Pen-Clawwd, Gower Peninsula

02-Pen-Clawdd Swansea 2012

In 1942 the MoD carried out a series of experiments to see if anthrax could be used in the war effort. A Wellington bomber dropped a 30-pound bomb containing anthrax onto a hard beach in Penclawdd on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. It burst on contact and released a fine mist that infected the nearby sheep that died soon after.

On the 15th of January 1987 during parliamentary question time, Defence Minister Archie Hamilton confirmed that this experiment was conducted at Penclawdd

In October 1942, after their discovery of the effectiveness of anthrax as a lethal agent in warfare, the British launched “Operation Vegetarian,” in which workers mass-produced five million units of the United Kingdom’s first operational biological weapon, the anthrax-filled cattle cake. The plan was for Allied bombers to drop the anthrax-filled buns into Germany’s cattle grazing pastures where the animals would eat the cakes, contract the disease, and quickly die. However, by the time the operation was ready to be launched in 1944, the invasion of Normandy had already taken place, and the Allies were winning the War by conventional means. The five million buns were eventually burned after the War.

Today the last remains of the military installation lie half buried in the estuary sands


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