What Drugs were like in World War 2

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that speed is “the essence of war.” Surely when Sun Tzu wrote that he wasn’t expecting Hitler to take it too literally. Speed, also known as amps, pep pills, uppers, and lid poppers was commercialized just in time for mass consumption during World War II by the leading industrial powers.

World War 2 was truly the greatest impetus to date for legal medically authorized as well as illicit black-market abuse of amps and similar drugs on a worldwide scale. Welcome to Nutty History and today let’s find out how pep pills controlled the tides of battles during the Second World War.


Chapter Timestamps
0:00 Intro to mid-roll ads
0:39 Why did Amps become popular during WW2?
3:06 Pervitin Became Escape for Entire Germany
5:50 How Pervitin Changed Warfare
7:50 What changed in 1941?


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  1. There are some, that due to their genetic make up become easily addicted, others who do not. I found this out after getting a case of rheumatoid arthritis, my immune system was trying to kill me and I was miserable. My joints were so filled with fluid, I couldn't straighten my arms or legs, fingers, etc. After seeing several medical professionals, someone decided I should see a pain management doctor. He agreed to help me, but first he ordered a blood test, which included genetics. This test revealed that I was unlikely to become addicted due to my German, Austrian and Swiss forebears. 3 generations behind me was a person of English, Irish, and Scottish descent and apparently they are quick to become addicted, according to this doctor. Luckily, I inherited only a small amount of his genetic make up and it didn't prevent me from getting treatment.

  2. All wars prior to the middle east our soldiers could get high af all the time. Meanwhile we've spent over 20 years in the middle east and get 45/45, demotion and half pay for a blunt.

  3. Always wandering how can humans massacre humans this much in battlefield – specially in (WW-II) – now here is the answer of them being numb and following orders of their superiors.

  4. Anyone interested in the illicit drug scene during WWII back here in the US should read William S Burroughs. Such an unseen part of history, so much has been forgotten or only passed down via word of mouth from addict to addict, because it isn't the type of thing anyone thinks to write down.

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