Gruinard Island Anthrax Trials 1942-43

Gruinard Island, on the west coast of Scotland, is the former site of biological warfare testing by the military.

In 1942 a highly virulent anthrax bomb was developed and then deployed here against some test sheep. The bombs were fixed to the ground before being detonated. The sheep died days several days later. The tests were deemed a success and the impossible task of decontaminating the islands immediately after the tests was used as further proof that it would be an effective weapon against Germany, rendering large urban areas inhabitable for long periods of time. In fact the island wasn't successfully cleaned up until 1990, after a long campaign including a group called 'Operation Dark Harvest' who reportedly collected samples of soil from the island and sent it politicians and the military research facility which developed the weapon. The experiment has since been declassified and the film below release.