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Churchill Planned to Use Chemical Gas on the Turks in Gallipoli

Churchill Planned to Use Chemical Gas on the Turks in Gallipoli

According to the documents at the Churchill Archives Center, Churchill, then Secretary of State for War, claimed that the Turks were not human, but barbarians, and therefore poisonous gas could be used on them. Churchill criticized his colleagues for their squeamishness in using chemical weapons, saying:I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.’ (The noble and respectable Turkish nation is above such remarks) When he faced objections that such an act would be a crime against humanity, he would claim that the only way to gain victory in the Gallipoli battle was through chemical warfare.

At the end of WWI, he pushed for the use of poisonous gas. Despite the horrible casualties that chemical warfare caused on the Western Front, where Churchill himself had seen active duty for six months between 1915 and 1916, Records showed that he stressed the ‘military value’ of chemical warfare despite the horrific injuries it caused. In fact, ‘he wanted to gas the Turks at Gallipoli.’( Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor, Riverhead Books, New York, 2014, p. 161)

To Churchill, chemical gas was just another advanced weapon British possessed. He told his political colleagues that mustard gas could have a destructive effect and help reach a breakthrough in the Gallipoli war, and hoped that ‘the unreasonable prejudice against the use by us of gas upon the Turks will cease.‘ He even took into account the season and claimed the high wind ‘would afford a perfect opportunity for the employment of gas.(Jeremy Havardi, The Greatest Briton: Essays On Winston Churchill’s Life and Political Philosophy)

One document in the archive penned by Churchill himself, reveals that Churchill requested ‘gas masks’ for the British troops in Gallipoli. In May 1915, at the height of the Gallipoli battle, Churchill told British General Kitchener to send a gas-making outfit to the Dardanelles, as ‘the use of gas on either side might be decisive.‘Churchill was arguing with Kitchener that gas should be used on the Gallipoli front as the Turks were without gas masks.(Andy Thomas, “The minutes from the Dardanelles Committee and the War Committee Papers”, Effects of Chemical Warfare, London: Taylor and Francis, 1985, pp. 18-20)

With this approach, Churchill supported the twisted views of British politician and former Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, who vilified the Turks by calling them an ‘anti-human specimen of humanity’ not only because of their religion but because of their race: ‘Let me endeavor very briefly to sketch … what the Turkish race was and what it is… They were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity.‘ (The noble and respectable Turkish nation is above such remarks)

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The Ottoman archives also show in great detail how the British used chemical gas during the Gallipoli battle. The Ottoman Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that ‘Allied forces used poisonous gas that caused choking’ and called for an explanation from Britain.(Violations of Law in Gallipoli War], Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi Dergisi, vol. 73, )

Famous writer Noam Chomsky also denigrates Churchill for his enthusiasm for using poison gas and quotes him saying, ‘Poison gas would be a fine weapon against uncivilized tribesmen and recalcitrant Arabs.’ (Arabs are certainly above such remarks) He argues Churchill considered chemical weaponry to be simply ‘the application of Western science to military warfare’ and that he had approved the use of it as experiments on Afghans and Arabs. (SOURCE)

After the First World War, David Lloyd George appointed Churchill as the Secretary of State for War and Air. In May 1919, Churchill gave orders for the British troops to use chemical weapons during the campaign to subdue Afghanistan.(Warren Dockter, Churchill and the Islamic World, I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2015, p. 193)

‘The 10 greatest controversies of Winston Churchill’s career’ as detailed by BBC’s website revealed how Churchill used poisonous gas against his enemies:

Churchill has been criticized for advocating the use of chemical weapons – primarily against Kurds and Afghans. ‘I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas‘, he wrote in a memo during his role as minister for war and air in 1919. ‘I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes‘, (SOURCE)

The piece continues to reveal the inhumane, sadistic character of the British deep state that Churchill so well represented:

And it’s important to note that he was in favour of using mustard gas against Ottoman troops in WW1, says [Warren] Dockter [a research fellow at the University of Cambridge and the author of Winston Churchill and the Islamic World] …(Tom Heyden, “The 10 Greatest Controversies of Winston Churchill’s Career”, BBC, January 26, 2015)


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