second world war the USA,Soviet Union, Britain and France
met in Potsdam 17.July to 2.August 1945. On the menu was
one of the problem's how to solve the large amount
of chemical weapons that was left from the Third Reich.
The solution to this was to fill up condemned ships and
scuttle them at sea. A small amount was also taken over by
the four representative states. From the Potsdam protocol
we can read; "all arms, ammunition and implements of war
shall be held at the disposal of the Allies or destroyed".
In the four zones the victory powers took control in after
the German capitulation, the following official number is
given of the amount of chemical weapons in their
respective zones; American 102,500 tons, British 122,508
tons, French Zone 9,100 tons, Soviet Zone 70,500 tons.
Until 1947 large amounts of chemical weapons was
destroyed. Some ships were scuttled in the Atlantic, and
some in the bay of Biscay outside
France. The American and British scuttled most of them
outside Arendal, Lysekil, Skagerak and
Kattegat. Nearly 4000 tons that the Allied had cant
be accounted for, and their reports seems to be somewhat
inaccurate. Also a bit surprising is the knowledge and
personal view many prominent Norwegian historians showed
back in the late 1990's when this article was first
published. A total denial that these wreck's even existed
was clearly expressed, and there was no room for "fairy
tales in history", as expressed by some. In the waters
outside Arendal its believed that only Mustard gas was
dumped, but traces of other chemicals have been sampled
and verified. All the wrecks rest today in deep waters.
- Gross tons
German cruiser Leipzig & S/S Monte Pascoal
Courtesy of Navypedia & HSDG