researched book unearths a sixty-year-old secret. As the Japanese swept
south towards Australia in late 1941, they carried with them chemical
weapons, already used with deadly effect in China.
Forced to counter the
chemical warfare threat, Australia covertly imported around 1,000,000
chemical weapons – including sixteen types of mustard gas – and hid them
in tunnels and other sites around the country.
Plunkett tells the story of the
importation, storage and ‘live trials’ of the deadly weapons. It reveals
details of the chemical warfare agents themselves, Australia's
retaliatory plans, the involvement of the USA, the training of the
weapons' handlers and, finally, the dangerous disposal of the volatile
Most of all, this is the story of the chemical warfare armourers, who
lived with the deadly weapons on a daily basis, handling them constantly
despite the immense risks and suffering as a consequence. Two men died
from mustard gas exposure.
This remarkable book contains over 300 photographs – many taken
surreptitiously – that illustrate all too starkly the conditions and the
danger to which these men were exposed. This is an unprecedented visual