An Unexpected Specter of War

From Friday, 17 June 2005's Gazzettino newspaper (translation mine):

"Cortina D'Ampezzo [in the Veneto region, Italy]. The efforts of recovery and cleanup of 'adamsite,' a chemical warfare material, were concluded yesterday. [Thursday] was the last day of work for the soldiers who were cleaning up the mountain pass of Cimabanche, where the toxic irritant, which had been used during the First World War, was found..."

(For more information about 'adamsite," see the following Encyclopedia Brittanica article

"'We're talking about material already highly degraded,' explained Lieutenant Gaetano Rumella. '...It's a situation very different from that we've found in past years when, precisely in this zone... many tons of adamsite still in excellent condition were found and removed.' 'Here, we can relive the battles of a past era, re-read that page of history,' explained General [Maurizo] Pallone, 'when adamsite was ignited to create a[n irritating, tear-gas] smokescreen that winds would push against the enemy lines. We find a lot of remains from these battles, like rusted barbed wire and shrapnel among black mounds of burned material.'"

(From the June 17th Belluno edition of Il Gazzettino

When you haven't had a modern war in your own backyard, it's easy to forget that those who have will continue to find weapons, still dangerous, both conventional and otherwise, for decades to come!


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