7 prohibited weapons

As soon as weapons appeared, some of their types were tried to be banned. Homer disapproved of the bow, the coward's weapon. The popes unsuccessfully banned the crossbow. But it was only in the 20th century that the issue of banning certain types of weapons was approached thoroughly.

Bullets dum-dum

These bullets, also known as expansive, unfolding bullets, got their name from the fact that they were developed in a British weapons factory located in the working-class suburb of Calcutta Dum-dum.

Such bullets, with the shell cut off on the nose, open like a flower and cause terrible wounds. In the early 1890s, dum-dum bullets appeared, and already in 1899 they were banned by the Declaration on the Disuse of Easily Unfolding and Flattening Bullets, adopted at the Hague Conference - the first peace conference in history convened at the initiative of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II.

The reason for the ban is the "excessive cruelty" of these munitions.

But expansive bullets still exist quite officially - in hunting and police weapons: a high stopping effect is combined with a low probability of hitting the target right through, which reduces the risk of hitting bystanders.

Chemical Weapons

Primitive chemical weapons from improvised means were used in ancient Greece. But on an industrial scale, it began to be used in the First World War. However, despite the lethality of its action, chemical weapons showed low efficiency. In 1928, a Protocol was signed in Geneva on the prohibition of the use of asphyxiant, poisonous and other gases in hostilities.

The ban did not help, and in World War II the aggressors - Germany and Japan - used toxic substances: to clean up stubbornly defended fortifications and quarries where partisans were hiding.

Chemical weapons were used later: in the Vietnam War (1964-1973), they were used by both sides, as well as in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988).

The last time poisonous substances were banned was in 1997, when the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction entered into force. The complete destruction of chemical weapons is expected by 2017-19.


The predecessor of napalm can be considered "Greek fire" - a combustible mixture invented by the Byzantines in the 7th century. "Greek fire" burned even on the surface of the water.

Napalm was invented in the United States in 1942 and was used by the army of that country during World War II, in the Korean War (1950-1953) and especially widely during the Vietnam War. Other countries also used napalm: Israel, Iraq, Argentina.

Since the damaging effect of napalm spreads uncontrollably, civilians often suffered from it. And in 1980, the UN adopted the "Protocol on the Prohibition or Restriction of the Use of Incendiary Weapons."

Anti-personnel mines

According to statistics, mines account for a tenth of the total number of losses. There were, however, exceptions: in the Korean War (1950-1953), the losses from mines in the UN troops were 40%, and in the Vietnam War - 60-70%.

Mines have a huge psychological effect: neither orders nor threats could force the soldiers to advance across the minefield (with losses less than from shelling).

The inhumanity of this type of weapons lies in the fact that even many years after the end of hostilities, civilians continue to be undermined on them. In 1997, Ottawa signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. But despite the decision of the Ottawa Convention, the ban is violated everywhere.

Cluster munitions

The forerunner of this weapon can be considered an ordinary hunting shotgun. The development of the idea was artillery buckshot, and then shrapnel. The very first cluster bombs were used by the Germans, who in 1939 brought down ordinary bombs filled with hundreds of small bombs on Polish troops. By the end of the last century, cluster munitions had become a very effective weapon, which was proved by the military conflicts of that time.

Due to the imperfection of fuses, not all bombs exploded, in fact, turning into anti-personnel mines. Despite the improvement in the mechanisms of fuses and self-destructors, these weapons were recognized as inhumane.

In 2008, Dublin signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Cluster Munitions and on Their Destruction. However, the largest manufacturers of cluster munitions - the United States, Russia, China - have not signed this agreement.

Biological Weapons

Since ancient times, the corpses of those who have died from the plague have been thrown into besieged cities to cause an epidemic among the defenders. The most famous case is the siege of the Genoese fortress in the Crimea by the Mongols in 1346, when after such a bombing, the "Black Death", spreading, wiped out from a third to half of Europe.

During World War II, the Japanese used bacteriological weapons, but achieved modest results - no more than 700 people from 1940 to 1945.

This type of weapon has a huge disadvantage: pathogens are practically uncontrollable and do not distinguish their own from others. Breaking free, they will destroy all living things in their path indiscriminately. In addition, they can mutate, and these changes are difficult to predict. They decided to ban this "double-edged" weapon. In 1972, the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Biological Weapons and Toxins and on Their Destruction" was signed in Geneva.

The weapon is used by terrorists who do not recognize any conventions. In the XX century, a dozen cases of planned and committed bio-attacks were recorded. The most famous is the anthrax dispute mailing in 2001.

Climatic Weapon

Unlike the above-described types of extermination of humanity, this weapon is hypothetical. Artificial influence on the weather and climate of both a single territory and the whole continent is assumed.

However, there have been several examples of such changes in history. The most famous is Operation Spinach, when the US military during the Vietnam War achieved a significant lengthening of the rainy season and an increase in their intensity threefold. Forest roads turned into swamps, enemy communications were disrupted. Also for many years the natural balance was seriously disturbed, whole populations of animals and plants perished. Despite the monstrous financial costs of the operation, the real combat benefits were small.

This and other experiments on nature led to the conclusion that, first of all, it is not the direct enemy that will suffer, but humanity as a whole. In 1978, the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Means of Influencing the Natural Environment came into force.

Now active work on the impact on weather conditions is being carried out in a number of states. It can always be said that research is being conducted purely for peaceful purposes.