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How did nations get the Nitrates needed to power the immense amounts of explosives used in the conflict, but also get enough to fertilize the crops needed to feed their armies?

Asked 10 months ago by Anonymous

Hi Indy and Crew! I've finally caught up on all of your episodes, but there's a topic I've only ever heard in passing that I'm curious about (it was something about guano and pre-war conflicts in South America). I know that Germany had developed the Haber process before the war to turn some of the airborne nitrogen into usable materials for explosives and fertilizers, but what did the rest of the world do to get enough nitrates to fuel this unbelievable scale of war? Did agriculture suffer because their fertilizer was being used for explosives instead? PS I grew up watching Ken Burns' Civil War, The World at War, and all sorts of documentaries with my grandpa when I was a little kid, this show reminds me of being with him. Thank you guys so much for all you do

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