... Editor's Note:

... recent domestic and international developments have moved conflict between the Superpowers and the horror of Nuclear War uncomfortably back into the forefront of people's minds. It makes the serious-humor-nostalgic theme of 'Atomic-Annihilation' a little harder to maintain. But even as we enlarge our bunker to much deeper levels of bedrock, we will soldier on and try to put the happiest face on the end of the world we can manage!

... seriously; this blog (besides being a lot of fun for the sick and warped) - is a good resource for a lot of very relevant and important information for you and your loved ones.

... entrance to 'Command Capsule"

... looking through the 'blast-door' of a Minuteman underground launch complex into the manned area where control and launch procedures are performed. Notice the sign "no lone zone" which is a reminder, that for security reasons, no solitary wandering nut-jobs will be tolerated. 

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1957 ... remove BB's before detonation!

... in the late 1950's Great Britain was struggling to develop it's own H-bomb. The US had been rather ticked off at the amount of atomic secrets that British double agents had stolen from the WWII 'Manhattan Project' and subsequently had shared very little with out English allies in terms of information or resources. 'Blue Violet' (they had a strange code-name system) was an interim design. An interesting feature was that the hollow core was rendered 'safe' by filling it with ball-bearings which would prevent it from imploding to create a critical mass. Presumably ground-crews would have performed the needed arming operation (as described above) before the V-bombers took to the air. After which everyone would have been slipping, falling and swearing all over the tarmac!

1955 ... those pesky Russians again!

... Why Not?!?

... if you have a long simmering resentment that you grew-up and have no Flying Car or Personal Rocket Pack you can blame Frank Tinsley! He was one of many artists having great fun in the 1950's dreaming up whatever new technologies there overly-creative minds could summon forth. (notice that he is both the author and illustrator the above article). We all loved this sort of stuff- which sold magazines - which helped to fuel the super consumer economy and optimism of the mid-twentieth century.

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... my illustrations are now available as Fine Art Prints and Posters!

... for all you official and non-official members of the Dr. Stranglove club; much of my photography and illustration work is now available at 'mass-market' prices!

There are two web addresses:

for Northrop-Grumman aircraft and spacecraft; including the Flying Wing, Stealth bomber. Tomcat, Apollo Lunar Lander etc... (t-shirts also!)

for all other Aircraft and Spacecraft, as well as hot babes, sci-fi, fashion etc... 

1954 ... the modern aircraft carrier!

... the newest class of US Navy aircraft carrier; the 'Gerald Ford' which came along 59 years after the Forrestal is about twice as big: weighing in at 110,000t tons and costing 12 billion smackers!

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... that's interesting!?!

... the tallies of visits to this blog show that our good friends in Russia are tuning in about three times more often than previously. Perhaps my special agents; Boris and Natasha have been doing some PR work around the Kremlin.
Лучше быть хорошими друзьями и весело провести время вместе!

... do you say RATO ot JATO?

... close-up view of the JATO internal installment on a B-47 jet bomber. With a complete fuel load and heavy H-bombs onboard a B-47 'Stratojet' needed an extra kick from these small solid-fuel rackets to get it off the runway. Didn't take long before some bright designer moved them out of the fuselage (away from the fuel tanks) and mounted them in a jettisionable 'saddle' under the aircraft. Always made sense in not having to haul eighteen empty rocket tanks to Moscow and back. (think of how much the empty tank for your outdoor grill weighs!). 

... love and death- H-bomb style!

... remember kiddies - there's nothing romantic about atomic annihilation! This lucky couple is part of the very small percentage of casualties close to the epicenter of the blast. Most folks would have to settle for the run of the mill horrors of death by burns, blast, flying debris and lingering radiation poisoning.

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1960 ... flying saucer attack!

... some of the nifty opening scenes from the US Army's "Big Picture" documentary series 'Sharper Sword and Stronger Shield' episode.  Like everyone else in the Space-Age the Army had 'future-fever' and upped the gee-whiz ante by forecasting saucers as the next step in combat mobility. (Take that you hordes of Red tanks and waves of Yellow Peril!)

... this (military) flying saucer craze was a direct result of out of control optimism for the Canadian 'Avrocar' project. A dismal failure that instead of growing-up to be a super-duper Cold War interceptor; just seemed to cruise a few feet off the ground dusting off a parking lot !  

... Berlin and the bear!


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"... calling all submarines!"

... having the third leg of the Nuclear Triad being hard to find atomic powered nuclear missile firing submarines is a great idea. But calling them on the phone and telling them to blow up the bad-guys is hard because they are hiding under hundreds of feet of ocean. 

Enter TACAMO (Take Charge and Move Out). This is an airborne system using trailing wire antennas that are miles in length. These antennas can emit very powerful, very long frequency radio signals which can be received all over the world and deep under the ocean. 

The first image is of the modified Boeing 707 aircraft in use today. Lower diagram is from the C-130 Hercules that were originally used for the mission. This is a chiefly US Navy system- but I believe it is in redundancy with other strategic forces.

In a world of rather dull military acronyms- here is one that really stands out! Could it have been the product of a drunken Admiral at a staff Christmas Party?

1954 (1952) ... photos of 1st US H-bomb test

... this appears to be a 'rapatronic' image from the first micro-seconds of the 'Mike' shot in 1952. The color images were not released to the public until over ayear later. Which accounts for the 1954 date of the magazine.

Roughly speaking the 'fireball' is the place where the real nuclear-atomic bang part is taking place. The rest of the big show: blast, mushroom clouds, fallout etc all being just aftermaths.

I repeat my question of where are the rest of the detail high speed camera shots of the H-bomb tests. This series (start pg 21) seems to be all we have seen (from 62 years ago). There are a number of high quality images from the earlier A-bomb tests in Nevada (all in black and white). 

My guess, and the answer to my question, lays in the fact that these are not just vacation snapshots of "what I did on my trip to the South Pacific". The fact is that such photographic documentation was a highly complex and expensive way of gathering scientific data. (A-bombs (purely fission devices) are oh, so old school)! All 'modern' nuclear weapons are variations on the H-bomb concept; available in convenient sizes of small, king-sized and Jumbo!. So the detailed images of the first millionths second of an H-bomb fireball still hold scientific secrets! Or nobody has simply got around to declassifying them yet. 

1956 ... "Operation Redwing"

... just gotta love a documentary with Generals standing in front of giant projections of mushroom clouds and fireballs! LINK


1965 ... US Spy Sub!

... nifty cutaway of the US Navy submarine USS Halibut reconfigured as super-secret spy sub

From the great website 'Covert Shores'

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