London, June 26 (ANI): During the final stages of the Second World War, Britain considered dropping millions of poisoned darts packed into bombs and released from the air on German troops with the potential to kill or incapacitate anyone within 10,000 sq yds, according to released secret files.
Created by British and Canadian scientists, the designs show three different types of dart. One looks like a fountain pen, the others like a flat penknife. The Singer sewing machine company was even approached to "unwittingly" provide needles for the weapon.
Records show that they were tested on sheep and goats in Canada to establish the effectiveness of dropping the projectiles from high and low altitudes, The Times reported.
Documents released by the National Archives under the Freedom of Information Act include letters and notes collected over four years that demonstrate how close the British Government came to deploying the deadly darts.
Listed as "Top Secret", it was written by an official from Porton Down, in Salisbury, which was then a government research centre for chemical and biological weapons. Scientists were working on the initiative with their counterparts at Suffield, a similar site in Canada.
The teams explored the most effective poison for the dart, comparing variations of urethane that caused death within 30 minutes with another substance, referred to only as "X" that killed its victim within 24 hours, The Times reported.
Sheep and goats were again used in the tests, showing that the poison induced muscle twitching, salivation, sweating, defecation and retching. The pulse rate slowed and blood pressure fell as the animals collapsed and died.
Death would occur if a dart stayed in the body for more than 50 seconds. If it was taken out sooner, the victim might suffer a temporary collapse. (ANI)