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Methamphenamine Use in World War II



I did not think the use of methamphenamine was as wide spread as this article makes it out to be.

That SotD episode is on PBS tonight.

Saw the show on PBS.  It did reveal many uses that I had not ever heard of.  The RAF issued Benzedrine to pilots during Battle of Britain to keep alert and tostay aggressive.
The Luftwaffe did much the same.
What surprised me is that they found a memo from Eighth Army's medical officer giving instructions on using amphetamines.  The show made it sound like the troops took it consistently to avoid the down effects after so many hours.  The rather well known destruction of 24th Armored Brigade, is suggested to be a result of the amphetamine high.

Had read that Station Hypo, the codebreakers in Hawaii, kept a fishbowl full of "Goofballs" to stay alert with the pressure of breaking thousands of IJN messages each day.

And in one of the James Bond novels, Godlfinger?, Bond takes a drink laced with Benzedrine to be fully alert for a hand of bridge that he's bet up to some incredible value.  The way Fleming describes the effect of the drug makes it seem likely he had used it.

The PBS show was very interesting. Well worth watching.


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