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Biological Warfare: Did the Germans Cause the 1918 Flu Epidemic?

[1]COMMENT: In the past, we have heard it alleged by cred­i­ble sources that Ger­many was behind the 1918 flu epi­dem­ic that killed scores of mil­lions world­wide.

From Ger­many Watch comes anoth­er wor­thy post lend­ing fur­ther sub­stance to this line of inquiry. 

After main­tain­ing that Ger­man agents were sab­o­tag­ing live­stock with anthrax, the post dis­cuss­es British intel­li­gence dis­til­late indi­cat­ing that, after dis­cov­er­ing the par­tic­u­lar strain of vir­u­lent flu, Ger­man agents began delib­er­ate­ly spread­ing it in the U.S.

Dis­cussing the Ger­man sab­o­tage of the Black Tom arse­nal, as well as the infec­tion of live­stock with anthrax, the post notes that the Unit­ed States was a neu­tral nation at the time. 

In this con­text, we have not­ed that there are indi­ca­tions that prod­ucts made by Bay­er, one of the mem­ber com­pa­nies of the I.G. Far­ben car­tel, has mar­ket­ed prod­ucts in the Unit­ed States that appear to be doing severe dam­age to Amer­i­can agri­cul­ture:

“150 Mil­lion Deaths?”; Ger­many Watch; 9/5/2012. [7]

TEXT: Was Ger­many behind the 1918 Flu virus that killed 50–150 mil­lion peo­ple?

Admi­ral Hall, Chief of British Naval Intel­li­gence dur­ing WW1, sup­plied infor­ma­tion to an Amer­i­can legal claim against Ger­man sab­o­tage with­in the USA.

The claim was orig­i­nal­ly meant for com­pen­sa­tion for the Ger­mans blow­ing up a chunk of Man­hat­tan in the biggest ter­ror attack in US his­to­ry pre‑9/11. [8]

But when Major Peaslee, head­ing the US inves­ti­ga­tion, read copies of the British inter­cepts of Ger­man traf­fic and ciphers, he dis­cov­ered that the Ger­mans were not just blow­ing up US muni­tions depots (before a dec­la­ra­tion of war); they were using bio­log­i­cal war­fare on a large scale.
It is qui­et pub­lic knowl­edge that Ger­many was using Anthrax and oth­er bio­log­i­cals on cat­tle, with 1000s of ani­mals head­ing for the Allied war effort infect­ed by Ger­man agents at var­i­ous ports. But in 1916 the Ger­mans had dis­cov­ered a flu vari­ant that killed by over-stim­u­la­tion of the immune sys­tem, there­fore per­fect­ly tar­get­ing the health­i­est of men; Sol­diers.

The links will show you [9]that a Ger­man agent was in the US releas­ing their new Bio-weapon in Jan­u­ary 1918. The same month the first record­ed case of 1918 flu turned up in Mary­land bar­racks.

Ger­many fought the legal case not in nor­mal terms, but tried bribery, pres­sure, every­thing they could, to not be found guilty of the sab­o­tage of the Man­hat­tan muni­tions depot, despite the US only ask­ing for $20m dam­ages. They could have even set­tled out­side of an off­i­cal ‘guilty’, but they did­n’t.

WHY? Because they knew the evi­dence could point to them releas­ing the 1918 flu.

They under­es­ti­mat­ed the effec­tive­ness of the weapon, as it of course even­tu­al­ly spread to Ger­mans via the bat­tle­field any­way.

But they did every­thing they could in des­per­a­tion to con­ceal it dur­ing legal pro­ceed­ings. The US even­tu­al­ly won dam­ages for the sab­o­tage after 15 years of lit­i­ga­tion, by which point it was 1939. So there were then oth­er imme­di­ate things to wor­ry about, and this has large­ly been for­got­ten. The Crim­i­nals run­ning Ger­many at this point, were so con­fi­dent they were about to win the next war, that they undoubt­ed­ly thought they could bury the evi­dence of their WW1 crimes after tak­ing out Britain and the US, as a bonus.