WATCH: The British Military Doses Some Marines With LSD
The U.S. Army and the CIA weren't the only people experimenting with LSD as a potential battlefield weapon back in the Cold War days. Our British allies were also testing the possibility of neurochemical warfare—and using their own soldiers as guinea pigs.
The CIA project, code-named Project MK Ultra, and the Army's strange drug-testing program at the Edgewood Arsenal both struck out when it came to LSD. The powerful psychedelic produced effects too unpredictable and untamable to prove useful for military or clandestine warfare purposes. As the video below demonstrates, the British came to similar conclusions.
The video shows footage of a field test of LSD-25 on British marines, who were unaware they were being dosed. Within minutes of ingestion, the drug begins to take effect.
"The men no longer take cover. They relax and begin to giggle," the narrator explains. "The troops have lost their air of urgency, and many men are laughing. Men with no specific task to perform have lapsed into laughter and inconsequential behavior."
Inconsequential behavior? Well, that just won't do, will it?
"With one man climbing a tree, the field commander gives up," the narrator explains. "I cannot control the men, and I can take no action myself. I am wiped out as an attacking force."
The British military very shortly thereafter gave up on LSD as a weapon of war.
Watch what LSD did to the 41st Royal Marine Commando in December 1964. Video is courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London: