|“||Sarin nerve gas. The Soviets love it. It's colourless, odorless, but it sure as hell ain't painless.
- General Carville briefing the Allied Commander.
Sarin (Allied reporting name GB) is a powerful, fast acting toxic chemical exclusively used as a nerve gas. It played a role in the opening stages of the Second World War. It is estimated that the lethality of sarin is several hundred times that of cyanide.
Effects on human health
The effect on the body is severe; on a microscopic level, sarin inhibits the function of certain neurotransmitters, which allow a muscle or organ to relax after an impulse to work has been sent. As the enzyme is blocked, the synapses continue to operate as if all nerve impulses are coninuously transmitted. In terms of symptoms, originally there is pain in the chest, then the victim rapidly begins losing control of bodily functions. Then, the victim loses conciousness and suffocates.
Sarin can be absorbed through the lungs or the skin, and 0.01 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient to be lethal. According to recovered Soviet briefing footage, marshall Gradenko's forces had found that, on average, death occured within a minute after exposure.
Sarin was first discovered by German scientists researching pesticides in 1938. It was by far the deadliest of the G-series nerve agents made in Germany. The name came from the initials of its inventors.
The Soviet Union acquired the formula, and began mass producing huge stockpiles of the weapon. Joseph Stalin had originally planned for it to be used during his movements into Europe, however, a field commander under the direct orders of American general Ben Carville destroyed the production facility, located in Greece, and captured most of the Soviet arsennal, while Stalin blamed this on Gradenko. The Soviets authorized the deployment of the Sarin unit once, which was deployed in a small truck and used to poison a river near an Allied base. The attack was succesful, killing all Allied personnel in the base, along with entire civillian population nearby.
Sarin, along with other chemical and biological agents, was banned by international treaties from use as a weapon.