Use of Benzadrine

Discussion in 'General' started by toki2, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    I believe that Benzadrine was given to RASC drivers to keep then awake on night drives. Would the soldiers have any say in whether they took it or not? Were there any other drugs used on a regular basis. I have read the thread on saltpetre.
  2. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day toki2,yesterday, don't know if the rasc drivers used it.i did when I was a boy,i had asma(>spellin?)and the doctor had me on it(during ww2)it made your heart was not addictive.a least not to me.when they took me off them I did not miss them.i went on to adrenarlene.of course they don't give children those drugs now,they have so many but none cure the problem.interestind thread,thanks for posting,regards bernard85
  3. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    I am not able to answer your question from an RASC perspective, but I have got this extract relating to aircrew fatigue which you may find of use.



    (Source: AP154 - Prevention of Fatigue)

    Attached Files:

  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Benzedrine tablets were part of the aircrew aid kits used when evading capture after being shot down.

    From the IS9 history:


    The tablets were enclosed in the brown envelope marked "READ CAREFULLY"
    ceolredmonger, alberk and CL1 like this.
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I like that. Horlicks to give you a good nights sleep and Benzedrine to keep you awake.
  6. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    There are accounts of Chindits taking up to a dozen Benzedrine tablets a day.
    ceolredmonger likes this.
  7. Jen'sHusband

    Jen'sHusband Punchbag

    The problem with Benzadrine was that one would go out like a light when it wore off. If a series of counter-attacks were expected, men could realistically take more than one, though it was against advice.
  8. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    My dad and his driver definitely remember being issued them on or after D-Day. They were sappers in 77 Assault Squadron - tank crew. They seemed to think they were an American thing. My dad didn't remember taking them but his driver said they dried him out and made him feel sweaty and nauseous, so he got rid - they didn't mention being ordered to take them at any time.
  9. Jen'sHusband

    Jen'sHusband Punchbag

    There were produced, amongst others, by Smith Kline and French Labs in the U.S.

    They also made people very thirsty afterwards.
  10. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    Thanks for everybody's input. I also believe that German troops used similar drugs to keep awake. I remember 'Uppers and 'Downers' in the 60;s and 70's. One of my employers offered the whole staff some uppers when we had to work late! I was only in my early 20's and thought I had enough stamina of my own to manage the job though I was amazed at the number who accepted the offer.
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Pervitin, is what the German Service provided.

    It was manufactured by Berlin drug company Temmler Werke, was a strong stimulant given to soldiers to induce euphoria and keep them awake.

    Interesting article to read.

  12. Len Trim

    Len Trim Senior Member

    In a recent book I read about SOE they had a chicken stuffed with Benzedrine at a Christmas party in Cairo!

  13. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    They were issued to (some) officers and used at Arnhem....certainly by the sappers in the schoolhouse at the road bridge....several veterans recall them being given out by Captain Mackay on the Tuesday...but it may have been Wednesday depending on their memories....Hope this helps in some small way...
  14. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    Not sure if I've got the name right but there were always jokes that the Army put Bromide in the tea cant remember why.
  16. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

  17. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    In his book Boots, Belts & Spurs Jonathan Raban mentions Rommel's advance from the Meuse to the Channel Coast.
    "Blitzkrieg required its fighters to be on meth, as Norman Ohler has shown in his book Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany. When on 12 May the panzer divisions emerged from the trees near Sedan on the River Meuse, they took the French utterly by surprise. Sedan was thinly defended, mostly by army reservists, and the river was crossed on the 13th. Beyond it lay many miles of undefended farmland. The tanks, fuelled as much on Pervitin as gasoline, sped on, leaving the marching infantry far behind".

    If you read the extract you could fill a morning listing the authors mistakes, he was however a sailor not a soldier and it seems had little to do with his father.
    His primary error was to tell the story of an officer in the Worcestershire Regt who were in 48th. Div. His father was in the 67th Field Regt in the 1st Infantry Division, an entirely different story.
  18. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Same underlying reason they allegedly fed you lots of eggs on Friday. Neither of which are true though.

    INHN: Bromides

    All the best


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