Could Hitler have been defeated using food poisoning? Probably not. But a new book reveals the £1 million plan British spies tried to implement that involved dosing the Nazi leader’s dinner, and why it would never have worked.
So, what was the Brits’ poison of choice?
It wasn’t arsenic or salmonella. According to a Telegraph article citing the author of Secret Weapons: Technology, Science and the Race to Win World War II, the plan was to give Hitler the female sex hormone estrogen in order to make him less aggressive. Apparently, estrogen is tasteless and so would not have been detected by Hitler’s food testers, who, of course, would also have been “feminized” by the tainted food.
It’s not the first time food poisoning was considered to fight an enemy leader. The U.S. hatched a plan to poison Fidel Castro’s food and cigars with a substance that would make his hair and beard fall out, which was supposed to have the Samsonite effect of taking away his power in the eyes of his followers. Not quite a plot of Shakespearean magnitude, but pretty darn devious, had it been carried out.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 15, 2011