Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Anton Casimir Dilger - Weird War 1 German saboteur

Anton Casimir Dilger was born on 13th February 1884 andwas a German-American physician, and the main proponent of the German biological warfare sabotage program during World War I. His father, Hubert Dilger, was a United States Army captain who had received the Medal of Honor for his work as an artilleryman at the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863) during the American Civil War.

Dilger was born in Front Royal, Virginia, where his parents had relocated from Ohio in the decades after the Civil War. He was educated in Germany after going there at the age of nine. He attended Gymnasium in Bensheim and trained as a physician in Heidelberg and Munich, later working for the Heidelberg University surgical clinic while researching for his doctoral dissertation. His dissertation involved growing animal cells in tissue culture, at which he was unsuccessful. He received his doctorate summa cum laude in 1912.

Dilger was the grandson of anatomist Friedrich Tiedemann (1781–1861). Tiedemann was the Director of the Institute of Anatomy at Heidelberg University. He was also the cousin of Generalmajor Hubert Lamey (1896-1981), (Lamey was the Commander of the 118 Jager Division.) as well as General der Kavallerie, Carl-Erik Koehler (1895–1958). (Koehler was the Commander of the 20th Army Corp.)

There are reports that Dilger served as a surgeon in the Bulgarian Army during the Balkan War (1912–1913), that he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, that he carried the rank of colonel in the Imperial German Army Medical Corps, and that he directed hospitals for the German Red Cross. These reports are unsubstantiated.[citation needed]

By the time World War I began, Dilger was in Germany, but he returned to the United States in 1915 with cultures of anthrax and glanders with the intention of biological sabotage on behalf of the German government's biological sabotage officer Rudolf Nadolny. The U.S. was then neutral, but Germany wanted to prevent neutral countries from supplying Allied forces with livestock, and the fact that Dilger had a US passport from 1908 onward made it easy for him to travel to and from America. Along with his brother Carl, Dilger established a laboratory in the Chevy Chase district north of Washington, DC in which cultures of the causative agents of anthrax and glanders—Bacillus anthracis and Burkholderia mallei—were produced. A 1941 report reveals that the bacteria were to be painted onto the nostrils of horses.

In America, Baltimore stevedores who were at first recruited by German officers to plant incendiary devices among ships and wharves were eventually given bottles of liquid culture with orders to inoculate horses near Van Cortland Park. The stevedores claimed to have done the deed with rubber gloves and needles.

The U.S. biological sabotage program is estimated to have ended sometime in late 1916, after which Anton returned to Germany. Upon his return to America, Dilger found himself under suspicion of being a German agent by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and fled to Mexico, where he would use the surname "Delmar". The reasons for which he fled to Mexico remain unclear but are still being investigated by his descendants. A possible hypothesis is that he wanted to convince the Mexican government of engaging in war with the United States.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6

Skills: Fighting d6, Healing d8, Knowledge (Biology) d8, Notice d6, Repair d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d8 Persuasion d6

Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5; Sanity: 5

Hindrances: Fanatic, Vow (minor, sabotage the enemy)

Edges: Luck, College boy

Gear: Civilian clothing, false papers

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