Cooperation with evil - nuclear weapons

From what I read, Hitler came pretty close to having nukes and would have used them if he had. It’s not hard to believe. It could have changed the ending of the war. We could have “Man in the High Castle” as a reality.

The little guys are being watched like a hawk. The Germans developed 3 versions of nerve gas during World War II. Artillery shells filled with nerve gas were found, but, for some reason, never used them. The German atomic program was further along than most people realize but it is verboten to discuss that on the internet.

I personally think that since Hitler had been blinded for a time with a chemical weapon, along with most of his senior officers and NCOS experiencing chemical weapons in WW I may have been a reason.

History tells us that the British were worried about their use and issued gas masks to the civilian population.

Nukes on the other hand people had no experience with until end of the war. They would have been used, and were in fact, by whomever obtained them first.

Those artillery shells were found on boxcars and were identified. I have seen photos.

I read somewhere that Hitler was advised on the possibility of making nuclear weapons. But when he was advised of the amount of time and cost it would take to extract the U-235 isotope, he decided he’d rather spend the money on tanks and V-2’s. Meanwhile the U.S. began the Manhattan Project (in the process hiring several Russian spies.)

That is not accurate. The German program was of a similar scale and continued long after the “official story” says it ended. Russian spies involved in the Manhattan Project is well documented.

Why would any country want to go to war?

And if you do go to war, then why would they want to do a half-*ssed job?

Why would they want to pull their punches?

What is the point of going to war?

Do you just want to “mess around” like the United States did in the Vietnam War?, when the U.S. refused to cut the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” or to mine the harbor of Haiphong until years and years elapsed during which many foreign ships brought in weapons to North Vietnam.

There are criticisms of the use of nuclear weapons on population centers.

But far more people were killed by the use of non-nuclear weapons.

And, historically, huge numbers of civilians died by the use of blockades that caused starvation. Or the dropping of animal carcasses that caused epidemics of disease.

Not all nuclear weapons are “city busters”. But that is what non-experts focus on because of the prevalence of video propaganda.

But you can use a tiny nuke [yes, they exist] that is built into an earth penetrator that will only destroy an underground tunnel complex.

Here is the world’s smallest nuclear weapon:

It weighs about 51 pounds and has a warhead with about the power of a conventional ammonium nitrate truck bomb.

If it uses a penetrator warhead, then the blast would be underground.

Google youtube small nuke

So, are all nuclear weapons … are they ALL gigantic city busters?

Or are we arguing from indiscriminate use of words?

Is it permissible to use conventional explosives to destroy underground tunnel complexes?

Here is the MOAB … mother of all bombs.

google youtube moab

earth penetrator bombs

google youtube earth penetrator

Of course, if it goes off underground, then it won’t show up on a video.

How do you feel about truck bombs?

I flew attack aircraft in the Navy and we could deliver the full range of air-to-ground ordnance, up to and including nukes. While nukes may not always be “city-busters” as you say (we never used that term), most of the time they are. There are two main types of delivery, each with variations, airbust and groundburst. The first will take out the highest number of people, but not do as much physical damage to infrastructure and less fallout. The latter produces more physical damage to a more limited area, but creates a lot of fallout.

The problem with a small nuke being use for ground penetration is you need some mass to get the penetration. Usually that means a bomb that is at least 1,000 pounds, with a tempered steel nose piece and a fissionable package that is hardened for the impact, because the detonation will not occur until after impact. Also, just because suitcase nukes exist doesn’t mean they have been integrated into an air-to-ground deliverable weapon. That takes a lot more engineering.

For more than 20 years, the U. S. Air Force used small nuclear warheads in air-to-air mode.

An Air Force surface-to-air missile had been under design by Boeing and the University of Michigan Aeronautical Research Center since 1950. It was tagged with an awkward name combining the first letters of one originating organization with an acronym for the other. Bomarc was launched vertically by a rocket booster and then propelled by two ramjet engines.

Designated IM-99 (for “interceptor missile”), Bomarc was designed to fly as far as 400 miles at up to 80,000 feet, while receiving guidance information transmitted from various ground points during most of its flight. As Bomarc approached the target, an onboard radar kicked in and concluded the interception.

The Joint Air Defense Board “unequivocally recommended” the deployment of atomic air defense weapons in 1953. The Air Force slated the Bomarc to receive a 6.5 kiloton nuclear warhead (about half the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima) once the advanced missile’s complex development challenges were addressed.

Concerned about what they thought was a growing vulnerability to Soviet bombers, especially after the Soviet Union detonated a thermonuclear device in 1953, American political leaders were unwilling to wait for Bomarc to be perfected and the Army’s shorter-range Nike Hercules missiles to be fielded. Consequently, the Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized the development of the Air Force’s Genie (later designated the AIR-2A) unguided air-to-air rocket. Built by Douglas Aircraft, this was a relatively simple weapon, carrying a 1.5-kiloton warhead, roughly one-ninth the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Genie could be readied quickly and fitted to specially modified Northrop F-89 Scorpions.

An F-106 Delta Dart fires a Genie air-to-air missile over a range. (DOD photo)

The Air Force declared initial operational capability on Jan. 1, 1957, when a handful of rockets and 15 interceptors capable of carrying them were ready at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in northern Michigan and Hamilton Air Force Base outside of San Francisco. Weeks later, with President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s approval, the Pentagon announced it had "begun deployment of nuclear weapons within the United States for air defense purposes. Nuclear air defense weapons now have been developed which provide by far the most effective form of defense against air attack.
“It is essential to our national security that we incorporate these new weapons into our air defense system,” the announcement continued.

As hard as it may be to believe today, the statement was met with widespread approval by major newspapers, elected officials, and others. Indeed, throughout the period that these and other nuclear air defense arms were in the Air Force inventory, they were the subject of few protests and objections. This was the case even when it became known that President Eisenhower (and his successors) authorized or “predelegated” nuclear use authority if operational commanders could not get orders from the senior-most civilian leaders in the hectic period after a bomber attack.

In 1961, a year after the fire, the final Air Force nuclear air defense weapon entered the inventory. This was a version of the Hughes Falcon guided air-to-air missile (GAR-11), which carried a 50-pound one-half kiloton nuclear warhead. Only a few years earlier such small, lightweight weapons were impossible to design and field, but the technology was rapidly advancing.

Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, helped to spur the advent of the GAR-11. Originally, the F-102 was to remain in the inventory only briefly, to be replaced by greater numbers of F-101s and F-106s. When budgetary circumstances changed and it became clear the Delta Dagger would continue in service longer than intended, LeMay sought to give the F-102 its own nuclear weapon, because the aircraft could not carry the Genie.

A Short Heyday

The new weapon for the Delta Dagger ensured the entire ADC fleet was nuclear capable. A guided weapon also offered the possibility of other interception techniques, including a head-on attack.

By early 1965, the Air Force had some 1,900 Falcons, but the heyday of the Genie, Falcon, and Bomarc proved short-lived. As ICBMs came to dominate the Soviet offensive inventory, US anti-aircraft forces began to be cut back. This air defense drawdown occurred during the Vietnam buildup and amidst modernization of the US ICBM force, which also taxed the Air Force’s budgets.

An Air Force F-101B Voodoo loaded with two non-nuclear Genie missiles on a training mission. (USAF photo courtesy of the National Musuem of the US Air Force)

The Bomarc was first on the chopping block. By July 1964, less than five years after it became operational, the A version of the missile was withdrawn. The A models were liquid-fueled and had only a 250-mile range, compared to 500 miles for the B type. Two launching locations were closed.
By October 1972 the bases equipped with longer-range, solid-fueled B versions were shuttered as well, perhaps spurred by the Canadian decision to close their two IM-99B sites. The Canadian action would have left a portion of the US northern border without Bomarc defenses.

In this period, the F-102 was also withdrawn from service. American interceptor forces were being reduced, and since the F-106 was superior, it made sense to first retire the older fighter. The loss of the F-102s consequently lessened the need for the GAR-11. The Air Force removed the atomic air-to-air missile from the arsenal by April 1972.

With fewer nuclear anti-aircraft weapons and presumably less need to employ them, predelegated use authority is believed to have been rescinded about 1976.

The Genie soldiered on, albeit in reduced numbers, for a decade. The F-106 was the only airplane in the inventory that would carry it. As Delta Darts were withdrawn from service, so too were the AIR-2As.

By 1983, 200 Genie rockets remained in Air Force service. The last were phased out by 1986.

For nearly 30 years, the US had fielded one or more types of nuclear-armed anti-aircraft weapons. With the Genie gone, that effort came to a close.

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