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(The Scottish island of Gruinard became so saturated with weaponized anthrax during World War II field tests that it remained uninhabitable for decades.) But they were never unleashed in battle, partly because Churchill’s cabinet feared equal retaliation from Hitler.After defeating Der Führer, British experts toured the former Nazi Germany, confiscating equipment and data used to develop chemical weapons, including sarin.In 1919 he openly advocated gassing rebellious tribes in northern India.

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It really is too silly.” Come 1950, Churchill’s keen desire for an independent British chemical weapons capability was largely inspired by intelligence reports showing the Soviets were developing their own.

If, he reasoned, the Russians had it, then so should the British.

The few locals weren’t bound to ask many questions either.

Any potential whistle-blowers knew they faced prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

Being government property, the authorities also had “Crown Immunity” to use RAF Portreath as they pleased, almost entirely without public oversight.

Still, local farmer Ernest Landry didn’t share the government’s enthusiasm for the base’s choice location.

He entered Britain’s main chemical warfare lab and received, without his knowledge or informed consent, 200 milligrams of liquid sarin dripped directly onto his sleeve, which seeped through the fabric onto his skin.

Ministry of Defense (MOD) scientists used “volunteers” like Maddison to design protective equipment and improve their own sarin for potential offensive use.

But the British government itself hasn’t always been quite so ethical.

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