Honors College Theses

Publication Date



History (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Robert Batchelor


Modern biological warfare is the stage where biological warfare can be traced to medical advancements. As science and medicine have improved, the technology and ideas contained have been used for the creation of biological weapons. This has spanned different magnitudes of weapons, from smallpox blankets in the French and Indian War to anthrax bombs in World War II. Narratives on biological warfare in contemporary literature revolve around the military and institutional programs aspects. What is just as important but discussed less often are the medical innovations that also led to developments in biological warfare. The trail of medical advancements begins in the late 1870s and 80s with understandings of how bacteria are transmitted improved and anthrax being cultured in a laboratory setting for the first time. This continues into the 1930s-40s, when there is a spike in the number of state-funded biological weapons programs leading to the development of anthrax, tularemia, bubonic plague, and others in laboratories for use in WWII.