Cold War at Porton Down

The History of Biochemical Warfare Research and Human Experimentation, 1945 - 1989



Further Research

It is a considered and desired outcome of the project that information and understanding of the subject can be disseminated as widely as possible. This page contains a bibliography of further reading, archive sources and links to relevant websites of interest to this and the wider field of the History of Medicine. For a sample of selected material directly related to the project please refer to the 'Types of Sources' page.

Links to Further Research


Porton Photograph Publications and Papers


Archives and Libraries Libraries and Archives


External Links External Links


Selected Bibliography Selected Bibliography




Porton Down Photograph Publications and Papers

Current Publications Relating to the Project

Professor Ulf Schmidt

  1. Schmidt, U., Frewer, A., eds., History and Theory of Human Experimentation: The Declaration of Helsinki and Medical Ethics in the 20th Century (Campus, Frankfurt/New York, 2007).
  2. Schmidt, U., 'The Nuremberg Doctor's Trial and the Nuremberg Code', in Schmidt, U., Frewer, A., eds., History and Theory of Human Experimentation: The Declaration of Helsinki and Medical Ethics in the 20th Century (Campus, Frankfurt/New York, 2007), pp. 71-116.
  3. Schimidt, U., 'Medical Ethics and Human Experiments at Porton Down: Informed Consent in Britain's Biological and Chemical Warfare Experiments', in Schmidt, U., Frewer, A., eds., History and Theory of Human Experimentation: The Declaration of Helsinki and Medical Ethics in the 20th Century (Campus, Frankfurt/New York, 2007), pp. 283-314.
  4. Schmidt, U., Karl Brandt - The Nazi Doctor: Medicine and Power in the Third Reich (Hambledon Continuum, London, 2007).
  5. Schmidt, U., ‘Cold War at Porton Down: Informed Consent in Britain’s Biological and Chemical Warfare Experiments during the Cold War’, in Cambridge Quarterly for Healthcare Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 4, (October 2006), pp. 366-380.
  6. Schmidt, U., Justice at Nuremberg: Leo Alexander and the Nazi Doctors’ Trial (Palgrave/Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2006).

Dr David Willcox

  1. Willcox, D., 'Medical Ethics and Public Perception: The Declaration of Helsinki and its Revisions in 2000', in Schmidt, U., Frewer, A., eds., History and Theory of Human Experimentation: The Declaration of Helsinki and Medical Ethics in the 20th Century (Campus, Frankfurt/New York, 2007), pp. 203-222.
  2. Willcox, D., Propaganda, the Press and Conflict: The Gulf War and Kosovo (Frank Cass/Routledge, London, 2005).
  3. Willcox, D., (with Mark Connelly), ‘Are you Tough Enough? The Image of the Special Forces in British Popular Culture, 1939-2004’, in Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 25, No. 1, (March 2005), pp. 1-25.

Forthcoming Publications Relating to the Project

  1. Schmidt, U., 'Medicine and Nazism', in McCullough, L., B., Baker, B., eds., A History of Medical Ethics (Cambridge University Press, New York, 2008, in press).
  2. Willcox, D., 'Advising the Householder to Protect and Survive: Public Information and British Civil Defence, 1945-1989', (forthcoming 2008).
  3. Schmidt, U., Secret Science: Human Experimentation in Biological and Chemical Warfare Research during the Cold War, (Oxford University Press, Oxford, forthcoming 2009).


  1. 'The History and Ethics of Porton Down: Perspectives and Work in Progress', Canterbury Cathedral Precincts: 20th-21st October 2006. A major conference to discuss and disseminate research and witness evidence. In addition to papers presented by Professor Schmidt and Dr Willcox, the conference heard from, among others, Rob Evans (Guardian newspaper), author of Gassed and Dr Brian Balmer (UCL) on the issue of scientists and secrecy. The Harvard-Sussex Programme was represented by Professor Julian Perry Robinson, while Maddison inquest coroner Mr David Masters and Dr Kate Venables (Oxford) were also active participants.
  2. The project team attended regular meetings organised by the Harvard-Sussex Programme and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Papers Given or Forthcoming

  1. 'Medical Experiments at Porton Down', Kent Seminar Series; University of Kent: 28th November 2007.
  2. 'Cold War at Porton Down: Historical Work in Progress', conference entitled 'The History and Ethics of Porton Down: Perspectives and Work in Progress', Canterbury Cathedral Precincts: 21st October 2006.
  3. 'Cold War at Porton Down: Medical Ethics and the Legal Dimension of Britain’s Biological and Chemical Warfare Programme, 1945 – 1989', Division of Public Health Care and Primary Health Care; Oxford University: 8th August 2006.
  4. 'Human Experimentation and the British Development of CBW during the Cold War: An Overview of a Historical Research Project', Harvard-Sussex Programme WMD Seminar Series, Kings College London: 27th February 2006.
  5. 'Cold War at Porton Down: Informed Consent in Biological and Chemical Warfare Experiments', The British Society for the History of Science, Department of History and Philosophy of Science; Cambridge University: 8th November 2005.

Archives and Libraries Archives and Libraries


Churchill Archives Centre (CAC)

Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Kings College London

The National Archives

Sussex University, Brighton

Wellcome Trust Library





External Links External Links


Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Harvard-Sussex Programme

Ministry of Defence Porton Down Information

University of Kent

Wellcome Trust

Wiltshire Police, Operation Antler





Selected Bibliography Selected Bibliography


Alibek, K., Handelman, S., Biohazard. The Chilling Tue Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World – Told from the Inside by the Man who Ran it, (Random House: 1999)

Allen, W, “Product Development for Mass Producibility”, AFCJ, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1955, pp. 24-5

Anderson, I., “Americans Hushed up Wartime Experiments on Humans”, New Scientist, 18 August 1988, p.22

Averre, D, “Chemical Weapons in Russia: Afer the CWC”, European Security, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1999, pp. 130-164

Averre, D, “The Mirzayanov affair: Russia’s ‘Military-Chemical Complex’”, European Security, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer 1995, pp. 273-305

Bacon, R, “The Work of the Technical Division Chemical Warfare Section”, The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, January 1919, Vol II, pp. 13-15

Barnett, A, “Porton Down Horror Revealed – After a 50-Year silence”, The Observer, 28 September 2003, pg. 3

Bingham, J, “Military Test Victim: No Evidence of common Cold Link”,, 7 May 2004, (Accessed 8 May 2004)

Bingham, J, “’No Evidence’ Veterans were Harmed by Chemical Tests”,, 23 April 2004, (Accessed 8 May 2004)

Board, S, A Brief History of the Defence Research Establishment Ottawa, (DRDC: 2002)

Bowcott, O, “New Inquest on Nerve Gas Death”, The Guardian, 19 November 2002, pg. 6

Brents, H, “The Redstone Arsenal Complex in the Pre-Missile Era: A History of Hunstville Arsenal, Gulf Chemical Warfare Depot and Redstone Arsenal 1941 – 1949”, (1966), (Accessed 22 February 2006)

Brophy, L.P., Fisher, G.J.B., The Chemical Warfare Service: Organizing for War, (Office of the Chief of Military History: 1959)

Brophy, L.P., Miles, W.D.; Cochrane, Rexmond C. The Chemical Warfare Service: From Laboratory to Field, (Office of the Chief of Military History: 1959)

Bruxelles, S, “Porton Down Faces Poison Inquest at Last”, The Times, 6 May 2004, pg. 10

Bud, R., Gummett, P., Cold War, Hot Science: Applied Research In Britain's Defence Laboratories, 1945-1990 (NMSI Trading Ltd: 1999)

Bullman, T, Kang, H, “A Fifty Year Mortality Follow-up Study of Veterans Exposed to Low Level Chemical Warfare Agent, Mustard Gas”, ??? of Epidemiology, Vol. 10, No. 5, July 2000, pp 333-8

Burns, A, Ethics and Deterrence. A Nuclear Balance without Hostage Cities?, (Adelphi Papers No. 69: 1970)

Burrell, G, “Contributions from the Chemical Warfare Service, U.S.A”, The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, February 1919, Vol II, pp. 93-104

Carrell, S., “Porton Down Scientists Face Prosecution,” The Independent on Sunday, 18 July 2001

Carrol, M.C., Lab 257. The Distrurbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory, (Harper Collins: 2004)

Carter, G.B, Chemical and Biological Defence at Porton Down, 1916-2000 (HMSO: 2000)

Carter, G.B., Porton Down: 75 Years of Chemical and Biological Research (HMSO: 1992)

Carter, S, “Army tested Gas on me, claims Russian”, The Sunday Telegraph, 25 July 1999

Chemical Corps Association, The Chemical Warfare Service in World War II, (Reinhold Publishing Corporation: 1948)

Chin, S, “Korean Vietnam War Vets Sue over Agent Orange”, The San Francisco Examiner, 19 January 1995

Chown, D, “Suffield, Chemical Warfare, and Canadian/US Relations”, Peace Magazine, February/March 1989, p. 12

Clarke, R., We All Fall Down. The Prospect of Biological and Chemical Warfare, (The Penguin Press: 1968)

Clements, N, “Lecturer Probes Ethics of Chemical Warfare”, Kent News, 8 May 2005

Cockburn, R, McEwen, A, “Film Evidence of Mustard Gas Tests on Australian Troops”, The Times, 21 August 1989

Cole, L.A., Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests Over Populated Areas, (Rowman & Littlefield: 1988)

Coles, S, “Inquest Silence for Airman Killed in Secret Tests”,, 6 May 2004,, (Accessed 8 May 2004)

Cookson, J., Nottingham, J., A Survey of Chemical and Biological Warfare, (Sheed and Ward: 1969)

Cornwell, J, “Just Following Orders?”, New Scientist, 27 September 2003, p.25

Cornwell, R, “Obituaries: Sidney Gottlieb”, The Independent, 16 March 1999, p. 6

Covert, N, Cutting Edge. A History of Fort Detrick, Maryland, (2000), Http:// (Accessed 21/04/2005)

Croddy, E., Chemical and Biological Warfare: An Annotated Bibliography (Lanham, 1997)

Croddy, E., Perez-Armendariz, C., Hart, J., Chemical and Biological Warfare, A Comprehensive Study for the Concerned Citizen (Copernicus Books, 2002)

Cullumbine, H, “The Medical Aspects of Nerve-Gas Poisoning”, Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, March 1956

D’Agostino, P, Boulet, C, “Celebrating 60 Years of CB Research at Defence Research Establishment Suffield”, The ASA Newsletter, April 2001, No. 85

Dain, B, Sengupta, A, “Predictors and Outcomes of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in World War II Veterans Exposed to Mustard Gas”, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 68, No. 2, pp 258-268

Davis, H, (ed.), Ethics and Defence. Power and Responsibility in the Nuclear Age, (Basil Blackwell: 1986)

Dean, R, McCance, R, “Inulin, Diodone, Creatinine and Urea Clearances in Newborn Infants”, J Physiol, No. 106, 1947, pp 431-9

Douglass, J, “Chemical Weapons: An Imbalance of Terror”, Strategic Review, Summer 1982, pp.36-47

Edward, R, “Lawyer Blamed Ministry over Poison-Gas Death”, News.Scotsman, 11 May 2004, (Accessed 11 May 2004)

Eimer, D, “Chemical Weapons Test Site Fuels Rage over Japanese Wartime Atrocities”, The Independent on Sunday, 10 July 2005

Endicott, S, Hagerman, E, The United States and Biological Warfare. Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, (Indiana University Press: 1998)

Evans, J, and Beck, P,  “Informed Consent in Medical Research”, Clinical Medicine, Vol. 2, No. 3, May/June 2002, pp. 267-72

Evans, M, “Nerve Gas Death of Porton Down Guinea Pig was Unlawful Killing”, The Times, 16 November 2004

Evans, M, “Soldiers given LSD in Porton Down Trial”, The Times, 5 November 1994

Evans, R, “MI6 Pays Out over Secret LSD Mind Control Tests”, The Guardian, 24 February 2006

Evans, R, “MI6 Ordered LSD Tests on Servicemen”, The Guardian, 22 January 2005

Evans, R., “Drugged and Duped,” The Guardian, 14 March 2002  

Evans, R., Gassed: British Chemical Warfare Experiments On Humans at Porton Down (House of Stratus: 2000)

Evans, R, “Germ War Cloud Floated over Shire Counties”, The Guardian, 2 November 1999, pg. 4

Evans, R, “Squaddies on LSD made to Play War Games”, New Statesman and Society, Vol. 8, Issue 365

Evans, R, Laville, S, “Porton Down Unlawfully Killed Airman in Sarin Tests”, The Guardian, 16 November 2004

Evans, R, “Our Lads on LSD”, New Statesman and Society, Vol. 7, Issue 324

Evison, Demetrius, David Hinsley and Paul Rice. “Chemical Weapons.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, February 9, 2002, v. 324, no. 7333, no. 332-335

Fair, S, “The Chemical Corps: Alive, Well and Visible”, Army, April 1972, pp.29-32

Fairhall, D, “Russians to Inspect Nerve Gas Plant: Soviet Scientific Team Invited into Porton Down”, The Guardian, 25 April 1988

Fitzpatrick, W and Zwanziger, L, ‘Defending against Biochemical Warfare: Ethical Issues Involving the Coercive use of Investigational Drugs and Biologics in the Military’, The Journal of Philosophy, Science and Law, Vol. 3, March 2003

Flight, C, “Silent Weapon: Smallpox and Biological Warfare”, BBC History, (Accessed 27 April 2005)

Fredericks, W, “The Evolution of Post-Worl War II United Sates Chemical Warfare Policy”, Unpublished Masters Thesis, Oxford University, January 1988

Freeman, K, “The VA’s Sorry, the Army’s Silent”, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1993, pp 39-43

Freeman, K, “The Unfought Chemical War”, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 1991, pp 30-9

Freeman, K, “Mustard Gas Tests Revealed”, St Louis Dispatch, 11 August 1989

Frerichs, R, et al., “Historical Precedence and Technical Requirements of Biological Weapons Use: A Threat Assessment”, Sanidia National Laboratories, May 2004

Fullerton, C, Ursano, R, “Behavioural and Psychological Responses to Chemical and Biological Warfare”, Military Medicine, Vol. 155, February 1990

Garrett, R, “Army Investigating Case of Nerve-gas Exposure at Island Arsenal”, Louisville Courier Journal, 10 March 1987

Geissler, E, Haynes, R (eds), Prevention of a Biological and Toxin Arms Race and the Responsibility of Scientists, (Akademie-Verlag: 1991)

Goliszek, A, In the Name of Science. A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research, and Human Experimentation (St Martin’s Press: 2003)

Gomer, R, Powell, J, Roling, B, “Japan’s Biological Weapons: 1930-1945”, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Vol. 37, No. 8, October 1981

Gooch, A, “Spanish Tramps ‘Used for Drug Tests”, The Guardian, 18 September 1996

Gould, C, Folb, P, “The South African chemical and Biological Warfare Programme: An Overview”, The Nonproliferation Review, Fall/Winter 2000, pp. 10-23,

Guiler, D, “Chemical Corps: A Branch in Search of an Identity”, Army, November 1977, pp.12-17

Gwyther, M, McConville, “Can Good come from Evil?”, Observer Magazine, 19 November 1989

Harris, Elisa D. "Sverdlovsk and Yellow Rain: Two Cases of Soviet Noncompliance?" International Security, Vol. 11, No. 4, Spring 1987, pp 41-95

Harris, R., Paxman, J., A Higher Form of Killing. The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare (Arrow: 2002)

Harris, R, Paxman, J., A Higher Form of Killing. The Secret Story of Gas and Germ Warfare (Chatto & Windus: 1982)

Harvey, G, “Gas Experiments: The War’s Grim Secret Revealed”, The Bulletin, 10 November 1981

Hay, A, “It Kills Weeds, but what about People?”, New Scientist, 15 July 1982

Hazelgrove, J, “The Old Faith and the New Science: The Nuremberg Code and Human Experimentation Ethics in Britain, 1946-73”, Social History of Medicine, Vol. 15 (2002), No. 1, 109-135

Hegle, K, “Battling an Unseen Enemy”, Retired Officer Magazine, March 2001, p. 58

Hemsley, J., The Soviet Biochemical Threat to NATO: The Neglected Issue, (Macmillan Press: 1987)

Hersh, S.M., Chemical and Biological Warfare: America's Hidden Arsenal, (MacGibbon & Kee Ltd: 1968)

Heseltine, A, Reeve, S, “LSD Troops Hallucinate 35 Years On”, Sunday Times, 6 November 1994 (

Hessel, F.A.; Martin, W., Hessel, M.S., Chemistry in Warfare, (Hasting House: 1940)

Holliday, R, “How the US Lied over Experiments on PoWs”, The Mail on Sunday, 12 April 1987

Hodgson, G, “Sidney Gottlieb; the Real Manchurian Candidate”, The Guardian, 11 March 1999, p. 20

Horvat, A, “Tokyo fumes at Tabloid Attack on Hirohito”, The Independent, 23 September 1988

James, A, “Horrors that None could Print”, Nottingham Evening telegraph, 2 August 1946

Jenkins, D, “Airman’s Family Wins Fight for Justice”, The Northern Echo, 16 November 2004

Joseph, R, “The Impact of NBC Proliferation on doctrine and Operations”, JFQ, Autumn 1996, pp.74-80

Joseph, R, “Regional Implications of NBC Proliferation”, JFQ,, Autumn 1995, pp. 64-9

Kellman, B, “WMD Proliferation: An International Crime?”, The Nonproliferation Review, Summer 2001, pp. 93-101

Kevles, D, “The Historical Contingency of Bioethics”, The Princeton Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2000

Kleber, B.E., Birdsell, D., The Chemical Warfare Service: Chemicals in Combat, (Office of the Chief of Military History: 1966)

Kolata, G., “In Shift, U.S. Allows Medical Research Without Patient’s Consent”, International Herald Tribune, 6 November 1996

Kouzminov, A, Biological Espionage. Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West Greenhill Books: 2005)

Lakeman, G, “Porton Down Gas Test Ban ‘Ignored’”, Daily Mirror, 27 August 2004

Laville, S, “I’d Follow Ronnie Anywhere. I Adored Him”, The Guardian, 16 November 2004

Laville, S, “The Dying Moments of Military Guinea Pig”, The Guardian, 6 May 2004, pg. 8

Lee, H, Gabriel, R, Bale, A, Welch, D, “Clinical Findings in 111 Ex-Porton Down Volunteers”, Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Vol. 150, 2004, pp 14-19

Leitenberg, M, “Biological Weapons in the Twentieth Century: A Review and Analysis”, 7th International Symposium on Protection against Chemical and Biological Warfare, June 2001

Loucks, C, “The Chemical Division European Command”, AFCJ, Vol. 3, No. 7, 1950 pp 6-8

Mason, I, “Porton Defends Nerve-Gas Tests on Humans”, New Scientist, 16 July 1987, pg. 30

Mastny, V and Byrne, M (eds), A Cardborad Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991, (CEU Press, 2005)

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Mellor, D, The Role of Science and Industry, (Australian War Memorial: 1958)

Milmo, C, “Porton Down Volunteer ‘unlawfully Killed”, The Independent, 16 November 2004

Milmo, C, “Inquest Opens into 1953 Porton Down Death”, The Independent, 6 May 2004, pg. 20

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Pook, S, “Sister told for First Time how Sarin Killed Airman”, The Daily Telegraph, 6th May 2004, pg. 6
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