Discussion:
Pentagon deploys low-yield nuclear weapon for first time: report
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Byker
2020-02-06 00:59:04 UTC
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https://www.foxnews.com/us/pentagon-deploys-low-yield-nuclear-weapin-for-first-time
Critics say low-yield nuclear weapons lower the threshold for using
nuclear weapons, increasing the risk of nuclear war. And while W76-2’s
strength is classified, experts say it likely has around one-third the
power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
7 Kilotons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W76

7 KT test:


Enough to take out city hall and associated government
offices, leaving most of the civilian population alive:
https://tinyurl.com/qkmc9ky

The lethal radius of heat, blast, and radiation
would reach out to about 4,400 feet.

At a burst height of 1,200 feet, fallout would be negligible...
Byker
2020-02-06 18:19:06 UTC
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Post by Byker
At a burst height of 1,200 feet, fallout would be negligible...
Well, not really "negligible" .....
7kt is still a pretty big bang. More than just city hall. The
serious immediate effects would reach out a couple of
miles and the slow-death radiation a few miles downwind
from that. A real "low yeild" device would be from about
0.6kt (power of the original "nuclear cannon" shell) to
maybe 2kt.
The "original" 280mm cannon shell was 15KT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M65_atomic_cannon


The 155mm W48 was 0.072KT (72 tons)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W48

During the Cold War, the Soviets had something we didn't: A nuclear MORTAR:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/240_mm_mortar_M240
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/atomnaya-artilleriya.htm

They really need to put the W54 back into production. Who can forget the
Davy Crockett "nuclear bazooka"?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W54
As for the *advisability* of toting such things around ... on
the whole it may not be the best idea. The notion of "small"
might start to make nuking things seem more trivial, more
acceptable. It is not, they are a whole other class of
weapon - and have many many bigger brothers.
A few more nuclear points to ponder:

I always wondered about what would happen to neutral countries during or
after Armageddon -- doubtlessly some would be targeted to keep them from
"taking over" in the aftermath.

It's very likely that both sides will attempt to 'neutralize' neutral
nations they see as a potential threat in the post-strike world. It's even
money that one of the RN's Polaris missiles has Puerto Belgrano's name on
it.

I wonder how many nukes would be held back even in the event of full scale
war - I imagine each side would have a few kept to one side just in case any
neutrals got fresh (i.e in Britain's case -- the Republic makes a push for
Ulster or the Argies grab their chance) during the post-war mess.

It wouldn't take all that many weapons to 'neutralize' most European
neutrals - a bomb on the capital and the biggest couple of administrative
centers, make them ground bursts to spread fallout. Although they can't hit
back if they survive intact they could potentially become a threat in the
post-war period; at least that would be the thinking amongst the strategic
planners. Throw two, or three bombs each at them and they'll be too busy
rebuilding like everyone else.

Taking the Republic of Ireland with limited numbers of weapons I'd go for
Dublin (which was included in a British civil defense exercise), the
Curragh, Knock and Shannon Airports and Cork. A small targeting plan like
that will take out the Irish government, the majority of their army and
potentially deny two big airports and a major port to NATO. Even if the
Republic survives relatively unscathed I doubt there will be much for them
to take over in the North - Belfast will be gone, ditto Londonderry/Derry,
even if it is only because the Russkies go for nearby Shackleton Barracks.

Taking out Argentina could be done either by Polaris, or by arming the jets
based at RAF Stanley with WE.177 gravity bombs. Once the missiles start
flying all the political constrains about using nuclear weapons go out of
the window - if your homeland is about to be reduced to twelve irradiated
fiefdoms, then blowing up a non-nuclear country because they are about to
invade a bit of your territory which will probably survive is a given...
Byker
2020-02-07 21:13:35 UTC
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The number suggested is to limit to 100 tons. This is precision
targeting.
And to think that the first battlefield "tactical" nuclear missile, the
Redstone, with a range of 200 miles, had a warhead on 3.8 MEGATONS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PGM-11_Redstone
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_39_nuclear_bomb


Talk about wiping out the enemy, multiple divisions at a time...

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