Are nukes over-rated?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Sakal Gharelu Ustad, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I am starting this thread because Pak's nuclear bluff stops India from taking any concrete actions against Pak. This nuclear bluff needs to be called out. Nukes have pretty little tactical benefit apart from killing civilians, which can also be contained once nuke threat is not a surprise.

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    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6450/

    “The A-Bomb Won’t Do What You Think!”: An Argument Against Reliance on Nuclear Weapons
    For four years after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, America held a monopoly on the production of atomic weapons. During this period, debate centering on the use of nuclear bombs in future wars proliferated among government officials, scientists, religious leaders, and in the popular press. In the following article from Collier’s, former Navy lieutenant commander William H. Hessler, using data from the Strategic Bombing Survey, argued that saturation bombing of urban areas during World War II, while devastating for civilians, did not achieve war aims. A future atomic war, therefore, might well destroy cities but fail to stop enemy aggression. Furthermore, with a much higher urban concentration than the Soviet Union, the U.S. had more to lose from atomic warfare. The article, while providing detailed explanations of the bomb’s destructive capability, demonstrated the lack of information available regarding the long-term medical and ecological effects of radioactivity. Hessler’s prose also evoked both the fascination that gadgetry of atomic warfare held for Americans of the time and the fear many felt about the risks involved in putting this technology to use. On September 24, 1949, one week after publication of this article, news that the Russians had conducted atom bomb tests shocked the nation. The following April, a National Security Council report to President Harry S. Truman advised development of a hydrogen bomb—some 1,000 times more destructive than an atom bomb—and a massive buildup of non-nuclear defenses. The subsequent outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950 justified to many a substantial increase in defense spending.

    The A-Bomb Won’t Do What You Think!

    Now is the time for Americans to face the fact that the bomb can do us more harm than good unless it is used for peace. The bomb does NOT even guarantee a quick military victory.

    By William H. Hessler

    The atom bomb is a weapon generally overrated by American political leaders, probably underrated by many tradition-minded military men, shockingly misinterpreted by the scientists who invented it, and grossly misunderstood by the bulk of the people who stand to gain or lose most by its use or misuse. . . .

    All that is said today of the atom bomb has been said, in years past, of other weapons at their debut. The confusion stems from the overlapping of two entirely separate points of view.

    A scientist can calculate the destructive power of the A-bomb. He can tell you, in degrees centigrade and in units of blast pressure and radioactivity, just what it will do. He does this just as the mathematician of 1914 calculated the lethal power of the machine gun. He may be just as wrong.

    The military man is not too much interested in knowing how much energy is released by the detonation of the A-bomb. He is interested in the demonstrated results of the new weapon. He knows that very little of the energy expended in warfare has any actual effect on the enemy. Most bullets fired in war don’t hit anybody. Most shells and bombs miss their targets.

    In other words, the calculated destructive power of an atom bomb is not a reliable basis for appraising its military usefulness. And that is why the scientists have led us far astray.

    The fashion of our time is to prepare for another and greater war of gadgets. The plain American’s view is unmistakable. What he wants—if there’s to be a new war for him—is to sit in front of a large instrument panel, full of knobs, dials and handwheels. It should be taken right out of the Westinghouse factory and mounted on Long Island. There he would like to take readings, make calculations, pull levers, and then without getting out of his seat drop atomic war heads by guided missile on targets staked out somewhere east of Tashkent.

    This popular enthusiasm for gadget war is by no means an evil thing. Something of the sort is needed, undoubtedly, to prod the lagging imaginations of legislators and military men alike. But there is a risk, a real one, that the nation’s popular interest in technology and its spawn of fascinating new weapons may divert responsible policy makers and cause them to misread and exaggerate the implications of the new technology so as to lose sight of the plain facts of geography.

    Nobody will question the importance of our industrial and military technology. Like our capacity for mass production, it is a stupendous military asset. It is our arsenal, our breeding ground for new weapons and tactics. Properly maintained, and fed by good research in basic science, our technology will insure our qualitative and quantitative superiority in weapons and equipment.

    Obsession with Gadgets Is Risky

    But if we wander too far from sound reasoning in our obsession with gadgets atomic and electronic, we may find ourselves superbly equipped to defend some other country, yet unable to defend our own! For our military problem is always framed by certain geopolitical realities—our oceanic position, our declining natural resources, our reliance on a single interoceanic canal, the vulnerability of our coastwise shipping, and the dispersion of our allies over widely separated continents.

    Leaving morals to one side, as is sometimes convenient, we must suppose that the atom bomb is the supreme triumph of technology and of science to date. We must therefore examine this weapon, not for its philosophical meaning to mankind, but as one more new instrumentality of warfare.

    The atom bomb, either the uranium-235 bomb used at Hiroshima or the plutonium bomb used at Nagasaki, destroys in an area of two to five square miles of urban territory, depending on altitude at the instant of detonation, the efficiency of the particular bomb, and the character of the terrain. The extent of property damage and human casualties depends also on the type of construction prevailing in the area.

    A more powerful bomb is now in production. It will release more energy and therefore work destruction over a larger area. But the area does not increase in proportion to the augmented power of the bomb. In military terms, which are not the same as scientific terms, the more powerful the bomb, the less efficient it is. For most military purposes ten bombs, each with one tenth of the power of the Nagasaki bomb, would be more effective than was the one Nagasaki bomb. This would be true even if the ten smaller bombs were dropped in a random pattern, and whether the target were a single large installation or a considerable area of general strategic importance.

    Destructive Power Appraised

    The damage worked by the atom bomb results from the release of energy in the form of light, heat, radiation and blast pressure. Precise data such as were obtained at Bikini and Eniwetok have not been revealed, of course. But it is clear that the bomb will destroy or seriously damage reinforced concrete structures up to 700 or possibly 1,000 feet from ground zero—the point on the earth directly beneath a burst somewhat above. The bomb will ignite inflammable materials, if they are directly exposed, up to ranges of a mile or somewhat more. The heat of the bomb will inflict severe burns on the human skin, if directly exposed, up to a mile away. Even light clothing, however, will protect at this extreme range.

    The radiation of the bomb is probably lethal to human beings directly exposed, up to a distance of something less than a mile. But at that range or anything near it, any shielding material of metal or masonry will give good protection. Even at “ground zero,” three feet of concrete will stop radiation of lethal intensities. Six feet of earth will give complete protection. At a range of a half mile from the burst, a foot of concrete will insure survival against blast, heat and radiation. . . .

    Persistent radioactivity is unlikely to be a factor, save in underwater bursts in fairly deep water. In most cases, persons who do not receive a lethal dose of radiation at the instant of the burst are not endangered by remaining in the area of devastation or by entering it. In certain conditions, alpha particles may be emitted by unfissioned fragments of the bomb. This may go on for years. But this hazard is a small one, after proper decontamination measures. And in atomic air bursts, which are the most effective in military terms, the risk of alpha radiation after the detonation is negligible. . . .

    The Hiroshima bomb killed 78,500 people, or 15,000 to the square mile. One airplane, a B-29, carried the single bomb which accomplished this macabre feat. In the great explosive and fire raids on Tokyo of March 9, 1945, about 80,000 people were killed. That took about three hundred B-29s instead of one. Tokyo is much more densely populated than Hiroshima, perhaps four times more so. An atom bomb, it is therefore commonly assumed, would have killed four times as many people in Tokyo as it did in Hiroshima. And from this it is an easy step in arithmetic to conclude that one B-29 with one atom bomb is the equivalent, in killing power, to 1,200 B-29s with full loads of explosive and incendiary bombs.

    This is easy arithmetic, but it is not correct. The extremely high casualties at Hiroshima stem from the fact that no warning was given to the population there. Only a few hundreds were in the shelters that could have accommodated 100,000. Had the Japanese been led to fear a single B-29 when sighted, their losses at Hiroshima might have been much less than half what they were. It must be supposed that, in future military use, the atom bomb will not always be a total surprise.

    Hiroshima was typical of industrial cities all over the world in at least one respect. It was a sprawling complex of factories, transport facilities, public utilities and actual military installations, not to mention residential areas and business districts. And even at Hiroshima, according to the Strategic Bombing Survey, although the small factories in the heart of the city were fully destroyed, the big plants on the periphery were virtually undamaged and 94 per cent of their workers uninjured. These undamaged factories accounted for 74 per cent of the city’s production.

    As for transport, the railroad lines passing through the city were repaired and ready for use 48 hours after the attack. It would have taken several atom bombs to destroy Hiroshima, a city of 343,000 people. It would take quite a number of such bombs, dropped with precision based on good intelligence data, to halt all production in a larger and more populous city such as Leningrad or Moscow or Kharkov. . . .

    In the European theater, Anglo-American forces dropped 2,690,000 tons of bombs, of which 1,350,000 tons—50.3 per cent—were dropped on Germany. At the peak in 1944, 1,300,000 uniformed personnel were engaged in this strategic air offensive. Roughly half of the civilian war effort of great Britain was devoted to the support of this single phase of the war. And what did 1,350,000 tons of bombs do to Germany? They killed approximately 500,000 people. The damage to property was stupendous. But German production of war equipment increased steadily through all this aerial fury, until late in 1944, when American forces already were in Paris and the Russians had recovered Poland.

    The uses of the atom bomb and the limits of its usefulness emerge from the data on its performance. It is a very effective means of killing people by surprise in urban concentrations—if there is any point in doing that.

    But we have seen that there are clear disadvantages in destroying urban areas other than actual installations of direct military value to the enemy. The object of war is to persuade the enemy to abandon military resistance, not to kill his people and destroy the structures in which those people live and work. . . .

    The atom bomb will not serve us as well as it will the Russians, once they have it and the means of delivering it to North America. Only about 14,000,000 people of the Soviet Union live in cities of a half million or more population. Our cities of that size or larger total nearly twice as many inhabitants all together. In percentage terms, 18 per cent of our mainland population live in cities of 500,000 or more, while in the Soviet Union only 7 per cent of its populace live in equivalent urban areas. As a matter of fact, half the people of the United States now live in 140 densely populated metropolitan areas surrounding cities of 50,000 or more population. We are an urban people; and we are just that much more vulnerable to the very technique of mass-destruction attacks which we have had the dubious honor of lifting to its greatest development! . . .

    One careful scientist, Dr. Philip Morrison, estimates that at least 1,000 atom bombs would be needed to do the same damage to Russia as was inflicted by the Germans in the Stalingrad campaign alone. Dr. Stefan T. Possony, drawing upon a wealth of experience in bombing-target selection and bombing evaluation, concludes that it would take something like 6,500 atom bombs to bring about the total destruction of the cities of a major enemy. So an atomic blitz, a quick war for total victory, is not something to count on.

    It must be added that freedom of information makes a difference—and in our case a handicap. The United States is thoroughly mapped, and its strategic centers are known to all. The precise locations of almost all important targets are available to anyone who is interested. That goes for industrial and transport bottlenecks, for outright military installations, for atomic energy installations, for steam and hydroelectric power facilities. But this is not all true of the Soviet Union, whose industries have been on the march eastward and whose newer developments, such as those for atomic energy experiments have been cloaked in a secrecy far surpassing anything that is possible in a democracy.

    We face another handicap in the fact that the atom bomb is peculiarly a weapon adapted to surprise, as we proved to a stunned world in 1945. The maximum utility of atomic weapons will lie in their use without warning, as the opening phase of a war. Such an enterprise would be a difficult one for a peacefully inclined democracy to undertake. It is among the innate handicaps of democracy that the people must be persuaded to make war. For a dictatorship, that is a hurdle much more easily surmounted. So the atom bomb, in the long run, is a weapon much more likely to be used by surprise against us than the other way around.

    To be realistic, we must appraise the atom bomb as a weapon which can be used in two directions. And on this reckoning our advantage shrivels away rapidly.

    Yet it is only the United States, and no other power in today’s world, which is advancing the principle of mass destruction from the air as the key to future victory. The United States alone is building a strategic air force planned to lay waste cities as such.

    In other words, it is the American concept of strategic air power which is guiding future war into the pattern of blind devastation. And in the long run, that is the sort of war from which the United States, with its urban concentration and high technology, will suffer most disastrously.

    Atom bombs and long-range aircraft will never win a war for us. The rightful place of the atom bomb in American military policy, therefore, is very restricted.

    We must keep it, and develop it, and have it ready—simply in order to retaliate if it is used against us. In our lawless world, that is our best hope of dissuading an enemy from launching an atomic attack on us.

    But in the conditions of war that seem probable in the decade to come, the atom bomb should not be thought the instrument of victory. It is only an instrument of destruction. And while some destruction is incident to any military victory, they are not synonymous.
     
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  3. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    “I’m Not Afraid of the A-Bomb”: An Army Captain Tries to Dispel Fears about Radioactivity
    On July 1, 1946, less than a year after dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, the U.S. embarked on its first postwar atomic weapons test at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. David Bradley, a physician and member of the Radiological Safety Unit at Bikini, voiced concern over dangers from radioactivity in his 1948 best-seller, No Place to Hide. In response to Bradley and other critics, the Atomic Energy Commission, the military, and other government agencies attempted to diffuse growing fears about radioactivity. The following Collier’s article by a military officer—using the same eyewitness-account format as in Bradley’s book—tried to persuade its readers that fears about “lingering radiation” were unfounded by documenting a test in the Nevada desert in which the military deliberately sent soldiers close to “ground zero” soon after an explosion. Some readers remained unconvinced; their published letters can be found following the article. In 1963, the U.S. and Soviet Union signed a treaty to halt atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons. By that time, some 300,000 U.S. military personnel and an unknown number of civilians in areas downwind from the test sites had been exposed to radiation. In subsequent years, studies revealed higher rates of leukemia, cancer, respiratory ailments, and other health problems among these groups. Underground atomic weapons tests continued at the Nevada Test Site until a moratorium was declared in 1992, after 928 nuclear tests.

    I’m Not Afraid of the A-Bomb

    By Captain Richard P. Taffe

    In a firsthand report, an Army officer says that troops can attack through the ravaged area immediately after the blast.

    I walked through an atom-bombed area. I didn’t get burned, I didn’t become radioactive, and I didn’t become sterile. And neither did the 5,000 guys with me. Furthermore, I wasn’t scared—either while taking my walk through the blasted miles, or while watching the world’s most feared weapon being exploded seven miles in front of me.

    But, I’ve been asked a hundred times since the Desert Rock maneuvers at Yucca Flats in the Nevada atomic test site, “What was it like?”

    The question was asked by both soldiers and civilians. It was asked by persons with an honest desire to learn, firsthand, some information about the A-bomb, and the frequency with which the question was asked indicated that the American public knows very little about this subject.

    Before we go any further, it might be well to explain that I am neither a scientist, an engineer, nor a highly educated military specialist. I’m a onetime newspaperman who has spent just about half of his adult life in the Army. I can’t explain the A-bomb in technical terms. I can’t even spell the terms. And I don’t know much about high-level tactics. But I do know what this new era of warfare looks like to me.

    And I’m convinced that even a small amount of basic information about atomic energy—from a soldier’s point of view—will do the public a lot more good than all the fear-producing technical talk I had heard up to the time I was permitted to attend the Nevada tests as an observer. . . .

    For many days prior to the test, combat troops and observers poured into the temporary tent camp at Desert Rock by plane, train and bus. The group ranged from privates to generals and represented every branch of the service. After a security clearance, we were assigned to tents in a very well organized camp. After the many observers had been fully oriented on the rudiments of atomic warfare, we were placed on an alert status. This was the night before the blast. . . .

    With each mile the apprehension grew. What would it be like? How big was the bomb? We had been warned that the show could be called off by the Atomic Energy Commission right up until the last minute. Rumors flew along the column of trucks.

    A desert floor at dawn is a deceiving thing. Distance means nothing. Mountains 25 miles away seemed to be within easy walking distance. A dried lake was realistic enough to provoke wagers that it was actually water—despite a cluster of buildings in the center of it—and another dried lake turned out to be our parking lot.

    As we scrambled off the trucks, our names were checked again. While we were forming into lines, the drivers opened all windows and laid the windshields flat against the hoods of their vehicles. This was to keep them from shattering when the bomb burst.

    Truckload by truckload, the thousands of troops shuffled through the dust to the observation point.

    The test officials had thought of everything. We were first lined up shoulder to shoulder and then spread out so that we were separated by several yards, the MP with the truck number tied to his back at the head of each line. There was plenty of room on the flat desert.

    The major who had briefed us back in Camp Desert Rock was speaking from a platform to our rear. It was six thirty—about an hour to the scheduled time of the explosion. He reviewed everything we had been told before, while we searched the sky for the several planes cruising high above.

    About half an hour before “H hour” a preliminary TNT explosion was touched off to test the many scientific instruments. We were told it was 300 pounds of explosive. It gave us our first real conception of distance on the desert.

    The test blast raised only a tiny spiral of dust two miles down the desert floor and the noise was barely audible.

    The voice on the public address system described Ground Zero (the point directly under which the bomb was to explode) as being near a road junction and asked us to locate it. It was difficult to spot from our location seven miles away; the best most of us could do was to pick out the road junction.

    With nothing between us and it but sandy desert, Ground Zero looked uncomfortably close.

    Some of the observers asked if they could look directly at the blast with special sunglasses. The officer in charge explained which glasses could be used and which could not. We were particularly warned not to view the spectacle with field glasses.

    With 10 minutes to go, the tension increased. We were told that the plane that was to drop the bomb had made its last wind run. We could see the sun reflected from its side as it flew high over the mountains to our right.

    Then came the command, “By order of the commanding general, all personnel will face away from the blast area and be seated on the ground, with the exception of those equipped with AEC-issued 4.2 density glasses.”

    Why face away from the blast? Because we might get hurt? Because we might suffer permanent eye damage? No! The initial flash of light from an atomic bomb has been described as being 1,000 times as bright as the surface of the sun. At seven miles, looking directly at it would not have caused any permanent eye damage—but it would have blinded us long enough to cause us to miss the rest of the amazing show. We turned our backs and sat down.

    Some Risked a Quick Peek

    Those last few minutes were interminably long. All talk ceased. Some of us tried to sneak a peek over our shoulder, but we were afraid the bomb would go off at that particular instant and we didn’t peek long.

    The seconds were being counted over the public address system. Then came a clear, steady voice from the plane over the public address system, “Bomb away.”

    Involuntarily we hunched our shoulders and tensed.

    Suddenly it came. A gigantic flash of white light, bright as a photoflash bulb exploding in our eyes—even with our backs turned. The order “Turn” screamed over the public address system and 5,000 soldiers spun and stared. As we turned, it was as though someone had opened the door of a blast furnace as the terrific heat reached us. There, suspended over the desert floor, was the fireball which follows the initial flash of an atomic bomb.

    Hung there in the sky, the tremendous ball of flame was too blinding to stare at, and suddenly there was much more to see.

    Sucked into that fireball were the tons of debris from the desert floor. Almost at once dust clouds climbed hundreds of yards off the ground for miles in each direction. Then the familiar column of dirty gray smoke formed and started to rise.

    Up to this point we had seen, but we had not heard and we had not felt, the explosion.

    But then came the shock wave. The ground beneath us started to heave and sway. Not back and forth as you might expect, but sideways. The earthquakelike movement of the ground rocked us on our haunches and, had we been standing, it could have knocked us down.

    About that time, our heads were snapped back with the force of the terrible blast as the sound finally crossed those seven miles and reached us. The tremendous crack was a louder one than most of us had ever heard before. And right behind it came another crack—there seemed to be some debate as to whether this was an echo or another chain reaction in the fireball.

    From the throats of everyone there came noises. Noises, not words. I listened particularly for the first coherent statement, but, like myself, few people could voice normal exclamations. It was not something normal and words just wouldn’t come out—only unintelligible sounds.

    The first words I did hear came from a caustic corporal behind me, who said, almost calmly, “Well, I finally located that damned Ground Zero.”

    Our roar of laughter broke the tension, but the spectacle was far from over.

    The horror turned to beauty. It isn’t difficult to associate the word beautiful with such a lethal exhibition, because from this point on, the atomic blast became just that—beautiful. A column rose from where the fireball had dimmed, crawled through the brown doughnut above the fireball, and boiled skyward. The dirty gray of the stem was rapidly offset by the purple hues and blues of the column. Then came the mushroom—the trade-mark of an atomic bomb.

    Capped in pure white, the seething mushroom emitted browns, blood orange, pastel pinks, each fighting its way to the surface only to be sucked to the bottom and then back into the middle of the mass of white. Within minutes, the top was at 30,000 feet and then the huge cloud broke loose from the stem and drifted in the wind toward Las Vegas. . . .

    This explosion had three lethal qualities. They were: blast, heat and radiation. The greatest fear the public has today in connection with the atom bomb probably is radiation. People forget that it caused only 15 per cent of the 140,000 deaths at Hiroshima.

    One second after an air burst of an atom bomb, 50 per cent of the radiation is gone. All danger of lingering radiation has disappeared after 90 seconds.

    As to the other two qualities, blast caused 60 per cent of the deaths at Hiroshima. Heat and the accompanying fires accounted for the other 25 per cent. . . .

    As we moved up the road in the trucks, the effects of the blast became more apparent. About two miles from Ground Zero—and incidentally the bomber dropped his lethal egg in the proverbial bucket, right on the target—it became obvious that a terrible force had been at work.

    At one of the closest positions we again left the trucks and walked through the charred area. Despite the devastation, there was no doubt that a successful attack could have been made by friendly troops directly through the blasted area—immediately after the explosion.

    Here we couldn’t help but notice that every blade of grass was burned, every cluster of sagebrush bent away from the center of the blast. Had there been any buildings in the area, they would have been demolished.

    In the nearest positions, both the blast and burn effects of the bomb were pointed out to us. The burns were peculiar ones—almost a photographic effect. A rock in front of a board resulted in the board being charred completely with the exception of a perfect outline of rock. “Just like a quick sunburn,” the briefing officer had said. “Either a first-, second- or third-degree burn, depending on how close you are.”

    However, nothing below the surface of the ground appeared to be damaged to any great extent. And most of the equipment aboveground could still be used.

    But nothing could have lived aboveground in those first few seconds after the explosion.

    Close enough to Ground Zero it would have been a case of “how dead can you be?”—as all of the bomb’s lethal qualities would have been working at once.

    Concrete Proves Invulnerable

    Below ground, a different story. The sheep were scared, and burned in spots where they were exposed, but they were living. I heard many soldiers express pleasure at the protection offered by a simple foxhole—and the absolute safety afforded by concrete or heavily reveted emplacements.

    The next day, we read a newspaper headline which said, “Troops Survive First Atom Bomb Test.” We laughed. Most of us were quite positive we would have “survived” even had the distances and safety factors been considerably lessened. Providing, of course, we had been underground at the time of the blast. Another newspaper quoted a soldier-witness to the explosion as saying, “I would trust the atom bomb as a tactical weapon.” So would I!

    As for two of the bomb’s properties—blast and heat—I learned at Desert Rock that with proper shelter, and it need not be elaborate, a soldier can be perfectly safe at an incredibly short distance from Ground Zero.

    As to the third property—radiation—I have been told that it consists of alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays and neutrons. The briefing officer put that into understandable language by saying, “a hunk of helium, a hunk of electron, a hunk of X ray, and, as for the neutron, a hunk of something that does something to something else.”

    To be sure, the Geiger counter clicked madly in the area. It will also click madly when placed near the luminous dial of my watch. To be sure, there is lingering radiation in the area after an atomic bomb blast. But not enough to cause injury.

    The safety limits at Desert Rock were such that if we multiplied by 1,000 the amount of radiation we picked up during our walk through the area, a doctor could barely detect it in our bodies. Only if we multiplied it by 10,000 would we require medical treatment. . . .

    Having had all this explained to me by persons who know, having walked through a blasted area within a short time after an atomic explosion, and having realized that the safety precautions taken at Desert Rock were far in excess of those necessary under combat conditions, I no longer worry about becoming radioactive because of the blast I watched.

    As the man said, if you are close enough to be hurt by radiation, it won’t make too much difference—you’ll also be dead from about six other causes. . . .

    Observers drew several conclusions at Desert Rock. First, factual and simple orientation can eliminate most of the fear and apprehension concerned with atomic weapons. Secondly, properly covered, a soldier need have no fear of the effects of an atomic bomb air burst, from either blast, fire or radiation. Thirdly, properly warned and protected, troops could attack through an area ravaged by the weapon immediately after the blast.

    I heard a general emphasize a well-known military fact the other day. He said: “You can’t research the infantry out of business.”

    The atom bomb will not put the foot soldier on the shelf. Rather, it adds another weapon to his stockpile.

    Much more about atomic warfare will be learned at future tests. And when all the information is evaluated, new doctrines will be written to help the infantryman survive an atom blast and still do his job.

    As the briefing officer had told us before we witnessed the awesome spectacle, “Of course you can’t minimize the tremendous power of a bomb which killed 140,000 at Hiroshima—but you can put it in its place.”

    Then I scoffed. Now I believe it.

    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6451
     
  4. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    This is a very good source:

    http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p912.htm

    An all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States would be the worst catastrophe in history, a tragedy so huge it is difficult to comprehend. Even so, it would be far from the end of human life on earth. The dangers from nuclear weapons have been distorted and exaggerated, for varied reasons. These exaggerations have become demoralizing myths, believed by millions of Americans.

    While working with hundreds of Americans building expedient shelters and life-support equipment, I have found that many people at first see no sense in talking about details of survival skills. Those who hold exaggerated beliefs about the dangers from nuclear weapons must first be convinced that nuclear war would not inevitably be the end of them and everything worthwhile. Only after they have begun to question the truth of these myths do they become interested, under normal peacetime conditions, in acquiring nuclear war survival skills. Therefore, before giving detailed instructions for making and using survival equipment, we will examine the most harmful of the myths about nuclear war dangers, along with some of the grim facts.

    ° Myth: Fallout radiation from a nuclear war would poison the air and all parts of the environment. It would kill everyone. (This is the demoralizing message of On the Beach and many similar pseudoscientific books and articles.)

    ° Facts: When a nuclear weapon explodes near enough to the ground for its fireball to touch the ground, it forms a crater. (See Fig. 1.1.)


    Fig. 1.1. A surface burst. In a surface or near-surface burst, the fireball touches the ground and blasts a crater. ORNL-DWG 786264
    [​IMG]


    Book Page: 12

    Many thousands of tons of earth from the crater of a large explosion are pulverized into trillions of particles. These particles are contaminated by radioactive atoms produced by the nuclear explosion. Thousands of tons of the particles are carried up into a mushroom-shaped cloud, miles above the earth. These radioactive particles then fall out of the mushroom cloud, or out of the dispersing cloud of particles blown by the winds thus becoming fallout.

    Each contaminated particle continuously gives off invisible radiation, much like a tiny X-ray machine while in the mushroom cloud, while descending, and after having fallen to earth. The descending radioactive particles are carried by the winds like the sand and dust particles of a miles-thick sandstorm cloud except that they usually are blown at lower speeds and in many areas the particles are so far apart that no cloud is seen. The largest, heaviest fallout particles reach the ground first, in locations close to the explosion. Many smaller particles are carried by the winds for tens to thousands of miles before falling to earth. At any one place where fallout from a single explosion is being deposited on the ground in concentrations high enough to require the use of shelters, deposition will be completed within a few hours.

    The smallest fallout particles those tiny enough to be inhaled into a person's lungs are invisible to the naked eye. These tiny particles would fall so slowly from the four-mile or greater heights to which they would be injected by currently deployed Soviet warheads that most would remain airborne for weeks to years before reaching the ground. By that time their extremely wide dispersal and radioactive decay would make them much less dangerous. Only where such tiny particles are promptly brought to earth by rain- outs or snow-outs in scattered "hot spots," and later dried and blown about by the winds, would these invisible particles constitute a long-term and relatively minor post-attack danger.

    The air in properly designed fallout shelters, even those without air filters, is free of radioactive particles and safe to breathe except in a few' rare environments as will be explained later.

    Fortunately for all living things, the danger from fallout radiation lessens with time. The radioactive decay, as this lessening is called, is rapid at first, then gets slower and slower. The dose rate (the amount of radiation received per hour) decreases accordingly. Figure 1.2 illustrates the rapidity of the decay of radiation from fallout during the first two days after the nuclear explosion that produced it. R stands for roentgen, a measurement unit often used to measure exposure to gamma rays and X rays. Fallout meters called dosimeters measure the dose received by recording the number of R. Fallout meters called survey meters, or dose-rate meters, measure the dose rate by recording the number of R being received per hour at the time of measurement. Notice that it takes about seven times as long for the dose rate to decay from 1000 roentgens per hour (1000 R/hr) to 10 R/hr (48 hours) as to decay from 1000 R/hr to 100 R/hr (7 hours). (Only in high-fallout areas would the dose rate 1 hour after the explosion be as high as 1000 roentgens per hour.)


    Fig. 1.2. Decay of the dose rate of radiation from fallout, from the time of the explosion, not from the time of fallout deposition. ORNL.DWG 78-265
    [​IMG]


    Book Page: 13

    If the dose rate 1 hour after an explosion is 1000 R/hr, it would take about 2 weeks for the dose rate to be reduced to 1 R/hr solely as a result of radioactive decay. Weathering effects will reduce the dose rate further,' for example, rain can wash fallout particles from plants and houses to lower positions on or closer to the ground. Surrounding objects would reduce the radiation dose from these low-lying particles.

    Figure 1.2 also illustrates the fact that at a typical location where a given amount of fallout from an explosion is deposited later than 1 hour after the explosion, the highest dose rate and the total dose received at that location are less than at a location where the same amount of fallout is deposited 1 hour after the explosion. The longer fallout particles have been airborne before reaching the ground, the less dangerous is their radiation.

    Within two weeks after an attack the occupants of most shelters could safely stop using them, or could work outside the shelters for an increasing number of hours each day. Exceptions would be in areas of extremely heavy fallout such as might occur downwind from important targets attacked with many weapons, especially missile sites and very large cities. To know when to come out safely, occupants either would need a reliable fallout meter to measure the changing radiation dangers, or must receive information based on measurements made nearby with a reliable instrument.

    The radiation dose that will kill a person varies considerably with different people. A dose of 450 R resulting from exposure of the whole body to fallout radiation is often said to be the dose that will kill about half the persons receiving it, although most studies indicate that it would take somewhat less.1 (Note: A number written after a statement refers the reader to a source listed in the Selected References that follow Appendix D.) Almost all persons confined to expedient shelters after a nuclear attack would be under stress and without clean surroundings or antibiotics to fight infections. Many also would lack adequate water and food. Under these unprecedented conditions, perhaps half the persons who received a whole-body dose of 350 R within a few days would die.2

    Fortunately, the human body can repair most radiation damage if the daily radiation doses are not too large. As will be explained in Appendix B, a person who is healthy and has not been exposed in the past two weeks to a total radiation dose of more than 100 R can receive a dose of 6 R each day for at least two months without being incapacitated.

    Only a very small fraction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki citizens who survived radiation doses some of which were nearly fatal have suffered serious delayed effects. The reader should realize that to do essential work after a massive nuclear attack, many survivors must be willing to receive much larger radiation doses than are normally permissible. Otherwise, too many workers would stay inside shelter too much of the time, and work that would be vital to national recovery could not be done. For example, if the great majority of truckers were so fearful of receiving even non-incapacitating radiation doses that they would refuse to transport food, additional millions would die from starvation alone.

    ° Myth: Fallout radiation penetrates everything; there is no escaping its deadly effects.

    ° Facts: Some gamma radiation from fallout will penetrate the shielding materials of even an excellent shelter and reach its occupants. However, the radiation dose that the occupants of an excellent shelter would receive while inside this shelter can be reduced to a dose smaller than the average American receives during his lifetime from X rays and other radiation exposures normal in America today. The design features of such a shelter include the use of a sufficient thickness of earth or other heavy shielding material. Gamma rays are like X rays, but more penetrating. Figure 1.3 shows how rapidly gamma rays are reduced in number (but not in their ability to penetrate) by layers of packed earth. Each of the layers shown is one halving-thickness of packed earth- about 3.6 inches (9 centimeters).3 A halving- thickness is the thickness of a material which reduces by half the dose of radiation that passes through it.

    The actual paths of gamma rays passing through shielding materials are much more complicated, due to scattering, etc., than are the straight-line paths shown in Fig. 1.3. But when averaged out, the effectiveness of a halving-thickness of any material is approximately as shown. The denser a substance, the better it serves for shielding material. Thus, a halving-thickness of concrete is only about 2.4 inches (6.1 cm).


    Book Page: 14


    Fig. 1.3. Illustration of shielding against fallout radiation. Note the increasingly large improvements in the attenuation (reduction) factors that are attained as each additional halving-thickness of packed earth is added. ORNL-DWG 78-18834
    [​IMG]

    If additional halving-thicknesses of packed earth shielding are successively added to the five thicknesses shown in Fig. 1.3, the protection factor (PF) is successively increased from 32 to 64, to 128, to 256, to 512, to 1024, and so on.

    ° Myth: A heavy nuclear attack would set practically everything on fire, causing "firestorms" in cities that would exhaust the oxygen in the air. All shelter occupants would be killed by the intense heat.

    ° Facts: On aclear day, thermal pulses (heat radiation that travels at the speed of light) from an air burst can set fire to easily ignitable materials (such as window curtains, upholstery, dry newspaper, and dry grass) over about as large an area as is damaged by the blast. It can cause second-degree skin burns to exposed people who are as far as ten miles from a one-megaton (1 MT) explosion. (See Fig. 1.4.) (A 1-MT nuclear explosion is one that produces the same amount of energy as does one million tons of TNT.) If the weather is very clear and dry, the area of fire danger could be considerably larger. On a cloudy or smoggy day, however, particles in the air would absorb and scatter much of the heat radiation, and the area endangered by heat radiation from the fireball would be less than the area of severe blast damage.


    Book Page: 15


    Fig. 1.4. An air burst. Thefireball does not touch the ground. No crater. An air burst produces only extremely small radioactive particles-so small that they are airborne for days to years unless brought to earth by rain or snow. Wet deposition of fallout from both surface and air bursts can result in '"hot spots" at, close to, or far from ground zero. However, such '"hot spots" from air bursts are much less dangerous than the fallout produced by the surface or near-surface bursting of the same weapons.

    The main dangers from an air burst are the blast effects, the thermal pulses of intense light and heat radiation, and the very penetrating initial nuclear radiation from the fireball. ORNL.DWG 78.6267
    [​IMG]

    "Firestorms" could occur only when the concentration of combustible structures is very high, as in the very dense centers of a few old American cities. At rural and suburban building densities, most people in earth- covered fallout shelters would not have their lives endangered by fires.

    ° Myth: In theworst-hit parts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where all buildings were demolished, everyone was killed by blast, radiation, or fire.

    ° Facts: InNagasaki, some people survived uninjured who were far inside tunnel shelters built for conventional air raids and located as close as one-third mile from ground zero (the point directly below the explosion). This was true even though these long, large shelters lacked blast doors and were deep inside the zone within which all buildings were destroyed. (People far inside long, large, open shelters are better protected than are those inside small, open shelters.)


    Fig. 1.5. Undamaged earth-covered family shelter in Nagasaki.
    [​IMG]

    Many earth-covered family shelters were essentially undamaged in areas where blast and fire destroyed all buildings. Figure 1.5 shows a typical earth covered, backyard family shelter with a crude wooden frame. This shelter was essentially undamaged, although less than 100 yards from ground zero at Nagasaki.4 The calculated maximum overpressure (pressure above the normal air pressure) was about 65 pounds per square inch (65 psi). Persons inside so small a shelter without a blast doorwould have been killed by blast pressure at this distance from the explosion. However, in a recent blast test,5 an earth-covered, expedient Small-Pole Shelter equipped with blast doors was undamaged at 53 psi. The pressure rise inside was slight not even enough to have damaged occupants' eardrums. If poles are available, field tests have indicated that many families can build such shelters in a few days.

    The great life-saving potential of blast-protective shelters has been proven in war and confirmed by blast tests and calculations. For example, the area in which the air bursting of a 1-megaton weapon would wreck a 50-psi shelter with blast doors in about 2.7 square miles. Within this roughly circular area, practically all them occupants of wrecked shelters would be killed by blast, carbon monoxide from fires, or radiation. The same blast effects would kill most people who were using basements affording 5 psi protection, over an area of about 58 square miles.6

    ° Myth: Because some modern H-bombs are over 1000 times as powerful as the A-bomb that destroyed most of Hiroshima, these H-bombs are 1000 times as deadly and destructive.

    ° Facts: A nuclear weapon 1000 times as powerful as the one that blasted Hiroshima, if exploded under comparable conditions, produces equally serious blast damage to wood-frame houses over an area up to about 130 times as large, not 1000 times as large.


    Book Page: 16



    Top Previous Next
    For example, air bursting a 20-kiloton weapon at the optimum height to destroy most buildings will destroy or severely damage houses out to about 1.42 miles from ground zero.6 The circular area of at least severe blast damage will be about 6.33 square miles. (The explosion of a 20 kiloton weapon releases the same amount of energy as 20 thousand tons of TNT.) One thousand 20-kiloton weapons thus air burst, well separated to avoid overlap of their blast areas, would destroy or severely damage houses over areas totaling approximately 6,330 square miles. In contrast, similar air bursting of one 20- megaton weapon (equivalent in explosive power to 20 million tons of TNT) would destroy or severely damage the great majority of houses out to a distance of 16 miles from ground zero.6 The area of destruction would be about 800 square miles - not 6,330 square miles.

    Today few if any of Russia's huge intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are armed with a 20-megaton warhead. Now a huge Russian ICBM, the SS-18, typically carries 10 warheads, each having a yield of 500 kilotons, each programmed to hit a separate target. See Jane's Weapon Systems, 1987-88.

    ° Myth: A Russian nuclear attack on the United States would completely destroy all American cities.

    ° Facts: As long as Soviet leaders are rational they will continue to give first priority to knocking out our weapons and other military assets that can damage Russia and kill Russians. To explode enough nuclear weapons of any size to completely destroy American cities would be an irrational waste of warheads. The Soviets can make much better use of most of the warheads that would be required to completely destroy American cities; the majority of those warheads probably already are targeted to knock out our retaliatory missiles by being surface burst or near-surface burst on their hardened silos, located far from most cities and densely populated areas.

    Unfortunately, many militarily significant targets - including naval vessels in port and port facilities, bombers and fighters on the ground, air base and airport facilities that can be used by bombers, Army installations, and key defense factories - are in or close to American cities. In the event of an all-out Soviet attack, most of these '"soft" targets would be destroyed by air bursts. Air bursting (see Fig. 1.4) a given weapon subjects about twice as large an area to blast effects severe enough to destroy "soft" targets as does surface bursting (see Fig. 1.1) the same weapon. Fortunately for Americans living outside blast and fire areas, air bursts produce only very tiny particles. Most of these extremely small radioactive particles remain airborne for so long that their radioactive decay and wide dispersal before reaching the ground make them much less life- endangering than the promptly deposited larger fallout particles from surface and near-surface bursts. However, if you are a survival minded American you should prepare to survive heavy fallout wherever you are. Unpredictable winds may bring fallout from unexpected directions. Or your area may be in a "hot spot" of life-endangering fallout caused by a rain-out or snow-out of both small and tiny particles from distant explosions. Or the enemy may use surface or near-surface bursts in your part of the country to crater long runways or otherwise disrupt U.S. retaliatory actions by producing heavy local fallout.

    Today few if any of Russia's largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are armed with a 20-megaton warhead. A huge Russian ICBM, the SS-18, typically carries 10 warheads each having a yield of 500 kilotons, each programmed to hit a separate target. See "Jane's Weapon Systems. 1987-1988." However, in March 1990 CIA Director William Webster told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that ".... The USSR's strategic modernization program continues unabated," and that the SS-18 Mod 5 can carry 14 to 20 nuclear warheads. The warheads are generally assumed to be smaller than those of the older SS-18s.

    ° Myth: So much food and water will be poisoned by fallout that people will starve and die even in fallout areas where there is enough food and water.

    ° Facts: If the falloutparticles do not become mixed with the parts of food that are eaten, no harm is done. Food and water in dust-tight containers are not contaminated by fallout radiation. Peeling fruits and vegetables removes essentially all fallout, as does removing the uppermost several inches of stored grain onto which fallout particles have fallen. Water from many sources -- such as deep wells and covered reservoirs, tanks, and containers -- would not be contaminated. Even water containing dissolved radioactive elements and compounds can be made safe for drinking by simply filtering it through earth, as described later in this book.

    ° Myth: Most of the unborn children and grandchildren of people who have been exposed to radiation from nuclear explosions will be genetically damaged will be malformed, delayed victims of nuclear war.

    ° Facts: The authoritative study by the National Academy of Sciences, A Thirty Year Study of the Survivors qf Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was published in 1977. It concludes that the incidence of abnormalities is no higher among children later conceived by parents who were exposed to radiation during the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki than is the incidence of abnormalities among Japanese children born to un-exposed parents.

    This is not to say that there would be no genetic damage, nor that some fetuses subjected to large radiation doses would not be damaged. But the overwhelming evidence does show that the exaggerated fears of radiation damage to future generations are not supported by scientific findings.

    ° Myth: Overkill would result if all the U.S. and U.S.S.R, nuclear weapons were used meaning not only that the two superpowers have more than enough weapons to kill all of each other's people, but also that they have enough weapons to exterminate the human race.


    Book Page: 17

    ° Facts: Statements that the U.S. and the Soviet Union have the power to kill the world's population several times over are based on misleading calculations. One such calculation is to multiply the deaths produced per kiloton exploded over Hiroshima or Nagasaki by an estimate of the number of kilotons in either side's arsenal. (A kiloton explosion is one that produces the same amount of energy as does 1000 tons of TNT.) The unstated assumption is that somehow the world's population could be gathered into circular crowds, each a few miles in diameter with a population density equal to downtown Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and then a small (Hiroshima-sized) weapon would be exploded over the center of each crowd. Other misleading calculations are based on exaggerations of the dangers from long-lasting radiation and other harmful effects of a nuclear war.

    ° Myth: Blindness and a disastrous increase of cancers would be the fate of survivors of a nuclear war, because the nuclear explosions would destroy so much of the protective ozone in the stratosphere that far too much ultraviolet light would reach the earth's surface. Even birds and insects would be blinded. People could not work outdoors in daytime for years without dark glasses, and would have to wear protective clothing to prevent incapacitating sunburn. Plants would be badly injured and food production greatly reduced.

    ° Facts: Large nuclear explosions do inject huge amounts of nitrogen oxides (gasses that destroy ozone) into the stratosphere. However, the percent of the stratospheric ozone destroyed by a given amount of nitrogen oxides has been greatly overestimated in almost all theoretical calculations and models. For example, the Soviet and U.S. atmospheric nuclear test explosions of large weapons in 1952-1962 were calculated by Foley and Ruderman to result in a reduction of more than 10 percent in total ozone. (See M. H. Foley and M. A. Ruderman, 'Stratospheric NO from Past Nuclear Explosions", Journal of Geophysics, Res. 78, 4441-4450.) Yet observations that they cited showed no reductions in ozone. Nor did ultraviolet increase. Other theoreticians calculated sizable reductions in total ozone, but interpreted the observational data to indicate either no reduction, or much smaller reductions than their calculated ones.

    A realistic simplified estimate of the increased ultraviolet light dangers to American survivors of a large nuclear war equates these hazards to moving from San Francisco to sea level at the equator, where the sea level incidence of skin cancers (seldom fatal) is highest- about 10 times higher than the incidence at San Francisco. Many additional thousands of American survivors might get skin cancer, but little or no increase in skin cancers might result if in the post-attack world deliberate sun tanning and going around hatless went out of fashion. Furthermore, almost all of today's warheads are smaller than those exploded in the large- weapons tests mentioned above; most would inject much smaller amounts of ozone-destroying gasses, or no gasses, into the stratosphere, where ozone deficiencies may persist for years. And nuclear weapons smaller than 500 kilotons result in increases (due to smog reactions) in upper tropospheric ozone. In a nuclear war, these increases would partially compensate for the upper-level tropospheric decreases-as explained by Julius S. Chang and Donald J. Wuebbles of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    ° Myth: Unsurvivable "nuclear winter" surely will follow a nuclear war. The world will be frozen if only 100 megatons (less than one percent of all nuclear weapons) are used to ignite cities. World-enveloping smoke from fires and the dust from surface bursts will prevent almost all sunlight and solar heat from reaching the earth's surface. Universal darkness for weeks! Sub-zero temperatures, even in summertime! Frozen crops, even in the jungles of South America! Worldwide famine! Whole species of animals and plants exterminated! The survival of mankind in doubt!

    ° Facts: Unsurvivable "nuclear winter" is a discredited theory that, since its conception in 1982, has been used to frighten additional millions into believing that trying to survive a nuclear war is a waste of effort and resources, and that only by ridding the world of almost all nuclear weapons do we have a chance of surviving.

    Non-propagandizing scientists recently havecalculated that the climatic and other environmental effects of even an all-out nuclear war would be much less severe than the catastrophic effects repeatedly publicized by popular astronomer Carl Sagan and his fellow activist scientists, and by all the involved Soviet scientists. Conclusions reached from these recent, realistic calculations are summarized in an article, "Nuclear Winter Reappraised", featured in the 1986 summer issue of Foreign Affairs, the prestigious quarterly of the Council on Foreign Relations. The authors, Starley L. Thompson and Stephen H. Schneider, are atmospheric scientists with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. They showed " that on scientific grounds the global apocalyptic conclusions of the initial nuclear winter hypothesis can now be relegated to a vanishing low level of probability."


    Book Page: 18

    Their models indicate that in July (when the greatest temperature reductions would result) the average temperature in the United States would be reduced for a few days from about 70 degrees Fahrenheit to approximately 50 degrees. (In contrast, under the same conditions Carl Sagan, his associates, and the Russian scientists predicted a resulting average temperature of about 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, lasting for many weeks!)

    Persons who want to learn more about possible post-attack climatic effects also should read the Fall 1986 issue of Foreign Affairs. This issue contains a long letter from Thompson and Schneider which further demolishes the theory of catastrophic "nuclear winter." Continuing studies indicate there will be even smaller reductions in temperature than those calculated by Thompson and Schneider.

    Soviet propagandists promptly exploited belief in unsurvivable "nuclear winter" to increase fear of nuclear weapons and war, and to demoralize their enemies. Because raging city firestorms are needed to inject huge amounts of smoke into the stratosphere and thus, according to one discredited theory, prevent almost all solar heat from reaching the ground, the Soviets changed their descriptions of how a modern city will burn if blasted by a nuclear explosion.

    Figure 1.6 pictures how Russian scientists and civil defense officials realistically described - before the invention of "nuclear winter" - the burning of a city hit by a nuclear weapon. Buildings in the blasted area for miles around ground zero will be reduced to scattered rubble - mostly of concrete, steel, and other nonflammable materials - that will not burn in blazing fires. Thus in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory translation (ORNL-TR-2793) of Civil Defense. Second Edition (500,000 copies), Moscow, 1970, by Egorov, Shlyakhov, and Alabin, we read: "Fires do not occur in zones of complete destruction . . . that are characterized by an overpressure exceeding 0.5 kg/cm2 [- 7 psi]., because rubble is scattered and covers the burning structures. As a result the rubble only smolders, and fires as such do not occur."


    Fig. 1.6. Drawing with Caption in a Russian Civil Defense Training Film Strip. The blazing fires ignited by a surface burst are shown in standing buildings outside the miles-wide "zone of complete destruction," where the blast-hurled "rubble only smolders."

    Translation: [Radioactive] contamination occurs in the area of the explosion and also along the trajectory of the cloud which forms a radioactive track.
    [​IMG]


    Book Page: 19

    Firestorms destroyed the centers of Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo. The old-fashioned buildings of those cities contained large amounts of flammable materials, were ignited by many thousands of small incendiaries, and burned quickly as standing structures well supplied with air. No firestorm has ever injected smoke into the stratosphere, or caused appreciable cooling below its smoke cloud.

    The theory that smoke from burning cities and forests and dust from nuclear explosions would cause worldwide freezing temperatures was conceived in 1982 by the German atmospheric chemist and environmentalist Paul Crutzen, and continues to be promoted by a worldwide propaganda campaign. This well funded campaign began in 1983 with televised scientific-political meetings in Cambridge and Washington featuring American and Russian scientists. A barrage of newspaper and magazine articles followed, including a scaremongering article by Carl Sagan in the October 30, 1983 issue of Parade, the Sunday tabloid read by millions. The most influential article was featured in the December 23,1983 issue of Science (the weekly magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science): "Nuclear winter, global consequences of multiple nuclear explosions," by five scientists, R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, and C. Sagan. Significantly, these activists listed their names to spell TTAPS, pronounced "taps," the bugle call proclaiming "lights out" or the end of a military funeral.

    Until 1985, non-propagandizing scientists did not begin to effectively refute the numerous errors, unrealistic assumptions, and computer modeling weakness' of the TTAPS and related "nuclear winter" hypotheses. A principal reason is that government organizations, private corporations, and most scientists generally avoid getting involved in political controversies, or making statements likely to enable antinuclear activists to accuse them of minimizing nuclear war dangers, thus undermining hopes for peace. Stephen Schneider has been called a fascist by some disarmament supporters for having written "Nuclear Winter Reappraised," according to the Rocky Mountain News of July 6, 1986. Three days later, this paper, that until recently featured accounts of unsurvivable "nuclear winter," criticized Carl Sagan and defended Thompson and Schneider in its lead editorial, "In Study of Nuclear Winter, Let Scientists Be Scientists." In a free country, truth will out - although sometimes too late to effectively counter fast-hittingpropaganda.

    Effective refutation of "nuclear winter" also was delayed by the prestige of politicians and of politically motivated scientists and scientific organizations endorsing the TTAPS forecast of worldwide doom. Furthermore, the weakness' in the TTAPS hypothesis could not be effectively explored until adequate Government funding was made available to cover costs of lengthy, expensive studies, including improved computer modeling of interrelated, poorly understood meteorological phenomena.

    Serious climatic effects from a Soviet-U.S. nuclear war cannot be completely ruled out. However, possible deaths from uncertain climatic effects are a small danger compared to the incalculable millions in many countries likely to die from starvation caused by disastrous shortages of essentials of modern agriculture sure to result from a Soviet-American nuclear war, and by the cessation of most international food shipments.


    Book Page: 20
     
  5. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    @warrior monk - What do you think?

    Given Pak arsenal and given factors above it does not seem Pak can do much damage even if it is able to use all the weapons in its arsenal.
     
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  6. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    Well India is more densely populated and given our sorry state of health infrastructure far more will die then by western standards and calculations Our BMD systems will be able to stop 50 to 75 % of these warheads in both exo and endo atmospheric phases except Nasr missile , but even a limited BMD system for the whole country won't be ready before 2030 so it will be stupid to go down a nuclear escalatory ladder against suicidal Pakistan before your BMD system is ready . Given that they already have fabricated 120 + nuclear warheads and if they use their warheads on soft targets like urban agglomeration each warhead in air burst mode can kill nearly half a million people so 60 million casualty if hypothetically they are able to launch all 120 warheads at the same time which only US and Russia can do but these are just hypothetical scenarios .
    In reality India had 200 vulnerable points according to a 2003 study for nuclear attack now it would have increased so Pakis will attack those targets first.
     
  7. spikey360

    spikey360 Crusader Senior Member

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    Wonderful thread. Of course, these are all well known facts to those interested in the subject.
    Nuclear weapons are highly overrated, especially in the India Pakistan context.
     
  8. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    So, 60 million is an upper threshold if Pak can catch us completely unprepared, which is not going to be the case.

    So, three things will dampen the loss:
    1) Pak would try to hit strategic military locations
    2) Not all nuclear launches will be a surprise and civilians can migrate to less dense areas or hide in tunnels
    3) India will retaliate and stop many of these weapons from launching
     
  9. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    Once the first nuclear warhead hits India we will retaliate massively but here is the problem we have not yet created massive retaliation capability as far as our command control structure is concerned we have the warheads just don't have the command control structure for massive retaliation just enough for limited retaliation.

    Pakis will mostly hit our military installations and major cities smaller cities will more or less escape but even one warhead hits us our economy will be in shambles and our society will be in civil war .
     
  10. saty

    saty Tihar Jail Banned

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    In a war even winning party loses men.If you want to go war/kill 200 or 20 lakh men ready to lose 20 or 2 lakh men respectively in you side(10% min).

    No pain no gain. :)
     
  11. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I agree on the unpreparedness on the Indian part.

    But civil war is too much. Losing one or two big cities is not a big deal for India and won't lead to any civil war. We have a large number of decent cities.
     
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  12. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    upload_2016-1-3_21-16-13.png
    upload_2016-1-3_21-16-13.png

    Function of peak overpressure to population killed.
     
  13. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    The problem is we have no idea or no way to anticipate or even simulate the effect of nuclear weapons on society as it has not yet happened. The problem with Indian society is once the first nuclear warhead hits India there is a very high probability that India as a secular polity will die a right wing Hindu India will take birth and the death of lakhs of Indians will fracture our psyche and Hindus will say that Muslim Pakistan killed lakhs of Hindus and we know what that result will be . 3000 americans died on 9/11 and americans were baying for muslim blood what would you think will happen when a nuclear warhead euphemistically named "Islamic Bomb " especially from Islamic Pakistan hits India , Indian secularism will commit suicide that same day , but these are all hypothetical scenarios .
     
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  14. Bornubus

    Bornubus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Which air defense system we can induct,to intercept NASR,if we ever going to invade pak.

    Mounted Barak 8,with armored colums ?
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Let's first look at Pakistan's nuclear program:

    Pakistan uses yellowcake centrifuge method which takes 3-5 years for a 30 kiloton warhead

    Pakistan has negligible to insignificant fissile material reserves a sustained nuclear exchange is unlikely

    Pakistan's nuclear warhead is about 5-20 kilotons. Pakistanis claim 30kiloton capacity

    Pakistani nuclear test results were inconclusive and radioactive levels detected by spy planes were negligible ( unproven)

    Pakistani nuclear program is almost totally dependent on China and others for fuel and assessories (centrifuges etc....)

    Pakistani has a policy of first use .

    Pakistani vague nuclear policy relies on tactical nukes possibly due to lack of capability to produce bigger nukes? Tactical nukes have almost no role in most modern military strategy

    Pakistan has two main delivery systems missiles and dropping from f-16's
    Missiles are scud based and cruise missiles. Pakistan has not proven
    Miniaturization of nuclear Warheads to be able to mate warheads on the small
    missiles like cruise missiles.
    AWACS and BMD sukhois etc... India currently has enough to neutralize both
    India has completed the nuclear triad.

    Pakistan has threatened nuking civilian areas ( against most international laws)
    Would India also target civilians?

    Pakistan nuclear capacity of 5-20 kilotons would damage a limited area but it would not be civilization ending.

    Pakistani nuclear capability could not win a war . It is a blackmail which India has no reply.

    One proposal is to throw out the Indus water supply. Any nuclear exchange would contaminate the water supply . So why share the water ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  16. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    We have to create a new endo atmospheric system with quick reaction time and forward deployed to intercept Nasr but even that will not have very high interception rate. We should work with the Israelis for the Stunner surface-to-air missile or a derivative of it modified for Indian use against Nasr.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  17. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Nasr is a piece of shit little rocket doubtful a nuclear warhead could be placed on it. Imo
     
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  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    That is too much for a little toy rocket. Akash /spyder would be more effective.nothing fancy I highly doubt nasr could hold a nuke warhead.
     
  19. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    pakistan also has it's fair share of high density areas and in fact they are more contained than in india ....
    if you simply take a look at any reasonably recent map of pop density in packland you will see that given the radiation range of about 5 miles radius around ground zero , then pakcland is a sitting duck for nuke warfare and very much more so than india , it is packland which is far more vulnerable and should never be the one to press the button

    that's all i will say regarding nukes as the topic has already been well discussed by many of you above

    all i will add is that goi should go more for retaliatory action by raw in collaboration with mossad and other similar

    let packs talk big and huge about their nukes - they cant be used without devastating reprisals

    meanwhile it is the cat and mouse game and we should retaliate likewise .... we should specialise much more in that ......why are we trying to do it alone , israel would love to help us and they are just about the best in the world, there could be others too


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    thanks for the like ... i have modified orig post slightly
    you are right - we have so many alternatives to put the screw on them ..... and we should ...instead the politicos are saying that the effect of the p-kot terrorism was reduced by our prior intelligence -. what a pathetic statement ! ....we lost a young lieut-colonel ...i wonder how his family feels l

    we need some real action - if i read about a blast in some pack town soon then ok ....but we need to see it , we need to see something retaliatory happen !

    we should make it a policy from now on (could have been earlier ) that every time they do something substantial against us like a war , we take strategic territory from them and it will never be given back and the next war if any we will take a price for each pow ! ...geneve convention doesnt apply as pack doesnt go by it

    and when they do a terror attack and claim it was non.state , then we do something covert ....they will soon get the idea
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  20. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Where would they send Nasr? To Amritsar and let half the radioactive material fall in Pak!!

    It is high time to slap Pakis tight and call out this nuclear bluff. Probably ABV did a big mistake in Kargil in not crossing the border and pounding the Pakis from behind and cut their supply chains in PoK. Given Pak had no delivery vehicle at that time, it would have completely put to rest Paki nuclear preparation.
     
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  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    @roma

    I think a nuclear exchange is not necessary.
    A simple policy change like abandoning the Indus water supply would do more damage than nukes..

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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