Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

'They even gave us oranges on one occasion' : human experimentation in the British Army during the Second World War

Newlands, Emma (2013) 'They even gave us oranges on one occasion' : human experimentation in the British Army during the Second World War. War and Society, 32 (1). pp. 19-63. ISSN 0729-2473

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

This article explores the various human experiments that were conducted on British army personnel during the Second World War. While some historical work has focused on trials at the Porton Down facility, this paper will start by placing these in the context of the wider range of research projects that were conducted using British troops in the Second World War. It will then consider the question of why conscript soldiers participated in trials. Comparative studies have focused on the ethics of human experimentation in military contexts but this article argues that ethical considerations were only part of the story. Using the oral testimonies of those that were involved in this type of research, it considers how military culture, material incentives and sentiments of national duty all influenced soldiers’ participation in human trials.