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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
The emir of Bukhara used assassin bugs to eat away the flesh of his prisoners.
General Ishii Shiro during World War II released hundreds of millions of
infected insects across China, ultimately causing more deaths than the atomic
bombs dropped on Japan. These are just two of many startling examples found in
Six-legged Soldiers , a brilliant portrait of the many weirdly creative, truly
frightening, and ultimately powerful ways in which insects have been used as
weapons of war, terror, and torture.
Beginning in prehistoric times and building toward a near and disturbing
future, the reader is taken on a journey of innovation and depravity.
Award-winning science writer Jeffrey A. Lockwood begins with the development of
"bee bombs" in the ancient world and explores the role of insect-borne disease
in changing the course of major battles, ranging from Napoleon's military
campaigns to the trenches of World War I. He explores the horrific programs of
insect warfare during World War II: airplanes dropping plague-infested fleas,
facilities rearing tens of millions of hungry beetles to destroy crops, and
prison camps staffed by doctors testing disease-carrying lice on inmates. The
Cold War saw secret government operations involving the mass release of
specially developed strains of mosquitoes on an unsuspecting American
public--along with the alleged use of disease-carrying and crop-eating pests
against North Korea and Cuba. Lockwood reveals how easy it would be to use of
insects in warfare and terrorism today: In 1989, domestic ecoterrorists
extorted government officials and wreaked economic and political havoc by
threatening to release the notorious Medfly into California's crops.
A remarkable story of human ingenuity--and brutality-- Six-Legged Soldiers is
the first comprehensive look at the use of insects as weapons of war, from
ancient times to the present day.