The Journal War and Society has just published two article concerning the Second World War. It is worth noting that the journal is now an open access publication.
This article explores the various human experiments that were conducted on British army personnel during the Second World War. While some historical work has focused on trials at the Porton Down facility, this paper will start by placing these in the context of the wider range of research projects that were conducted using British troops in the Second World War. It will then consider the question of why conscript soldiers participated in trials. Comparative studies have focused on the ethics of human experimentation in military contexts but this article argues that ethical considerations were only part of the story. Using the oral testimonies of those that were involved in this type of research, it considers how military culture, material incentives and sentiments of national duty all influenced soldiers’ participation in human trials.
Daniel Leach, ‘The Other Allies: Military Security, National Allegiance, and the Enlistment of ‘Friendly Aliens’ in the Australian Armed Forces, 1939‐45′
This article investigates military security attitudes toward the enlistment of ‘friendly aliens’ in the Australian armed forces during the Second World War. Employing official correspondence of the period, the study positions contemporary debates regarding the enlistment of Allied nationals from Axis-occupied countries within the context of Australian conceptions of race, British nationality, and national allegiance. It is argued that, while British practice was influential and uniformity of Imperial policy was a desired objective, the unique concerns of Australian security, the domestic relationship between citizenship and military service, and the White Australia policy combined to determine the nature and application of Australian security attitudes in this area. In certain cases, these factors exercised severely negative impacts upon ‘friendly aliens’ who volunteered for service in the Australian armed forces.