The Wickham Steed Affair August 20, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Not sure how many here have seen Foyle’s War, the detective series by Anthony Horowitz, set in Hastings in World War Two. It is an oddly slow moving show, stretched across an hour and a half and I’ve got to admit I find it kind of enjoyable. Interestingly, from this side of the Irish Sea, one episode depicted those who worked in the UK from Ireland in very favourable terms, even bringing up the issue of the contribution of Irish workers to the British war effort in the context of anti-Irish bigotry – while also having an IRA sub-plot.
Anyhow, be that as it may. In a recent episode I saw there was mention of supposed German biological test on the London Underground and Paris Metro in the 1930s. A bit of digging brings us to this, the Wickham Steed Affair, concerning British journalist and historian Wickham Steed, a former editor of The Times.
In 1934, he caused sensation with an article claiming to have evidence of secret German experiments in airborne biological warfare. The British government was sufficiently alarmed to start stockpiling vaccines, although a retrospective analysis by the epidemiologist Martin Hugh-Jones has suggested that Steed’s evidence could not have amounted to much.