the world order continued, of course, spelling the end of the World Disarmament Conference, and with it the prospect that the MacDonald Plan would be codified in a formal treaty. The result of the deliberations on gas warfare during the Conference was to leave the US Government even more sharply polarized on the chemical weapons preparedness issue as World War II approached. Roosevelt remained adamantly opposed to the use of gas in warfare, and for more than just foreign policy reasons.