Meth in their madness: were Brit soldiers on speed in WW2?
It's well known the Nazis used a little something, but what impact did Allied stimulant use have on victory?
In early October 1942, the British Eighth Army was dug in along a 72km stretch of the Western Desert in Egypt, preparing for a major attack on the Panzer Army Africa. General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery knew that when he attacked, failure was not an option. The enemy forces had to be smashed.
Yet the battle ahead promised to be a gruelling one of long days, long nights and bitter, bloody attritional fighting. Fatigue had been the enemy of soldiers throughout history, but if there was a pill that could be used to help combat exhaustion, then surely it was worth using?
So it was that on October 6, Brigadier Quentin Wallace, the deputy director of medical services for X Corps, the armoured force that would act as Monty’s corps de chasse, authorised the use of “pep tablets”...