Author Topic: How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy  (Read 1913 times)


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How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy
« on: January 23, 2021, 08:31:18 AM »
How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy
JANUARY 7, 2020 11:00 AM EST

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that speed is “the essence of war.” While he of course did not have amphetamines in mind, he would no doubt have been impressed by their powerful war-facilitating psychoactive effects. Amphetamines—often called “pep pills,” “go pills,” “uppers” or “speed”—are a group of synthetic drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, reducing fatigue and appetite and increasing wakefulness and a sense of well-being. The quintessential drug of the modern industrial age, amphetamines arrived relatively late in the history of mind-altering substances—commercialized just in time for mass consumption during World War II by the leading industrial powers. That war was not only the most destructive war in human history but also the most pharmacologically enhanced. It was literally sped up by speed.

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The German chemist Friedrich Hauschild had been aware of the American amphetamine Benzedrine ever since the drug has been used as a doping product in the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. The following year he managed to synthesize methamphetamine, a close cousin of amphetamine, while working for Temmler-Werke, a Berlin-based pharmaceutical company. Temmler-Werke began selling methamphetamine under the brand name Pervitin in the winter of 1937. Partly thanks to the company’s aggressive advertising campaign, Pervitin became well known within a few months. The tablets were wildly popular and could be purchased without a prescription in pharmacies. One could even buy boxed chocolates spiked with methamphetamine. But the drug’s most important use was yet to come.

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Wehrmacht medical officers administered Pervitin to soldiers of the Third Tank Division during the occupation of Czecholslovakia in 1938. But the invasion of Poland in September 1939 served as the first real military test of the drug in the field. Germany overran its eastern neighbor by October, with 100,000 Polish soldiers killed in the attack. The invasion introduced a new form of industrialized warfare, Blitzkrieg. This “lightning war” emphasized speed and surprise, catching the enemy off guard by the unprecedented quickness of the mechanized attack and advance. The weak link in the Blitzkrieg strategy was the soldiers, who were humans rather than machines and as such suffered from fatigue. They required regular rest and sleep, which, of course, slowed down the military advance. That is where Pervitin came in—part of the speed of the Blitzkrieg literally came from speed. As medical historian Peter Steinkamp puts it, “Blitzkrieg was guided by methamphetamine. If not to say that Blitzkrieg was founded on methamphetamine.”

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eagle from davao

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Re: How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 12:58:44 PM »
I have cousins who were enlisted from 1969 to 1972 in They aged 18 and 19 years old(at that time).They were deployed in Cotabato province during the height of MNLF led moro insurrection. they were deployed in cotabato province.
 Part of their daily ration ,they were given one tablet a day and required to be taken infront of their officers with assistance of medical personnel. As per explanation of the medical officer, this  tablet will help them resist fatigue and make them alert . Yes, it was very effective according to my cousins. This tablet makes them indeed alert and resist combat fatigue. The medical officers did not divulge the name of the tablet but it was an order for them to take it daily. According to my cousins, they like the tablet, because they dont feel tired, and dont feel hunger and they can fight,move and run all day. This tablet was given only when they have combat operations but never in R & R or inside their barracks. They cant access these tablets unless given to them by their medical officer.
This story ,i also heard this from other Phil.Army Enlisted Men during that time but i dont have proof or evidence if this tablet were indeed amphetamines or methamphetamine.
I dont think our govt will confirm nor deny  this story.