The First Fleet carried bottles of small pox to save on ammunition.
The journal of marine captain Watkin Tench indicates that the First Fleet carried bottles of smallpox. We know that smallpox materials retain the virus for a number of years when exposed to room temperatures. Knowing the temperatures on the First Fleet, it is clear that the virus would have weakened to around half-strength and could easily have caused the epidemic if spread amongst local tribes.
THE DUST of THE MINDYE
The use of Biological Warfare
in the conquest of Australia
The plague was released in a deliberate act of genocide by the two top military officers in the First Fleet, and their unwitting dupe was Joseph Jeffries, a Native American ‘Red’ Indian, who was a sailor on the First Fleet.
The author provides some insight into the spread of smallpox into Victoria and beyond.
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