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A History of Nerve Agents, From Nazi Germany to Putin's Russia




Dan Kaszeta





Rights available:

French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese


Dan Kaszeta lives in London, where he runs a specialist consulting firm. He has decades of experience in protecting against chemical and biological weapons, and has held positions in the US Army, the White House Military Office, the US Secret Service and private industry.


Nerve agents are the world’s deadliest means of chemical warfare. Nazi Germany developed the first military-grade nerve agents and massive industry for their manufacture—yet, strangely, the Third Reich never used them. 

At the end of the Second World War, the Allies were stunned to discover this advanced and extensive programme. The Soviets and Western powers embarked on a new arms race, amassing huge chemical arsenals.

From their Nazi invention to the 2018 Novichok attack in Britain, Dan Kaszeta uncovers nerve agents’ gradual spread across the world, despite international arms control efforts.

They’ve been deployed in the Iran–Iraq War, by terrorists in Japan, in the Syrian Civil War, and by assassins in Malaysia and Salisbury—always with bitter consequences. Toxic recounts the grisly history of these weapons of mass destruction: a deadly suite of invisible, odourless killers.


‘[Kaszeta] reminds us that even with an international convention banning them, the threat of chemical weapons being used outside conventional warfare is ever-present … [his] book is informative.’   — Nature ‘Kaszeta has a difficult theme but he avoids both jargon and the intricacies of the science. …You feel part of the discussion, helped through the complexities and invited to turn back to previous pages to better understand a line of history or thinking.’                                                      &nbs...


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