The Rarest Historical Photos

Gas masks? Yes. But no, those aren't deadly stuff; they're just onions. Back in the days, soldiers used gas masks so that they won't cry when peeling onions.

This is a photo of two soldiers taken in Tobruk. The date of this photo? October 15, 1941 -- taken during the Siege of Tobruk. Tobruk is a city located in Eastern Libya. It was a military post during World War II.

A siege is kind a military operation where the enemy forces surround a structure or building, or a town. Then enemy forces cut off essential supplies so that those besieged in the premises would eventually surrender.

Some time in April to August of 1941, about 14,000 Australian soldiers were besieged in the military post by a German-Italian army. Torbuk endured repeated ground assaults and bombings. By August, half of the Australian garrison was relieved and the rest followed by September until October. The siege ended on December 10, 1941. The Casualties? 749 dead, 1,996 wounded, and 604 were taken as prisoners.

Because ever since, advertising concepts have always been out of the box. This was how they advertised Atabrine during the period where Malaria broke out as an epidemic in the United States.

An enemy common to everyone during World War II was Malaria. Malaria is a fatal disease caused by Plasmodium, a genus of parasitic microorganisms. Quinine was the drug of choice to treat Malaria. However, 90% of the world's supply is in Java, a territory that was lost to the Japanese during the war. As such, researchers ventured into new anti-malaria drugs.

Atabrine was available in little yellow pills that tasted very bitter. It wasn't as good as Quinine but it was the next best thing. Likewise, it had several side effects (but they were of course, not harmful). Typically, it causes the skin to appear yellowish in color. In some rare occassions, it causes nausea and vomitting.

Sadly, Atabrine did not destroy the malaria parasite in the liver, but only in the bloodstream. Like what we said, it wasn't as good as quinine but it was the next best thing.