LT Rob Lyon, serving in Iraq I appreciate the support we have been getting here in Iraq. Knowing that folks like you are out there, not just for the support, but to provide much needed diversion, is greatly appreciated.
The W48 was an American Nuclear artillery shell, fired from a standard 155
mm (6.1 inch) howitzer. It was manufactured starting in 1963, and all units were retired in
The W48 is 6.1 inches (155 mm) in diameter and 33.3 inches long. It came in two models, Mod 0 and Mod 1, which are reported to
have weighed 118 and 128 pounds respectively. It had an explosive yield equal to 72 tons of TNT (0.072 kiloton).
1. Relatively small nukes (which yields under 1KT) are possible.
2. It would take TONS of conventional explosives to "fake" one.
ACE was taught how to simulate the mushroom cloud of a nuke with conventional explosives while in the Army (out in the west boonies of Ft. Bragg -- which might have turned a few heads back at the base), but has long since forgotten the "recipe."
The "Davy Crockett" was the epitome of a small nuclear weapon. It was only 30 inches long, 11 inches wide and weighed 76 pounds. It took years of development and testing to deploy a weapon this small which was reliable and safe, yet packed the power of many tons of TNT. During the Cold War, the East Germans were no doubt deterred from attacking West Germany by the knowledge the American ground troops had this formidable weapon deployed in the field.
The M388 Projectile could carry either conventional explosives or a variable-yield W-54 atomic fission warhead - operator selectable explosive yield from 10 to 20 tons TNT -- .01KT to .02KT. (the .25KT version of the W54 was used for an air-to-air missile -- see W54 link below).
Minimum detonation range was an astounding 1000 feet.
No, thank you!
Maximum range of the M28 'Light' Launcher was 1.24 miles, and the M29 'Heavy' Launcher's
maximum range was 2.5 miles.
Even that is too waay to close!
The XW-51/XW-54 design was test fired more times than any preceding US
nuclear weapon prior to its successful introduction in service, indicating the difficulty of successfully making this small and
low yield design work reliably and safely.
2100 of these babies were actually produced. (Hope they've been properly disposed of, and are not sitting in the back of some government warehouse, like the Arc of the Covenant.)
ACE ordered and has a DVD on this weapon, showing one being fired in an exercise with lots of troops within 2-3 miles.
In a CBR course in the early 70s, ACE received a handy-dandy circular plastic calculator by which a commander could calculate the number of hours for which troops could still function effectively after being at different ranges from nuclear blasts of different magnitudes. Very sobering!
Here are images of the whole set of nuclear slide rules (circular and linear).
During the early Clinton years, hard-liners and so-called conservative
hawks advocated a pre-emptive strike to halt North Korea's nuclear
weapons development before it could field an atomic bomb. Instead of
taking the hard line, President Clinton elected to rely on former
President Jimmy Carter and decided to appease the Marxist-Stalinist
Carter met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and
returned to America waving a piece of paper and declaring peace in our
time. Kim, according to Carter, had agreed to stop his nuclear weapons
The Clinton appeasement program for North Korea included hundreds of
millions of dollars in aid, food, oil and even a nuclear reactor.
However, the agreement was flawed and lacked even the most informal
means of verification.
In return, Kim elected to starve his people while using the American
aid to build uranium bombs. The lowest estimate is that Kim starved to
death over 1 million of his own people, even with the U.S. aid program.
North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test,
which would confirm that the country has a working atomic bomb as it has long
South Korea's presidential Blue House said a tremor had been detected in
North Korea on Monday. It said South Korea's Institute of Geoscience and
Mineral Resources had detected a tremor of a magnitude 3.58 to 3.7 at 0135 GMT.
The two front-runners in Mexico's closest presidential race in history
watched anxiously Thursday as an overnight vote tally recount saw the
conservative candidate Felipe Calderon catch up to his leftist rival
and pass him by a razor-thin margin.
Obrador is threatening to "pull a Gore."
Wednesday, Lopez Obrador threatened to ignore the final tally because
of "serious evidence of fraud." Leonel Cota, president of the
Democratic Revolution Party, accused election officials of deliberately
mishandling the preliminary vote count Sunday to confirm a win for
Calderon. He said Lopez Obrador won Sunday's vote.
"The army and people of the DPRK are now in full preparedness to answer
a pre-emptive attack with a relentless annihilating strike and a
nuclear war with a mighty nuclear deterrent." Sounds like somebody's getting a little nervous. Good!