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Author Topic: Nuclear Weapons  (Read 8697 times)

Brian60

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Nuclear Weapons
« on: December 24, 2015, 11:21:08 AM »

I'm watching a program on PBS America about the development of nuclear weapons. I nearly fell off the sofa laughing at how ridiculous some of this was in hindsight.

Talking to some of the scientists from the time, the first hydrogen bomb, when dropped was the equivelent of 50 million tons of normal explosive. The pilot after dropping the bomb returned to base and resigned immediately, stating the world had gone mad.

They developed a nuclear hand grenade. Or as the guy said, the development was no problem, finding somebody dumb enough to throw it was the problem %% {-)

TheLongBuild

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 11:38:10 AM »

If as a last resort , you now you are not going to make it out alive..  Same as a lot of the Kamikaze weapons in the WWII

inertia

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 12:03:40 PM »

I'm watching a program on PBS America about the development of nuclear weapons. I nearly fell off the sofa laughing at how ridiculous some of this was in hindsight.

Talking to some of the scientists from the time, the first hydrogen bomb, when dropped was the equivelent of 50 million tons of normal explosive. The pilot after dropping the bomb returned to base and resigned immediately, stating the world had gone mad.
They developed a nuclear hand grenade. Or as the guy said, the development was no problem, finding somebody dumb enough to throw it was the problem %% {-)
There was some serious nonsense in there:
The first two atomic bombs each had the equivalent destructive power of 20,000 tons of TNT, not 50,000,000.
Neither of the two pilots involved (Paul Tibbets and Charles Sweeney) resigned after their missions.
No hydrogen bomb has ever been dropped on an enemy.
There are now thousands of individuals in Syria and Iraq who would be only too pleased to be given a nuclear hand-grenade to throw (now there's a cheerful thought for this time of year) although it would probably be too heavy to pick up.

It's not the world that has gone mad - it's the lunatics who run it.

Merry Christmas everybody...
DM
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Brian60

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 01:53:38 PM »

Inertia. You have my post all confused.

I did not say it was either of the first two atomic bombs - hence the reason for saying it was 50 million tons, it was the first detonation of a hydrogen ie fusion bomb not an atomic fission bomb.

I never mentioned that a hydrogen bomb had been dropped on an enemy, it was dropped for testing purposes.

Neither did I say it was dropped by Tibbetts crew, it was a test crew in the 1950's long after the Enola Gay!

Please go back and re read the original.

inertia

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 03:03:20 PM »

Please go back and re read the original.
I have - and I shall now go and research that nuclear hand-grenade. If successful I shall make two.
BTW what was it that was so ridiculous in the program that it made you fall off the couch sofa laughing? You didn't say.
DM

Later...
I have now commenced - and ended - my research into the nuclear hand grenade. I have concluded that if you put enough geeks together on an Internet forum and ask them to discuss miniaturising nuclear weapons they could bore the entire world to a standstill in less time than it takes to press a Red button and shout "Geronimo!". If anyone wants to, Google the Davy Crockett weapon. It will fascinate you  %)
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mrturbo553

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 03:30:03 PM »

https://vimeo.com/135580602


 :-))  Just helping with the festive spirit !!
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Nemo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 03:30:54 PM »

I was stationed on Christmas Island during the nuclear test  programme  in the early 60s. Talking to the Yanks at the time, there were rumours of a 'nuclear hand grenade' but it was just that, as it was a totally improbable device - at least for the Americans! They did however produce a nuclear shell which had a range of about 4 - 5 miles (!) if I remember correctly. I was told that when it was fired, the immediate radiation hazard to the firer was considerable.
Whilst I was there, the first test ban Treaty was signed banning all future atmospheric tests  - thank goodness.  I believe that the French continued with their tests in the Pacific though.
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Brian60

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2015, 04:44:41 PM »

Nemo according to the program, the US carried out their last nuclear test in 1993 {:-{ although a child of the atomic age so to speak I found this quite absurd and appalling. After 50 years of knowing how lethal these weapons were, they were none the less still carrying out tests so late in the century.

The program ended with no end of insiders, scientists, military, government advisors etc etc, saying the world back in the 1960's and the 1980's :o still fails to understand just how close we came to nuclear annihilation. Apparently the 1980's event was considered even worse than the 1960's cuban crisis. I for one don;t know what that event was!

tsenecal

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2015, 05:03:21 PM »

Perhaps Nemo was thinking of the M65 atomic cannon.   lobbed a 15kt shell 7 miles.   how far does the radio-active cloud reach before its no-longer lethal?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46GBjlUOROY
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 05:08:57 PM »

............................Apparently the 1980's event was considered even worse than the 1960's cuban crisis. I for one don;t know what that event was!

I am aware of 2 reported events both in 1983 which was a time of very high tensions between the US & USSR with the USSR convinced that Ronald Raegan wanted a war.

In one the Russian missile warning system was reported to have detected a pair of US Minuteman intercontinental nuclear missile launches. Only someone realising that it was a system error prevented a retaliatory launch and then...........

In the other the US was conducting a massive war game/ exercise and it is reported that part of the intention was to convince the USSR that it was genuine preparation for war so that the effectiveness of the USSR systems would become clear to the US. Whether it was intentional or not they very nearly succeeded and then..............

Sounds incredible now but at the time............

I know that the US are our friends & I love the US and many of its achievments but I have a nasty feeling that history will see the US as being the agressor nation & the USSR as the one receiving most of the threats. There were a lot of US missiles nearer the USSR than Cuba was to the USA.
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TheLongBuild

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 05:21:29 PM »

Sure I read somewhere that in the 80's 90's a large flock of Birds also triggered an alarm when headed towards Russia.

Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2015, 06:06:23 PM »

I found this to be a shocking documentry back in 1990's.
The sheer number of tests left me gob smacked.
It is no wonder cancer is an issue of health.
 {:-{
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMWXsdgVT0w


This is a timelapse of  every nuclear explosion ever.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY

malcolmfrary

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2015, 06:31:22 PM »

Quote
I did not say it was either of the first two atomic bombs - hence the reason for saying it was 50 million tons, it was the first detonation of a hydrogen ie fusion bomb not an atomic fission bomb.
I was watching almost the same program.  The 50 Megaton bomb was nicknamed the "Tsar", largely because it was a Soviet device.
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cos918

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2015, 06:37:09 PM »

The Russians made 2 Nuclear bombs . A 50 Mega Ton and a 100 Mega Ton. Tested the 50 Mega ton weapon in Siberia and the blast ring was about 100 miles wide. They reckon it was closer to 75 Mega ton than 50 Mega ton . They were to scared to test the 100 Mega ton bomb .That was the biggest  device ever tested by mankind.


john
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TomHugill

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2015, 06:38:03 PM »

I am aware of 2 reported events both in 1983 which was a time of very high tensions between the US & USSR with the USSR convinced that Ronald Raegan wanted a war.

In one the Russian missile warning system was reported to have detected a pair of US Minuteman intercontinental nuclear missile launches. Only someone realising that it was a system error prevented a retaliatory launch and then...........

In the other the US was conducting a massive war game/ exercise and it is reported that part of the intention was to convince the USSR that it was genuine preparation for war so that the effectiveness of the USSR systems would become clear to the US. Whether it was intentional or not they very nearly succeeded and then..............

Sounds incredible now but at the time............

I know that the US are our friends & I love the US and many of its achievments but I have a nasty feeling that history will see the US as being the agressor nation & the USSR as the one receiving most of the threats. There were a lot of US missiles nearer the USSR than Cuba was to the USA.

The event was able archer, they're making a film about the chap who made the call not to launch retaliatory strikes. Apparently it was odd readings bouncing off cloud? Very scary stuff, although makes fascinating reading now.

On the subject of nuclear devises. The Russians had a nuclear mortar round which was fired from this

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S4_Tyulpan

And they also had a mobile nuclear generator.

 http://sovietologist.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/pamir-nuclear-power-goes-on-road.html?m=1
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TomHugill

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2015, 06:44:43 PM »

The Russians made 2 Nuclear bombs . A 50 Mega Ton and a 100 Mega Ton. Tested the 50 Mega ton weapon in Siberia and the blast ring was about 100 miles wide. They reckon it was closer to 75 Mega ton than 50 Mega ton . They were to scared to test the 100 Mega ton bomb .That was the biggest  device ever tested by mankind.


john

No only officially made one. The initial design of the tsar bomb would have been capable of 100MT yield but it would have destroyed the aircraft it was launched from and the fallout was judged to be too large so when it was built it was as a 50 MT weapon.
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Nemo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2015, 06:50:28 PM »

Nemo according to the program, the US carried out their last nuclear test in 1993 {:-{ although a child of the atomic age so to speak I found this quite absurd and appalling. After 50 years of knowing how lethal these weapons were, they were none the less still carrying out tests so late in the century.

The program ended with no end of insiders, scientists, military, government advisors etc etc, saying the world back in the 1960's and the 1980's :o still fails to understand just how close we came to nuclear annihilation. Apparently the 1980's event was considered even worse than the 1960's cuban crisis. I for one don;t know what that event was!

I was referring to the atmospheric nuclear tests, which ended  in 1963 with the Treaty I mentioned. After this, tests continued underground until the end of the so-called Cold War. Nevada deserts are  pockmarked with the results, but at least the atmosphere was a lot less polluted with fallout for 30 years!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevada_Test_Site

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Nemo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2015, 07:05:00 PM »

Perhaps Nemo was thinking of the M65 atomic cannon.   lobbed a 15kt shell 7 miles.   how far does the radio-active cloud reach before its no-longer lethal?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46GBjlUOROY

I am very dubious about that video.  The blast effect  and cloud  look like they were Photoshopped!

A  bit of searching  came up with this as the more  probable one  my American colleagues mentioned back in '62  -

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)
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Arrow5

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2015, 07:14:17 PM »

Well without an atomic explosion I can tell you that the USA experts (and others) are still  cleaning-up plutonium from the area in Spain where 4 A-bombs were accidentally dropped when  a B-52 and flight refuelling C-135 collided over Palomares on Jan 1966. None of them exploded or it would have been much worse. I was working for the USAF at the time but declined the offer of a trip to "sunny Spain" fifty years ago.  If they had exploded the time would have to be centuries or even longer before I could have enjoyed a suntan...or maybe not , I could just have waited till the prevailing SW wind brought up some radio-active isotopes to Scotland. :(( :(( :(( and perhaps for a further thousand years.
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Arrow5

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2015, 07:29:46 PM »

That would be the same prevailing wind the helped that the then UK government`s choice of place to build the experimental nuclear plant at  in Caithness, a few miles from John `o Groats.   Being so safe as they said, why was it not built on the Isle of Dogs for example or Sussex or Kent ???    The Norwegian and Swedish governments were not happy about the decision.  It is taking a while to dismantle at immense cost.   They still pick-up radio-active particles from the nearby beach.   >:-o
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tsenecal

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2015, 07:47:05 PM »

I am very dubious about that video.  The blast effect  and cloud  look like they were Photoshopped!

A  bit of searching  came up with this as the more  probable one  my American colleagues mentioned back in '62  -

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)




I agree that the video after the firing is dubious, probably stock "nuclear explosion" footage, but the device did exist, in fact more than one was built.  I do think only one shell was ever fired, as a test.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M65_Atomic_Cannon
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Nemo

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2015, 08:01:10 PM »

tsenecal, yes, I did realise that. In fact they kept the weapon till 1963 when the test ban came in. I note that they were also not considered a success due to several logistical factors. 
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Brian60

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2015, 08:07:52 PM »

Spain and the US have recently agreed a compensation deal over the Palomares incident. Apart from a lot of money changing hands, the US has agreed to clear many 1000's of tons of earth and other detritus from Spain back to the US for 'decontamination' Wonder why they waited 40 years?

Does anyone remember the protect and survive instructional films from the 50s/60s? How to build shelters in your homes? That had nothing to do with protection. Some bright spark in Whitehall realised that a country littered with millions of corpses would not be good for the health of those that did survive. SO why not invent a scheme that urged people to bury themselves?

Sounds remarkable now, but for somebody to be so callous and insular to come up with a scheme like that makes you sit and think what governments really think of their people.

Arrow5

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2015, 08:20:52 PM »

I think the WW11 Anderson shelter was 50% just what you say , a family grave in each garden. The 100 person brick built one on our street would have just been a collection centre for corpses.  I think that experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have provided some information for  the KYAGB type instructions %)
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derekwarner

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Re: Nuclear Weapons
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2015, 08:39:16 PM »

During our 75th Naval Celebrations, BB63 entered Sydney harbour & tied up at my place of work :-X.......the anti-nuke brigade made their usual rubber duckie protest against that vessels reported nuclear powered propulsion system [which was naturally oil fired boilers & steam turbines]

To add insult to injury, a helo pilot from HMS Illustrious  %) hovered over the protesters at the bow of the 'Might Mo' & blew them away toward the harbour bridge  {-)

Little did they realise that tied up at the Loo, was a 4000 something tonne RN Frigate with nuclear tipped projectiles for her pop gun  O0

Not surprisingly, that fact never made the press release or TV news.......... Derek
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