The history of biological weapons (BW), chemical weapons (CW), and nuclear weapons is complicated. It can be disturbing, tragic, and occasionally encouraging. It is rarely amusing, although the names selected for certain weapons suggest a casualness toward the consequences of their use: Atomic Annie, Blue Peacock, Dew of Death, Fat Man, Flying cow, George, Gilda, Helen of Bikini, Hurricane, Katie, Little Boy, Lulu, Mike, Red Beard, Sewer Pipe, Squirt. Use of BW and CW in warfare has produced mixed results in terms of effecting the outcome of a battle or campaign; despite this mixed record, both weapon types have attracted intense interest and strong advocacy for further use. The sole experience with use of nuclear weapons in warfare is viewed as hastening surrender by Japan, created competition among nations to develop more such weapons, and influenced efforts to ban any use or even stockpiling of such weapons. Each of these three weapon types has its own peculiar history, as recounted in this dictionary.
This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on terms related to NBC warfare, ranging from basic descriptions of substances used to details on incidents and episodes where NBC weapons were used, historical events, persons important to NBC warfare, countries where such weapons have been developed or used, and international treaties and treaty-related organizations.
Benjamin C. Garrett retired in 2015 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he served in the Laboratory Division, Quantico, Virginia, as the Senior Scientist for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Prior to joining the FBI, he served with the U.S. Army Chemical Corps (1975-78) and spent two decades working on defense, environmental, and intelligence programs.