Weapons: Coping with Chemicals

Though frightening, an Iraqi assault with poison gas or biological agents might not be as ghastly as its potential victims imagine

Just one whiff of mustard gas can sear the lining of a soldier's lungs and cause large, painful blisters to form on his face and body. Only a tiny drop of the nerve gas Tabun will make a stricken combatant twitch and convulse; then his lungs will fill with liquid, and his diaphragm will collapse, causing suffocation. A dose of inhaled anthrax spores will bring on hemorrhaging, then shock and very likely death.

Such is the hell of chemical and biological warfare. Like most nightmares, however, an unconventional Iraqi assault on the allied forces might not be quite as ghastly as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!