The first shot from an atomic rifle (1962)

The first shot from an atomic rifle (1962)

The nuclear warhead fired by Davy Crockett had a power like 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of classic TNT explosives.

On July 17, 1962, a nuclear missile was fired for the first time from the so-called atomic rifles. It was an American light launcher named Davy Crockett (named after a historical hero from the famous Battle of the Alamo). Davy Crockett was actually a kind of lightweight cannon, which could be handled by three soldiers. They could place it on a tripod and fire a nuclear missile at the enemy.

The nuclear warhead he fired had a power like 10,000 to 20,000 kilograms of classic TNT explosives. Thus, a three-man crew, with Davy Crockett loaded on a jeep, could carry out an artillery strike stronger than any classic super cannon (the heaviest cannons in history had grenades with only a few thousand pounds of TNT-like explosives).

Davy Crockett was used for relatively close combat because the maximum range of the projectile was 2 to 4 kilometers. Even stronger effect than the explosion itself was radiation, which could almost instantly kill all people within a radius of 150 meters, and irradiate those within a radius of 500 meters with a dose from which they would also die in time. Of course, in such conditions, the crew that fired could not be indifferent.

Davy Crockett’s test was performed in the Nevada desert. Interestingly, Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of the then US President, was also present. Note that Robert served as Attorney General during his brother’s presidential term, which in practice corresponds to the Minister of Justice in other countries.

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