Recently, the planet has often "pleases" us with natural disasters: fires, hurricanes and floods. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that more and more people are beginning to lean towards the opinion of the man-made origin of these cataclysms. One of the most popular versions of this type is the assertion that climatic weapons tests are the cause of natural disasters. And although many are rather skeptical of this opinion, history still has a vivid example of the use of "battle rains" during the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War has become a real testing ground for a wide variety of weapons. However, the most curious of them is the climatic one. But the American command did not immediately turn to this method of influencing the Vietnamese army.
At first, the war was fought with more familiar types of weapons. However, a year after the start of the conflict, it became clear to the Americans that the conventional methods with the enemy were not as successful as expected. Therefore, in strict secrecy, a decision was made to use a method that would later be called a "climatic weapon".
The climatic weapon operation was named Popeye, after the cartoon sailor character. The development was carried out under the leadership of the US Department of State and the US Department of Defense. The curator was Donald Hornig, Advisor to the President of America for Science and Technology.
The essence of the development and its subsequent operation was to use special chemicals by spraying them onto clouds over Vietnam during the rainy season. And the increased amount of precipitation as a result of these actions should negatively affect the infrastructure used by the Vietnamese guerrillas, primarily roads.
The first experience of using climate weapons turned out to be exactly half successful. It was like this: in October 1966, American specialists "pumped up" rain clouds, which were directed by wind streams into the territory occupied by Vietnamese troops and partisans, with a silver iodide reagent. And the "battle rain" fell.
But military chemists, apparently, missed the amount of reagent, so the cloud with it simply did not reach the target and fell … right on the heads of the American special forces. The volume of rain was impressive: according to Novate.ru, 23 centimeters of precipitation fell in four hours. The soldiers responded by swearing on the radio in the direction of the scientists who rained these showers on them: this is how it became clear that, on the whole, the tests were successful.
Specifically against the Vietnamese, the US Army used climate weapons on March 20, 1967. In total, Operation Popeye lasted a little over five years - until July 5, 1972. From March to November - the rainy season - American C-130 Hercules transport aircraft sprayed silver iodide onto the cloud.
The implementation of the operation, especially at the first stages, was unimpeded: no one simply understood what exactly these airliners were doing in the clouds, but they did not bombard them, so they were not hindered. For five years, about 5, 5 thousand tons of silver iodide were used.
The deployment of an ecological war front could not but have consequences. Heavy rains eroded roads in the tropics, which played a huge role in maintaining the combat capability of Vietnamese troops and guerrilla groups, including the strategically needed Ho Chi Minh Trail. In addition, anomalous rainfall destroyed crops in Laos and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
However, nature does not forgive such a careless attitude towards her. The precipitation that fell under the influence of climatic weapons turned out to be too much - in August 1971 there was a flood, which buried more than 10% of the country under the force of the elements. A huge amount of the harvested crop was destroyed, but human losses turned out to be even worse: according to various estimates, the number of flood victims exceeded 100 thousand people, but the exact figure is still unknown.
The American government immediately tried to deny responsibility for the Vietnam disaster. The Pentagon and US chemists insisted that the 1971 flood was caused by the tropical natural phenomenon La Niña, which in the Pacific Ocean is often caused by tsunamis or droughts. Only few people believed in this version, because in Vietnam this phenomenon had never been observed before.
But the international community has drawn the right conclusions from the history of the US climate weapon testing. In 1977, after the cessation of hostilities in Vietnam, the UN adopted the "Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Means of Influencing the Natural Environment." Among the signatories of the document were both superpowers - America and the Soviet Union.
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