“... Freedom is the right to question, and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution ... It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea ....” – Ronald Reagan, Moscow State University, May 31, 1988 (quoted at our physics site, www.quantumfieldtheory.org). Text in blue on this blog is hyperlinked directly to reference material (so can be opened in another tab by right-clicking on it):

Click here for the key declassified nuclear testing and capability documents compilation (EM-1 related USA research reports and various UK nuclear weapon test reports on blast and radiation), from nukegate.org

We also uploaded an online-viewable version of the full text of the 1982 edition of the UK Goverment's Domestic Nuclear Shelters - Technical Guidance, including secret UK and USA nuclear test report references and extracts proving protection against collateral damage, for credible deterrence (linked here).

For a review of this site see: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/02/are-nuclear-weapons-100-times-less.html which states: "Cook is a master researcher who digs up incredible piles of research on all topics nuclear and the following is digest of various writings of his gathered for easy access centered on the remarkable thesis that the effects of nuclear weapons, while literally awesome, have been exaggerated or misunderstood to an even greater extent, with perhaps very considerable military consequences." Also see some key extracts from this blog published over at http://www.militarystory.org/nuclear-detonations-in-urban-and-suburban-areas/ and blog statistics (over 2.3 million views) linked here (populist pseudo-critics love to falsely claim that "nobody takes any notice of the truth, justifying their decision to ignore the facts by following the fake fashion herd groupthink agenda"). (Or, for Field Marshall Slim's "the more you use, fewer you lose" success formula for ending war by winning in Burma against Japan - where physicist Herman Kahn served while his friend Sam Cohen was calculating nuclear weapon efficiencies at the Los Alamos Manhattan Project, which again used "overkill" to convince the opponent to throw in the towel - please see my post on the practicalities of really DETERRING WWIII linked here; this is the opposite of the failure to escalate formula used to drag out war until bankrupcy aka the Vietnam effect.)

This blog's url is now "www.nukegate.org". When this nuclear effects blog began in 2006, "glasstone.blogspot.com" was used to signify the key issue of Glasstone's obfuscating Effects of Nuclear Weapons, specifically the final 1977 edition, which omitted not just the credible deterrent "use" of nuclear weapons but the key final "Principles of protection" chapter that had been present in all previous editions, and it also ignored the relatively clean neutron bombs which had been developed in the intervening years, as a credible deterrent to the concentrations of force needed for aggressive invasions, such as the 1914 invasion of Belgium and the 1939 invasion of Poland; both of which triggered world wars. Those editors themselves were not subversives, but both had nuclear weapons security clearances which constituted political groupthink censorship control, regarding which designs of nuclear weapons they could discuss and the level of technical data (they include basically zero information on their sources and the "bibliographies" are in most cases not to their classified nuclear testing sources but merely further reading); the 1977 edition had been initially drafted in 1974 solely by EM-1 editor Dolan at SRI International, and was then submitted to Glasstone who made further changes. The persistent and hypocritical Russian World Peace Council's and also hardline arms controllers propaganda tactic - supported by some arms industry loons who have a vested interest in conventional war - has been to try to promote lies on nuclear weapons effects to get rid of credible Western nuclear deterrence of provocations that start war. Naturally, the Russians have now stocked 2000+ tactical neutron weapons of the sort they get the West to disarm.

This means that they can invade territory with relative impunity, since the West won't deter such provocations by flexible response - the aim of Russia is to push the West into a policy of massive retaliation of direct attacks only, and then use smaller provocations instead - and Russia can then use its tactical nuclear weapons to "defend" its newly invaded territories by declaring them to now be part of Mother Russia and under Moscow's nuclear umbrella. Russia has repeatedly made it clear - for decades - that it expects a direct war with NATO to rapidly escalate into nuclear WWIII and it has prepared civil defense shelters and evacuation tactics to enable it. Herman Kahn's public warnings of this date back to his testimony to the June 1959 Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War, but for decades were deliberately misrepresented by most media outlets. President Kennedy's book "Why England Slept" makes it crystal clear how exactly the same "pacifist" propaganda tactics in the 1930s (that time it was the "gas bomb knockout blow has no defense so disarm, disarm, disarm" lie) caused war, by using fear to slow credible rearmament in the face of state terrorism. By the time democracies finally decided to issue an ultimatum, Hitler had been converted - by pacifist appeasement - from a cautious tester of Western indecision, into an overconfident aggressor who simply ignored last-minute ultimatums.

Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons (US Government) is written in a highly ambiguous fashion (negating nearly every definite statement with a deliberately obfuscating contrary statement to leave a smokescreen legacy of needless confusion, obscurity and obfuscation), omits nearly all key nuclear test data and provides instead misleading generalizations of data from generally unspecified weapon designs tested over 60 years ago which apply to freefield measurements on unobstructed radial lines in deserts and oceans. It makes ZERO analysis of the overall shielding of radiation and blast by their energy attenuation in modern steel and concrete cities, and even falsely denies such factors in its discussion of blast in cities and in its naive chart for predicting the percentage of burns types as a function of freefield outdoor thermal radiation, totally ignoring skyline shielding geometry (similar effects apply to freefield nuclear radiation exposure, despite vague attempts to dismiss this by non-quantitative talk about some scattered radiation arriving from all angles). It omits the huge variations in effects due to weapon design e.g. cleaner warhead designs and the tactical neutron bomb. It omits quantitative data on EMP as a function of burst yield, height and weapon design.

It omits most of the detailed data collected from Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the casualty rates as a function of type of building or shelter and blast pressure. It fails to analyse overall standardized casualty rates for different kinds of burst (e.g. shallow underground earth penetrators convert radiation and blast energy into ground shock and cratering against hard targets like silos or enemy bunkers). It omits a detailed analysis of blast precursor effects. It omits a detailed analysis of fallout beta and gamma spectra, fractionation, specific activity (determining the visibility of the fallout as a function of radiation hazard, and the mass of material to be removed for effective decontamination), and data which does exist on the effect of crater soil size distribution upon the fused fallout particle size distribution (e.g. tests like Small Boy in 1962 on the very fine particles at Frenchman Flats gave mean fallout particle sizes far bigger than the pre-shot soil, proving that - as for Trinitite - melted small soil particles fuse together in the fireball to produce larger fallout particles, so the pre-shot soil size distribution is irrelevant for fallout analysis).

By generally (with few exceptions) lumping "effects" of all types of bursts together into chapters dedicated to specific effects, it falsely gives the impression that all types of nuclear explosions produce similar effects with merely "quantitative differences". This is untrue because air bursts eliminate fallout casualties entirely, while slight burial (e.g. earth penetrating warheads) eliminates thermal (including fires and dust "climatic nuclear winter" BS), the initial radiation and severe blast effects, while massively increasing ground shock, and the same applies to shallow underwater bursts. So a more objective treatment to credibly deter all aggression MUST emphasise the totally different collateral damage effects, by dedicating chapters to different kinds of burst (high altitude/space bursts, free air bursts, surface bursts, underground bursts, underwater bursts), and would include bomb design implications on these effects in detail. A great deal of previously secret and limited distributed nuclear effects data has been declassified since 1977, and new research has been done. Our objectives in this review are: (a) to ensure that an objective independent analysis of the relevant nuclear weapons effects facts is placed on the record in case the currently, increasingly vicious Cold War 2.0 escalates into some kind of limited "nuclear demonstration" by aggressors to try to end a conventional war by using coercive threats, (b) to ensure the lessons of tactical nuclear weapon design for deterring large scale provocations (like the invasions of Belgium in 1914 and Poland in 1939 which triggered world wars) are re-learned in contrast to Dulles "massive retaliation" (incredible deterrent) nonsense, and finally (c) to provide some push to Western governments to "get real" with our civil defense, to try to make credible our ageing "strategic nuclear deterrent". We have also provided a detailed analysis of recently declassified Russian nuclear warhead design data, shelter data, effects data, tactical nuclear weapons employment manuals, and some suggestions for improving Western thermonuclear warheads to improve deterrence.

‘The evidence from Hiroshima indicates that blast survivors, both injured and uninjured, in buildings later consumed by fire [caused by the blast overturning charcoal braziers used for breakfast in inflammable wooden houses filled with easily ignitable bamboo furnishings and paper screens] were generally able to move to safe areas following the explosion. Of 130 major buildings studied by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey ... 107 were ultimately burned out ... Of those suffering fire, about 20 percent were burning after the first half hour. The remainder were consumed by fire spread, some as late as 15 hours after the blast. This situation is not unlike the one our computer-based fire spread model described for Detroit.’

- Defense Civil Preparedness Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, DCPA Attack Environment Manual, Chapter 3: What the Planner Needs to Know About Fire Ignition and Spread, report CPG 2-1A3, June 1973, Panel 27.

The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, US Strategic Bombing Survey, Pacific Theatre, report 92, volume 2 (May 1947, secret):

Volume one, page 14:

“... the city lacked buildings with fire-protective features such as automatic fire doors and automatic sprinkler systems”, and pages 26-28 state the heat flash in Hiroshima was only:

“... capable of starting primary fires in exposed, easily combustible materials such as dark cloth, thin paper, or dry rotted wood exposed to direct radiation at distances usually within 4,000 feet of the point of detonation (AZ).”

Volume two examines the firestorm and the ignition of clothing by the thermal radiation flash in Hiroshima:

Page 24:

“Scores of persons throughout all sections of the city were questioned concerning the ignition of clothing by the flash from the bomb. ... Ten school boys were located during the study who had been in school yards about 6,200 feet east and 7,000 feet west, respectively, from AZ [air zero]. These boys had flash burns on the portions of their faces which had been directly exposed to rays of the bomb. The boys’ stories were consistent to the effect that their clothing, apparently of cotton materials, ‘smoked,’ but did not burst into flame. ... a boy’s coat ... started to smoulder from heat rays at 3,800 feet from AZ.” [Contrast this to the obfuscation and vagueness in Glasstone, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons!]

Page 88:

“Ignition of the City. ... Only directly exposed surfaces were flash burned. Measured from GZ, flash burns on wood poles were observed at 13,000 feet, granite was roughened or spalled by heat at 1,300 feet, and vitreous tiles on roofs were blistered at 4,000 feet. ... six persons who had been in reinforced-concrete buildings within 3,200 feet of air zero stated that black cotton blackout curtains were ignited by radiant heat ... dark clothing was scorched and, in some cases, reported to have burst into flame from flash heat [although as the 1946 unclassified USSBS report admits, most immediately beat the flames out with their hands without sustaining injury, because the clothing was not drenched in gasoline, unlike peacetime gasoline tanker road accident victims]

“... but a large proportion of over 1,000 persons questioned was in agreement that a great majority of the original fires was started by debris falling on kitchen charcoal fires, by industrial process fires, or by electric short circuits. Hundreds of fires were reported to have started in the centre of the city within 10 minutes after the explosion. Of the total number of buildings investigated [135 buildings are listed] 107 caught fire, and in 69 instances, the probable cause of initial ignition of the buildings or their contents was as follows: (1) 8 by direct radiated heat from the bomb (primary fire), (2) 8 by secondary sources, and (3) 53 by fire spread from exposed [wooden] buildings.”

There is now a relatively long introduction at the top of this blog, due to the present nuclear threat caused by disarmament and arms control propaganda, and the dire need to get the facts out past pro-Russian media influencers or loony mass media which has never cared about nuclear and radiation effects facts, so please scroll down to see blog posts. The text below in blue is hyperlinked (direct to reference source materials, rather than numbered and linked to reference at the end of the page) so you can right-click on it and open in a new tab to see the source. This page is not about opinions, it provides censored out facts that debunk propaganda, but for those who require background "authority" nonsense on censored physics facts, see stuff here or here. Regarding calling war-mongering, world war causing, terrorism-regime-supporting UK disarmers of the 20th century "thugs" instead of "kind language": I was put through the Christianity grinder as a kid so will quote Jesus (whom I'm instructed to follow), Matthew 23:33: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?" The fake "pacifist" thugs will respond with some kindly suggestion that this is "paranoid" and that "Jesus was rightfully no-platformed for his inappropriate language"! Yeah, you guys would say that, wouldn't ya. Genuine pacifism requires credible deterrence! Decent people seem to be very confused about the facts of this. Jesus did not say "disarm to invite your annihilation by terrorists". You can't "forgive and forget" when the enemy is still on the warpath. They have to be stopped, either by deterrence, force, defense, or a combination of all these.

Above: Edward Leader-Williams on the basis for UK civil defence shelters in SECRET 1949 Royal Society's London Symposium on physical effects of atomic weapons, a study that was kept secret by the Attlee Government and subsequent UK governments, instead of being openly published to enhance public knowledge of civil defence effectiveness against nuclear attack. Leader-Williams also produced the vital civil defence report seven years later (published below for the first time on this blog), proving civil defence sheltering and city centre evacuation is effective against 20 megaton thermonuclear weapons. Also published in the same secret symposium, which was introduced by Penney, was Penney's own Hiroshima visit analysis of the percentage volume reduction in overpressure-crushed empty petrol cans, blueprint containers, etc., which gave a blast partition yield of 7 kilotons (or 15.6 kt total yield, if taking the nuclear blast as 45% of total yield, i.e. 7/0.45 = 15.6, as done in later AWRE nuclear weapons test blast data reports). Penney in a 1970 updated paper allowed for blast reduction due to the damage done in the city bursts.

ABOVE: The June 1957 edition of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons was the first to include the effects of blast duration (which increases with the cube-root of weapon yield) on blast damage from nuclear weapons. This is very important for wind drag loading to drag-sensitive targets, but has less effect for diffraction-sensitive targets which respond to peak pressures, especially where the blast pressure rapidly equalizes around the structure (e.g. utility poles or buildings with large expanses of glass which shatters, allowing rapid pressure equalization). For example, Glasstone 1957, Fig. 6.41b (p253, using Fig. 3.94a on p109 to convert scaled distances to overpressures from a surface burst on open deserted terrain) shows that for yields of 1 kt, 20 kt (approximately the 16 kt Hiroshima and 21 kt Nagasaki yields), and 1 megaton, peak overpressures of 55, 23 and 15 psi, respectively, are required for collapse (severe damage) to modern multistory reinforced concrete buildings with light walls (Fig. 6.41a shows that about 5 psi will demolish a wood frame house - no longer in modern city centres - regardless of yield). Notice that this means that modern cities are extremely resistant to blast from ~1 kt neutron bombs, requiring more than twice the peak overpressure for collapse than was needed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also notice that very large amounts of energy are absorbed from the blast in causing severe damage to modern reinforced concrete city buildings, causing rapid attenuation of free-field pressure so that ocean and desert test validated cube-root damage scaling laws break down for high yield bursts in modern cities (see latest blog post here for examples of calculations of this energy absorption in both oscillating a building in the elastic deflection engineering graph zone, and the much larger energy absorption in causing plastic zone distortion to reinforced concrete - basically the former typically absorbs about 1% of blast energy, whereas the latter takes up something like 10 times more energy, or 10%, a factor entirely dismissed by Glasstone and Dolan but analyzed by Penney). Above a megaton or so, the increasing blast duration has less and less effect on the peak overpressure required for severe damage, because for destruction a threshold blast loading exists, regardless of the blast duration. (A 1 mile/hour wind will not blow a wall down, regardless of how long it lasts. In other words, large impulses cease to be damage criteria if the blast pressure drops below a threshold needed for damage.) Glasstone 1957 Fig 6.41c on p255 shows that automobiles suffer severe damage 36 psi peak overpressure for 1 kt, 18 psi for 20 kt, and 12 psi for 1 megaton. These pressures for destruction of automobiles are similar to the severe damage data given for multistorey steel frame office buildings with light walls. The key point here is that low-yield (around 1 kt) tactical nuclear weapons produce far less collateral damage to civilian infrastructure than high yield bursts, and even the effects of the latter are exaggerated severely for modern cities when using wooden house data in unobstructed terrain at ocean or desert terrain nuclear tests. Collateral damage is eliminated by exploiting the fact that higher pressures are needed for air blast damage at lower yields, and using earth penetrator warheads or air bursts to constrain air blast pressures to civilian infrastructure, ensuring that they are not collapsed (causing casualties in modern steel or concrete buildings).

Note that the later (1962/4 and 1977) editions of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons replace the correct (curved line conversion) blast duration nomographs in the 1957 edition with simplistic Wn yield scaling (where n = 0.4 for drag sensitive targets), which is a simplification which fails to correctly model the fact that blast duration effects on overpressures are eliminated at very high yields because a minimum threshold blast pressure is needed to cause damage.

ABOVE: The 1996 Northrop EM-1 (see extracts below showing protection by modern buildings and also simple shelters very close to nuclear tests; note that Northrop's entire set of damage ranges as a function of yield for underground shelters, tunnels, silos are based on two contained deep underground nuclear tests of different yield scaled to surface burst using the assumption of 5% yield ground coupling relative to the underground shots; this 5% equivalence figure appears to be an exaggeration for compact modern warheads, e.g. the paper “Comparison of Surface and Sub-Surface Nuclear Bursts,” from Steven Hatch, Sandia National Laboratories, to Jonathan Medalia, October 30, 2000, shows a 2% equivalence, e.g. Hatch shows that 1 megaton surface burst produces identical ranges to underground targets as a 20 kt burst at >20m depth of burst, whereas Northrop would require 50kt) has not been openly published, despite such protection being used in Russia! This proves heavy bias against credible tactical nuclear deterrence of the invasions that trigger major wars that could escalate into nuclear war (Russia has 2000+ dedicated neutron bombs; we don't!) and against simple nuclear proof tested civil defence which makes such deterrence credible and of course is also of validity against conventional wars, severe weather, peacetime disasters, etc.

The basic fact is that nuclear weapons can deter/stop invasions unlike the conventional weapons that cause mass destruction, and nuclear collateral damage is eliminated easily for nuclear weapons by using them on military targets, since for high yields at collateral damage distances all the effects are sufficiently delayed in arrival to allow duck and cover to avoid radiation and blast wind/flying debris injuries (unlike the case for the smaller areas affected by smaller yield conventional weapons, where there is little time on seeing the flash to duck and cover to avoid injury), and as the original 1951 SECRET American Government "Handbook on Capabilities of Atomic Weapons" (limited report AD511880L, forerunner to today's still secret EM-1) stated in Section 10.32:


As for Hitler's stockpile of 12,000 tons of tabun nerve gas, whose strategic and also tactical use was deterred by proper defences (gas masks for all civilians and soldiers, as well as UK stockpiles of fully trial-tested deliverable biological agent anthrax and mustard gas retaliation capacity), it is possible to deter strategic nuclear escalation to city bombing, even within a world war with a crazy terrorist, if all the people are protected by both defence and deterrence.

J. R. Oppenheimer (opposing Teller), February 1951: "It is clear that they can be used only as adjuncts in a military campaign which has some other components, and whose purpose is a military victory. They are not primarily weapons of totality or terror, but weapons used to give combat forces help they would otherwise lack. They are an integral part of military operations. Only when the atomic bomb is recognized as useful insofar as it is an integral part of military operations, will it really be of much help in the fighting of a war, rather than in warning all mankind to avert it." (Quotation: Samuel Cohen, Shame, 2nd ed., 2005, page 99.)

‘The Hungarian revolution of October and November 1956 demonstrated the difficulty faced even by a vastly superior army in attempting to dominate hostile territory. The [Soviet Union] Red Army finally had to concentrate twenty-two divisions in order to crush a practically unarmed population. ... With proper tactics, nuclear war need not be as destructive as it appears when we think of [World War II nuclear city bombing like Hiroshima]. The high casualty estimates for nuclear war are based on the assumption that the most suitable targets are those of conventional warfare: cities to interdict communications ... With cities no longer serving as key elements in the communications system of the military forces, the risks of initiating city bombing may outweigh the gains which can be achieved. ...

‘The elimination of area targets will place an upper limit on the size of weapons it will be profitable to use. Since fall-out becomes a serious problem [i.e. fallout contaminated areas which are so large that thousands of people would need to evacuate or shelter indoors for up to two weeks] only in the range of explosive power of 500 kilotons and above, it could be proposed that no weapon larger than 500 kilotons will be employed unless the enemy uses it first. Concurrently, the United States could take advantage of a new development which significantly reduces fall-out by eliminating the last stage of the fission-fusion-fission process.’

- Dr Henry Kissinger, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Harper, New York, 1957, pp. 180-3, 228-9. (Note that sometimes the "nuclear taboo" issue is raised against this analysis by Kissenger: if anti-nuclear lying propaganda on weapons effects makes it apparently taboo in the Western pro-Russian disarmament lobbies to escalate from conventional to tactical nuclear weapons to end war as on 6 and 9 August 1945, then this "nuclear taboo" can be relied upon to guarantee peace for our time. However, this was not only disproved by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but by the Russian tactical nuclear weapons reliance today, the Russian civil defense shelter system detailed on this blog which showed they believed a nuclear war survivable based on the results of their own nuclear tests, and the use of Russian nuclear weapons years after Kissinger's analysis was published and criticised, for example their 50 megaton test in 1961 and their supply of IRBM's capable of reaching East Coast mainland USA targets to the fanatical Cuban dictatorship in 1962. So much for the "nuclear taboo" as being any more reliable than Chamberlain's "peace for our time" document, co-signed by Hitler on 30 September 1938! We furthermore saw how Russia respected President Obama's "red line" for the "chemical weapons taboo": Russia didn't give a toss about Western disarmament thugs prattle about what they think is a "taboo", Russia used chlorine and sarin in Syria to keep Assad the dictator and they used Novichok to attack and kill in the UK in 2018, with only diplomatic expulsions in response. "Taboos" are no more valid to restrain madmen than peace treaties, disarmament agreements, Western CND books attacking civil defense or claiming that nuclear war is the new 1930s gas war bogyman, or "secret" stamps on scientific facts. In a word, they're crazy superstitions.)

(Quoted in 2006 on this blog here.)

All of this data should have been published to inform public debate on the basis for credible nuclear deterrence of war and civil defense, PREVENTING MILLIONS OF DEATHS SINCE WWII, instead of DELIBERATELY allowing enemy anti-nuclear and anti-civil defence lying propaganda from Russian supporting evil fascists to fill the public data vacuum, killing millions by allowing civil defence and war deterrence to be dismissed by ignorant "politicians" in the West, so that wars triggered by invasions with mass civilian casualties continue today for no purpose other than to promote terrorist agendas of hate and evil arrogance and lying for war, falsely labelled "arms control and disarmament for peace":

"Controlling escalation is really an exercise in deterrence, which means providing effective disincentives to unwanted enemy actions. Contrary to widely endorsed opinion, the use or threat of nuclear weapons in tactical operations seems at least as likely to check [as Hiroshima and Nagasaki] as to promote the expansion of hostilities [providing we're not in a situation of Russian biased arms control and disarmament whereby we've no tactical weapons while the enemy has over 2000 neutron bombs thanks to "peace" propaganda from Russian thugs]." - Bernard Brodie, pvi of Escalation and the nuclear option, RAND Corp memo RM-5444-PR, June 1965.

Russian project 49 dual-primary thermonuclear weaponeer Dr Yuri Trutnev has an officially "proatom.ru"-published technical history of the design of the Russian nuclear weapons (which differ from UK-USA designs fundamentally) here (extracted from Russian "Atomic Strategy" No. 18, August 2005): "the problem of ensuring spherically symmetric compression of the secondary module was radically solved, since the time of “symmetrization” of the energy around the secondary module was much less than the time of compression of this module. ... The first two-stage thermonuclear charge, designated RDS-37, was developed in 1955 and successfully tested on November 22, 1955. The energy release of the charge in the experiment was 1.6 Mt, and since for safety reasons at the Semipalatinsk test site the charge was tested at partial power, the predicted full-scale energy release of the charge was ~ 3 Mt. The energy release amplification factor in RDS-37 was about two orders of magnitude, the charge did not use tritium, the thermonuclear fuel was lithium deuteride, and the main fissile material was U-238. ... Particular attention should be paid to the works of 1958. This year, a new type of thermonuclear charge, “product 49,” was tested [the double-primary H-bomb], which was the next step in the formation of a standard for thermonuclear charges (its development was completed in 1957, but testing on the SIP did not take place). The ideologists of this project and the developers of the physical charge circuit were Yu. N. Babaev and I. The peculiarity of the new charge was that, using the basic principles of the RDS-37, it was possible to: • significantly reduce overall parameters due to a new bold solution to the problem of transfer of X-ray radiation, which determines implosion; • simplify the layered structure of the secondary module, which turned out to be an extremely important practical decision. According to the conditions of adaptation to specific carriers, “product 49” was developed in a smaller overall weight category compared to the RDS-37 charge, but its specific volumetric energy release turned out to be 2.4 times greater.

"The physical design of the charge turned out to be extremely successful; the charge was transferred to service and subsequently underwent modernization associated with the replacement of primary energy sources. In 1958, together with Yu. N. Babaev, we managed to develop 4 thermonuclear charges, which were tested on the field in 7 full-scale tests, and all of them were successful. This work was practically implemented within 8 months of 1958. All of these charges used a new circuit, first introduced in Product 49. Their energy release ranged from 0.3 to 2.8 Mt. In addition, in 1958, under my leadership M. V. Fedulov also developed the lightest thermonuclear charge at that time according to the “product 49” design, which was also successfully tested. Work on the miniaturization of thermonuclear weapons was new at that time, and it was met with a certain misunderstanding and resistance. ... One of the well-known pages in the history of work on thermonuclear weapons of the USSR is the creation of a superbomb - the most powerful thermonuclear charge. I will dwell on some points of this development. ... Among the features of this charge, it should be noted that the large volume of the charge (due to its high energy release) required significant amounts of X-ray energy to carry out implosion. The developed nuclear charges did not satisfy this condition, and therefore, a previously developed two-stage thermonuclear charge with a relatively low energy release was used as the primary source of the “super-powerful charge”. This charge was developed by me and Yu. N. Babaev. ... In the next project (a return to the untested 1958 system) that I supervised, every effort was made to ensure near-perfect implosion symmetry. This brilliant work led to success, and in 1962, the problem of implementing thermonuclear ignition was solved in a special device. In other full-scale tests that followed, this success was consolidated, and as a result, thermonuclear ignition provided the calculated combustion of the secondary module with an energy release of 1 Mt. My co-authors in this development were V.B. Adamsky, Yu.N. Babaev, V.G. Zagrafov and V.N. Mokhov. ... This principle has found a variety of applications in the creation of fundamentally new types of thermonuclear charges, from special devices for the use of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes to significant military applications." (Note there is a 2017 filmed interview of Trutnev - in Russian - linked here.)

This is the basis for both the Russian isentropic-compressed pure fusion secondary (99.85% clean) neutron bomb and related progress with strategic warheads:

“In 1966, VNIIEF conducted a successful test of the second generation charge, in which an almost doubling of the power density was achieved by increasing the contribution of fission reactions in the thermonuclear module. These results were subsequently used to create new third-generation products.” - A. A. Greshilov, N. D. Egupov and A. M. Matushchenko, Nuclear shield (official Russian nuclear weapons history), 2008, p171 (linked here: https://elib.biblioatom.ru/text/greshilov_yaderny-schit_2008/p171/ ). Note that first double-primary Project 49 Russian test on 23 February 1958 was rapidly weaponised as the 1364 kg 8F12/8F12N warhead for the 8K63 missile in 1959, according to http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/index-0-5.html which also gives a table of yields and masses of other Russian warheads: the 2.3 megaton warhead 8K15 for the 8K65 missile had a mass of 1546 kg; the 5 megaton 8F116 warhead for the 8K64 and 8K65 missiles had a mass of 2175 kg; the 6 megaton 8F117 for the 8K64 and other missiles had a mass of 2200 kg, etc. The diagram below shows a cut-away through the shells in the isentropically-compressed megaton secondary stage of the first Russian weapon without a central fission neutron-producing sparkplug (1.1 megaton Russian test number 218 at Novaya Zemlya on 24 December 1962, an air drop detonating at 1320 m altitude). This diagram was declassified in the official Russian "History of the domestic nuclear project - Report by the scientific director of RFNC-VNIIEF, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences R.I. Ilkaeva at the General Meeting, Department of Physical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences December 17, 2012, RAS", after John H. Nuckolls' summary of the similar, 99.9% clean 10 megaton Ripple-2, tested 30 October 1962 as detailed in posts below (the detailed interior design analysis of the Russian megaton nuclear warhead for the R13 - which is on display in a Russian nuclear warhead design museum - is from the Russian sites here and here).

https://hbr.org/1995/05/why-the-news-is-not-the-truth/ (Peter Vanderwicken in the Harvard Business Review Magazine, May-June 1995): "The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. That is the thesis advanced by Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), in his provocative analysis entitled News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works ... The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public. Officials oblige the media’s need for drama by fabricating crises and stage-managing their responses, thereby enhancing their own prestige and power. Journalists dutifully report those fabrications. Both parties know the articles are self-aggrandizing manipulations and fail to inform the public about the more complex but boring issues of government policy and activity. What has emerged, Weaver argues, is a culture of lying. ... The architect of the transformation was not a political leader or a constitutional convention but Joseph Pulitzer, who in 1883 bought the sleepy New York World and in 20 years made it the country’s largest newspaper. Pulitzer accomplished that by bringing drama to news—by turning news articles into stories ... His journalism took events out of their dry, institutional contexts and made them emotional rather than rational, immediate rather than considered, and sensational rather than informative. The press became a stage on which the actions of government were a series of dramas. ... The press swarmed on the story, which had all the necessary dramatic elements: a foot-dragging bureaucracy, a study finding that the country’s favorite fruit was poisoning its children, and movie stars opposing the pesticide. Sales of apples collapsed. Within months, Alar’s manufacturer withdrew it from the market, although both the EPA and the Food and Drug Administration stated that they believed Alar levels on apples were safe. The outcry simply overwhelmed scientific evidence. That happens all too often, Cynthia Crossen argues in her book Tainted Truth: The Manipulation of Fact in America. ... Crossen writes, “more and more of the information we use to buy, elect, advise, acquit and heal has been created not to expand our knowledge but to sell a product or advance a cause.” “Most members of the media are ill-equipped to judge a technical study,” Crossen correctly points out. “Even if the science hasn’t been explained or published in a U.S. journal, the media may jump on a study if it promises entertainment for readers or viewers. And if the media jump, that is good enough for many Americans.” ... A press driven by drama and crises creates a government driven by response to crises. Such an “emergency government can’t govern,” Weaver concludes. “Not only does public support for emergency policies evaporate the minute they’re in place and the crisis passes, but officials acting in the emergency mode can’t make meaningful public policies. According to the classic textbook definition, government is the authoritative allocation of values, and emergency government doesn’t authoritatively allocate values.” (Note that Richard Rhodes' Pulitzer prize winning books such as The making of the atomic bomb which uncritically quote Hiroshima firestorm lies and survivors nonsense about people running around without feet, play to this kind of emotional fantasy mythology of nuclear deterrence obfuscation so loved by the mass media.)

ABOVE: "missile gap" propaganda debunked by secret 1970s data; Kennedy relied on US nuclear superiority. Using a flawed analysis of nuclear weapons effects on Hiroshima - based on lying unclassified propaganda reports and ignorant dismissals of civil defense shelters in Russia (again based on Hiroshima propaganda by groves in 1945) - America allowed Russian nuclear superiority in the 1970s. Increasingly, the nuclear deterrent was used by Russia to stop the West from "interfering" with its aggressive invasions and wars, precisely Hitler's 1930s strategy with gas bombing knockout-blow threats used to engineer appeasement. BELOW: H-bomb effects and design secrecy led to tragic mass media delusions, such as the 18 February 1950 Picture Post claim that the H-bomb can devastate Australia (inspiring the Shute novel and movie "On the Beach" and also other radiation scams like "Dr Strangelove" to be used by Russia to stir up anti Western disarmament movement to help Russia win WWIII). Dad was a Civil Defense Corps Instructor in the UK when this was done (the civil defense effectiveness and weapon effects facts on shelters at UK and USA nuclear tests were kept secret and not used to debunk lying political appeasement propaganda tricks in the mass media by sensationalist "journalists" and Russian "sputniks"):

Message to mass-media journalists: please don't indulge in lying "no defence" propaganda as was done by most of the media in previous pre-war crises!

“We are ready to use weapons, including any weapons — including the weapons you mentioned — if it is a question of the existence of the Russian state or damage to our sovereignty and independence,” Putin added in the interview, which aired on Wednesday. - https://www.news18.com/world/putin-says-russian-nuclear-weapons-more-advanced-than-in-us-8814525.html

ABOVE: Russian State TV Channel 1 on the nuclear threat, 4 June 2024. This is not a matter of unthinkable escalation or a knockout blow that will disarm Russia entirely (by firing all its weapons at the West!). It is a matter of coercive threats, which may or may not be accompanied by "demonstration strikes". Putin knows that unlike former USSR territories (e.g. Ukraine) which have heavy duty shelters in cities, the West doesn't have such civil defense to make its nuclear deterrent credible, so there is an exploitable asymmetry for Putin. This Russian state TV Channel 1 "propaganda" is Russian language: it's not aimed at the West, but at Russians, to prepare the road for possible nuclear warfare with the West. This is not about the usual image of an escalatory WWIII, but about establishing Russian hegemony, by making the West back down! As in the 1930s, popular media "selective journalism" (mainstream fake/fashionable fairy tale news) ignores real threats, by using the trick of hyping up deception (knockout blows, escalation, etc.) to make reality appear "unthinkable". Don't be taken in again by this mass media scam, please!

Again, to recap: the biggest threat is nuclear coercion as occurred when Russia broke a ceasefire and resumed nuclear testing in 1961, and built the Berlin Wall, then in 1962 put nuclear weapons into Cuba's fanatical dictatorship. This is not the mainstream media portrayal of the "nuclear threat" (immediate knockout blow, total disarmament in a few seconds by exploding everything in the stockpile, which is loved by TV, newspapers, magazines, and films and which - like the gas bomb knockout blow hype of the 1930s - makes war appear "unthinkable" to support appeasement, disarmament and arms control delusions which are bits of paper that simply can't stop the real threats from dictatorships). At some point there may be a serious deliberate escalation to end the war, and we need to be prepared and ready to step up deterrence against this, or to respond rationally in some other way. The supply of F16s by NATO members to Ukraine to bomb targets in Russia will allow Putin the excuse he feels he needs to escalate nuclear threats further, so we must prepare. This is not "defeatism", but preparing for freedom to prevail, to win the war, to deter escalation, and to survive.

ABOVE: Example of a possible Russian 1985 1st Cold War SLBM first strike plan. The initial use of Russian SLBM launched nuclear missiles from off-coast against command and control centres (i.e. nuclear explosions to destroy warning satellite communications centres by radiation on satellites as well as EMP against ground targets, rather than missiles launched from Russia against cities, as assumed by 100% of the Cold War left-wing propaganda) is allegedly a Russian "fog of war" strategy. Such a "demonstration strike" is aimed essentially at causing confusion about what is going on, who is responsible - it is not quick or easy to finger-print high altitude bursts fired by SLBM's from submerged submarines to a particular country because you don't get fallout samples to identify isotopic plutonium composition. Russia could immediately deny the attack (implying, probably to the applause of the left-wingers that this was some kind of American training exercise or computer based nuclear weapons "accident", similar to those depicted in numerous anti-nuclear Cold War propaganda films). Thinly-veiled ultimatums and blackmail follow. America would not lose its population or even key cities in such a first strike (contrary to left-wing propaganda fiction), as with Pearl Harbor in 1941; it would lose its complacency and its sense of security through isolationism, and would either be forced into a humiliating defeat or a major war.

Before 1941, many warned of the risks but were dismissed on the basis that Japan was a smaller country with a smaller economy than the USA and war was therefore absurd (similar to the way Churchill's warnings about European dictators were dismissed by "arms-race opposing pacifists" not only in the 1930s, but even before WWI; for example Professor Cyril Joad documents in the 1939 book "Why War?" his first hand witnessing of Winston Churchill's pre-WWI warning and call for an arms-race to deter that war, as dismissed by the sneering Norman Angell who claimed an arms race would cause a war rather than avert one by bankrupting the terrorist state). It is vital to note that there is an immense pressure against warnings of Russian nuclear superiority even today, most of it contradictory. E.g. the left wing and Russian-biased "experts" whose voices are the only ones reported in the Western media (traditionally led by "Scientific American" and "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists"), simultaneously claim Russia imposes such a terrible SLBM and ICBM nuclear threat that we must desperately disarm now, while also claiming that Russian tactical nuclear weapons probably won't work so aren't a threat that needs to be credibly deterred! This only makes sense as Russian siding propaganda. In similar vein, Teller-critic Hans Bethe also used to falsely "dismiss" Russian nuclear superiority by claiming (with quotes from Brezhnev about the peaceful intentions of Russia) that Russian delivery systems are "less accurate" than Western missiles (as if accuracy has anything to do with high altitude EMP strikes, where the effects cover huge areas, or large city targets. Such claims would then by repeatedly endlessly in the Western media by Russian biased "journalists" or agents of influence, and any attempt to point out the propaganda (i.e. he real world asymmetry: Russia uses cheap countervalue targetting on folk that don't have civil defense, whereas we need costly, accurate counterforce targetting because Russia has civil defense shelters that we don't have) became a "Reds under beds" argument, implying that the truth is dangerous to "peaceful coexistence"!

“Free peoples ... will make war only when driven to it by tyrants. ... there have been no wars between well-established democracies. ... the probability ... that the absence of wars between well-established democracies is a mere accident [is] less than one chance in a thousand. ... there have been more than enough to provide robust statistics ... When toleration of dissent has persisted for three years, but not until then, we can call a new republic ‘well established.’ ... Time and again we observe authoritarian leaders ... using coercion rather than seeking mutual accommodation ... Republican behaviour ... in quite a few cases ... created an ‘appeasement trap.’ The republic tried to accommodate a tyrant as if he were a fellow republican; the tyrant concluded that he could safely make an aggressive response; eventually the republic replied furiously with war. The frequency of such errors on both sides is evidence that negotiating styles are not based strictly on sound reasoning.” - Spencer Weart, Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another (Yale University Press)

The Top Secret American intelligency report NIE 11-3/8-74 "Soviet Forces for Intercontinental Conflict" warned on page 6: "the USSR has largely eliminated previous US quantitative advantages in strategic offensive forces." page 9 of the report estimated that the Russian's ICBM and SLBM launchers exceed the USAs 1,700 during 1970, while Russia's on-line missile throw weight had exceeded the USA's one thousand tons back in 1967! Because the USA had more long-range bombers which can carry high-yield bombs than Russia (bombers are more vulnerable to air defences so were not Russia's priority), it took a little longer for Russia to exceed the USA in equivalent megatons, but the 1976 Top Secret American report NIE 11-3/8-76 at page 17 shows that in 1974 Russia exceeded the 4,000 equivalent-megatons payload of USA missiles and aircraft (with less vulnerability for Russia, since most of Russia's nuclear weapons were on missiles not in SAM-vulnerable aircraft), amd by 1976 Russia could deliver 7,000 tons of payload by missiles compared to just 4,000 tons on the USA side. These reports were kept secret for decades to protect the intelligence sources, but they were based on hard evidence. For example, in August 1974 the Hughes Aircraft Company used a specially designed ship (Glomar Explorer, 618 feet long, developed under a secret CIA contract) to recover nuclear weapons and their secret manuals from a Russian submarine which sank in 16,000 feet of water, while in 1976 America was able to take apart the electronics systems in a state-of-the-art Russian MIG-25 fighter which was flown to Japan by defector Viktor Belenko, discovering that it used exclusively EMP-hard miniature vacuum tubes with no EMP-vulnerable solid state components.

There are four ways of dealing with aggressors: conquest (fight them), intimidation (deter them), fortification (shelter against their attacks; historically used as castles, walled cities and even walled countries in the case of China's 1,100 mile long Great Wall and Hadrian's Wall, while the USA has used the Pacific and Atlantic as successful moats against invasion, at least since Britain invaded Washington D.C. back in 1812), and friendship (which if you are too weak to fight, means appeasing them, as Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler for worthless peace promises). These are not mutually exclusive: you can use combinations. If you are very strong in offensive capability and also have walls to protect you while your back is turned, you can - as Teddy Roosevelt put it (quoting a West African proverb): "Speak softly and carry a big stick." But if you are weak, speaking softly makes you a target, vulnerable to coercion. This is why we don't send troops directly to Ukraine. When elected in 1960, Kennedy introduced "flexible response" to replace Dulles' "massive retaliation", by addressing the need to deter large provocations without being forced to decide between the unwelcome options of "surrender or all-out nuclear war" (Herman Kahn called this flexible response "Type 2 Deterrence"). This was eroded by both Russian civil defense and their emerging superiority in the 1970s: a real missiles and bombers gap emerged in 1972 when the USSR reached and then exceeded the 2,200 of the USA, while in 1974 the USSR achieve parity at 3,500 equivalent megatons (then exceeded the USA), and finally today Russia has over 2,000 dedicated clean enhanced neutron tactical nuclear weapons and we have none (except low-neutron output B61 multipurpose bombs). (Robert Jastrow's 1985 book How to make nuclear Weapons obsolete was the first to have graphs showing the downward trend in nuclear weapon yields created by the development of miniaturized MIRV warheads for missiles and tactical weapons: he shows that the average size of US warheads fell from 3 megatons in 1960 to 200 kilotons in 1980, and from a total of 12,000 megatons in 1960 to 3,000 megatons in 1980.)

The term "equivalent megatons" roughly takes account of the fact that the areas of cratering, blast and radiation damage scale not linearly with energy but as something like the 2/3 power of energy release; but note that close-in cratering scales as a significantly smaller power of energy than 2/3, while blast wind drag displacement of jeeps in open desert scales as a larger power of energy than 2/3. Comparisons of equivalent megatonnage shows, for example, that WWII's 2 megatons of TNT in the form of about 20,000,000 separate conventional 100 kg (0.1 ton) explosives is equivalent to 20,000,000 x (10-7)2/3 = 431 separate 1 megaton explosions! The point is, nuclear weapons are not of a different order of magnitude to conventional warfare, because: (1) devastated areas don't scale in proportion to energy release, (2) the number of nuclear weapons is very much smaller than the number of conventional bombs dropped in conventional war, (3) because of radiation effects like neutrons and intense EMP, it is possible to eliminate physical destruction by nuclear weapons by a combination of weapon design (e.g. very clean bombs like 99.9% fusion Dominic-Housatonic, or 95% fusion Redwing-Navajo) and burst altitude or depth for hard targets, and create a weapon that deters invasions credibly (without lying local fallout radiation hazards), something none of the biased "pacifist disarmament" lobbies (which attract Russian support) tell you, and (4) people at collateral damage distances have time to take cover from radiation and flying glass, blast winds, etc from nuclear explosions (which they don't in Ukraine and Gaza where similar blast pressures arrive more rapidly from smaller conventional explosions). There's a big problem with propaganda here.

(These calculations, showing that even if strategic bombing had worked in WWII - and the US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded it failed, thus the early Cold War effort to develop and test tactical nuclear weapons and train for tactical nuclear war in Nevada field exercises - you need over 400 megaton weapons to give the equivalent of WWII city destruction in Europe and Japan, are often inverted by anti-nuclear bigots to try to obfuscate the truth. What we're driving at is that nuclear weapons give you the ability to DETER the invasions that set off such wars, regardless of whether they escalate from poison gas - as feared in the 20s and 30s thus appeasement and WWII - or nuclear. Escalation was debunked in WWII where the only use of poison gases were in "peaceful" gas chambers, not dropped on cities. Rather than justifying appeasement, the "peaceful" massacre of millions in gas chambers justified war. But evil could and should have been deterred. The "anti-war" propagandarists like Lord Noel-Baker and pals who guaranteed immediate gas knockout blows in the 30s if we didn't appease evil dictators were never held to account and properly debunked by historians after the war, so they converted from gas liars to nuclear liars in the Cold War and went on winning "peace" prices for their lies, which multiplied up over the years, to keep getting news media headlines and Nobel Peace Prizes for starting and sustaining unnecessary wars and massacres by dictators. There's also a military side to this, with Field Marshall's Lord Mountbatten, lord Carver and lord Zuckerman in the 70s arguing for UK nuclear disarmament and a re-introduction of conscription instead. These guys were not pacifist CND thugs who wanted Moscow to rule the world, but they were quoted by them attacking the deterrent but not of course calling for conscription instead. The abolishment of UK conscription for national service in 1960 was due to the H-bomb, and was a political money-saving plot by Macmillan. If we disarmed our nuclear deterrent and spend the money on conscription plus underground shelters, we might well be able to resist Russia as Ukraine does, until we run out of ammunition etc. However, the cheapest and most credible deterrent is tactical nuclear weapons to prevent the concentration of aggressive force by terrorist states..)

Britain was initially in a better position with regards to civil defense than the USA, because in WWII Britain had built sufficient shelters (of various types, but all tested against blast intense enough to demolish brick houses, and later also tested them at various nuclear weapon trials in Monte Bello and Maralinga, Australia) and respirators for the entire civilian population. However, Britain also tried to keep the proof testing data secret from Russia (which tested their own shelters at their own nuclear tests anyway) and this meant it appeared that civil defense advice was unproved and would not work, an illusion exploited especially for communist propaganda in the UK via CND. To give just one example, CND and most of the UK media still rely on Duncan Campbell's pseudo-journalism book War Plan UK since it is based entirely on fake news about UK civil defense, nuclear weapons, Hiroshima, fallout, blast, etc. He takes for granted that - just because the UK Government kept the facts secret - the facts don't exist, and to him any use of nuclear weapons which spread any radioactivity whatsoever will make life totally impossible: "What matters 'freedom' or 'a way of life' in a radioactive wasteland?" (Quote from D. Campbell, War Plan UK, Paladin Books, May 1983, p387.) The problem here is the well known fallout decay rate; Trinity nuclear test ground zero was reported by Glasstone (Effects of Atomic Weapons, 1950) to be at 8,000 R/hr at 1 hour after burst, yet just 57 days later, on September 11, 1945, General Groves, Robert Oppenheimer, and a large group of journalists safely visited it and took their time inspecting the surviving tower legs, when the gamma dose rate was down to little more than 1 R/hr! So fission products decay fast: 1,000 R/hr at 1 hour decays to 100 at 7 hours, 10 at 2 days, and just 1 at 2 weeks. So the "radioactive wasteland" is just as much a myth as any other nuclear "doomsday" fictional headline in the media. Nuclear weapons effects have always been fake news in the mainstream media: editors have always regarded facts as "boring copy". Higher yield tests showed that even the ground zero crater "hot spots" were generally lower, due to dispersal by the larger mushroom cloud. If you're far downwind, you can simply walk cross-wind, or prepare an improvised shelter while the dust is blowing. But point any such errors out to fanatical bigots and they will just keep making up more nonsense.

Duncan Campbell's War Plan UK relies on the contradiction of claiming that the deliberately exaggerated UK Government worst-case civil defense "exercises" for training purposes are "realistic scenarios" (e.g. 1975 Inside Right, 1978 Scrum Half, 1980 Square Leg, 1982 Hard Rock planning), while simultaneously claiming the very opposite about reliable UK Government nuclear effects and sheltering effectiveness data, and hoping nobody would spot his contradictory tactics. He quotes extensively from these lurid worst-case scenario UK civil defense exercises ,as if they are factually defensible rather than imaginary fiction to put planners under the maximum possible stress (standard UK military policy of “Train hard to fight easy”), while ignoring the far more likely limited nuclear uses scenario of Sir John Hackett's Third World War. His real worry is the 1977 UK Government Training Manual for Scientific Advisers which War Plan UK quotes on p14: "a potential threat to the security of the United Kingdom arising from acts of sabotage by enemy agents, possibly assisted by dissident groups. ... Their aim would be to weaken the national will and ability to fight. ... Their significance should not be underestimated." On the next page, War Plan UK quotes J. B. S. Haldane's 1938 book Air Raid Precautions (ARP) on the terrible destruction Haldane witnessed on unprotected people in the Spanish civil war, without even mentioning that Haldane's point is pro-civil defense, pro-shelters, and anti-appeasement of dictatorship, the exact opposite of War Plan UK which wants Russia to run the world. On page 124 War Plan UK the false assertion is made that USA nuclear casualty data is "widely accepted" and true (declassified Hiroshima casaulty data for people in modern concrete buildings proves it to be lies) while the correct UK nuclear casualty data is "inaccurate", and on page 126, Duncan Campbell simply lies that the UK Government's Domestic Nuclear Shelters- Technical Guidance "ended up offering the public a selection of shelters half of which were invented in the Blitz ... None of the designs was ever tested." In fact, Frank Pavry (who studied similar shelters surviving near ground zero at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 with the British Mission to Japan_ and George R. Stanbury tested 15 Anderson shelters at the first UK nuclear explosion, Operation Hurricane in 1952, together with concrete structures, and many other improvised trench and earth-covered shelters were nuclear tested by USA and UK at trials in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1958, and later at simulated nuclear explosions by Cresson Kearny of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA, having also earlier been exposed to early Russian nuclear tests (scroll down to see the evidence of this). Improved versions of war tested and nuclear weapons tested shelters! So war Plan UK makes no effort whatsoever to dig up the facts, and instead falsely claims the exact opposite of the plain unvarnished truth! War Plan UK shows its hypocrisy on page 383 in enthusiastically praising Russian civil defense:

"Training in elementary civil defence is given to everyone, at school, in industry or collective farms. A basic handbook of precautionary measures, Everybody must know this!, is the Russian Protect and Survive. The national civil defence corps is extensive, and is organized along military lines. Over 200,000 civil defence troops would be mobilized for rescue work in war. There are said to be extensive, dispersed and 'untouchable' food stockpiles; industrial workers are issued with kits of personal protection apparatus, said to include nerve gas counteragents such as atropine. Fallout and blast shelters are provided in the cities and in industrial complexes, and new buildings have been required to have shelters since the 1950s. ... They suggest that less than 10% - even as little as 5% - of the Soviet population would die in a major attack. [Less than Russia's loss of 12% of its population in WWII.]"

'LLNL achieved fusion ignition for the first time on Dec. 5, 2022. The second time came on July 30, 2023, when in a controlled fusion experiment, the NIF laser delivered 2.05 MJ of energy to the target, resulting in 3.88 MJ of fusion energy output, the highest yield achieved to date. On Oct. 8, 2023, the NIF laser achieved fusion ignition for the third time with 1.9 MJ of laser energy resulting in 2.4 MJ of fusion energy yield. “We’re on a steep performance curve,” said Jean-Michel Di Nicola, co-program director for the NIF and Photon Science’s Laser Science and Systems Engineering organization. “Increasing laser energy can give us more margin against issues like imperfections in the fuel capsule or asymmetry in the fuel hot spot. Higher laser energy can help achieve a more stable implosion, resulting in higher yields.” ... “The laser itself is capable of higher energy without fundamental changes to the laser,” said NIF operations manager Bruno Van Wonterghem. “It’s all about the control of the damage. Too much energy without proper protection, and your optics blow to pieces.” ' - https://lasers.llnl.gov/news/llnls-nif-delivers-record-laser-energy

NOTE: the "problem" very large lasers "required" to deliver ~2MJ (roughly 0.5 kg of TNT energy) to cause larger fusion explosions of 2mm diameter capsules of frozen D+T inside a 1 cm diameter energy reflecting hohlraum, and the "problem" of damage to the equipment caused by the explosions, is immaterial to clean nuclear deterrent development based on this technology, because in a clean nuclear weapon, whatever laser or other power ignition system is used only has to be fired once, so it needs to be less robust than the NIF lasers which are used repeatedly. Similarly, damage done to the system by the explosion is also immaterial for a clean nuclear weapon, in which the weapon is detonated once only! This is exactly the same point which finally occurred during a critical review of the first gun-type assembly nuclear weapon, in which the fact it would only ever be fired once (unlike a field artillery gun) enabled huge reductions in the size of the device, into a practical weapon, as described by General Leslie M. Groves on p163 of his 1962 book Now it can be told: the story of the Manhattan Project:

"Out of the Review Committee's work came one important technical contribution when Rose pointed out ... that the durability of the gun was quite immaterial to success, since it would be destroyed in the explosion anyway. Self-evident as this seemed once it was mentioned, it had not previously occurred to us. Now we could make drastic reductions in ... weight and size."

This principle also applies to weaponizing NIF clean fusion explosion technology. General Groves' book was reprinted in 1982 with a useful Introduction by Edward Teller on the nature of nuclear weapons history: "History in some ways resembles the relativity principle in science. What is observed depends on the observer. Only when the perspective of the observer is known, can proper corrections be made. ... The general ... very often managed to ignore complexity and arrive at a result which, if not ideal, at least worked. ... For Groves, the Manhattan project seemed a minor assignment, less significant than the construction of the Pentagon. He was deeply disappointed at being given the job of supervising the development of an atomic weapon, since it deprived him of combat duty. ... We must find ways to encourage mutual understanding and significant collaboration between those who defend their nation with their lives and those who can contribute the ideas to make that defense successful. Only by such cooperation can we hope that freedom will survive, that peace will be preserved."

General Groves similarly comments in Chapter 31, "A Final Word" of Now it can be told:

"No man can say what would have been the result if we had not taken the steps ... Yet, one thing seems certain - atomic energy would have been developed somewhere in the world ... I do not believe the United States ever would have undertaken it in time of peace. Most probably, the first developer would have been a power-hungry nation, which would then have dominated the world completely ... it is fortunate indeed for humanity that the initiative in this field was gained and kept by the United States. That we were successful was due entirely to the hard work and dedication of the more than 600,000 Americans who comprised and directly supported the Manhattan Project. ... we had the full backing of our government, combined with the nearly infinite potential of American science, engineering and industry, and an almost unlimited supply of people endowed with ingenuity and determination."

Update: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's $3.5 billion National Ignition Facility, NIF, using ultraviolet wavelength laser beam pulses of 2MJ on to a 2mm diameter spherical beryllium shell of frozen D+T inside a 1 cm-long hollow gold cylinder "hohlraum" (which is heated to a temperature where it then re-radiates energy at much higher frequency, x-rays, on to the surface of the beryllium ablator of the central fusion capsule, which ablates causing it to recoil inward (as for the 1962 Ripple II nuclear weapon's secondary stage, the capsule is compressed efficiently, mimicking the isentropic compression mechanism of a miniature Ripple II clean nuclear weapon secondary stage), has now repeatedly achieved nuclear fusion explosions of over 3MJ, equivalent to nearly 1 kg of TNT explosive. According to a Time article (linked her) about fusion system designer Annie Kritcher, the recent breakthrough was in part due to using a ramping input energy waveform: "success that came thanks to tweaks including shifting more of the input energy to the later part of the laser shot", a feature that minimises the rise in entropy due to shock shock wave generation (which heats the capsule, causing it to expand and resist compression) and increases isentropic compression which was the principle used by LLNL's J. H. Nuckolls to achieve the 99.9% clean Ripple II 9.96 megaton nuclear test success in Dominic-Housatonic on 30 October 1962. Nuckolls in 1972 published the equation for the idealized input power waveform required for isentropic, optimized compression of fusion fuel (Nature, v239, p139): P ~ (1 - t)-1.875, where t is time in units of the transit time (the time taken for the shock to travel to the centre of the fusion capsule), and -1.875 a constant based on the specific heat of the ionized fuel (Nuckolls has provided the basic declassified principles, see extract linked here). To be clear, the energy reliably released by the 2mm diameter capsule of fusion fuel was roughly a 1 kg TNT explosion. 80% of this is in the form of 14.1 MeV neutrons (ideal for fissioning lithium-7 in LiD to yield more tritium), and 20% is the kinetic energy of fused nuclei (which is quickly converted into x-rays radiation energy by collisions). Nuckolls' 9.96 megaton Housatonic (10 kt Kinglet primary and 9.95 Mt Ripple II 100% clean isentropically compressed secondary) of 1962 proved that it is possible to use multiplicative staging whereby lower yield primary nuclear explosions trigger off a fusion stage 1,000 times more powerful than its initiator. Another key factor, as shown on our ggraph linked here, is that you can use cheap natural LiD as fuel once you have a successful D+T reaction, because naturally abundant, cheap Li-7 more readily fissions to yield tritium with the 14.1 MeV neutrons from D+T fusion, than expensively enriched Li-6, which is needed to make tritium in nuclear reactors where the fission neutron energy of around 1 MeV is too low to to fission Li-7. It should also be noted that despite an openly published paper about Nuckolls' Ripple II success being stymied in 2021 by Jon Grams, the subject is still being covered up/ignored by the anti-nuclear biased Western media! Grams article fails to contain the design details such as the isentropic power delivery curve etc from Nuckolls' declassified articles that we include in the latest blog post here. One problem regarding "data" causing continuing confusion about the Dominic-Housatonic 30 October 1962 Ripple II test at Christmas Island, is made clear in the DASA-1211 report's declassified summary of the sizes, weights and yields of those tests: Housatonic was Nuckolls' fourth and final isentropic test, with the nuclear system inserted into a heavy steel Mk36 drop case, making the overall size 57.2 inches in diameter, 147.9 long and 7,139.55 lb mass, i.e. 1.4 kt/lb or 3.0 kt/kg yield-to-mass ratio for 9.96 Mt yield, which is not impressive for that yield range until you consider (a) that it was 99.9% fusion and (b) the isentropic design required a heavy holhraum around the large Ripple II fusion secondary stage to confine x-rays for relatively long time during which a slowly rising pulse of x-rays were delivered from the primary to secondary via a very large areas of foam elsewhere in the weapon, to produce isentropic compression.

Additionally, the test was made in a hurry before an atmospheric teat ban treaty, and this rushed use of a standard air drop steel casing made the tested weapon much heavier than a properly weaponized Ripple II. The key point is that a 10 kt fission device set off a ~10 Mt fusion explosion, a very clean deterrent. Applying this Ripple II 1,000-factor multiplicative staging figure directly to this technology for clean nuclear warheads, a 0.5 kg TNT D+T fusion capsule would set off a 0.5 ton TNT 2nd stage of LiD, which would then set off a 0.5 kt 3rd stage "neutron bomb", which could then be used to set off a 500 kt 4th stage or "strategic nuclear weapon". In practice, this multiplication factor of 1,000 given by Ripple II in 1962 from 10 kt to 10 Mt may not be immediately achievable to get from ~1 kg TNT yield to 1 ton TNT, so a few more tiny stages may be needed for the lower yield. But there is every reason to forecast that with enough research, improvements will be possible and the device will become a reality. It is therefore now possible not just in "theory" or in principle, but with evidence obtained from practical experimentation, using suitable already-proved technical staging systems used in 1960s nuclear weapon tests successfully, to design 100% clean fusion nuclear warheads! Yes, the details have been worked out, yes the technology has been tested in piecemeal fashion. All that is now needed is a new, but quicker and cheaper, Star Wars program or Manhattan Project style effort to pull the components together. This will constitute a major leap forward in the credibility of the deterrence of aggressors.

ABOVE: as predicted, the higher the input laser pulse for the D+T initiator of a clean multiplicatively-staged nuclear deterrent, the lower the effect of plasma instabilities and asymmetries and the greater the fusion burn. To get ignition (where the x-ray energy injected into the fusion hohlraum by the laser is less than the energy released in the D+T fusion burn) they have had to use about 2 MJ delivered in 10 ns or so, equivalent to 0.5 kg of TNT equivalent. But for deterrent use, why use such expensive, delicate lasers? Why not just use one-shot miniaturised x-ray tubes with megavolt electron acceleration, powered a suitably ramped pulse from a chemical explosion for magnetic flux compression current generation? At 10% efficiency, you need 0.5 x 10 = 5 kg of TNT! Even at 1% efficiency, 50 kg of TNT will do. Once the D+T gas capsule's hohlraum is well over 1 cm in size, to minimise the risk of imperfections that cause asymmetries, you don't any longer need focussed laser beams to enter tiny apertures. You might even be able to integrate many miniature flash x-ray tubes (each designed to burn out when firing one pulse of a MJ or so) into a special hohlraum. Humanity urgently needs a technological arms race akin to Reagan's Star Wars project, to deter the dictators from invasions and WWIII. In the conference video above, a question was asked about the real efficiency of the enormous repeat-pulse capable laser system's efficiency (not required for a nuclear weapon whose components only require the capability to be used once, unlike lab equipment): the answer is that 300 MJ was required by the lab lasers to fire a 2 MJ pulse into the D+T capsule's x-ray hohlraum, i.e. their lasers are only 0.7% efficient! So why bother? We know - from the practical use of incoherent fission primary stage x-rays to compress and ignite fusion capsules in nuclear weapons - that you simply don't need coherent photons from a laser for this purpose. The sole reason they are approaching the problem with lasers is that they began their lab experiments decades ago with microscopic sized fusion capsules and for those you need a tightly focussed beam to insert energy through a tiny hohlraum aperture. But now they are finally achieving success with much larger fusion capsules (to minimise instabilities that caused the early failures), it may be time to change direction. A whole array of false "no-go theorems" can and will be raised by ignorant charlatan "authorities" against any innovation; this is the nature of the political world. There is some interesting discussion of why clean bombs aren't in existence today, basically the idealized theory (which works fine for big H-bombs but ignores small-scale asymmetry problems which are important only at low ignition energy) understimated the input energy required for fusion ignition by a factor of 2000:

The early calculations on ICF (inertial-confinement fusion) by John Nuckolls in 1972 had estimated that ICF might be achieved with a driver energy as low as 1 kJ. ... In order to provide reliable experimental data on the minimum energy required for ignition, a series of secret experiments—known as Halite at Livermore and Centurion at Los Alamos—was carried out at the nuclear weapons test site in Nevada between 1978 and 1988. The experiments used small underground nuclear explosions to provide X-rays of sufficiently high intensity to implode ICF capsules, simulating the manner in which they would be compressed in a hohlraum. ... the Halite/Centurion results predicted values for the required laser energy in the range 20 to 100MJ—higher than the predictions ..." - Garry McCracken and Peter Stott, Fusion, Elsevier, 2nd ed., p149.

In the final diagram above, we illustrate an example of what could very well occur in the near future, just to really poke a stick into the wheels of "orthodoxy" in nuclear weapons design: is it possible to just use a lot of (perhaps hardened for higher currents, perhaps no) pulsed current driven microwave tubes from kitchen microwave ovens, channelling their energy using waveguides (simply metal tubes, i.e. electrical Faraday cages, which reflect and thus contain microwaves) into the hohlraum, and make the pusher of dipole molecules (like common salt, NaCl) which is a good absorber of microwaves (as everybody knows from cooking in microwave ovens)? It would be extremely dangerous, not to mention embarrassing, if this worked, but nobody had done any detailed research into the possibility due to groupthink orthodoxy and conventional boxed in thinking! Remember, the D+T capsule just needs extreme compression and this can be done by any means that works. Microwave technology is now very well-established. It's no good trying to keep anything of this sort "secret" (either officially or unofficially) since as history shows, dictatorships are the places where "crackpot"-sounding ideas (such as douple-primary Project "49" Russian thermonuclear weapon designs, Russian Sputnik satellites, Russian Novichok nerve agent, Nazi V1 cruise missiles, Nazi V2 IRBM's, etc.) can be given priority by loony dictators. We have to avoid, as Edward Teller put it (in his secret commentary debunking Bethe's false history of the H-bomb, written AFTER the Teller-Ulam breakthrough), "too-narrow" thinking (which Teller said was still in force on H-bomb design even then). Fashionable hardened orthodoxy is the soft underbelly of "democracy" (a dictatorship by the majority, which is always too focussed on fashionable ideas and dismissive of alternative approaches in science and technology). Dictatorships (minorities against majorities) have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of concern for the fake "no-go theorems" used by Western anti-nuclear "authorities" to ban anything but fashionable groupthink science.

ABOVE: 1944-dated film of the Head of the British Mission to Los Alamos, neutron discoverer James Chadwick, explaining in detail to American how hard it was for him to discover the neutron, taking 10 years on a shoe-string budget, mostly due to having insufficiently strong sources of alpha particles to bombard nuclei in a cloud chamber! The idea of the neutron came from his colleague Rutherford. Chadwick reads his explanation while rapidly rotating a pencil in his right hand, perhaps indicating the stress he was under in 1944. In 1946, when British participation at Los Alamos ended, Chadwick wrote the first detailed secret British report on the design of a three-stage hydrogen bomb, another project that took over a decade. In the diagram below, it appears that the American Mk17 only had a single secondary stage like the similar yield 1952 Mike design. The point here is that popular misunderstanding of the simple mechanism of x-ray energy transfer for higher yield weapons may be creating a dogmatic attitude even in secret nuclear weaponeer design labs, where orthodoxy is followed too rigorously. The Russians (see quotes on the latest blog post here) state they used two entire two-stage thermonuclear weapons with a combined yield of 1 megaton to set off their 50 megaton test in 1961. If true, you can indeed use two-stage hydrogen bombs as an "effective primary" to set off another secondary stage, of much higher yield. Can this be reversed in the sense of scaling it down so you have several bombs-within-bombs, all triggered by a really tiny first stage? In other words, can it be applied to neutron bomb design?

ABOVE: 16 kt at 600m altitude nuclear explosion on a city, Hiroshima ground zero (in foreground) showing modern concrete buildings surviving nearby (unlike the wooden ones that mostly burned at the peak of the firestorm 2-3 hours after survivors had evacuated), in which people were shielded from most of the radiation and blast winds, as they were in simple shelters.

The 1946 Report of the British Mission to Japan, The Effects of the Atomic Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, compiled by a team of 16 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during November 1945, which included 10 UK Home Office civil defence experts (W. N. Thomas, J. Bronowski, D. C. Burn, J. B. Hawker, H. Elder, P. A. Badland, R. W. Bevan, F. H. Pavry, F. Walley, O. C. Young, S. Parthasarathy, A. D. Evans, O. M. Solandt, A. E. Dark, R. G. Whitehead and F. G. S. Mitchell) found: "Para. 26. Reinforced concrete buildings of very heavy construction in Hiroshima, even when within 200 yards of the centre of damage, remained structurally undamaged. ... Para 28. These observations make it plain that reinforced concrete framed buildings can resist a bomb of the same power detonated at these heights, without employing fantastic thicknesses of concrete. ... Para 40. The provision of air raid shelters throughout Japan was much below European standards. ... in Hiroshima ... they were semi-sunk, about 20 feet long, had wooden frames, and 1.5-2 feet of earth cover. ... Exploding so high above them, the bomb damaged none of these shelters. ... Para 42. These observations show that the standard British shelters would have performed well against a bomb of the same power exploded at such a height. Anderson shelters, properly erected and covered, would have given protection. Brick or concrete surfac shelters with adequate reinforcement would have remained safe from collapse. The Morrison shelter is designed only to protect its occupants from the refuge load of a house, and this it would have done. Deep shelters such as the refuge provided by the London Underground would have given complete protection. ... Para 60. Buildings and walls gave complete protection from flashburn."

Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons in Table 12.21 on p547 flunks making this point by giving data without citing its source to make it credible to readers: it correlated 14% mortality (106 killed out of 775 people in Hiroshima's Telegraph Office) to "moderate damage" at 500m in Hiroshima (the uncited "secret" source was NP-3041, Table 12, applying to unwarned people inside modern concrete buildings).

"A weapon whose basic design would seem to provide the essence of what Western morality has long sought for waging classical battlefield warfare - to keep the war to a struggle between the warriors and exclude the non-combatants and their physical assets - has been violently denounced, precisely because it achieves this objective." - Samuel T. Cohen (quoted in Chapman Pincher, The secret offensive, Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1985, Chapter 15: The Neutron Bomb Offensive, p210).

The reality is, dedicated enhanced neutron tactical nuclear weapons were used to credibly deter the concentrations of force required for triggering of WWIII during the 1st Cold War, and the thugs who support Russian propaganda for Western disarmament got rid of them on our side, but not on the Russian side. Air burst neutron bombs or even as subsurface earth penetrators of relatively low fission yield (where the soil converts energy that would otherwise escape as blast and radiation into ground shock for destroying buried tunnels - new research on cratering shows that a 20 kt subsurface burst creates similar effects on buried hard targets as a 1 Mt surface burst), they cause none of the vast collateral damage to civilians that we see now in Ukraine and Gaza, or that we saw in WWII and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. This is 100% contrary to CND propaganda which is a mixture of lying on nuclear explosion collateral damage, escalation/knockout blow propaganda (of the type used to start WWII by appeasers) and lying on the designs of nuclear weapons in order to ensure the Western side (but not the thugs) gets only incredible "strategic deterrence" that can't deter the invasions that start world wars (e.g. Belgium in 1914 and Poland in 1939.) "Our country entered into an agreement in Budapest, Hungary when the Soviet Union was breaking up that we would guarantee the independence of Ukraine." - Tom Ramos. There really is phoney nuclear groupthink left agenda politics at work here: credible relatively clean tactical nuclear weapons are banned in the West but stocked by Russia, which has civil defense shelters to make its threats far more credible than ours! We need low-collateral damage enhanced-neutron and earth-penetrator options for the new Western W93 warhead, or we remain vulnerable to aggressive coercion by thugs, and invite invasions. Ambiguity, the current policy ("justifying" secrecy on just what we would do in any scenario) actually encourages experimental provocations by enemies to test what we are prepared to do (if anything), just as it did in 1914 and the 1930s.

ABOVE: 0.2 kt (tactical yield range) Ruth nuclear test debris, with lower 200 feet of the 300 ft steel tower surviving in Nevada, 1953. Note that the yield of the tactical invasion-deterrent Mk54 Davy Crockett was only 0.02 kt, 10 times less than than 0.2 kt Ruth.

It should be noted that cheap and naive "alternatives" to credible deterrence of war were tried in the 1930s and during the Cold War and afterwards, with disastrous consequences. Heavy "peaceful" oil sanctions and other embargoes against Japan for its invasion of China between 1931-7 resulted in the plan for the Pearl Harbor surprise attack of 7 December 1941, with subsequent escalation to incendiary city bombing followed nuclear warfare against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Attlee's pressure on Truman to guarantee no use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Korean War (leaked straight to Stalin by the Cambridge Spy Ring), led to an escalation of that war causing the total devastation of the cities of that country by conventional bombing (a sight witnessed by Sam Cohen, that motivated his neutron bomb deterrent of invasions), until Eisenhower was elected and reversed Truman's decision, leading not to the "escalatory Armageddon" assertions of Attlee, but to instead to a peaceful armistice! Similarly, as Tom Ramos argues in From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Kennedy's advisers who convinced him to go ahead with the moonlit 17 April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba without any USAF air support, which led to precisely what they claimed they would avoid: an escalation of aggression from Russia in Berlin, with the Berlin Wall going up on 17 August 1961 because any showing weakness to an enemy, as in the bungled invasion of Cuba, is always a green light to dictators to go ahead with revolutions, invasions and provocations everywhere else. Rather than the widely hyped autistic claims from disarmers and appeasers about "weakness bringing peace by demonstrating to the enemy that they have nothing to fear from you", the opposite result always occurs. The paranoid dictator seizes the opportunity to strike first. Similarly, withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2021 was a clear green light to Russia to go ahead with a full scale invasion of Ukraine, reigniting the Cold War. von Neumann and Morgenstein's Minimax theorem for winning games - minimise the maximum possible loss - fails with offensive action in war because it sends a signal of weakness to the enemy, which does not treat war as a game with rules to be obeyed. Minimax is only valid for defense, such as civil defense shelters used by Russia to make their threats more credible than ours. The sad truth is that cheap fixes don't work, no matter how much propaganda is behind them. You either need to militarily defeat the enemy or at least economically defeat them using proven Cold War arms race techniques (not merely ineffective sanctions, which they can bypass by making alliances with Iran, North Korea, and China). Otherwise, you are negotiating peace from a position of weakness, which is called appeasement, or collaboration with terrorism.

"Following the war, the Navy Department was intent to see the effects of an atomic blast on naval warships ... the press was invited to witness this one [Crossroads-Able, 23.5 kt at 520 feet altitude, 1 July 1946, Bikini Atoll]. ... The buildup had been too extravagant. Goats that had been tethered on warship decks were still munching their feed, and the atoll's palm trees remained standing, unscathed. The Bikini test changed public attitudes. Before July 1, the world stood in awe of a weapon that had devastated two cities and forced the Japanese Empire to surrender. After that date, the bomb was still a terrible weapon, but a limited one." - Tom Ramos (LLNL nuclear weaponeer and nuclear pumped X-ray laser developer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Prevent Nuclear War, Naval Institute Press, 2022, pp43-4.

ABOVE: 16 February 1950 Daily Express editorial on H Bomb problem due to the fact that the UN is another virtue signalling but really war mongering League of Nations (which oversaw Nazi appeasement and the outbreak of WWII); however Fuchs had attended the April 1946 Super Conference during which the Russian version of the H-bomb involving isentropic radiation implosion of a separate low-density fusion stage (unlike Teller's later dense metal ablation rocket implosion secondary TX14 Alarm Clock and Sausage designs) were discussed and then given to Russia. The media was made aware only that Fuchs hade given the fission bomb to Russia. The FBI later visited Fuchs in British jail, showed him a film of Harry Gold (whom Fuchs identified as his contact while at Los Alamos) and also gave Fuchs a long list of secret reports to mark off individually so that they knew precisely what Stalin had been given. Truman didn't order H-bomb research and development because Fuchs gave Stalin the A-bomb, but because he gave them the H-bomb. The details of the Russian H-bomb are still being covered up by those who want a repetition of 1930s appeasement, or indeed the deliberate ambiguity of the UK Cabinet in 1914 which made it unclear what the UK would do if Germany invaded Belgium, allowing the enemy to exploit that ambiguity, starting a world war. The key fact usually covered up (Richard Rhodes, Chuck Hansen, and the whole American "expert nuclear arms community" all misleadingly claim that Teller's Sausage H-bomb design with a single primary and a dense ablator around a cylindrical secondary stage - uranium, lead or tungsten - is the "hydrogen bomb design") here is that two attendees of the April 1946 Super Conference, the report author Egon Bretscher and the radiation implosion discoverer Klaus Fuchs - were British, and both contributed key H-bomb design principles to the Russian and British weapons (discarded for years by America). Egon Bretscher for example wrote up the Super Conference report, during which attendees suggested various ways to try to achieve isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel (a concept discarded by Teller's 1951 Sausage design, but used by Russia and re-developed in America on Nuckolls 1962 Ripple tests), and after Teller left Los Alamos, Bretscher took over work on Teller's Alarm Clock layered fission-fusion spherical hybrid device before Bretscher himself left Los Alamos and became head of nuclear physics at Harwell, UK,, submitting UK report together with Fuchs (head of theoretical physics at Harwell) which led to Sir James Chadwick's UK paper on a three-stage thermonuclear Super bomb which formed the basis of Penney's work at the UK Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While Bretscher had worked on Teller's hybrid Alarm Clock (which originated two months after Fuchs left Los Alamos), Fuchs co-authored a hydrogen bomb patent with John von Neumann, in which radiation implosion and ionization implosion was used. Between them, Bretscher and Fuchs had all the key ingredients. Fuchs leaked them to Russia and the problem persists today in international relations.

ILLUSTRATION: the threat of WWII and the need to deter it was massively derided by popular pacifism which tended to make "jokes" of the Nazi threat until too late (example of 1938 UK fiction on this above; Charlie Chaplin's film "The Great Dictator" is another example), so three years after the Nuremberg Laws and five years after illegal rearmament was begun by the Nazis, in the UK crowds of "pacifists" in Downing Street, London, support friendship with the top racist, dictatorial Nazis in the name of "world peace". The Prime Minister used underhand techniques to try to undermine appeasement critics like Churchill and also later to get W. E. Johns fired from both editorships of Flying (weekly) and Popular Flying (monthly) to make it appear everybody "in the know" agreed with his actions, hence the contrived "popular support" for collaborating with terrorists depicted in these photos. The same thing persists today; the 1920s and 1930s "pacifist" was also driven by "escalation" and "annihilation" claims explosions, fire and WMD poison gas will kill everybody in a "knockout blow", immediately any war breaks out.

Update (4 January 2024): on the important world crisis, https://vixra.org/abs/2312.0155 gives a detailed review of "Britain and the H-bomb" (linked here), and why the "nuclear deterrence issue" isn't about "whether we should deter evil", but precisely what design of nuclear warhead we should have in order to do that cheaply, credibly, safely, and efficiently without guaranteeing either escalation or the failure of deterrence. When we disarmed our chemical and biological weapons, it was claimed that the West could easily deter those weapons using strategic nuclear weapons to bomb Moscow (which has shelters, unlike us). That failed when Putin used sarin and chlorine to prop up Assad in Syria, and Novichok in the UK to kill Dawn Sturgess in 2018. So it's just not a credible deterrent to say you will bomb Moscow if Putin invades Europe or uses his 2000 tactical nuclear weapons. An even more advanced deterrent, the 100% clean very low yield (or any yield) multiplicative staged design without any fissile material whatsoever, just around the corner. Clean secondary stages have been proof-tested successfully for example in the 100% clean Los Alamos Redwing Navajo secondary, and the 100% clean Ripple II secondary tested 30 October 1962, and the laser ignition of very tiny fusion capsules to yield more energy than supplied has been done on 5 December 2022 when a NIF test delivered 2.05 MJ (the energy of about 0.5 kg of TNT) to a fusion capsule which yielded 3.15 MJ, so all that is needed is to combine both ideas in a system whereby suitably sized second stages - ignited in the first place by a capacitative charged circuit sending a pulse of energy to a suitable laser system (the schematic shown is just a sketch of principle - more than one laser would possibly be required for reliability of fusion ignition) acting on tiny fusion capsule as shown - are encased to two-stage "effective primaries" which each become effective primaries of bigger systems, thus a geometric series of multiplicative staging until the desired yield is reached. Note that the actual tiny first T+D capsule can be compressed by one-shot lasers - compact lasers used way beyond their traditional upper power limit and burned out in a firing a single pulse - in the same way the gun assembly of the Hiroshima bomb was based on a one-shot gun. In other words, forget all about textbook gun design. The Hiroshima bomb gun assembly system only had to be fired once, unlike a field artillery piece which has to be ready to be fired many thousands of times (before metal fatigue/cracks set in). Thus, by analogy, the lasers - which can be powered by ramping current pulses from magnetic flux compressor systems - for use in a clean bomb will be much smaller and lighter than current lab gear which is designed to be used thousands of times in repeated experiments. The diagram below shows cylindrical Li6D stages throughout for a compact bomb shape, but spherical stages can be used, and once a few stages get fired, the flux of 14 MeV neutrons is sufficient to go to cheap natural LiD. To fit it into a MIRV warhead, the low density of LiD constrains such a clean warhead will have a low nuclear yield, which means a tactical neutron deterrent of the invasions that cause big wars; a conversion of incredible strategic deterrence into a more credible combined strategic-tactical deterrent of major provocations, not just direct attacks. It should also be noted that in 1944 von Neumann suggested that T + D inside the core of the fission weapon would be compressed by "ionization compression" during fission (where a higher density ionized plasma compresses a lower density ionized plasma, i.e. the D + T plasma), an idea that was - years later - named the Internal Booster principle by Teller; see Frank Close, "Trinity", Allen Lane, London, 2019, pp158-159 where Close argues that during the April 1946 Superbomb Conference, Fuchs extended von Neumann's 1944 internal fusion boosting idea to an external D + T filled BeO walled capsule:

"Fuchs reasoned that [the very low energy, 1-10 kev, approximately 10-100 lower energy than medical] x-rays from the [physically separated] uranium explosion would reach the tamper of beryllium oxide, heat it, ionize the constituents and cause them to implode - the 'ionization implosion' concept of von Neumann but now applied to deuterium and tritium contained within beryllium oxide. To keep the radiation inside the tamper, Fuchs proposed to enclose the device inside a casing impervious to radiation. The implosion induced by the radiation would amplify the compression ... and increase the chance of the fusion bomb igniting. The key here is 'separation of the atomic charge and thermonuclear fuel, and compression of the latter by radiation travelling from the former', which constitutes 'radiation implosion'." (This distinction between von Neumann's "ionization implosion" INSIDE the tamper, of denser tamper expanding and thus compressing lower density fusion fuel inside, and Fuchs' OUTSIDE capsule "radiation implosion", is key even today for isentropic H-bomb design; it seems Teller's key breakthroughs were not separate stages or implosion but rather radiation mirrors and ablative recoil shock compression, where radiation is used to ablate a dense pusher of Sausage designs like Mike in 1952 etc., a distinction not to be confused for the 1944 von Neumann and 1946 Fuchs implosion mechanisms!

It appears Russian H-bombs used von Neumann's "ionization implosion" and Fuchs's "radiation implosion" for RDS-37 on 22 November 1955 and also in their double-primary 23 February 1958 test and subsequently, where their fusion capsules reportedly contained a BeO or other low-density outer coating, which would lead to quasi-isentropic compression, more effective for low density secondary stages than purely ablative recoil shock compression. This accounts for the continuing classification of the April 1946 Superbomb Conference (the extract of 32 pages linked here is so severely redacted that it is less helpful than the brief but very lucid summary of its technical content, in the declassified FBI compilation of reports concerning data Klaus Fuchs sent to Stalin, linked here!). Teller had all the knowledge he needed in 1946, but didn't go ahead because he made the stupid error of killing progress off by his own "no-go theorem" against compression of fusion fuel. Teller did a "theoretical" calculation in which he claimed that compression has no effect on the amount of fusion burn because the compressed system is simply scaled down in size so that the same efficiency of fusion burn occurs, albeit faster, and then stops as the fuel thermally expands. This was wrong. Teller discusses the reason for his great error in technical detail during his tape-recorded interview by Chuck Hansen at Los Alamos on 7 June 1993 (C. Hansen, Swords of Armageddon, 2nd ed., pp. II-176-7):

"Now every one of these [fusion] processes varied with the square of density. If you compress the thing, then in one unit's volume, each of the 3 important processes increased by the same factor ... Therefore, compression (seemed to be) useless. Now when ... it seemed clear that we were in trouble, then I wanted very badly to find a way out. And it occurred to be than an unprecedentedly strong compression will just not allow much energy to go into radiation. Therefore, something had to be wrong with my argument and then, you know, within minutes, I knew what must be wrong ... [energy] emission occurs when an electron and a nucleus collide. Absorption does not occur when a light quantum and a nucleus ... or ... electron collide; it occurs when a light quantum finds an electron and a nucleus together ... it does not go with the square of the density, it goes with the cube of the density." (This very costly theoretical error, wasting five years 1946-51, could have been resolved by experimental nuclear testing. There is always a risk of this in theoretical physics, which is why experiments are done to check calculations before prizes are handed out. The ban on nuclear testing is a luddite opposition to technological progress in improving deterrence.)

(This 1946-51 theoretical "no-go theorem" anti-compression error of Teller's, which was contrary to the suggestion of compression at the April 1946 superbomb conference as Teller himself refers to on 14 August 1952, and which was corrected only by comparison of the facts about compression validity in pure fission cores in Feb '51 after Ulam's argument that month for fission core compression by lens focussed primary stage shock waves, did not merely lead to Teller's dismissal of vital compression ideas. It also led to his false equations - exaggerating the cooling effect of radiation emission - causing underestimates of fusion efficiency in all theoretical calculations done of fusion until 1951! For this reason, Teller later repudiated the calculations that allegedly showed his Superbomb would fizzle; he argued that if it had been tested in 1946, the detailed data obtained - regardless of whatever happened - would have at least tested the theory which would have led to rapid progress, because the theory was wrong. The entire basis of the cooling of fusion fuel by radiation leaking out was massively exaggerated until Lawrence Livermore weaponeer John Nuckolls showed that there is a very simple solution: use baffle re-radiated, softened x-rays for isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel, e.g. very cold 0.3 kev x-rays rather than the usual 1-10 kev cold-warm x-rays emitted directly from the fission primary. Since the radiation losses are proportional to the fourth-power of the x-ray energy or temperature, losses are virtually eliminated, allowing very efficient staging as for Nuckolls' 99.9% 10 Mt clean Ripple II, detonated on 30 October 1962 at Christmas Island. Teller's classical Superbomb was actually analyzed by John C. Solem in a 15 December 1978 report, A modern analysis of Classical Super, LA-07615, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by mainstream historian Alex Wellerstein, FOIA 17-00131-H, 12 June 2017; according to a list of FOIA requests at https://www.governmentattic.org/46docs/NNSAfoiaLogs_2016-2020.pdf. However, a google search for the documents Dr Wellerstein requested shows only a few at the US Gov DOE Opennet OSTI database or otherwise online yet e.g. LA-643 by Teller, On the development of Thermonuclear Bombs dated 16 Feb. 1950. The page linked here stating that report was "never classified" is mistaken! One oddity about Teller's anti-compression "no-go theorem" is that the even if fusion rates were independent of density, you would still want compression of fissile material in a secondary stage such as a radiation imploded Alarm Clock, because the whole basis of implosion fission bombs is the benefit of compression; another issue is that even if fusion rates are unaffected by density, inward compression would still help to delay the expansion of the fusion system which leads to cooling and quenching of the fusion burn.)

ABOVE: the FBI file on Klaus Fuchs contains a brief summary of the secret April 1946 Super Conference at Los Alamos which Fuchs attended, noting that compression of fusion fuel was discussed by Lansdorf during the morning session on 19 April, attended by Fuchs, and that: "Suggestions were made by various people in attendance as to the manner of minimizing the rise in entropy during compression." This fact is vitally interesting, since it proves that an effort was being made then to secure isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel in April 1946, sixteen years before John H. Nuckolls tested the isentropically compressed Ripple II device on 30 October 1962, giving a 99.9% clean 10 megaton real H-bomb! So the Russians were given a massive head start on this isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel for hydrogen bombs, used (according to Trutnev) in both the single primary tests like RDS-37 in November 1955 and also in the double-primary designs which were 2.5 times more efficient on a yield-to-mass basis, tested first on 23 February 1958! According to the FBI report, the key documents Fuchs gave to Russia were LA-551, Prima facie proof of the feasibility of the Super, 15 Apr 1946 and the LA-575 Report of conference on the Super, 12 June 1946. Fuchs also handed over to Russia his own secret Los Alamos reports, such as LA-325, Initiator Theory, III. Jet Formation by the Collision of Two Surfaces, 11 July 1945, Jet Formation in Cylindrical lmplosion with 16 Detonation Points, Secret, 6 February 1945, and Theory of Initiators II, Melon Seed, Secret, 6 January 1945. Note the reference to Bretscher attending the Super Conference with Fuchs; Teller in a classified 50th anniversary conference at Los Alamos on the H-bomb claimed that after he (Teller) left Los Alamos for Chicago Uni in 1946, Bretscher continued work on Teller's 31 August 1946 "Alarm Clock" nuclear weapon (precursor of the Mike sausage concept etc) at Los Alamos; it was this layered uranium and fusion fuel "Alarm Clock" concept which led to the departure of Russian H-bomb design from American H-bomb design, simply because Fuchs left Los Alamos in June 1946, well before Teller invented the Alarm Clock concept on 31 August 1946 (Teller remembered the date precisely simply because he invented the Alarm Clock on the day his daughter was born, 31 August 1946! Teller and Richtmyer also developed a variant called "Swiss Cheese", with small pockets or bubbles of expensive fusion fuels, dispersed throughout cheaper fuel, in order to kinder a more cost-effective thermonuclear reaction; this later inspired the fission and fusion boosted "spark plug" ideas in later Sausage designs; e.g. security cleared Los Alamos historian Anne Fitzpatrick stated during her 4 March 1997 interview with Robert Richtmyer, who co-invented the Alarm Clock with Teller, that the Alarm Clock evolved into the spherical secondary stage of the 6.9 megaton Castle-Union TX-14 nuclear weapon!).

In fact (see Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear warhead designer Nuckolls' explanation in report UCRL-74345): "The rates of burn, energy deposition by charged reaction products, and electron-ion heating are proportional to the density, and the inertial confinement time is proportional to the radius. ... The burn efficiency is proportional to the product of the burn rate and the inertial confinement time ...", i.e. the fusion burn rate is directly proportional to the fuel density, which in turn is of course inversely proportional to the cube of its radius. But the inertial confinement time for fusion to occur is proportional to the radius, so the fusion stage efficiency in a nuclear weapon is the product of the burn rate (i.e., 1/radius^3) and time (i.e., radius), so efficiency ~ radius/(radius^3) ~ 1/radius^2. Therefore, for a given fuel temperature, the total fusion burn, or the efficiency of the fusion stage, is inversely proportional to the square of the compressed radius of the fuel! (Those condemning Teller's theoretical errors or "arrogance" should be aware that he pushed hard all the time for experimental nuclear tests of his ideas, to check if they were correct, exactly the right thing to do scientifically and others who read his papers had the opportunity to point out any theoretical errors, but was rebuffed by those in power, who used a series of contrived arguments to deny progress, based upon what Harry would call "subconscious bias", if not arrogant, damning, overt bigotry against the kind of credible, overwhelming deterrence which had proved lacking a decade earlier, leading to WWII. This callousness towards human suffering in war and under dictatorship existed in some UK physicists too: Joseph Rotblat's hatred of anything to deter Russia be it civil defense or tactical neutron bombs of the West - he had no problem smiling and patting Russia's neutron bomb when visiting their labs during cosy groupthink deluded Pugwash campaigns for Russian-style "peaceful collaboration" - came from deep family communist convictions, since his brother was serving in the Red Army in 1944 when he alleged he heard General Groves declare that the bomb must deter Russia! Rotblat stated he left Los Alamos as a result. The actions of these groups are analogous to the "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" in the 1930s. After Truman ordered a H-bomb, Bradbury at Los Alamos had to start a "Family Committee" because Teller had a whole "family" of H-bomb designs, ranging from the biggest, "Daddy", through various "Alarm Clocks", all the way down to small internally-boosted fission tactical weapons. From Teller's perspective, he wasn't putting all eggs in one basket.)

Above: declassified illustration from a January 1949 secret report by the popular physics author and Los Alamos nuclear weapons design consultant George Gamow, showing his suggestion of using x-rays from both sides of a cylindrically imploded fission device to expose two fusion capsules to x-rays to test whether compression (fusion in BeO box on right side) helps, or is unnecessary (capsule on left side). Neutron counters detect 14.1 Mev T+D neutrons using time-of-flight method (higher energy neutrons traver faster than ~1 Mev fission stage neutrons, arriving at detectors first, allowing discrimination of the neutron energy spectrum by time of arrival). It took over two years to actually fire this 225 kt shot (8 May 1951)! No wonder Teller was outraged. A few interesting reports by Teller and also Oppenheimer's secret 1949 report opposing the H bomb project as it then stood on the grounds of low damage per dollar - precisely the exact opposite of the "interpretation" the media and gormless fools will assert until the cows come home - are linked here. The most interesting is Teller's 14 August 1952 Top Secret paper debunking Hans Bethe's propaganda, by explaining that contrary to Bethe's claims, Stalin's spy Klaus Fuch had the key "radiation implosion"- see second para on p2 - secret of the H-bomb because he attended the April 1946 Superbomb Conference which was not even attended by Bethe!  It was this very fact in April 1946, noted by two British attendees of the 1946 Superbomb Conference before collaboration was ended later in the year by the 1946 Atomic Energy Act, statement that led to Sir James Cladwick's secret use of "radiation implosion" for stages 2 and 3 of his triple staged H-bomb report the next month, "The Superbomb", a still secret document that inspired Penney's original Tom/Dick/Harry staged and radiation imploded H-bomb thinking, which is summarized by security cleared official historian Arnold's Britain and the H-Bomb.  Teller's 24 March 1951 letter to Los Alamos director Bradbury was written just 15 days after his historic Teller-Ulam 9 March 1951 report on radiation coupling and "radiation mirrors" (i.e. plastic casing lining to re-radiate soft x-rays on to the thermonuclear stage to ablate and thus compress it), and states: "Among the tests which seem to be of importance at the present time are those concerned with boosted weapons. Another is connected vith the possibility of a heterocatalytic explosion, that is, implosion of a bomb using the energy from another, auxiliary bomb. A third concerns itself with tests on mixing during atomic explosions, which question is of particular importance in connection with the Alarm Clock."

There is more to Fuchs' influence on the UK H-bomb than I go into that paper; Chapman Pincher alleged that Fuchs was treated with special leniency at his trial and later he was given early release in 1959 because of his contributions and help with the UK H-bomb as author of the key Fuchs-von Neumann x-ray compression mechanism patent. For example, Penney visited Fuchs in June 1952 in Stafford Prison; see pp309-310 of Frank Close's 2019 book "Trinity". Close argues that Fuchs gave Penney a vital tutorial on the H-bomb mechanism during that prison visit. That wasn't the last help, either, since the UK Controller for Atomic Energy Sir Freddie Morgan wrote Penney on 9 February 1953 that Fuchs was continuing to help. Another gem: Close gives, on p396, the story of how the FBI became suspicious of Edward Teller, after finding a man of his name teaching at the NY Communist Workers School in 1941 - the wrong Edward Teller, of course - yet Teller's wife was indeed a member of the Communist-front "League of women shoppers" in Washington, DC.

Chapman Pincher, who attended the Fuchs trial, writes about Fuchs hydrogen bomb lectures to prisoners in chapter 19 of his 2014 autobiography, Dangerous to know (Biteback, London, pp217-8): "... Donald Hume ... in prison had become a close friend of Fuchs ... Hume had repaid Fuchs' friendship by organising the smuggling in of new scientific books ... Hume had a mass of notes ... I secured Fuchs's copious notes for a course of 17 lectures ... including how the H-bomb works, which he had given to his fellow prisoners ... My editor agreed to buy Hume's story so long as we could keep the papers as proof of its authenticity ... Fuchs was soon due for release ..."

Chapman Pincher wrote about this as the front page exclusive of the 11 June 1952 Daily Express, "Fuchs: New Sensation", the very month Penney visited Fuchs in prison to receive his H-bomb tutorial! UK media insisted this was evidence that UK security still wasn't really serious about deterring further nuclear spies, and the revelations finally culminated in the allegations that the MI5 chief 1956-65 Roger Hollis was a Russian fellow-traveller (Hollis was descended from Peter the Great, according to his elder brother Chris Hollis' 1958 book Along the Road to Frome) and GRU agent of influence, codenamed "Elli". Pincher's 2014 book, written aged 100, explains that former MI5 agent Peter Wright suspected Hollis was Elli after evidence collected by MI6 agent Stephen de Mowbray was reported to the Cabinet Secretary. Hollis is alleged to have deliberately fiddled his report of interviewing GRU defector Igor Gouzenko on 21 November 1945 in Canada. Gouzenko had exposed the spy and Groucho Marx lookalike Dr Alan Nunn May (photo below), and also a GRU spy in MI5 codenamed Elli, who used only duboks (dead letter boxes), but Gouzenko told Pincher that when Hollis interviewed him in 1945 he wrote up a lengthy false report claiming to discredit many statements by Gouzenko: "I could not understand how Hollis had written so much when he had asked me so little. The report was full of nonsense and lies. As [MI5 agent Patrick] Stewart read the report to me [during the 1972 investigation of Hollis], it became clear that it had been faked to destroy my credibility so that my information about the spy in MI5 called Elli could be ignored. I suspect that Hollis was Elli." (Source: Pincher, 2014, p320.) Christopher Andrew claimed Hollis couldn't have been GRU spy Elli because KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky suggested it was the KGB spy Leo Long (sub-agent of KGB spy Anthony Blunt). However, Gouzenko was GRU, not KGB like Long and Gordievsky! Gordievsky's claim that "Elli" was on the cover of Long's KGB file was debunked by KGB officer Oleg Tsarev, who found that Long's codename was actually Ralph! Another declassified Russian document, from General V. Merkulov to Stalin dated 24 Nov 1945, confirmed Elli was a GRU agent inside british intelligence, whose existence was betrayed by Gouzenko. In Chapter 30 of Dangerous to Know, Pincher related how he was given a Russian suitcase sized microfilm enlarger by 1959 Hollis spying eyewitness Michael J. Butt, doorman for secret communist meetings in London. According to Butt, Hollis delivered documents to Brigitte Kuczynski, younger sister of Klaus Fuchs' original handler, the notorious Sonia aka Ursula. Hollis allegedly provided Minox films to Brigitte discretely when walking through Hyde Park at 8pm after work. Brigitte gave her Russian made Minox film enlarger to Butt to dispose of, but he kept it in his loft as evidence. (Pincher later donated it to King's College.) Other more circumstantial evidence is that Hollis recruited the spy Philby, Hollis secured spy Blunt immunity from prosecution, Hollis cleared Fuchs in 1943, and MI5 allegedly destroyed Hollis' 1945 interrogation report on Gouzenko, to prevent the airing of the scandal that it was fake after checking it with Gouzenko in 1972.

It should be noted that the very small number of Russian GRU illegal agents in the UK and the very small communist party membership had a relatively large influence on nuclear policy via infiltration of unions which had block votes in the Labour Party, as well the indirect CND and "peace movement" lobbies saturating the popular press with anti-civil defence propaganda to make the nuclear deterrent totally incredible for any provocation short of a direct all-out countervalue attack. Under such pressure, UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson's government abolished the UK Civil Defence Corps, making the UK nuclear deterrent totally incredible against major provocations, in March 1968. While there was some opposition to Wilson, it was focussed on his profligate nationalisation policies which were undermining the economy and thus destabilizing military expenditure for national security. Peter Wright’s 1987 book Spycatcher and various other sources, including Daily Mirror editor Hugh Cudlipp's book Walking on Water, documented that on 8 May 1968, the Bank of England's director Cecil King, who was also Chairman of Daily Mirror newspapers, Mirror editor Cudlipp and the UK Ministry of Defence's anti-nuclear Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Solly Zuckerman, met at Lord Mountbatten's house in Kinnerton Street, London, to discuss a coup e'tat to overthrow Wilson and make Mountbatten the UK President, a new position. King's position, according to Cudlipp - quite correctly as revealed by the UK economic crises of the 1970s when the UK was effectively bankrupt - was that Wilson was setting the UK on the road to financial ruin and thus military decay. Zuckerman and Mountbatten refused to take part in a revolution, however Wilson's government was attacked by the Daily Mirror in a front page editorial by Cecil King two days later, on 10 May 1968, headlined "Enough is enough ... Mr Wilson and his Government have lost all credibility, all authority." According to Wilson's secretary Lady Falkender, Wilson was only told of the coup discussions in March 1976.

CND and the UK communist party alternatively tried to claim, in a contradictory way, that they were (a) too small in numbers to have any influence on politics, and (b) they were leading the country towards utopia via unilateral nuclear disarmament saturation propaganda about nuclear weapons annihilation (totally ignoring essential data on different nuclear weapon designs, yields, heights of burst, the "use" of a weapon as a deterrent to PREVENT an invasion of concentrated force, etc.) via the infiltrated BBC and most other media. Critics pointed out that Nazi Party membership in Germany was only 5% when Hitler became dictator in 1933, while in Russia there were only 200,000 Bolsheviks in September 1917, out of 125 million, i.e. 0.16%. Therefore, the whole threat of such dictatorships is a minority seizing power beyond it justifiable numbers, and controlling a majority which has different views. Traditional democracy itself is a dictatorship of the majority (via the ballot box, a popularity contest); minority-dictatorship by contrast is a dictatorship by the fanatically motivated minority by force and fear (coercion) to control the majority. The coercion tactics used by foreign dictators to control the press in free countries are well documented, but never publicised widely. Hitler put pressure on Nazi-critics in the UK "free press" via UK Government appeasers Halifax, Chamberlain and particularly the loathsome UK ambassador to Nazi Germany, Sir Neville Henderson, for example trying to censor or ridicule appeasement critics David Low, to fire Captain W. E. Johns (editor of both Flying and Popular Flying, which had huge circulations and attacked appeasement as a threat to national security in order to reduce rearmament expenditure), and to try to get Winston Churchill deselected. These were all sneaky "back door" pressure-on-publishers tactics, dressed up as efforts to "ease international tensions"! The same occurred during the Cold War, with personal attacks in Scientific American and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and by fellow travellers on Herman Kahn, Eugene Wigner, and others who warned we need civil defence to make a deterrent of large provocations credible in the eyes of an aggressor.

Chapman Pincher summarises the vast hypocritical Russian expenditure on anti-Western propaganda against the neutron bomb in Chapter 15, "The Neutron Bomb Offensive" of his 1985 book The Secret Offensive: "Such a device ... carries three major advantages over Hiroshima-type weapons, particularly for civilians caught up in a battle ... against the massed tanks which the Soviet Union would undoubtedly use ... by exploding these warheads some 100 feet or so above the massed tanks, the blast and fire ... would be greatly reduced ... the neutron weapon produces little radioactive fall-out so the long-term danger to civilians would be very much lower ... the weapon was of no value for attacking cities and the avoidance of damage to property can hardly be rated as of interest only to 'capitalists' ... As so often happens, the constant repetition of the lie had its effects on the gullible ... In August 1977, the [Russian] World Peace Council ... declared an international 'Week of action' against the neutron bomb. ... Under this propaganda Carter delayed his decision, in September ... a Sunday service being attended by Carter and his family on 16 October 1977 was disrupted by American demonstrators shouting slogans against the neutron bomb [see the 17 October 1977 Washington Post] ... Lawrence Eagleburger, when US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, remarked, 'We consider it probably that the Soviet campaign against the 'neutron bomb cost some $100 million'. ... Even the Politburo must have been surprised at the size of what it could regard as a Fifth Column in almost every country." [Unfortunately, Pincher himself had contributed to the anti-nuclear nonsense in his 1965 novel "Not with a bang" in which small amounts of radioactivity from nuclear fallout combine with medicine to exterminate humanity! The allure of anti-nuclear propaganda extends to all who which to sell "doomsday fiction", not just Russian dictators but mainstream media story tellers in the West. By contrast, Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons doesn't even mention the neutron bomb, so there was no scientific and technical effort whatsoever by the West to make it a credible deterrent even in the minds of the public it had to protect from WWIII!]

"The Lance warhead is the first in a new generation of tactical mini-nukes that have been sought by Army field leading advocates: the series of American generals who have commanded the North Atlantic Treaty organization theater. They have argued that the 7,000 unclear warheads now in Europe are old, have too large a nuclear yield and thus would not be used in a war. With lower yields and therefore less possible collateral damage to civilian populated areas, these commanders have argued, the new mini-nukes are more credible as deterrents because they just might be used on the battlefield without leading to automatic nuclear escalation. Under the nuclear warhead production system, a President must personally give the production order. President Ford, according to informed sources, signed the order for the enhanced-radiation Lance warhead. The Lance already has regular nuclear warheads and it deployed with NATO forces in Europe. In addition to the Lance warhead, other new production starts include: An 8-inch artillery-fired nuclear warhead to replace those now in Europe. This shell had been blocked for almost eight years by Sen. Stuart Symington (D-Mo.), who had argued that it was not needed. Symington retired last year. The Pentagon and ERDA say the new nuclear 8-inch warhead would be safer from stealing by terrorists. Starbird testified. It will be "a command disable system" to melt its inner workings if necessary. ... In longer-term research, the bill contains money to finance an enhanced-radiational bomb to the dropped from aircraft." - Washington post, 5 June 1977.

This debunks fake news that Teller's and Ulam's 9 March 1951 report LAMS-1225 itself gave Los Alamos the Mike H-bomb design, ready for testing! Teller was proposing a series of nuclear tests of the basic principles, not 10Mt Ivy-Mike which was based on a report the next month by Teller alone, LA-1230, "The Sausage: a New Thermonuclear System". When you figure that, what did Ulam actually contribute to the hydrogen bomb? Nothing about implosion, compression or separate stages - all already done by von Neumann and Fuchs five years earlier - and just a lot of drivel about trying to channel material shock waves from a primary to compress another fissile core, a real dead end. What Ulam did was to kick Teller out of his self-imposed mental objection to compression devices. Everything else was Teller's; the radiation mirrors, the Sausage with its outer ablation pusher and its inner spark plug. Note also that contrary to official historian Arnold's book (which claims due to a misleading statement by Dr Corner that all the original 1946 UK copies of Superbomb Conference documentation were destroyed after being sent from AWRE Aldermaston to London between 1955-63), all the documents did exist in the AWRE TPN (theoretical physics notes, 100% of which have been perserved) and are at the UK National Archives, e.g. AWRE-TPN 5/54 is listed in National Archives discovery catalogue ref ES 10/5: "Miscellaneous super bomb notes by Klaus Fuchs", see also the 1954 report AWRE-TPN 6/54, "Implosion super bomb: substitution of U235 for plutonium" ES 10/6, the 1954 report AWRE-TPN 39/54 is "Development of the American thermonuclear bomb: implosion super bomb" ES 10/39, see also ES 10/21 "Collected notes on Fermi's super bomb lectures", ES 10/51 "Revised reconstruction of the development of the American thermonuclear bombs", ES 1/548 and ES 1/461 "Superbomb Papers", etc. Many reports are secret and retained, despite containing "obsolete" designs (although UK report titles are generally unredacted, such as: "Storage of 6kg Delta (Phase) -Plutonium Red Beard (tactical bomb) cores in ships")! It should also be noted that the Livermore Laboatory's 1958 TUBA spherical secondary with an oralloy (enriched U235) outer pusher was just a reversion from Teller's 1951 core spark plug idea in the middle of the fusion fuel, back to the 1944 von Neumann scheme of having fission material surrounding the fusion fuel. In other words, the TUBA was just a radiation and ionization imploded, internally fusion-boosted, second fission stage which could have been accomplished a decade earlier if the will existed, when all of the relevant ideas were already known. The declassified UK spherical secondary-stage alternatives linked here (tested as Grapple X, Y and Z with varying yields but similar size, since all used the 5 ft diameter Blue Danube drop casing) clearly show that a far more efficient fusion burn occurs by minimising the mass of hard-to-compress U235 (oralloy) sparkplug/pusher, but maximising the amount of lithium-7, not lithium-6. Such a secondary with minimal fissionable material also automatically has minimal neutron ABM vulnerability (i.e., "Radiation Immunity", RI). This is the current cheap Russian neutron weapon design, but not the current Western design of warheads like the W78, W88 and bomb B61.

So why on earth doesn't the West take the cheap efficient option of cutting expensive oralloy and maximising cheap natural (mostly lithium-7) LiD in the secondary? Even Glasstone's 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons on p17 (para 1.55) states that "Weight for weight ... fusion of deuterium nuclei would produce nearly 3 times as much energy as the fission of uranium or plutonium"! The sad answer is "density"! Natural LiD (containing 7.42% Li6 abundance) is a low density white/grey crystalline solid like salt that actually floats on water (lithium deuteroxide would be formed on exposure to water), since its density is just 820 kg/m^3. Since the ratio of mass of Li6D to Li7D is 8/9, it would be expected that the density of highly enriched 95% Li6D is 739 kg/m^3, while for 36% enriched Li6D it is 793 kg/m^3. Uranium metal has a density of 19,000 kg/m^3, i.e. 25.7 times greater than 95% enriched li6D or 24 times greater than 36% enriched Li6D. Compactness, i.e. volume is more important in a Western MIRV warhead than mass/weight! In the West, it's best to have a tiny-volume, very heavy, very expensive warhead. In Russia, cheapness outweights volume considerations. The Russians in some cases simply allowed their more bulky warheads to protrude from the missile bus (see photo below), or compensated for lower yields at the same volume using clean LiD by using the savings in costs to build more warheads. (The West doubles the fission yield/mass ratio of some warheads by using U235/oralloy pushers in place of U238, which suffers from the problem that about half the neutrons it interacts with result in non-fission capture, as explained below. Note that the 720 kiloton UK nuclear test Orange Herald device contained a hollow shell of 117 kg of U235 surrounded by a what Lorna Arnold's book quotes John Corner referring to a "very thin" layer of high explosive, and was compact, unboosted - the boosted failed to work - and gave 6.2 kt/kg of U235, whereas the first version of the 2-stage W47 Polaris warhead contained 60 kg of U235 which produced most of the secondary stage yield of about 400 kt, i.e. 6.7 kt/kg of U235. Little difference - but because perhaps 50% of the total yield of the W47 was fusion, its efficiency of use of U235 must have actually been less than the Orange Herald device, around 3 kt/kg of U235 which indicates design efficiency limits to "hydrogen bombs"! Yet anti-nuclear charlatans claimed that the Orange Herald bomb was a con!)

ABOVE: USA nuclear weapons data declassified by UK Government in 2010 (the information was originally acquired due to the 1958 UK-USA Act for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes, in exchange for UK nuclear weapons data) as published at http://nuclear-weapons.info/images/tna-ab16-4675p63.jpg. This single table summarizes all key tactical and strategic nuclear weapons secret results from 1950s testing! (In order to analyze the warhead pusher thicknesses and very basic schematics from this table it is necessary to supplement it with the 1950s warhead design data declassified in other documents, particularly some of the data from Tom Ramos and Chuck Hansen, as quoted in some detail below.) The data on the mass of special nuclear materials in each of the different weapons argues strongly that the entire load of Pu239 and U235 in the 1.1 megaton B28 was in the primary stage, so that weapon could not have had a fissile spark plug in the centre let alone a fissile ablator (unlike Teller's Sausage design of 1951), and so the B28 it appears had no need whatsoever of a beryllium neutron radiation shield to prevent pre-initiation of the secondary stage prior to its compression (on the contrary, such neutron exposure of the lithium deuteride in the secondary stage would be VITAL to produce some tritium in it prior to compression, to spark fusion when it was compressed). Arnold's book indeed explains that UK AWE physicists found the B28 to be an excellent, highly optimised, cheap design, unlike the later W47 which was extremely costly. The masses of U235 and Li6 in the W47 shows the difficulties of trying to maintain efficiency while scaling down the mass of a two-stage warhead for SLBM delivery: much larger quantities of Li6 and U235 must be used to achieve a LOWER yield! To achieve thermonuclear warheads of low mass at sub-megaton yields, both the outer bomb casing and the pusher around the the fusion fuel must be reduced:

"York ... studied the Los Alamos tests in Castle and noted most of the weight in thermonuclear devices was in their massive cases. Get rid of the case .... On June 12, 1953, York had presented a novel concept ... It radically altered the way radiative transport was used to ignite a secondary - and his concept did not require a weighty case ... they had taken the Teller-Ulam concept and turned it on its head ... the collapse time for the new device - that is, the amount of time it took for an atomic blast to compress the secondary - was favorable compared to older ones tested in Castle. Brown ... gave a female name to the new device, calling it the Linda." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp137-8. (So if you reduce the outer casing thickness to reduce warhead weight, you must complete the pusher ablation/compression faster, before the thinner outer casing is blown off, and stops reflecting/channelling x-rays on the secondary stage. Making the radiation channel smaller and ablative pusher thinner helps to speed up the process. Because the ablative pusher is thinner, there is relatively less blown-off debris to block the narrower radiation channel before the burn ends.)

"Brown's third warhead, the Flute, brought the Linda concept down to a smaller size. The Linda had done away with a lot of material in a standard thermonuclear warhead. Now the Flute tested how well designers could take the Linda's conceptual design to substantially reduce not only the weight but also the size of a thermonuclear warhead. ... The Flute's small size - it was the smallest thermonuclear device yet tested - became an incentive to improve codes. Characteristics marginally important in a larger device were now crucially important. For instance, the reduced size of the Flute's radiation channel could cause it to close early [with ablation blow-off debris], which would prematurely shut off the radiation flow. The code had to accurately predict if such a disaster would occur before the device was even tested ... the calculations showed changes had to be made from the Linda's design for the Flute to perform correctly." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp153-4. Note that the piccolo (the W47 secondary) is a half-sized flute, so it appears that the W47's secondary stage design miniaturization history was: Linda -> Flute -> Piccolo:

"A Division's third challenge was a small thermonuclear warhead for Polaris [the nuclear SLBM submarine that preceeded today's Trident system]. The starting point was the Flute, that revolutionary secondary that had performed so well the previous year. Its successor was called the Piccolo. For Plumbbob [Nevada, 1957], the design team tested three variations of the Piccolo as a parameter test. One of the variants outperformed the others ... which set the stage for the Hardtack [Nevada and Pacific, 1958] tests. Three additional variations for the Piccolo ... were tested then, and again an optimum candidate was selected. ... Human intuition as well as computer calculations played crucial roles ... Finally, a revolutionary device was completed and tested ... the Navy now had a viable warhead for its Polaris missile. From the time Brown gave Haussmann the assignment to develop this secondary until the time they tested the device in the Pacific, only 90 days had passed. As a parallel to the Robin atomic device, this secondary for Polaris laid the foundation for modern thermonuclear weapons in the United States." - Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear weapon designer), From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War, Naval Institute press, 2022, pp177-8. (Ramos is very useful in explaining that many of the 1950s weapons with complex non-spherical, non-cylindrical shaped primaries and secondaries were simply far too complex to fully simulate on the really pathetic computers they had - Livermore got a 4,000 vacuum tubes-based IBM 701 with 2 kB memory in 1956, AWRE Aldermaston in the Uk had to wait another year for theirs - so they instead did huge numbers of experimental explosive tests. For instance, on p173, Ramos discloses that the Swan primary which developed into the 155mm tactical shell, "went through over 100 hydrotests", non-nuclear tests in which fissile material is replaced with U238 or other substitutes, and the implosion is filmed with flash x-ray camera systems.)

"An integral feature of the W47, from the very start of the program, was the use of an enriched uranium-235 pusher around the cylindrical secondary." - Chuck Hansen, Swords 2.0, p. VI-375 (Hansen's source is his own notes taken during a 19-21 February 1992 nuclear weapons history conference he attended; if you remember the context, "Nuclear Glasnost" became fashionable after the Cold War ended, enabling Hansen to acquire almost unredacted historical materials for a few years until nuclear proliferation became a concern in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea). The key test of the original (Robin primary and Piccolo secondary) Livermore W47 was 412 kt Hardtack-Redwood on 28 June 1958. Since Li6D utilized at 100% efficiency would yield 66 kt/kg, the W47 fusion efficiency was only about 6%; since 100% fission of u235 yields 17 kt/kg, the W47's Piccolo fission (the u235 pusher) efficiency was about 20%; the comparable figures for secondary stage fission and fusion fuel burn efficiencies in the heavy B28 are about 7% and 15%, respectively:

ABOVE: the heavy B28 gave a very "big bang for the buck": it was cheap in terms of expensive Pu, U235 and Li6, and this was the sort of deterrent which was wanted by General LeMay for the USAF, which wanted as many weapons as possible, within the context of Eisenhower's budgetary concerns. But its weight (not its physical size) made it unsuitable for SLBM Polaris warheads. The first SLBM warhead, the W47, was almost the same size as the B28 weapon package, but much lighter due to having a much thinner "pusher" on the secondary, and casing. But this came at a large financial cost in terms of the quantities of special nuclear materials required to get such a lightweight design to work, and also a large loss of total yield. The fusion fuel burn efficiency ranges from 6% for the 400 kt W47 to 15% for the 1.1 megaton B28 (note that for very heavy cased 11-15 megaton yield tests at Castle, up to 40% fusion fuel burn efficiency was achieved), whereas the secondary stage ablative pusher fission efficiency ranged from 7% for a 1.1 inch thick natural uranium (99.3% U238) ablator to 20% for a 0.15 inch thick highly enriched oralloy (U235) ablator. From the brief description of the design evolution given by Dr Tom Ramos (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), it appears that when the x-ray channelling outer case thickness of the weapon is reduced to save weight, the duration of the x-ray coupling is reduced, so the dense metal pusher thickness must be reduced if the same compression factor (approximately 20) for the secondary stage is to be accomplished (lithium deuteride, being of low density, is far more compressable by a given pressure, than dense metal). In both examples, the secondary stage is physically a boosted fission stage. (If you are wondering why the hell the designers don't simply use a hollow core U235 bomb like Orange Herald instead of bothering with such inefficient x-ray coupled two-stage designs as these, the answer is straightforward: the risk of large fissile core meltdown by neutrons Moscow ABM defensive nuclear warheads, neutron bombs.)

The overall weight of the W47 was minimized by replacing the usual thick layer of U238 pusher with a very thin layer of fissile U235 (supposedly Teller's suggestion), which is more efficient for fission, but is limited by critical mass issues. The W47 used a 95% enriched Li6D cylinder with a 3.8mm thick U235 pusher; the B28 secondary was 36% enriched Li6D, with a very heavy 3cm thick U238 pusher. As shown below, it appears the B28 was related to the Los Alamos clean design of the TX21C tested as 95% clean 4.5 megatons Redwing-Navajo in 1956 and did not have a central fissile spark plug. From the declassified fallout composition, it is known the Los Alamos designers replaced the outer U238 pusher of Castle secondaries with lead in Navajo. Livermore did the same for their 85% clean 3.53 megatons Redwing-Zuni test, but Livermore left the central fission spark plug, which contributed 10% of its 15% fission yield, instead of removing the neutron shield, using foam channel filler for slowing down the x-ray compression, and thereby using primary stage neutrons to split lithium-6 giving tritium prior to compression. Our point is that Los Alamos got it wrong in sticking too conservatively to ideology: for clean weapons they should have got rid of the dense lead pusher and gone for John H. Nuckolls idea (also used by Fuchs in 1946 and the Russians in 1955 and 1958) of a low-density pusher for isentropic compression of low-density fusion fuel. This error is the reason why those early cleaner weapons were extremely heavy due to unnecessary 2" thick lead or tungsten pushers around the fusion fuel, which massively reduced their yield-to-weight ratios, so that LeMay rejected them!

Compare these data for the 20 inch diameter, 49 inch, 1600 lb, 1.1 megaton bomb B28 to the 18 inch diameter, 47 inch, 700 lb, 400 kt Mk47/W47 Polaris SLBM warhead (this is the correct yield for the first version of the W47 confirmed by UK data in Lorna Arnold Britain and the H-bomb 2001 and AB 16/3240; Wikipedia wrongly gives the 600 kt figure in Hansen, which was a speculation or a later upgrade). The key difference is that the W47 is much lighter, and thus suitable for the Polaris SLBM unlike the heavier, higher yield B28. Both B28 and W47 used cylindrical sausages, but they are very different in composition; the B28 used a huge mass of U238 in its ablative sausage outer shell or pusher, while the W47 used oralloy/U235 in the pusher. The table shows the total amounts of Pu, Oralloy (U235), Lithium-6 (excluding cheaper lithium-7, which is also present in varying amounts in different thermonuclear weapons), and tritium (which is used for boosting inside fissile material, essentially to reduce the amount of Pu and therefore the vulnerability of the weapon to Russian enhanced neutron ABM warhead meltdown). The B28 also has an external dense natural U (99.3% U238) "ablative pusher shell" whose mass is not listed in this table. The table shows that the 400 kt W47 Polaris SLBM warhead contains 60 kg of U235 (nearly as much as the 500 kt pure fission Mk18), which is in an ablative pusher shell around the lithium deuteride, so that the cylinder of neutron-absorbing lithium-6 deuteride within it keeps that mass of U235 subcritical, until compressed. So the 400 kt W47 contains far more Pu, U235, Li6 and T than the higher yield 1.1 megaton B28: this is the big $ price you pay for reducing the mass of the warhead; the total mass of the W47 is reduced to 44% of the mass of the B28, since the huge mass of cheap U238 pusher in the B28 is replaced by a smaller mass of U235, which is more efficient because (as Dr Carl F. Miller reveals in USNRDL-466, Table 6), about half of the neutrons hitting U238 don't cause fission but instead non-fission capture reactions which produce U239, plus the n,2n reaction that produces U237, emitting a lot of very low energy gamma rays in the fallout. For example, in the 1954 Romeo nuclear test (which, for simplicity, we quote since it used entirely natural LiD, with no expensive enrichment of the Li6 isotope whatsoever), the U238 jacket fission efficiency was reduced by capture as follows: 0.66 atom/fission of U239, 0.10 atom/fission of U237 and 0.23 atom/fission of U240 produced by fission, a total of 0.66 + 0.10 + 0.23 ~ 1 atom/fission, i.e. 50% fission in the U238 pusher, versus 50% non-fission neutron captures. So by using U235 in place of U238, you virtually eliminate the non-fission capture (see UK Atomic Weapons Establishment graph of fission and capture cross-sections for U235, shown below), which roughly halves the mass of the warhead, for a given fission yield. This same principle of using an outer U235/oralloy pusher instead of U238 to reduce mass - albeit with the secondary cylindrical "Sausage" shape now changed to a sphere - applies to today's miniaturised, high yield, low mass "MIRV" warheads. Just as the lower-yield W47 counter-intuitively used more expensive ingredients than the bulkier higher-yield B28, modern compact, high-yield oralloy-loaded warheads literally cost a bomb, just to keep the mass down! There is evidence Russia uses alternative ideas.

This is justified by the data given for a total U238 capture-to-fission ratio of 1 in the 11 megaton Romeo test and also the cross-sections for U235 capture and fission on the AWE graph for relevant neutron energy range of about 1-14 Mev. If half the neutrons are captured in U238 without fission, then the maximum fission yield you can possibly get from "x" kg of U238 pusher is HALF the energy obtained from 100% fission of "x" kg of U238. Since with U238 only about half the atoms can undergo fission by thermonuclear neutrons (because the other half undergo non-fission capture), the energy density (i.e., the Joules/kg produced by the fission explosion of the pusher) reached by an exploding U238 pusher is only half that reached by U235 (in which there is less non-fission capture of neutrons, which doubles the pusher mass without doubling the fission energy release). So a U235 pusher will reach twice the temperature of a U238 pusher, doubling its material heating of fusion fuel within, prolonging the fusion burn and thus increasing fusion burn efficiency. 10 MeV neutron energy is important since it allows for likely average scattering of 14.1 MeV D+T fusion neutrons and it is also the energy at which the most important capture reaction, the (n,2n) cross-section peaks for both U235 (peak of 0.88 barn at 10 Mev) and U238 (peak of 1.4 barns at 10 Mev). For 10 Mev neutrons, U235 and U238 have fission cross-sections of 1.8 and 1 barn, respectively. For 14 Mev neutrons, U238 has a (n,2n) cross section of 0.97 barn for U237 production. So ignoring non-fission captures, you need 1.8/1 = 1.8 times greater thickness of pusher for U238 than for U235, to achieve the same amount of fission. But this simple consideration ignores the x-ray ablation requirement of the explosing pusher, so there are several factors requiring detailed computer calculations, and/or nuclear testing.

Note: there is an extensive collection of declassified documents released after Chuck Hansen's final edition, Swords 2.0, which are now available at https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/nnsa/foiareadingroom/*, being an internet-archive back-up of a now-removed US Government Freedom of Information Act Reading Room. Unfortunately they were only identified by number sequence, not by report title or content, in that reeding room, and so failed to achieve wide attention when originally released! (This includes extensive "Family Committee" H-bomb documentation and many long-delayed FOIA requests submitted originally by Hansen, but not released in time for inclusion in Swords 2.0.) As the extract below - from declassified document RR00132 - shows, some declassified documents contained very detailed information or typewriter spaces that could only be filled by a single specific secret word (in this example, details of the W48 linear implosion tactical nuclear warhead, including the fact that it used PBX9404 plastic bonded explosive glued to the brittle beryllium neutron reflector around the plutonium core using Adiprene L100 adhesive!).

ABOVE: Declassified data on the radiation flow analysis for the 10 megaton Mike sausage: http://nnsa.energy.gov/sites/default/files/nnsa/foiareadingroom/RR00198.pdf Note that the simplistic "no-go theorem" given in this extract, against any effect from varying the temperature to help the radiation channelling, was later proved false by John H. Nuckolls (like Teller's anti-compression "no-go theorem" was later proved false), since lowered temperature delivers energy where it is needed while massively reducing radiation losses (which go as the fourth power of temperature/x-ray energy in kev).

ABOVE: Hans A. Bethe's disastrous back-of-the-envelope nonsense "non-go theorem" against lithium-7 fission into tritium by 14.1 Mev D+T neutrons in Bravo (which contained 40% lithium-6 and 60% lithium-7; unnecessarily enriched - at great expense and effort - from the natural 7.42% lithum-6 abundance). It was Bethe's nonsense "physics" speculation, unbacked by serious calculation, who caused Bravo to go off at 2.5 times the expected 6 megatons and therefore for the Japanese Lucky Dragon tuna trawler crew in the maximum fallout hotspot area 80 miles downwind to be contaminated by fallout, and also for Rongelap's people to be contaminated ("accidents" that inevitably kickstarted the originally limited early 1950s USSR funded Communist Party anti-nuclear deterrence movements in the West into mainstream media and thus politics). There was simply no solid basis for assuming that the highly penetrating 14.1 Mev neutrons would be significantly slowed by scattering in the fuel before hitting lithium-7 nuclei. Even teller's 1950 report LA-643 at page 17 estimated that in a fission-fusion Alarm Clock, the ratio of 14 Mev to 2.5 Mev neutrons was 0.7/0.2 = 3.5. Bethe's complacently bad guesswork-based physics also led to the EMP fiasco for high altitude bursts, after he failed to predict the geomagnetic field deflection of Compton electrons at high altitude in his secret report “Electromagnetic Signal Expected from High-Altitude Test”, Los Alamos report LA-2173, October 1957, Secret. He repeatedly caused nuclear weapons effects study disasters. For the true utility of lithium-7, which is actually BETTER than lithum-6 at tritium production when struck by 14.1 Mev D+T fusion neutrons, and its consequences for cheap isentropically compressed fusion capsules in Russian neutron bombs, please see my paper here which gives a graph of lithium isotopic cross section versus neutron energy, plus the results when Britain used cheap lithium-7 in Grapple Y to yield 3 megatons (having got lower yields with costly lithium-6 in previous tests!).

Update (15 Dec 2023): PDF uploaded of UK DAMAGE BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS (linked here on Internet Archive) - secret 1000 pages UK and USA nuclear weapon test effects analysis, and protective measures determined at those tests (not guesswork) relevant to escalation threats by Russia for EU invasion (linked here at wordpress) in response to Ukraine potentially joining the EU (this is now fully declassified without deletions, and in the UK National Archives at Kew):

Hiroshima and Nagasaki terrorist liars debunked by secret American government evidence that simple shelters worked, REPORT LINKED HERE (this was restricted from public view and never published by the American government, and Glasstone's lying Effects of Nuclear Weapons book reversed its evidence for propaganda purposes, a fact still covered by all the lying cold war pseudo "historians" today), Operation Hurricane 1952 declassified nuclear weapon test data (here), declassified UK nuclear tested shelter research reports (here), declassified EMP nuclear test research data (here), declassified clandestine nuclear bombs in ships attack on Liverpool study (here), declassified fallout decontamination study for UK recovery from nuclear attack (here), declassified Operation Buffalo surface burst and near surface burst fallout patterns, water decontamination, initial radiation shielding at Antler nuclear tests, and resuspension of deposited fallout dust into the air (inhalation hazard) at different British nuclear tests, plus Operation Totem nuclear tests crater region radiation surveys (here), declassified Operation Antler nuclear blast precursor waveforms (here), declassified Operation Buffalo nuclear blast precursor waveforms (here), declassified UK Atomic Weapons Establishment nuclear weapons effects symposium (here), and declassified UK Atomic Weapons Establishment paper on the gamma radiation versus time at Crossroads tests Able and Baker (here, paper by inventor of lenses in implosion weapons, James L. Tuck of the British Mission to Los Alamos and Operation Crossroads, clearly showing how initial gamma shielding in an air burst can be achieved with a few seconds warning and giving the much greater escape times available for residual radiation dose accumulations in an underwater burst; key anti-nuclear hysteria data kept covered up by Glasstone and the USA book Effects of Nuclear Weapons), and Penney and Hicks paper on the base surge contamination mechanism (here), and Russian nuclear warhead design evidence covered-up by both America and the so-called arms control and disarmament "experts" who always lie and distort the facts to suit their own agenda to try to start a nuclear war (linked here). If they wanted "peace" they'd support the proved facts, available on this blog nukegate.org since 2006, and seek international agreement to replace the incredible, NON-war deterring strategic nuclear weapons with safe tactical neutron warheads which collateral damage averting and invasion-deterring (thus war deterring in all its forms, not only nuclear), plus civil defence against all forms of collateral damage from war, which reduces escalation risks during terrorist actions, as proved in wars which don't escalate because of effective civil defence and credible deterrence (see below). Instead, they support policies designed to maximise civilian casualties and to deliberately escalate war, to profit "politically" from the disasters caused which they blame falsely on nuclear weapons, as if deterrence causes war! (Another lie believed by mad/evil/gullible mainstream media/political loons in "authority".) A good summary of the fake news basis of "escalation" blather against credible tactical nuclear deterrence of the invasions that set off wars is inadvertently provided by Lord David Owen's 2009 "Nuclear Papers" (Liverpool Uni Press), compiling his declassified nuclear disarmament propaganda reports written while he was UK Foreign Secretary 1977-9. It's all Carter era appeasement nonsense. For example, on pp158-8 he reprints his Top Secret 19 Dec 1978 "Future of the British Deterrent" report to the Prime Minister which states that "I am not convinced by the contention ... that the ability to destroy at least 10 major cities, or inflict damage on 30 major targets ... is the minimum criterion for a British deterrent." (He actually thinks this is too strong a deterrent, despite the fact it is incredible for the realpolitik tactics of dictators who make indirect provocations like invading their neighbours!) The reality Owens ignores is that Russia had and still has civil defence shelters and evacuation plans, so threatening some damage in retaliation is not a credible deterrent against the invasions that set off both world wars. On page 196, he gives a Secret 18 April 1978 paper stating that NATO then had 1000 nuclear artillery pieces (8" and 155mm), 200 Lance and Honest John tactical nuclear missile systems, 135 Pershing; all now long ago disarmed and destroyed while Russian now has over 2000 dedicated tactical nuclear weapons of high neutron output (unlike EM1's data for the low yield option of the multipurpose NATO B61). Owen proudly self-congratulates on his Brezhnev supporting anti-neutron bomb ranting 1978 book, "Human Rights", pp. 136-7. If Owen really wants "Human Rights", he needs to back the neutron bomb now to deter the dictatorships which destroy human rights! His 2009 "Nuclear Papers" at p287 gives the usual completely distorted analysis of the Cuban missiles crisis, claiming that despite the overwhelming American tactical and strategic nuclear superiority for credible deterrence in 1962, the world came "close" to a nuclear war. It's closer now, mate, when thanks to your propaganda we no longer have a credible deterrent, civil defence, tactical neutron warheads. Pathetic.

ABOVE secret reports on Australian-British nuclear test operations at Maralinga in 1956 and 1957, Buffalo and Antler, proved that even at 10 psi peak overpressure for the 15 kt Buffalo-1 shot, the dummy lying prone facing the blast was hardly moved due to the low cross-sectional area exposed to the blast winds, relative to standing dummies which were severely displaced and damaged. The value of trenches in protecting personnel against blast winds and radiation was also proved in tests (gamma radiation shielding of trenches had been proved at an earlier nuclear test in Australia, Operation Hurricane in 1952). (Antler report linked here; Buffalo report linked here.) This debunks the US Department of Defense models claiming that people will automatically be blown out of the upper floors of modern city buildings at very low pressures, and killed by the gravitational impact with the pavement below! In reality, tall buildings mutually shield one another from the blast winds, not to mention the radiation (proven in the latest post on this blog), and on seeing the flash most people will have time to lie down on typical surfaces like carpet which give a frictional resistance to displacement, ignored in fiddled models which assume surfaces have less friction than a skating rink; all of this was omitted from the American 1977 Glasstone and Dolan book "The Effects of Nuclear Weapons". As Tuck's paper below on the gamma radiation dose rate measurements on ships at Operation Crossroads, July 1946 nuclear tests proved, contrary to Glasstone and Dolan, scattered radiation contributions are small, so buildings or ships gun turrets provided excellent radiation "shadows" to protect personnel. This effect was then calculated by UK civil defence weapons effects expert Edward Leader-Williams in his paper presented at the UK's secret London Royal Society Symposium on the Physical Effects of Atomic Weapons, but the nuclear test data as always was excluded from the American Glasstone book published the next year, The Effects of Atomic Weapons in deference to lies about the effects in Hiroshima, including an "average" casualty curve which deliberately obfuscated huge differences in survival rates in different types of buildings and shelters, or simply in shadows!

Note: the DELFIC, SIMFIC and other computer predicted fallout area comparisons for the 110 kt Bikini Atoll Castle-Koon land surface burst nuclear test are false since the distance scale of Bikini Atoll is massively exaggerated on many maps, e.g. in the Secret January 1955 AFSWP "Fall-out Symposium", the Castle fallout report WT-915, and the fallout patterns compendium DASA-1251! The Western side of the Bikini Atoll reef is at 165.2 degrees East, while the most eastern island in the Bikini Atoll, Enyu, is at 165.567 degrees East: since there are 60 nautical miles per degree by definition, the width of Bikini Atoll is therefore (165.567-165.2)(60) = 22 nautical miles, approximately half the distance shown in the Castle-Koon fallout patterns. Since area is proportional to the square of the distance scale, this constitutes a serious exaggeration in fallout casualty calculations, before you get into the issue of the low energy (0.1-0.2 MeV) gamma rays from neutron induced Np239 and U237 in the fallout enhancing the protection factor of shelters (usually calculated assuming hard 1.17 and 1.33 MeV gamma rads from Co60), during the sheltering period of approximately 1-14 days after detonation.

"Since the nuclear stalemate became apparent, the Governments of East and West have adopted the policy which Mr Dulles calls 'brinkmanship'. This is a policy adopted from a sport ... called 'Chicken!' ... If one side is unwilling to risk global war, while the other side is willing to risk it, the side which is willing to run the risk will be victorious in all negotiations and will ultimately reduce the other side to complete impotence. 'Perhaps' - so the practical politician will argue - 'it might be ideally wise for the sane party to yield to the insane party in view of the dreadful nature of the alternative, but, whether wise or not, no proud nation will long acquiesce in such an ignominious role. We are, therefore, faced, quite inevitably, with the choice between brinkmanship and surrender." - Bertrand Russell, Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1959, pp30-31.

Emphasis added. Note that Russell accepts lying about nuclear weapons just as gas weapons had been lied about in the 1920s-30s by "arms controllers" to start WWII, then he simply falls into the 1930s Cambridge Scientists Antiwar Group delusional propaganda fraud of assuming that any attempt to credibly deter fascism is immoral because it will automatically result in escalatory retaliation with Herman Goering's Luftwaffe drenching London with "overkill" by poison gas WMDs etc. In particular, he forgets that general disarmament pursued in the West until 1935 - when Baldwin suddenly announced that the Nazis had secretly produced a massive, unstoppable warmachine in two years - encouraged aggressors to first secretly rearm, then coerce and invade their neighbours while signing peace promises purely to buy more time for rearmament, until a world war resulted. Not exactly a great result for disarmament propaganda. So after obliterating what Reagan used to call (to the horror of commie "historians") the "true facts of history" from his mind, he advocates some compromise with the aggressors of the 30 September 1938 Munich Agreement peace-in-our-time sort, the historically proved sure fire way to really escalate a crisis into a major war by showing the green lamp to a loon to popular media acclaim and applause for a fairy tale utopian fantasy; just as the "principled" weak, rushed, imbecile withdrawl from Afghanistan in 2021 encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine in 2022, and also the green lamp for Hamas to invade Israel in 2023.

"... deterrence ... consists of threatening the enemy with thermonuclear retaliation should he act provocatively. ... If war is 'impossible', how can one threaten a possible aggressor with war? ... The danger, evoked by numerous critics, that such research will result in a sort of resigned expectation of the holocaust, seems a weak argument ... The classic theory of Clausewitz defines absolute victory in terms of disarmament of the enemy ... Today ... it will suffice to take away his means of retaliation to hold him at your mercy." - Raymond Aron, Introduction to Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 9-12. (This is the commie support for arms control and disarmament has achieved, precisely the weakening of the West to take away credible deterrence.)

"75 years ago, white slavery was rampant in England. ... it could not be talked about openly in Victorian England, moral standards as to the subjects of discussion made it difficult to arouse the community to necessary action. ... Victorian standards, besides perpetuating the white slave trade, intensified the damage ... Social inhibitions which reinforce natural tendencies to avoid thinking about unpleasant subjects are hardly uncommon. ... But when our reluctance to consider danger brings danger nearer, repression has gone too far. In 1960, I published a book that attempted to direct attention to the possibility of a thermonuclear war ... people are willing to argue that it is immoral to think and even more immoral to write in detail about having to fight ... like those ancient kings who punished messengers who brought them bad news. That did not change the news; it simply slowed up its delivery. On occasion it meant that the kings were ill informed and, lacking truth, made serious errors in judgement and strategy. ... We cannot wish them away. Nor should we overestimate and assume the worst is inevitable. This leads only to defeatism, inadequate preparations (because they seem useless), and pressures toward either preventative war or undue accommodation." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 17-19. (In the footnote on page 35, Kahn notes that original nuclear bullshitter, the 1950 creator of fake cobalt-60 doomsday bomb propaganda, Leo Szilard, was in the usual physics groupthink nutters club: "Szilard is probably being too respectful of his scientific colleagues who also seem to indulge in ad hominem arguments - especially when they are out of their technical specialty.")

"Ever since the catastropic and disillusioning experience of 1914-18, war has been unthinkable to most people in the West ... In December 1938, only 3 months after Munich, Lloyd's of London gave odds of 32 to 1 that there would be no war in 1939. On August 7, 1939, the London Daily Express reported the result of a poll of its European reporters. 10 out of 12 said, 'No war this year'. Hitler invaded Poland 3 weeks later." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, p. 39. (But as the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 proved, even the label "war" is now "controversial": the aggressor now simply declares they are on a special operation of unifying people under one flag to ensure peace! So the reason why there is war in Ukraine is that Ukraine is resisting. If it waved a white flag, as the entire arms control and disarmament lobby insists is the only sane response to a nuclear-armed aggressor, there would be "peace," albeit on Russia's terms: that's why they disarmed Ukraine in 1994. "Peace propaganda" of "disarmers"! Free decent people prefer to fight tyranny. But as Kahn states on pp. 7-9:

"Some, most notably [CND's pseudo-historian of arms race lying] A. J. P. Taylor, have even said that Hitler was not like Hitler, that further appeasement [not an all-out arms race as was needed but repeatedly rejected by Baldwin and Chamberlain until far too late; see discussion of this fact which is still deliberately ignored or onfuscated by "historians" of the A. J. P. Taylor biased anti-deterrence left wing type, in Slessor's The Central Blue, quoted on this blog] would have prevented World War II ... If someone says to you, 'One of us has to be reasonable and it is not going to be me, so it has to be you', he has a very effective bargaining advantage, particularly if he is armed with thermonuclear bombs [and you have damn all civil defense, ABM, or credible tactical deterrent]. If he can convince you he is stark, staring mad and if he has enough destructive power ... deterrence alone will not work. You must then give in or accept the possibility of being annihilated ... in the first instance if we fight and lose; in the second if we capitulate without fighting. ... We could still resist by other means ranging from passive resistance of the Gandhi type to the use of underground fighting and sabotage. All of these alternatives might be of doubtful effectiveness against [the Gulag system, KGB/FSB torture camps or Siberian salt mines of] a ruthless dictatorship."

Sometimes people complain that Hitler and the most destructive and costly war and only nuclear war of history, WWII, is given undue attention. But WWII is a good analogy to the danger precisely because of the lying WMD gas war propaganda-based disarmament of the West which allowed the war, because of the attacks by Hitler's fans on civil defense in the West to make even the token rearmament after 1935 ineffective as a credible deterrent, and because Hitler has mirrors in Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan, Tamerlane, Napoleon and Stalin. Kahn explains on p. 173: "Because history has a way of being more imaginative and complex than even the most imaginative and intelligent analysts, historical examples often provide better scenarios than artificial ones, even though they may be no more directly applicable to current equipment, postures, and political situations than the fictional plot of the scenario. Recent history can be especially useful.")

"One type of war resulting at least partly from deliberate calculation could occur in the process of escalation. For example, suppose the Soviets attacked Europe, relying upon our fear of their reprisal to deter a strategic attack by us; we might be deterred enough to pause, but we might evacuate our cities during this pause in the hope we could thereby convince the Soviets we meant business. If the Soviets did not back down, but continued their attack upon Europe, we might decide that we would be less badly off if we proceeded ... The damage we would receive in return would then be considerably reduced, compared with what we would have suffered had we not evacuated. We might well decide at such a time that we would be better off to attack the Soviets and accept a retalitory blow at our dispersed population, rather than let Europe be occupied, and so be forced to accept the penalty of living in the hostile and dangerous world that would follow." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, pp. 51-2.

"We must recognise that the stability we want in a system is more than just stability against accidental war or even against an attack by the enemy. We also want stability against extreme provocation [e.g. invasion of allies, which then escalates as per invasion of Belgium 1914, or Poland 1939]." - Herman Kahn's 1962 Thinking About the Unthinkable, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, p. 53(footnote).

Note: this 1962 book should not be confused with Kahn's 1984 "updated" Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s, which omits the best material in the 1962 edition (in the same way that the 1977 edition of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons omits the entire civil defense chapter which was the one decent thing in the 1957 and 1962/4 editions!) and thus shows a reversion to the less readable and less helpful style of his 1960 On Thermonuclear War, which severely fragmented and jumbled up all the key arguments making it easy for critics to misquote or quote out of context. For example, Kahn's 1984 "updated" book starts on the first page of the first chapter with the correct assertion that Johnathan Schell's Fate of the Earth is nonsense, but doesn't say why it's nonsense, and you have to read through to the final chapter - pages 207-8 of chapter 10 - to find Kahn writing in the most vague way possible, without a single specific example, that Schell is wrong because of "substantive inadequacies and inaccuracies", without listing a single example such as Schell's lying that the 1954 Bravo nuclear test blinded everyone well beyond the range of Rongelap, and that it was impossible to easily shield the radiation from the fallout or evacuate the area until it decays, which Schell falsely attributed to Glasstone and Dolan's nonsense in the 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons! Kahn eventually in the footnote on page 208 refers readers to an out-of-print article for facts: "These criticisms are elaborated in my review of The Fate of the Earth, see 'Refusing to Think About the Unthinkable', Fortune, June 28, 1982, pp. 113-6. Kahn does the same for civil defense in the 1984 book, referring in such general, imprecise and vague terms to Russian civil defence, with no specific data, that it is a waste of time, apart possibly one half-baked sentence on page 177: "Variations in the total megatonnage, somewhat surprisingly, do not seem to affect the toll nearly as much as variations in the targetting or the type of weapon bursts." Kahn on page 71 quotes an exchange between himself and Senator Proxmire during the US Congressional Hearings of the Joint Committee on Defense Production, Civil preparedness and limited nuclear war where on page 55 of the hearings, Senator Proxmire alleges America would escalate a limited conflict to an all-out war because: "The strategic value and military value of destroying cities in the Soviet Union would be very great." Kahn responded: "No American President is likely to do that, no matter what the provocation." Nuclear war will be limited, according to Herman Kahn's analysis, despite the bullshit fron nutters to the contrary.

Kahn on page 101 of Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s correctly and accurately condemns President Carter's 1979 State of the Union Address, which claimed falsely that just a single American nuclear submarine is required by America and has an "overwhelming" deterrent against "every large and medium-sized city in the Soviet Union". Carter ignored Russian retaliation on cities if you bomb theirs: America has avoided the intense Russian protection efforts that make the Russian nuclear threat credible, namely civil defense shelters and evacuation plans, and also the realpolitik of deterrence of world wars, which so far have only been triggered due to invasions of third parties (Belgium '14, Poland '39). Did America strategically nuke every city in Russia when it invaded Ukraine in 2022? No, debunking Proxmire and the entire Western pro-Russian "automatic escalation" propaganda lobby, and it didn't even have tactical neutron bombs to help deter the Russians like Reagan in the 1980s, because in the 1990s America had ignored Kahn's argument, and went in for MINIMAL deterrence of the least credible sort (abolishing the invasion-deterring dedicated neutron tactical nuclear stockpile entirely; the following quotation is from p101 of Kahn's Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s):

"Minimum deterrence, or any predicated on an escessive emphasis on the inevitably of mutual homocide, is both misleading and dangerous. ... MAD principles can promote provocation - e.g. Munich-type blackmail on an ally. Hitler, for example, did not threaten to attack France or England - only Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. It was the French and the British who finally had to threaten all-out war [they could only do this after rearmament and building shelters and gas masks to reduce the risk of reprisals in city bombing, which gave more time for Germany to prepare since it was rearming faster than France and Britain which still desperately counted on appeasement and peace treaties and feared provoking a war by an arms-race due to endless lying propaganda from Lord Grey that his failure to deter war in 1914 had been due to an arms-race rather than the incompetence of the procrastination of his anti-war Liberal Party colleagues in the Cabinet] - a move they would not and could not have made if the notion of a balance of terror between themselves and Germany had been completely accepted. As it was, the British and French were most reluctant to go to war; from 1933 to 1939 Hitler exploited that reluctance. Both nations [France and Britain] were terrified by the so-called 'knockout blow', a German maneuver that would blanket their capitals with poison gas ... The paralyzing effect of this fear prevented them from going to war ... and gave the Germans the freedom to march into the Ruhr, to form the Anschluss with Austria, to force the humiliating Munich appeasement (with the justification of 'peace in our time'), and to take other aggressive actions [e.g. against the Jews in the Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, etc.] ... If the USSR were sufficiently prepared in the event a war did occur, only the capitalists would be destroyed. The Soviets would survive ... that would more than justify whatever sacrifice and destruction had taken place.

"This view seems to prevail in the Soviet military and the Politburo even to the present day. It is almost certain, despite several public denials, that Soviet military preparations are based on war-fighting, rather than on deterrence-only concepts and doctrines..." - Herman Kahn, Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s, 1984, pages 101-102.

Kahn adds, in his footnote on p111, that "Richard Betts has documented numerous historical cases in which attackers weakened their opponents defenses through the employment of unanticipated tactics. These include: rapid changes in tactics per se, false alarms and fluctuating preparations for war ... doctrinal innovations to gain surprise. ... This is exactly the kind of thing which is likely to surprise those who subscribe to MAD theories. Those who see a need for war-fighting capabilities expect the other side to try to be creative and use tactical innovations such as coercion and blackmail, technological surprises, or clever tactics on 'leverage' targets, such as command and control installations. If he is to adhere to a total reliance on MAD, the MADvocate has to ignore these possibilities." See Richard Betts, "Surprise Despite Warning: Why Sudden Attacks Succeed", Political Science Quarterly, Winter 1980-81, pp. 551-572.)

Compare two situations: (1) Putin explodes a 50 megaton nuclear "test" of the warhead for his new nuclear reactor powered torpedo, Poseidon, a revamped 1961 Tsar Bomba, or detonates a high-altitude nuclear EMP "test" over neutral waters but within the thousands of miles range of USA or UK territory; (2) Putin invades Poland using purely conventional weapons. Our point here is that both nuclear AND conventional weapons trigger nuclear threats and the risk of nuclear escalation, as indeed they have done (for Putin's nuclear threats scroll down to videos with translations below). So the fashionable CND style concept that only nuclear weapons can trigger nuclear escalation is bullshit, and is designed to help Russia start and win WWIII to produce a world government, by getting us to undertake further unilateral (not multilateral) disarmament, just as evolved in the 1930s, setting the scene for WWII. Japan for example did not have nuclear weapons in August 1945, yet triggered not just tactical nuclear war (both cities had some military bases and munitions factories, as well as enormous numbers of civilians), and the decision to attack cities rather than just "test" weapons obove Tokyo bay as Teller demanded but Oppenheimer rejected (for maximum impact with a very small supply of nuclear weapons) showed some strategic nuclear war thinking. Truman was escalating to try to shock Japan into rapid surrender emotionally (many cities in Japan had already been burned out in conventional incendiary air raids, and the two nuclear attacks while horrible for civilians in those cities contributed only a fraction of the millions killed in WWII, despite anti-nuclear propaganda lies to the contrary). Truman's approach escalating to win is the opposite of the "Minimax game theory" (von Neumann's maths and Thomas Schelling's propaganda) gradual escalation approach that's currently the basis of nuclear deterrence planning despite its failure wherever it has been tried (Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc). Gradual escalation is supposed to minimise the maximum possible risk (hence "minimax" name), but it guarantees failure in the real world (unlike rule abided games) by maximising the build up of resentment. E.g. Schelling/Minimax say that if you gradually napalm civilians day after day (because they are the unprotected human shields used by terrorists/insurgents; the Vietcong are hiding in underground tunnels, exactly like Hamas today, and the Putin regime's metro 2 shelter tunnels under Russia) you somehow "punish the enemy" (although they don't give a toss about the lives of kids which is why you're fighting them!) and force them to negotiate for peace in good faith, then you can pose for photos with them sharing a glass of champagne and there is "world peace". That's a popular fairy tale, like Marxist mythology.

Once you grasp this fact, that nuclear weapons have been and will again be "used" explosively without automatic escalation, for example provocative testing as per the 1961 Russian 50 megaton bomb test, or the 1962 high altitude EMP bursts, you should be able to grasp the fact that the "escalation" deception used to dismiss civil defense and tactical nuclear deterrence against limited nuclear war, is fake news from Russian fellow-travellers like Corbyn. Once you assign a non-unity probability to "escalation", you're into conventional war territory: if you fight a conventional war, it can "escalate" to nuclear war as on 6 August 1945. Japan did not avoid nuclear attack by not having nuclear weapons on 6 August 1945. If it had nuclear weapons ready to be delivered, a very persuasive argument could be made that unless Truman wanted to invite retaliation, World War II would have remained strategically non-nuclear: no net strategic advantage would have been achieved by nuclear city bombing so only war-ending tactical nuclear threats could have prevailed in practice. But try explaining this to the groupthink pseudosocialist bigoted mass murderers who permeate fake physics with crap; it's no easier to explain to them the origins of particle masses or even dark energy/gravitation; in both cases groupthink lying hogwash persists because statements of proved facts are hated and rejected if them debunk religious style fairy tales the mass media loves. There were plenty of people warning that mass media gas war fear mongering was disguised Nazi supporting propaganda in the 1930s, but the public listened to that crap then just as it accepted the "eugenics" (anti-diversity evolution crap of Sir Galton, cousin of Darwin) basis for Hitler's Mein Kampf without question, just as they accepted the lying propaganda from the UK "Cambridge Scientists Anti-War Group" which like CND and all other arms control and disarmament lobbies supporting terrorist states today, did more than even Hitler to deliberately lay the foundations for the Holocaust and World War II, while never being criticised in the UK media! Thus, it's surely time for people to oppose evil lying on civil defence to save lives in all disasters from storms to conventional war, to collateral damage risks in nuclear terrorism by mad enemies. At some point, the majority has to decide to either defend itself honestly and decently against barbarism, or be consumed by it as a price for believing bullshit. It's time for decent people to oppose lying evil regarding the necessity to have credible tactical (not incredible strategic) nuclear weapons, as Oppenheimer called for in his 1951 speech, to deter invasions.

Democracy can't function when secrecy is used to deliberately cover-up vital data from viewing by Joe Public. Secrecy doesn't protect you from enemies who independently develop weapons in secret, or who spy from inside your laboratories:

"The United States and Great Britain resumed testing in 1962, and we spared no effort trying to find out what they were up to. I attended several meetings on that subject. An episode related to those meetings comes to mind ... Once we were shown photographs of some documents ... the photographer had been rushed. Mixed in with the photocopies was a single, terribly crumpled original. I innocently asked why, and was told that it had been concealed in panties. Another time ... questions were asked along the following lines: What data about American weapons would be most useful for your work and for planning military technology in general?"

- Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs, Hutchinson, London, 1990, pp225-6.

ABOVE: The British government has now declassified detailed summary reports giving secret original nuclear test data on the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) damage due to numerous nuclear weapons, data which is still being kept under wraps in America since it hasn't been superseded because Western atmospheric nuclear tests were stopped late in 1962 and never resumed - even though the Russians have even more extensive data - completely debunking Glasstone and Dolan's disarmament propaganda nonsense in the 1962, 1964 and 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons which ignores EMP piped far away from low altitude nuclear tests by power and communications cables and falsely claims instead that such detonations don't produce EMP damage outside the 2psi blast radius! For a discussion of the new data and also a link to the full 200+ pages version (in addition to useful data, inevitably like all official reports it also contains a lot of "fluff" padding), please see the other (physics) site: https://nige.wordpress.com/2023/09/12/secret-emp-effects-of-american-nuclear-tests-finally-declassified-by-the-uk-and-at-uk-national-archives/ (by contrast, this "blogspot" uses old non-smartphone proof coding, no longer properly indexed any long longer by "google's smartphone bot"). As long ago as 1984, Herman Kahn argued on page 112 of his book Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s: "The effects of an EMP attack are simply not well understood [in the West, where long powerlines were never exposed on high altitude nuclear tests, unlike the Russian's 1962 Operation K, so MHD-EMP or E3 damage wasn't even mentioned in the 1977 Glasstone and Dolan Effects of Nuclear Weapons], but the Soviets seem to know - or think they know - more than we do."

BELOW: declassified British nuclear war planning blast survival data showing that even without special Morrison table shelters, the American assumption that nobody can survive in a demolished house is false, based on detailed WWII British data (the majority of people in houses flattened within 77 ft from V1 Nazi cruise missiles survived!), and secret American reports (contradicting their unclassified propaganda) proved that blast survival occurred at 16 psi overpressure in Hiroshima's houses, e.g. see limited distribution Dirkwood corp DC-P-1060 for Hiroshima, also the secret 1972 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons DNA-EM-1 table 10-1, and WWII report RC-450 table 8.2, p145 (for determining survival of people sheltered in brick houses, the WWII A, B, C, and D damage versus casualty data from V1 blast was correlated to similar damage from nuclear blast as given Glasstone's 1957 Effects of Nuclear Weapons page 249, Fig. 6.41a, and page 109 Fig. 3.94a, which show that A, B, C, and D damage to brick houses from nuclear weapons occur at peak overpressures of 9, 6, 3 and 0.5 psi, respectively; the longer blast from higher yields blows the debris over a wider area, reducing the load per unit area falling on to people sheltered under tables etc), and the declassified UK government assessment of nuclear terrorist attack on a port or harbour, as well as the confidential classified UK Government analysis of the economic and social effects from WWII bombing (e.g. the recovery times for areas as a function of percentage of houses destroyed):

Unofficial Russian video on the secret Russian nuclear shelters from Russian Urban Exploration, titled "Проникли на секретный Спецобъект Метро!" = "We infiltrated a secret special facility of the Metro!":

ABOVE: Moscow Metro and Metro-2 (secret nuclear subway) horizonially swinging blast doors take only 70 seconds to shut, whereas their vertically rising blast doors take 160 seconds to shut; both times are however far shorter than the arrival time of Western ICBMs or even SLBMs which take 15-30 minutes by which time the Russian shelters are sealed from blast and radiation! In times of nuclear crisis, Russia planned to evacuate from cities those who could not be sheltered, and for the remainder to be based in shelters (similarly to the WWII British situation, when people slept in shelters of one kind or another when there was a large risk of being bombed without notice, particularly in supersonic V2 missile attacks where little warning time was available).


ABOVE: originally SECRET diagrams showing the immense casualty reductions for simple shelters and local (not long distance as in 1939) evacuation, from a UK Home Office Scientific Advisers’ Branch report CD/SA 72 (UK National Archives document reference HO 225/72), “Casualty estimates for ground burst 10 megaton bombs”, which exposed the truth behind UK Cold War civil defence (contrary to Russian propaganda against UK defence, which still falsely claims there was no scientific basis for anything, playing on the fact the data was classified SECRET). Evacuation plus shelter eliminates huge casualties for limited attacks; notice that for the 10 megaton bombs (more than 20 times the typical yield of today’s MIRV compact warheads!), you need 20 weapons, i.e. a total of 10 x 20 = 200 megatons, for 1 million killed, if civil defence is in place for 45% of people to evacuate a city and the rest to take shelter. Under civil defence, therefore, you get 1 million killed per 200 megatons. This proves that civil defence work to make deterrence more credible in Russian eyes. For a discussion of the anti-civil defence propaganda scam in the West led by Russian agents for Russian advantage in the new cold war, just read posts on this blog started in 2006 when Putin's influence became clear. You can read the full PDF by clicking the link here. Or see the files here.

ABOVE: the originally CONFIDENTIAL classified document chapters of Dr D.G. Christopherson’s “Structural Defence 1945, RC450”, giving low cost UK WWII shelter effectiveness data, which should also have been published to prove the validity of civil defence countermeasures in making deterrence of future war more credible by allowing survival of “demonstration” strikes and “nuclear accidents / limited wars” (it’s no use having weapons and no civil defence, so you can’t deter aggressors, the disaster of Munich appeasement giving Hitler a green light on 30 September 1938, when Anderson shelters were only issued the next year, 1939!). For the original WWII UK Government low cost sheltering instruction books issued to the public (for a small charge!) please click here (we have uploaded them to internet archive), and please click here for further evidence for the effectiveness of indoor shelters during WWII from Morrison shelter inventor Baker's analysis, please click here (he titled his book about WWII shelters "Enterprise versus Bureaucracy" which tells you all you need to know about the problems his successful innovations in shelter design experienced; his revolutionary concept was that the shelter should be damaged to protect the people inside because of the vast energy absorption soaked up in the plastic deformation of steel - something which naive fools can never appreciate - by analogy, if your car bumper is perfectly intact after impact you're unlikely to be because it has not absorbed the impact energy which has been passed on to you!). We have also placed useful declassified UK government nuclear war survival information on internet archive here and here. There is also a demonstration of how proof-tested WWII shelters were tested in 1950s nuclear weapon trials and adapted for use in Cold War nuclear civil defence, here, thus permanently debunking the somewhat pro-dictatorship/anti-deterrence Jeremy Corbyn/Matthew Grant/Duncan Campbell anti-civil defence propaganda rants which pretend to to based on reality, but obviously just ignore the hard, yet secret, nuclear testing facts upon which UK government civil defence was based as my father (a Civil Defence Corps instructor) explained here back in 2006. The reality is that the media follows herd fashion to sell paper/airtime; it doesn't lead it. This is why it backed Nazi appeasement (cheering Chamberlain's 1938 handshakes with Hitler for instance) and only switched tune when it was too late to deter Nazi aggression in 1939; it made the most money that way. We have to face the facts!

NUKEGATE - Western tactical neutron bombs were disarmed after Russian propaganda lie. Russia now has over 2000... "Disarmament and arms control" charlatans, quacks, cranks, liars, mass murdering Russian affiliates, and evil genocidal Marxist media exposed for what it is, what it was in the 1930s when it enabled Hitler to murder tens of millions in war. Glasstone's and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons deceptions totally disproved. Professor Brian Martin, TRUTH TACTICS, 2021 (pp45-50): "In trying to learn from scientific publications, trust remains crucial. The role of trust is epitomised by Glasstone’s book The Effects of Atomic Weapons. Glasstone was not the author; he was the editor. The book is a compilation of information based on the work of numerous contributors. For me, the question was, should I trust this information? Was there some reason why the editors or authors would present fraudulent information, be subject to conflicts of interest or otherwise be biased? ... if anything, the authors would presumably want to overestimate rather than underestimate the dangers ... Of special interest would be anyone who disagreed with the data, calculations or findings in Glasstone. But I couldn’t find any criticisms. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons was treated as the definitive source, and other treatments were compatible with it. ... One potent influence is called confirmation bias, which is the tendency to look for information that supports current beliefs and dismiss or counter contrary information. The implication is that changing one’s views can be difficult due to mental commitments. To this can be added various forms of bias, interpersonal influences such as wanting to maintain relationships, overconfidence in one’s knowledge, desires to appear smart, not wanting to admit being mistaken, and career impacts of having particular beliefs. It is difficult to assess the role of these influences on yourself. "

Honest Effects of Nuclear Weapons!

ABOVE (VIDEO CLIP): Russian State TV Channel 1 war inurer and enabler, NOT MERELY MAKING "INCREDIBLE BLUFF THREATS THAT WE MUST ALL LAUGH AT AND IGNORE LIKE DR GOEBBELS THREATS TO GAS JEWS AND START A WORLD WAR" AS ALMOST ALL THE BBC SCHOOL OF "JOURNALISM" (to which we don't exactly belong!) LIARS CLAIM, but instead preparing Russians mentally for nuclear war (they already have nuclear shelters and a new Putin-era tactical nuclear war civil defense manual from 2014, linked and discussed in blog posts on the archive above), arguing for use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine war in 2023: "We should not be afraid of what it is unnecessary to be afraid of. We need to win. That is all. We have to achieve this with the means we have, with the weapons we have. I would like to remind you that a nuclear weapon is not just a bomb; it is the heritage of the whole Russian people, suffered through the hardest times. It is our heritage. And we have the right to use it to defend our homeland [does he mean the liberated components of the USSR that gained freedom in 1992?]. Changing the [nuclear use] doctrine is just a piece of paper, but it is worth making a decision."

NOTE: THIS IS NOT ENGLISH LANGUAGE "PROPAGANDA" SOLELY ADDRESSED AS A "BLUFF" TO UK AND USA GOV BIGOTED CHARLATANS (those who have framed photos of hitler, stalin, chamberlain, baldwin, lloyd george, eisenhower, et al., on their office walls), BUT ADDRESSED AT MAKING RUSSIAN FOLK PARTY TO THE NEED FOR PUTIN TO START A THIRD WORLD WAR! Duh!!!!! SURE, PUTIN COULD PRESS THE BUTTON NOW, BUT THAT IS NOT THE RUSSIAN WAY, ANY MORE THAN HITLER SET OFF WWII BY DIRECTLY BOMBING LONDON! HE DIDN'T. THESE PEOPLE WANT TO CONTROL HISTORY, TO GO DOWN THE NEXT "PUTIN THE GREAT". THEY WANT TO GET THEIR PEOPLE, AND CHINA, NORTH KOREA, IRAN, ET Al. AS ALLIES, BY APPEARING TO BE DEFENDING RATIONALITY AND LIBERTY AGAINST WAR MONGERING WESTERN IMPERIALISM. For the KGB mindset here, please read Chapman Pincher's book "The Secret offensive" and Paul Mercer's "Peace of the Dead - The Truth Behind the Nuclear Disarmers". Please note that the link to the analysis of the secret USSBS report 92, The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (which google fails to appreciate is a report with the OPPOSITE conclusions to the lying unclassified reports and Glasstone's book on fire, is on internet archive in the PDF documents list at the page "The effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan" (the secret report 92 of the USSBS, not the lying unclassified version or the Glasstone book series). If you don't like the plain layout of this blog, you can change it into a "fashionable" one with smaller photos you can't read by adding ?m=1 to the end of the URL, e.g. https://glasstone.blogspot.com/2022/02/analogy-of-1938-munich-crisis-and.html?m=1


Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons exaggerations completely undermine credible deterrence of war: Glasstone exaggerates urban "strategic" nuclear weapons effects by using effects data taken from unobstructed terrain (without the concrete jungle shielding of blast winds and radiation by cities!), and omits the most vital uses and most vital effects of nuclear weapons: to DETER world war credibly by negating the concentrations of force used to invade Belgium, 1914 (thus WWI) and Poland (WWII). The facts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions (click here for data) which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)! If we have credible W54's and W79's tactical nukes to deter invasions as used to Cold War, pro Russian World Peace Council inspired propaganda says: "if you use those, we'll bomb your cities", but they can bomb our cities with nuclear if we use conventional weapons, or even if we fart, if they want - we don't actually control what thugs in dictatorships - it is like saying Hitler had 12,000 tons of tabun nerve agent by 1945, so lying we had to surrender for fear of it. Actually, he had to blow his brains out because he had an incredible deterrent, as retaliation risk plus defence (masks) negated it!

Credible deterrence necessitates simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and bombing. The facts can debunk massively inaccurate, deliberately misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" pro-dictatorship ("communism" scam) political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media which is not opposed by the remainder of the media, and the completely fake "nuclear effects data" sneaks into "established pseudo-wisdom" by the back-door. Another trick is hate attacks on anyone telling the truth: this is a repeat of lies from Nobel Peace Prize winner Angell and pals before WWI (when long-"outlawed" gas was used by all sides, contrary to claims that paper agreements had "banned" it somehow) and WWII (when gas bombing lies prior to the war by Angell, Noel-Baker, Joad and others were used as an excuse to "make peace deals" with the Nazis, again, not worth the paper they were printed on). Mathematically, the subset of all States which keep agreements (disarmament and arms control, for instance) is identical to the subset of all States which are stable Democracies (i.e., tolerating dissent for the past several years), but this subset is - as Dr Spencer Weart's statistical evidence of war proves in his book Never at War: Why Democracies Won't Fight One Another - not the bloody war problem! Because none of the disarmaments grasp set theory, or bother to read Dr Weart's book, they can never understand that disarmament of Democracies doesn't cause peace but causes millions of deaths.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for the truth from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)! Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities are needed for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars. Credible deterrence is through simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and aerial attacks, debunking inaccurate, misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" left political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media.

Glasstone's and Nukemap's fake Effects of Nuclear Weapons effects data for unobstructed deserts, rather than realistic blast and radiation shielding concrete jungles which mitigate countervalue damage as proved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Penney and Stanbury, undermine credible world war deterrence just as Philip Noel-Baker's 1927 BBC radio propaganda on gas war knock-out blow lies were used by Nazi propaganda distributing "pacifist disarmers" to undermine deterrence of Hitler's war, murdering tens of millions deliberately through lies (e.g. effective gas masks don't exist) that were easy to disprove, but supported by the mainstream fascist leaning press in the UK. There is not just one country, Russia, which could trigger WW3, because we know from history that the world forms alliances once a major war breaks out, apart from a few traditional neutral countries like Ireland and Switzerland, so a major US-China war over Taiwan could draw in support from Russia and North Korea, just as the present Russian invasion and war against Ukraine has drawn in Iranian munitions support for Russia. So it is almost certain that a future East-vs-West world war will involve an alliance of Russia-China-North Korea-Iran fighting on multiple fronts, with nuclear weapons being used carefully for military purposes (not in the imaginary 1930s massive "knockout blow" gas/incendiary/high explosive raids against cities that was used by the UK media to scare the public into appeasing Hitler and thus enabling him to trigger world war; Chamberlain had read Mein Kampf and crazily approved Hitler's plans to exterminate Jews and invade Russia starting a major war, a fact censored out of biased propaganda hailing Chamberlain as a peacemaker).

Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapons capabilities are VITAL for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars debunk Marx media propagandarists who obfuscate because they don't want you to know the truth, so activism is needed to get the message out against lying frauds and open fascists in the Russian supporting Marx mass media, which sadly includes government officialdom (still infiltrated by reds under beds, sorry to Joe MaCarthy haters, but admit it as a hard fact that nuclear bomb labs in the West openly support Russian fascist mass murders; I PRAY THIS WILL SOON CHANGE!).

ABOVE: Tom Ramos at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (quoted at length on the development details of compact MIRV nuclear warhead designs in the latest post on this blog) explains how the brilliant small size primary stage, the Robin, was developed and properly proof-tested in time to act as the primary stage for a compact thermonuclear warhead to deter Russia in the 1st Cold War, something now made impossible due to Russia's World Peace Council propaganda campaigns. (Note that Ramos has a new book published, called From Berkeley to Berlin: How the Rad Lab Helped Avert Nuclear War which describes in detail in chapter 13, "First the Flute and Then the Robin", how caring, dedicated nuclear weapons physicists in the 1950s and 1960s actually remembered the lesson of disarmament disaster in the 1930s, and so WORKED HARD to develop the "Flute" secondary and the "Robin" primary to enable a compact, light thermonuclear warhead to help deter WWIII! What a difference to today, when all we hear from such "weaponeers" now is evil lying about nuclear weapons effects on cities and against Western civil defence and against credible deterrence on behalf of the enemy.)

ABOVE: Star Wars filmmaker Peter Kuran has at last released his lengthy (90 minutes) documentary on The neutron bomb. Unfortunately, it is not yet being widely screened in cinemas or on DVD Blu Ray disc, so you have to stream it (if you have fast broadband internet hooked up to a decent telly). At least Peter managed to interview Samuel Cohen, who developed the neutron bomb out of the cleaner Livermore devices Dove and Starling in 1958 (Ramos says Livermore's director, who invented a wetsuit, is now trying to say Cohen stole the neutron bomb idea from him! Not so, as RAND colleague and 1993 Effects Manual EM-1 editor Dr Harold L. Brode explains in his recent brilliant book on the history of nuclear weapons in the 1st Cold War (reviewed in a post on this blog in detail) that Cohen was after the neutron bomb for many years before Livermore was even built as a rival to Los Alamos. Cohen had been into neutrons when working in the Los Alamos Efficiency Group of the Manhattan project on the very first nuclear weapons, used with neutron effects on people by Truman, back in 1945 to end a bloody war while the Livermore director was in short pants.)

For the true effects in modern city concrete buildings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, disproving the popular lies for nudes in open deserts used as the basis for blast and radiation calculations by Glasstone and Nukemap, please click here The deceptive bigots protraying themselves as Federation of American Scientists genuine communist disarmers in the Marx media including TV scammers have been suppressing the truth to sell fake news since 1945 and in a repetition of the 1920s and 1930s gas war media lying for disarmament and horror news scams that caused disarmament and thus encouraged Hitler to initiate the invasions that set off WWII!

Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons exaggerations completely undermine credible deterrence of war: Glasstone exaggerates urban "strategic" nuclear weapons effects by using effects data taken from unobstructed terrain (without the concrete jungle shielding of blast winds and radiation by cities!), and omits the most vital uses and most vital effects of nuclear weapons: to DETER world war credibly by negating the concentrations of force used to invade Belgium, 1914 (thus WWI) and Poland (WWII). Disarmament and arms control funded propaganda lying says any deterrent which is not actually exploded in anger is a waste of money since it isn't being "used", a fraud apparently due to the title and content of Glasstone's book which omits the key use and effect of nuclear weapons, to prevent world wars: this is because Glasstone and Dolan don't even bother to mention the neutron bomb or 10-fold reduced fallout in the the Los Alamos 95% clean Redwing-Navajo test of 1956, despite the neutron bomb effects being analysed for its enhanced radiation and reduced thermal and blast yield in detail in the 1972 edition of Dolan's edited secret U.S. Department of Defense Effects Manual EM-1, "Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons", data now declassified yet still being covered-up by "arms control and disarmament" liars today to try to destroy credible deterrence of war in order to bolster their obviously pro-Russian political anti-peace agenda. "Disarmament and arms control" charlatans, quacks, cranks, liars, mass murdering Russian affiliates, and evil genocidal Marxist media exposed for what it is, what it was in the 1930s when it enabled Hitler to murder tens of millions in war .

ABOVE: 11 May 2023 Russian state TV channel 1 loon openly threatens nuclear tests and bombing UK. Seeing how the Russian media is under control of Putin, this is like Dr Goebbels rantings, 80 years past. But this doesn't disprove the world war threat any more than it did with Dr Goebbels. These people, like the BBC here, don't just communicate "news" but attempt to do so selectively and with interpretations and opinions that set the stage for a pretty obviously hate based political agenda with their millions of viewers, a trick that worked in the 1st Cold War despite Orwell's attempts to lampoon it in books about big brother like "1984" and "Animal Farm". When in October 1962 the Russians put nuclear weapons into Cuba in secret without any open "threats", and with a MASSIVELY inferior overall nuclear stockpile to the USA (the USA had MORE nuclear weapons, more ICBMs, etc.), the media made a big fuss, even when Kennedy went on TV on 22 October and ensured no nuclear "accidents" in Cuba by telling Russia that any single accidentally launched missile from Cuba against any Western city would result in a FULL RETALITORY STRIKE ON RUSSIA. There was no risk of nuclear war then except by accident, and Kennedy had in his 25 May 1961 speech on "Urgent National Needs" a year and a half before instigated NUCLEAR SHELTERS in public basement buildings to help people in cities survive (modern concrete buildings survive near ground zero Hiroshima, as proved by declassified USSBS reports kept covered up by Uncle Sam). NOE THAT THERE IS A CREDIBLE THREAT OF NUCLEAR TESTS AND HIROSHIMA TYPE INTIMIDATION STRIKES, THE BBC FINALLY DECIDES TO SUPPRESS NUCLEAR NEWS SUPPOSEDLY TO HELP "ANTI-NUCLEAR" RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA TRYING TO PREVENT US FROM GETTING CREDIBLE DETERRENCE OF INVASIONS, AS WE HAD WITH THE W79 UNTIL DISARMERS REMOVED IT IN THE 90s! This stinks of prejudice, the usual sort of hypocrisy from the 1930s "disarmament heroes" who lied their way to Nobel peace prizes by starting a world war!

The facts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the shielding of blast and radiation effects by modern concrete buildings in the credible nuclear deterrence of invasions (click here for data) which - unlike the countervalue drivel that failed to prevent WW2 costing millions of human lives - worked in the Cold War despite the Western media's obsession with treating as Gospel truth the lying anti-nuclear propaganda from Russia's World Peace Council and its allies (intended to make the West disarm to allow Russian invasions without overwhelming, effective deterrence or opposition, as worked in Ukraine recently)!

Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities are required now for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars. Credible deterrence necessitates simple, effective protection against concentrated and dispersed invasions and bombing. The facts can debunk massively inaccurate, deliberately misleading CND "disarm or be annihilated" pro-dictatorship ("communism" scam) political anti-nuclear deterrence dogma. Hiroshima and Nagasaki anti-nuclear propaganda effects lies on blast and radiation for modern concrete cities is debunked by solid factual evidence kept from public sight for political reasons by the Marx-media, which is not opposed by the fashion-obsessed remainder of the media, and so myths sneak into "established pseudo-wisdom" by the back-door.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Herman Kahn's On Thermonuclear War: why nuclear weapons effects need to deter aggression and provocation that can escalate, not merely to deter direct attacks

Updates (31 December 2015): The U.K. National Archives has finally released, after 30 years, a crucially important telephone conversation (summary written by Charles Powell) between President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher explaining clearly that Reagan fully supported Tom Clancy's very sensible view in his book Red Storm Rising that the real threat to deter was conventional war, not nuclear war. Reagan described the conventional weapons WWIII threat in Red Storm Rising, where Jihadi terrorist attacks set off a WWIII fought with conventional weapons, with no escalation to nuclear bombs on cities, as representing an "excellent picture" of real Russian war intentions: ‘The Russians don’t want war, they want victory by using the threat of nuclear war ... I think we could have a strategy to meet that.’ The real Russian threat was conventional war and strategic nuclear attack was a red herring for propaganda purposes, as in the 1930s where all the hype about escalation of war into all-out gas attacks on civilian cities were debunked in WWII (despite 12,000 tons of stockpiled German tabun nerve gas).  The problems with "disarmament" and international peacekeeping as solutions are clear from history.

Disarmament in the 1930's caused war since it gave an overwhelming advantage to violators (rearmament), and the nuclear "disarmed" state of the world at the start of WWII did not prevent nuclear weapons being made in the war and actually being used to end the war.  The majority of the megatons of conventional weapons used in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and all the nuclear weapons dropped on cities were produced during the wars they were used in, not before the wars.  As the 1980's proved, intense anti-disarmament arms races in peacetime can deter world war while bankrupting the ideologically weaker side into defeat. The costs of those peacetime arms races and the stockpiles of weapons they produce before war have proved insignificant on a percentage basis, compared to the arms production in the war.  Thus, the thing to be concerned with is not pre-war stockpiles, but munitions production during the war.  Like the absence of gas attacks on cities in WWII, despite pre-war claims they would be inevitable, escalation and "knockout blow" propaganda proved wrong.  Despite pre-war propaganda to the contrary in each case, neither world war was a "knockout blow" lasting days. Contrary to pre-war disarmament propaganda, London was not wiped out by a surprise poison gas air raid on 3 September 1939.  In both world wars, the triggers were conventional military invasions of distant countries (Belgium 1914 and Poland 1939) and Naval military attacks on ships (Lusitania 1915 and Pearl Harbor 1941).  The first lesson to learn is the need to deter such military attacks, not to be distracted by scare-mongering "knockout blow" propaganda of the 1930's gas-bombing-on-cities sort.  Ronald Reagan, born 1911, was aware of these facts and didn't accept scare mongering propaganda.

I have to blog this Cold War propaganda style video from "Russian Insider", titled "Putin Crushes BBC Smartass" (the "Smartass" being the esteemed BBC's John Simpson, CBE).  Putin argues that his military budget is only $50 billion and that America's is 10 times bigger: "And you're telling me I'm the aggressor here?  Have you no common sense at all? ... I won't get into the Ukrainian question today. ... Sanctions have been placed on the Russian economy.  That is illegal."

There is a case to be made that Russia gave up communism and the USSR when the Cold War ended in 1991, and that, by making a mountain out of a molehill over its invasion of Crimea last year (although that is similar to the way the Sudetenland was written off in 1938), the West is treating Russia the way that Germany was treated after WWI (leading to resentfulness and another war). Sanctions on Russia may be a long-term error. America put sanctions on Japan after it invaded China in 1937, eventually leading to the desperate attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. If the West wants to control Russian expansionism and influence in Syria after the Crimean invasion last year, we should get ready for another Cold War. Otherwise, if we give up, Russia may take over the job of policing the world, building up allies and possibly a replacement for the USSR in the process.  Perhaps with a lucrative capitalist empire, they might end corrupt tactics (such as poisoning dissidents in London with polonium-210 in their tea), just as they eventually ended communism.  

Showing strength may give Russia the excuse to respond likewise, but showing weakness may encourage them to take over the world.  It's worth using this blog post to review the problems since we have now received over a million views (1,118,930 to be exact), which not bad for a highly technical honest blog on an important, unpleasant subject which doesn't cater to populist fear mongering propaganda, which includes visits from Russia and China:

Jeremy Corbyn, Britain's Labour Party leader and probable next PM rejects credible nuclear deterrence. This is the triumph of stupid secrecy on the truth about tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to deter conventional war and prevent casualties

There's been some concern after BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg interviewed the probable next Prime Minister, hard left wing CND supporter and Marxist Jeremy Corbyn, asking him if he will press a button to launch a nuclear armed Trident SLBM, and he opposed nuclear deterrence:

Laura Kuenssberg: "Would you ever push the nuclear button if you were Prime Minister?" 
Jeremy Corbyn: "I am opposed to nuclear weapons ... They are the ultimate weapon of mass destruction that can only kill millions of civilians if ever used ... Listen.  The nuclear weapons that the United States holds - all the hundreds if not thousands of warheads they've got - were no help to them on 9/11.  The issues are threats of irrational acts by individuals ..."

On the topic of irrational acts by individuals, what if President Putin (who immediately after Corbyn's interview started bombing the enemies of his friend Assad the butcher in Syria), goes totally crazy?

Remember that the ratio of nuclear weapons to conventional weapons casualties during the 46 year Cold War was 0, because the prime use of nuclear weapons was to deter an invasion of Western Europe by Russia, and no invasion occurred despite the failure to use nuclear weapons elsewhere to deter or end wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan during the 1980s.  The anti-nuclear myth is that fighting with conventional weapons that don't deter wars is a more humane option than ending war using credible nuclear deterrence.

The larger the explosion, the fewer casualties per unit energy release for similar conditions, because (1) the area of destruction scales up far less than in direct proportion to the energy released in the explosion, and additionally, (2) the larger areas of destruction for a larger explosion means an increasing average blast wave arrival time over the area of damaged buildings, therefore allowing on average more time for "duck and cover" between the flash and the blast and sound arrival.  Most blast casualties are caused by flying glass and other debris impacting on standing people who take no evasive action.  For 1 psi peak overpressure (flying glass from window breakage), at 1 ton of TNT yield (a V1 or V2 in WWII) you have only 0.4 seconds to respond to the flash before the blast arrives.  But for a tactical nuclear weapon such as neutron bomb of 1 kiloton yield you have 4 seconds to "duck and cover" which reduces collateral damage possibilities, and for a strategic nuclear weapon of 1 megaton on a silo or military command post, the public has 40 seconds to "duck and cover" before 1 psi blast arrives.  These laws of physics mean that smaller explosions cause many more casualties per unit energy than larger explosions do.  As the data table and graph above proves, there is experimental evidence to substantiate these laws of physics.  It is also easier to spend a few seconds lying flat to avoid blast winds and horizontally blasted glass fragments in a nuclear explosions, than to spend months doing so during the repeated conventional air raids, which are required to deliver the same amount of energy!  The longer duration of the blast for larger explosions blows debris further downrange, reducing the weight of material falling on simple improvised protection, such as table shelters.  Although a longer blast duration blast causes more damage to wind sensitive targets by bending tree stems and lightweight metal panels for a longer period of time, it has little effect on modern reinforced concrete buildings which require a minimum force for damage, irrespective of the duration of that force.  Likewise, a chair or rigid wall does not suddenly collapse after you apply a force to it for a certain period of time: there is no failure impulse criterion for such targets!  You must supply a force above a certain threshold for destruction to occur.  If the force (pressure multiplied by area) is below the threshold needed for destruction, no destruction will occur, regardless of the duration of the force. Propagandarists of fashionable groupthink always dismiss this evidence, and instead do a direct comparison of conventional and nuclear energy yields, as if it were valid: that is a massive exaggeration.  In addition, anti-civil defense propagandarists also deny that duck and cover becomes more credible as yield increases.  (Source: H. M. Government, Health and Safety Executive (Commission), Advisory Committee on Major Hazards, Second Report, 1979, Figure 3.)

In WWI, Britain's fired 170 million shells at German trenches, of which 1.5 million were fired in the brief barrage before the Battle of the Somme.  In 1917 alone, Britain produced 50 million shells containing 185 kilotons of explosive. In the Battle of Amiens, August 1918, the firing of 4,000,000 allied shells broke down German positions.  In a final push, devastation at a rate similar to nuclear war bombardment occurred when 943,947 shells were fired in a 24-hour period by the British Army on 28-29 September 1918, resulting in the Armistice ending the war (source: Malcolm Pearce and Geoffrey Stewart, British political history, 1867-2001, page 296).  Altogether, from 1914-17 Britain fired 290 kilotons of high explosives in shells at German trenches:

The "equivalent megatonage" or equivalent to 1 megaton nuclear weapons, isn't just 0.29 megatons, but is immense because the area of destruction and thus casualties scale by only about the 2/3 power of energy, not directly with yield, and each average shell contained only 3.7 kg of explosive. Thus, the equivalent megatonnage of Britain's shelling in 1917 alone is:

50,000,000(3.7 x 10-9)2/3 = 120 separate 1 megaton nuclear weapons.  In the whole of WWI, the British Army fired 170 million shells, with equivalent damage to:

170,000,000(3.7 x 10-9)2/3 = 408 separate 1 megaton nuclear weapons.

(We can neglect the 50% blast partition of total yield in nuclear weapons, because that's also true for conventional explosive shells that are 50% explosive, 50% steel case by mass.)

Dr Ralph E. Lapp's 1965 book The New Priesthood (Harper, New York) on pages 113-114 gives an honest "equivalent megatonnage" comparison between conventional weapons and old high-yield megaton single warhead nuclear missiles (which have now been replaced with lower yield MIRV warheads) instead of following CND by claiming falsely that the energy equivalent of 1,000,000 tons of TNT kills the same number as a million separate tons of TNT in explosions of conventional weapons:

"A warhead for a Minuteman or Polaris missile costs about $1 million each. ... To produce damage comparable to that from a one-megaton bomb, some 8,000 'old-fashioned' bombs each containing one ton of TNT would have to be dropped uniformly over the same target area."

In other words, according to Lapp: 8 kt of conventional weapons = 1 megaton.  Using the two-thirds power of yield scaling, the equivalence is: 10 kt of small 1 ton TNT bombs = same area of damage as 1 megaton in a single bomb.  The American B-52 bomber has a payload of 32 tons, so it takes 313 sorties to drop 10 kt of TNT which (if the bombs are 1 ton each) is equivalent in damage area to a 1 megaton nuclear weapon.  For solid direct evidence for the validity of this scaling law, whereby bigger bombs cause fewer fatalities per TNT ton of energy equivalent than smaller bombs, see the graphs linked in the earlier post here and the ease of protection against the increasingly delayed heat, fallout and blast arrival time over larger areas for bigger explosions, as proved here.  At the 1 psi peak overpressure range for shattered windows in a conventional 1 ton TNT air burst explosion, there is only 0.4 second available between the flash and the blast arrival, little longer than the blink reaction time for human beings.  Hence, for small bombs, you can do little.  But, contrary to BBC TV fiddled sound tracks on films of nuclear explosions, for a 1 kt bomb you have a full 4 seconds before 1 psi arrives, while for 1 megaton you have 40 seconds.  This effect reduces casualties.

In Vietnam, 7,662,000 tons of conventional bombs were dropped (according to Micheal Clodfelter's Vietnam in Military Statistics, 1995, page 225), which by this reckoning (10 kt of conventional bombs = 1 megaton of nuclear) is equivalent in terms of damage to a nuclear war of 766 separate 1 megaton explosions.

If you're worried that we haven't included fallout, don't worry: we didn't include the 113,000 tons of gas used in WWI in that calculation.  But seeing that gas wasn't used in WWII despite dire scare-mongering prior to the war - largely responsible for the appeasement policy that led to the war, according to Herman Kahn's analysis - there's no particular reason why nuclear weapons will be used to maximise fallout by high yield ground bursts near cities, rather than air bursts.  Likewise for the time-scale of the attack: in 1939 pundits were claiming that there would be an immediate all-out "knockout blow" lasting days, not six years of protracted war.  As Kahn argued, even a dictator like Hitler didn't fight WWII in the wildly irrational way that the consensus of expert opinion in 1939 predicted.  There's even less reason for a country to try to disarm itself by detonating every warhead it has within five minutes of a nuclear war starting.

Now consider WWII, where London alone received about 18.8 kilotons in roughly 188 thousand separate 100 kg explosives in the 1940 Blitz :

188,000(10-7)2/3 = 4 thermonuclear weapons, each 1 megaton.

The 1.3 megatons of conventional bombs dropped on Germany in WWII was likewise equivalent to:

13,000,000(10-7)2/3 = 280 separate thermonuclear weapons, each 1 megaton.

In total, 74.2 kilotons of conventional bombs were dropped on the UK in WWII causing 60,000 casualties, equivalent to 16 separate 1 megaton nuclear weapons, confirming the British Home Office analysis that - given cheap-type civil defence - you get about 3,750 casualties for a one megaton nuclear weapon.  Naturally, without civil defence, as in early air bombing surprise attacks or the first use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, casualty rates can be over 100 times higher than this.  (For example, Glasstone and Dolan, in The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1977 point out that in Hiroshima the 50% lethal radius was only 0.12 mile for people under cover in concrete buildings, compared to 1.3 miles for those caught totally unprotected outdoors.  The difference in areas is over a factor of 100, indicating that the casualties in Hiroshima could have been reduced enormously if the people had taken cover in concrete buildings, or simple earth covered WWII shelters which offered similar protection to concrete buildings.)

About ten percent of the conventional bombs failed to detonated, creating a massive bomb disposal problem that slowed down civil defence in WWII, where the protracted air raids over many months progressively reduced shelter utilization in London, increasing the casualty rate.  In neither Britain nor Germany did the bombing of civilians lead to a clear defeat: the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey found that generally the outrage about being bombed offset the depression of morale from the devastation.  Strategic bombing of military manufacturing targets like ball bearing factories failed because the steel machine tools could easily withstand the blast and shrapnel.  Only the bombing of fuel and munition supplies (both of which will destroy themselves easily, once ignited) crucially helped to end the war: German production of aviation fuel fell from 156,000 tons in May 1944 to just 11,000 tons in January 1945, thus defeat. The point is:

Conventional weapons failed to deter two world wars, which were each the size of a substantial nuclear war (in terms of devastation and overall casualties).  Disarmament after WWI led to WWII.

That's what you get when you don't even have a nuclear deterrent.  However, I don't see why we have to have the extremely expensive (£100 billion for a set of four) strategic nuclear Trident SLBM system.  Why not simply put some tactical (enhanced neutron) nuclear warheads on cruise missiles on our Astute class submarines (which now cost us only £747 million each) to deter Putin from sending massed tank invasions into Europe?  Then if Mr Corbyn has to press the button, he can rest assured that the 1 kiloton yield nuclear weapons at 500 m burst altitude over Mr Putin's tank column as it heads over a border will not cause any harm to civilians.  Sure, some cruise missiles might be shot down, but since Moscow has ABM, some Trident warheads will likewise be shot down.  As for Trident, where we use penetration aids like cheap decoy warheads to help the real ones get through the saturated ABM systems, we can send the neutron warhead-armed cruise missiles disguised by a salvo of non-nuclear cruise missiles (the non-nuclear warheads could contain electronic countermeasures to blind enemy radars with false signals or noise, and to target enemy missile launchers that can shoot down cruise missiles).  Some warheads will get through to do the job.

Jeremy Corbyn should however be congratulated for correctly heading his own website's absurd anti-civil defence rant "Nuclear Madness".  It is nuclear madness.


Nuclear madness

"... The ludicrous Government publication Protect and Survive which the Thatcher administration produced as a cover to further proliferation was met with derision. Hiding under a stout table with a few bottles of water, having just white washed the windows, hardly seemed a reasonable response to a nuclear threat. Edward Thompson’s brilliant riposte Protest and Survive was a factor in the huge pan European anti nuclear movement of the early 1980s. ..."

What Jeremy (and his anti-nuclear ranting friends like Duncan Campbell) needs to remember is, as we proved statistically in a previous post, simply "hiding under a stout table" saved 97.5% of lives in completely collapsed homes in World War II, and modern concrete city buildings with simple fire bucket countermeasures worked to save lives within the firestorm area near ground zero in Hiroshima, and simple civil defence Anderson shelters, trench shelters, and concrete buildings to deflect blast and absorb thermal and nuclear radiation were proved at nuclear tests such as Britain's first test, Operation Hurricane, Monte Bello, 1952.  I agree that the reports should have been published to defend civil defence against Duncan Campbell and CND's ranks, but we all know that UK Government is a patronising, secretive, and over-simplifying group of bureaucrats (that doesn't disprove the scientific evidence).  Corbyn's exaggerated nuclear threat and ignorant hatred/"ridicule" of civil defense is a contrived populist myth, based on covering up the credible military capabilities of tactical nuclear weapons to deter invasions.  It is nuclear madness, not sanity.



Let's do a full analysis of the key points Herman Kahn makes about nuclear deterrence and civil defence in his badly misrepresented 1960 On Thermonuclear War, which contains many important points but is poorly organized.  It is composed of lightly edited lectures, first delivered at Princeton University in March 1959, but sadly omits some key arguments that Kahn made in his lengthy 26 June 1959 testimony to the U.S. Congressional Hearings before the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War.  I first read On Themonuclear War twenty five years ago after reading James R. Newman's provocative (sneering and ignorant) attack on it in the March 1961 Scientific American (which was on the shelf in the university library), while I was a physics undergraduate.

The objective approach to resolve any "controversy" by debunking myths using relevant facts:

1. Search for "sacred cows" that are irrationally defended and protected from objective criticism.  Slay them, since they are proof of a lack of evidence based objectivity in mainstream dogma.

2. Play devil’s advocate politely but objectively, to unearth and expose deep rooted prejudices and biases.

3. Break key taboos by introducing heresies that are factually defensible but which produce irrational "let’s close this debate now" style censorship from the dogmatic status quo, not objective discussion.

4. Use evidence of paranoid censorship as proof that you have won the argument because you have exposed irrational bigotry over the key facts that underpin the mainstream arguments.


Kahn's basic objective which he should have put on page 1 but didn't is to be found in Appendix I, Improve Policy Formulation, to On Thermonuclear War, pages 579-8.  There, Kahn starts with a quotation from volume 1 of Alexis de Tocqueville's 1835 Democracy in America:

"Foreign politics demand scarcely any of those qualities which are peculiar to a democracy; they require, on the contrary, the perfect use of almost all those in which it is deficient. ... a democracy ... cannot combine its measures with secrecy [going to the United Nations for authority to use force against terrorists is contrary to surprise tactics that bring success, by catching opponents off guard] or await their consequences with patience [democracy blinked first in Vietnam, where the Thomas Schelling Strategy of  Conflict approach hardened the enemy morale, while undermining the morale of the democracy].  These are ... precisely the qualities by which a nation, like an individual, attains a dominant position. ... Almost all the nations that have exercised a powerful influence ... have been governed by aristocratic institutions. ... nothing in the world is so conservative ... The mass of the people may be led astray by ignorance or passion ..."

Democracy has all the weaknesses of the mob, which explains the routine failures of democracy to avoid costly wars, and also the weaknesses of democracy during war.  Herman Kahn explains on page 580 of On Thermonuclear War:

"I chose to quote from de Tocqueville at length because I believe he describes the core of our problem as well as anybody has.  It is very difficult to believe that we can muddle through ... in the characteristic fashion of a democracy."


The next thing Kahn should have done on page 1 is to review the lessons of historical wars, which he defers to Lecture III, beginning on page 311.  James R. Newman and other "critical" reviewers ignored this material, taking offence with the some of the relatively poor presentation in the earlier chapters.  For example, Newman attacked Kahn table of casualties versus recovery times for different sizes of wars, which Kahn labelled "provocatively" with the rhetorical question: "Will the survivors envy the dead?"  It was a poorly thought out idea.  What Kahn should have done was probably to have stuck to actual historical wars in the table, listing the total linear megatonnage, the equivalent nuclear megatonnage (based on damage area scaling, as we showed earlier in this post), as well as the casualties and economic recovery times, labelling the table: "Few survivors envy the dead."  In particular, some examples of counterforce wars that did not involve city bombing should have been included (like World War I), to make the wide range of possibilities clearer, and to prove that conventional war is not preferable to credible tactical nuclear deterrence.


Kahn argues on pages 491-2 of On Thermonuclear War that credible nuclear weapons in the Middle East to deter conventional wars there, saving lives, will possibly convert routine violence into a more stable peace:

"We may be too frightened of the possible consequences of the widespread diffusion of weapons.  It is quite possible that if one gave the Egyptians and Israelis atomic weapons, one is likely to find both nations acting much more cautiously than they do today, simply because the consequences of 'irresponsibility' are so much more disastrous. ... In addition, a war between Israel and Egypt would not be a world disaster but a local disaster ... Almost any sober analysis indicates that it is somewhat harder for Nth countries to cause a cataclysm than is often believed. ... It is even difficult to imagine one of these nations being able to start an accidental war ... in some kind of a crisis that could be helped by such an action ... the Soviets and the United States would be likely to be on their guard."

On page 525, Kahn explains accidental wars are only found to escalate uncontrollably when defensive preparations against such contingencies are absent or highly defective, when both sides are trigger-happy, paranoid, and are on the threshold of mutual annihilation (instead of deterring escalation):

"... the Camlan problem - the possibility that a war will be touched off by an accident or misunderstanding. ... Camlan refers, of course, to the last battle of King Arthur. ... Both sides were fully armed and desperately suspicious that the other side was going to try some ruse ... one of the knights was stung by an asp and drew his sword to kill the reptile.  The others saw the sword being drawn ... A tremendous slaughter ensued."

This failure of trigger-happy first strike capability is precisely why we have a protected second-strike capability, so we wait for the enemy to actually blow us up, before Trident "retaliates".  We don't launch on warning, in case the warning system makes a mistake (a flock of birds on a radar screen, a missile test, etc.).

Kahn adds: "The chronicle Morte d' Arthur is quite specific about the point that the slaughter was excessive chiefly because the battle took place without preparations or premeditation."


Since we have a protected second-strike nuclear deterrent, with ICBMs in nuclear weapon effects-resistant trench type silos, or SLBMs and cruise missiles hidden at sea in nuclear submarines, we don't to be trigger-happy and rush into a full scale retaliation as soon as an enemy accidentally launches a single missile.  We can await the outcome, and proceed cautiously.  The usual picture of rapid escalation in nuclear war is debunked by the existence of protected retaliation capabilities, that make sure we don't have to rush into escalating a accident into a full scale thermonuclear war.

Kahn finds that most cases in history where escalation did occur are therefore irrelevant to the situation existing now, where the nuclear deterrent we have developed is specifically designed to not be trigger-sensitive.  All of the other "accidental wars" actually fall into the category of "contrived accidents", where relatively minor incidents or accidents are seized on and deliberately exploited as an ad hoc excuse to "justify" a pre-planned agenda, which would otherwise be very hard to defend at that time.  For example, Hitler used the Reichstag Fire incident in 1934 as an excuse to declare a state of emergency and turn the democracy into a dictatorship.  In another example, the Spanish-American war of 1898 was triggered off by the sinking of the American battleship Maine off Havana, Cuba, by a Spanish mine.  Some critics claim that this was contrived by America as an excuse to have a war with Spain, just as the Reichstag Fire was alleged to have been started off by Nazis.  Regardless of who was responsible in either case, the point is that the accidents or crises were exploited and escalated by a trigger-happy agenda to justify aggression.  Our nuclear deterrence is deliberately designed to avoid rapid escalation to war, triggered by crisis or accident.


"I do claim that the problems with which the major European powers contended may arise again in some modified form - particularly if we do not make preparations to prevent this from happening." - Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, page 416.

Before WWI, there was a dangerous trigger-happy deterrence in Europe, based on immense stockpiles of bulky conventional weapons and the conscription of millions into massive armies prior to the declaration of war.  The problem was, as Herman Kahn explains, that this conventional arms involved a heavy militarization of society, right down to the printing of railway timetables to transport troops to borders in the event of a crisis.  All conventional weapons are relatively bulky compared to the equivalent megatonnage in nuclear warheads, so all conventional weapons carry - in some degree or other - the same general problems of highly visible mobilization in an effort to defend frontiers, as those which led to rapid escalation and war in August 1914, since the highly visible deployment of immense, credible conventional arms in a crisis situation itself becomes seen by potential adversaries as tantamount to a provocative act of aggression.  In 1960, Britain ended conscription (National Service), thanks to reliance of credible nuclear deterrence.  Many countries in the world that rely on conscription and conventional arms instead of credible nuclear deterrence have had major wars since then.

Lecture I of Kahn's On Thermonuclear War is very badly organized with no clear narrative, allowing critics to pick bits out of the weakly-defined context to sneer at, but in a nutshell Kahn argues that most mainstream media dialogue on nuclear war is bogus because it is biased in favour of nuclear disarmament and/or world government, and with that agenda it too readily accepts massive exaggerations of not only the effects of nuclear war, but also the rate of escalation and loss of control that occurs.

The problem with world government is basically that it is sophistry, just a case of remaking "wars" as "civil wars" or "rebellions", and in history we see the failure of the kind of groupthink that results from the loss of autonomy when diversity and freedom was suppressed using aggressive tactics by the Soviet Union's dictators, the Nazis, Prussian Empire, Roman Empire, European Union, British Empire, (non)United Nations, etc.  Those who hate meaningful democracy and want to give up freedom for the sake of big government bureaucracy always sell it with peace propaganda, and it always creates war.  The push of the European Union towards Ukraine by the European Union's unelected former anti-neutron bomb CND fanatic baroness Cathy Ashton has killed many thousands of innocent civilians, and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.  The (non)United Nations has failed to send peacekeepers into Syria because pro-Assad Russia has vetoed such peacekeeping, resulting in more deaths occurred in Hiroshima.  The 1930s League of Nations failed likewise to resolve the Spanish Civil War, or to prevent Germany rearming prior to WWII.  As Clausewitz stated, war is born of politics.  Put another way, if you want peace, don't try dialogue to resolve a controversy, because actions speak louder than words and wars are therefore the products of intractable arguments.

Herman Kahn's Table 1, page 4 of On Thermonuclear War, lists the usual array of failed utopian "Alternative National Postures" ranging from "International Police Force plus World Government" to "Dreams".  It's probably what gave Kahn such a bad press, because lawyers like Kahn's reviewer James R Newman can be biased in favour of some kind of legalistic or police solution to war.  James R. Newman drafted the disastrous 1946 Atomic Energy Act for Senator McMahon, which made nuclear energy an American state secret and thus broke the wartime Roosevelt-Churchill agreement for postwar collaboration on nuclear science.  Newman's Atomic Energy Act held up progress because, as a mere piece of paper didn't stop Russian spies, but it did stop allies, so Russia ended up with more nuclear secrets than Britain.

Kahn argues on page 6 that the 1958 book, World Peace Through World Law, by Grenville Clark and Louis B. Sohn, leads to regional autonomy problems: "the underdeveloped nations are going to resent any real or fancied hindrances".  The conditions throughout the world are naturally unequal to begin with, due to climatic variations (needs for air conditioning or heating fuel), varying local resources (energy fuels, mineral resources, agriculture, recreation, ethnic traditions, ease and cost of transportation) so some regions need different rules to compensate for differences, and this then causes complaints from others about "inequality", or it creates excessive migration and overpopulation in some areas, until either the central government eventually collapses like the Soviet Union or Roman Empire, or else is overthrown by coup d'etat or civil war, which in a world government is equivalent to world war.

(We already see some of these problems on a smaller scale in say the European Union, which is being forced to give repeated bail outs to extravagant, debt ridden states like Greece, in order to maintain political "unity". UK, where Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have regional parliaments, creating differences in health care policy in different regions, and endless complaints some medicines being unavailable in certain areas where the authority has decided on a different spending priority to elsewhere, creating "postcode lottery" unequal, luck-based social system.  This complaint is the exact opposite of the original motivation for autonomy, decentralizing power to lower levels, to give them the freedom to form their own policies.)


One of the worst errors Kahn makes in On Thermonuclear War is to fragment his arguments on the dangers from the exaggeration of nuclear war, preventing a compelling narrative discussion of the evidence that nuclear war exaggerations are analogous to the 1930s gas, high explosive, and incendiary firestorm, and "knockout blow" exaggerations by the massive media hyped united peace/disarmament/appeasement/pro-Nazi/anti-Jew propaganda lobby, led by popular figureheads such as Professor Cyril Joad, author of the 1939 Why War, which tried to ridicule Winston Churchill by pointing out that, prior to WWI, he watched Churchill's lecture call for an intense arms race to deter the German Kaiser being ridiculed by anti-war The Great Illusion author Sir Norman Angell.  Angell simply asked Churchill, rhetorically, if he would also give his advice to Germany?  Angell's argument was that modern civilization cannot afford war because war involves only financial losses, and even a country invades and annexes another, the costs of providing for that additional country will cancel out any gains.  Angell's simplistic argument ignored exploitation and slavery.

It turned out that all of the situations where Angell's anti-war economics argument holds are where both sides are well-established democracies, which never have wars anyway, as proved by the statistics in Dr Spencer R. Weart's Never at War: Why Democracies will NOT fight one another.

So Angell's argument fails to apply to the entire class of situations where wars can occur, where one side is not a well established democracy.  Furthermore, not only does Angell's argument absurdly fail to apply to the very situation (war) that is supposed to be about, his basic thesis is also totally inverted from the real world facts.  Instead of Angell's fears of economic ruin helping to deter WWII, fears of economic ruin motivated the socialist state dictators to launch their invasions, Italy in Ethiopia and Germany in Europe.  They invaded to seize resources.  Angell's simplistic economic ideas at best only applied to democratic states behaving fairly, and were totally misleading for the case of dictatorial states with large budget deficits.  Such dictators did not worry about recompensing annexed countries according to Angell's formula.  It was taboo for "warmongers" like Churchill to argue with Angell, just as it is taboo to argue with a religious leader over the evidence for the dogma, and this situation catered to the popular appetite for peace following WWI.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a knighthood for a contrived dismissal of Churchill's argument.

Kahn on page 9 states that in the era of secrecy over widespread H bomb effects following the 1 March 1954 fallout accident in the Pacific (where fallout from the 15 megaton Castle-Bravo bomb contaminated the skin and water of outdoor Marshallese islanders and Japanese tuna trawler personnel), the Mainau Declaration was issued by a lot more Nobel Laureates:

"In 1955, fifty-two Nobel Laureates signed a statement (the Mainau Declaration) which included the following: 'All nations must come to the decision to renounce force as a final resort to policy.  If they are not prepared to do this they will cease to exist'."

Kahn adds, on the same page, that this simplistic stance was echoed by: "Neville Shute's interesting but badly researched book On the Beach, which presumes and describes the total extinction of humanity as a result of ... radioactivity coming from a thermonuclear war."

Where I disagree is that he then fails to address - on page 9 at that point in the opening of his book - the 1930s exaggerations of a similar sort which led to repeated peace handshakes between Hitler and British Prime Minister Chamberlain, and the world war.  Instead, Kahn defers that until page 375 and thereafter, and gives a more fragmentary discussion in his 1960 book than his more impressive, harder hitting testimony on peace propaganda weapons effects exaggerations in his 26 June 1959 testimony to the Congressional Hearings on the Biological and Environmental Effects of Nuclear War.  Instead of displaying the awful consequences of war exaggerations in the 1930s, Kahn chooses to launch into an interesting but lengthy discussion of some simple countermeasures against strontium-90 fallout in food after a nuclear war.  This has doesn't address Shute's cobalt-60 fallout poisoning scares in On the Beach, and we see the same kind of bad response to cobalt-60 fallout fears in Cresson Kearny's Nuclear War Survival Skills, where Kearny raises the question of Shute's cobalt-60 fallout scare mongering, but tries to answer it by discussion the decay of fission product fallout (not the specific cobalt-60 issue that often arises from people who read the Shute book or the film of the novel).

The simple answer is that even with 100% capture efficiency, it takes at least one neutron to convert an atom of cobalt-59 into cobalt-60 and its emission of two gamma rays totalling 2.5 MeV (mean energy 1.25 MeV) is spread out at a low dose rate due to with its half life of over 5 years (allowing time for decontamination before receiving a large dose), but if you use a U-238 jacket on the bomb, you get about 200 MeV of energy for each high energy neutron fission, including more residual radioactivity than cobalt-60 gives, and at a higher initial dose rate that creates more casualties.  In other words, a thermonuclear weapon with a natural uranium jacket creates the largest fallout hazard, and a cobalt jacket actually reduces the hazard.  In addition, cobalt is refractory (cobalt melts at 1,495 C), so much of it ends up concentrated on large fallout particles, or small pellets, mostly deposited near ground zero, as proved at a British nuclear test of Operation Antler, in Maralinga, 1957.  By contrast, many important fission products, including iodine, strontium and cesium, end up dispersed over much larger areas since they are either volatile themselves (like iodine) or else have gaseous precursors that don't allow them to condense on to large particles in the fireball, before those particles are quickly removed by gravity.  Thus, due to chemical fractionation, a much larger fraction of the fission product activity ends up in global fallout, being deposited with rain in distant thunderstorms, than is the case for cobalt-60.  Thus, you can't enhance the fallout hazard simply in the way Shute imagined in his novel.

Some anti-nuclear scaremongering in the 70s and 80s recognised this and attempted to use another argument, exaggerating long-lived fallout dangers in computer models assuming that a deliberately ground burst nuclear weapon on a nuclear reactor or nuclear waste plant would convert 100% of the radioactivity encountered into fallout.  This is extremely naive, because we know from determinations of the specific activity of surface burst nuclear test fallout that only about 1% of the mass of the crater actually becomes fallout.  Moreover, although you get large craters in dry sand, the nuclear reactor core and fuel elements are encased in tough concrete, similar to hard rock, which shield neutrons (which might naively be expected to overheat a nuclear reactor) and are resistant to the high overpressures and fireball heat.  It would be more predictable for an enemy to try a nerve gas attack or even a conventional bombing of a city.

On pages 23-72 of On Thermonuclear War, Kahn debunks a claim made the March 1959 Congressional Hearings on military preparedness in the Berlin crisis, that long-term fallout hazards from food contaminated by strontium-90 and carbon-14 would "ruin" farmland for "40 years".  Kahn remarks sensibly on page 24 that "those waging a modern war are going to be as much concerned with bone cancer, leukemia and genetic malformations as they are with the range of a B-52 ..." before giving a long-winded debunking of those risks.

On page 46 Kahn argues by neglecting apoptisis and DNA repair due to P53 and other natural anti-radiation mechanisms that operated in Hiroshima, that even in the worst assumption a mean 250 R fallout dose to each survivor will increase the risk of a major genetic defect from the natural 4% by just 1% to a nuclear war result of 5%, debunking also on page 48 that J. B. S. Haldane's 1931 theory that minor defects to "future generations" are a real risk.  Firstly, if someone is killed by a bullet, mathematically you can also argue that an infinite number of possible future descendants have been wiped out of existence, but that's just sophistry.
 Secondly, small genetic defects at least allow a possibility of a descendent: if all the future deaths occur in the first generation, the total number of descendants are minimised, so you gain from spreading out genetic damage in time, because it becomes more tolerable and survivable (the opposite of Haldane's flawed idea).

On page 65, Kahn notes that although the peacetime ICRP strontium-90 bone dose limit was then 67 strontium units (SUs), bone cancers have only been observed to occur (e.g. in the radium dial painters) above a threshold "equivalent of 20,000 to 30,000 strontium units".   One million square miles was then used for growing crops in America, and Kahn estimated that just 13 megatons of fission fallout spread uniformly over it would result in the peacetime limit of 67 SUs.  However, in reality the fallout is deposited in a non-uniform pattern with little upwind, so by increasing peacetime standards and by grading the food by strontium content, the contaminated food crisis can be averted without any significant bone cancer risks (in table 13, Kahn recommends that food with under 200 SUs is fed to kids, while that with over 25,000 is fed to adult animals which are soon to be consumed, where the strontium-90 will enter the inedible bone, not the meat).  In table 15, Kahn finds that even a large nuclear war will not produce a carbon-14 dose of over 5 R/year.

Of more importance are the gamma radiation fallout doses.  In table 8, Kahn defines a smaller (1,500 fission megatons) and a larger nuclear attack (20,000 fission megatons), giving the computed fallout distributions over North America in tables 23 and 24, respectively.  For the smaller nuclear attack of 1,500 megatons, Kahn shows in table 23 that the outdoor gamma dose in the first 48 hours (during which the majority of the dose is received) is less than 6,000 R over 99% of the area of North America, requiring easily improvised shelter (basements, concrete/brick building ground floors with windows blocked, or simple tornado shelters) with a protective factor of no more than 40.  For the 20,000 fission megaton attack, table 24 shows that 50% of North America gets that dose, requiring better shelters to avoid radiation sickness.  However, as Kahn argues, there is no strategic threat of such a large attack of local-fallout creating ground bursts.  For the smaller attack, evacuation of the most heavily contaminated hotspots is feasible.  "Z Zone" downwind heavy fallout areas, with outdoor dose rates in excess of 1,000 R/hour at 1 hour after burst, were simply scheduled for evacuation at 48 hours after burst by the British Civil Defence Corp in the 1960s.

The absurdity of fallout scaremongering calculations by idealists, neo-Marxists, and also openly pro-Soviet Union politically biased fanatics also lies in the strategic assumptions, in which not only is the "knockout blow" delusion (which preceded both WWI and WWII) maintained, but civil defence evacuation, sheltering, and decontamination are neglected or downplayed, because of a bias about any nuclear explosion escalating uncontrollably and irrationally to complete stockpile use against civilian targets, in fear of surprise first-strike:

"The Nobel Laureates who authored the 'cease to exist' statement probably ... would be willing to go before a technical audience with a defense of the 'end of history' position as a sober estimate ... there are 'experts' who believe in world annihilation ... vehemently [Linus Pauling and fellow folk] ... sober study shows that the limits on the magnitude ... seem to be closely dependent on what kinds of preparations have been made, and on how the war is started and fought.  While the notions ... may strike some readers as being obvious, I must repeat that they are by no means so.  The very existence of the irreconcilable group predicting total catastrophe is proof."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, pages 10-11.

Kahn comments naively on page 286: "It is particularly hard to understand why this is so when almost all who write on this subject were adults during the later part of the Hitler era ... with the record of the 1930's plainly before us, we should all be able to realize ... the capabilities for such blackmail ..."

The exaggeration of gas/aerial explosive bombing/incendiary war effects was rife in the media in the 1930's for the same reason as the nuclear threat, and the real capabilities of conventional and nuclear are similar, since as we have shown above, Hitler's 188,000 bombs which were dropped on London in 1940 caused damage equivalent (using valid scaling laws) to four 1-megaton nuclear air bursts.  The evacuation of children from London in Operation Pied Piper before war was declared in September 1939, as well as shelter provisions, made that nuclear-war-magnitude Blitz survivable and indeed preferable to surrender or collaboration, which Hitler called for "in the name of sanity".  At that time, in 1940, there were pacifists calling for surrender, but after the war began, the more belligerent pacifists lost popular appeal because they were increasing perceived as enemy sympathisers, fellow travellers, and defeatists.  In effect, the mainstream media quickly switched into an anti-appeasement mode once the war started, far too late to deter the war.

Kahn on page 286 argues that any political declaration that a real threat is "unthinkable" acts as a magnet for coercive thugs to do precisely that "unthinkable" act in an effort to call the bluff of the democracy:
"It would be disastrous to have a conspicuous gap in the spectrum of deterrents and capabilities.  For example, when President Eisenhower remarked at a press conference that it was unthinkable that he would call out federal troops to enforce federal law in the Southern states, some Southerners immediately did something to make it thinkable.  Something similar may happen if he convinces the Soviets that he means what he says when he says that 'war is preposterous'."
Kahn is often attacked for correctly having drawn attention to failures in the spectrum of deterrents.  E.g., Fred Kaplan's book Wizards of Armageddon attacks warnings of a "missile gap" after the first satellite, Sputnik, was launched by Russia in October 1957, which seemed to prove their earlier August 1957 claim to have developed ICBMs.  However, Kahn demonstrates on that the risk of a missile gap was a real possibility in his figure 3, "Could the missile gap have been dangerous?", which shows that if Russia had 150 ICBMs each with 50% reliability in 1957, it would have had better than 50% probability of destroying the entire 25 Strategic Air Command nuclear bomber bases in America, preventing American retaliation. This risk could therefore tempt enemy into launching a Pearl Harbor type surprise attack in a crisis situation.

After Kahn's book was published, U2 spy plane data was disclosed by President Kennedy, finally indicating that at no time did Russia have sufficient ICBMs to do that.  But until then, it was a risk that American planners needed to take seriously, because having a nuclear "deterrent" that is vulnerable to being wiped out in a surprise attack is not a deterrent, but a magnet for crisis instability.  Similarly, there was a risk that if we rely for deterrence on the threat to destroy Moscow, in a crisis the city simply could be evacuated.  The existence of civil defence therefore has an effect on the credibly of nuclear deterrence in extreme crisis situations, precisely the situations where the war risks are greatest and deterrence is most important.  This is the fact that Fred Kaplan (and others) tried to ignore in their specious, simplistic Cold War attacks on civil defence plans by stating that in peacetime such plans exist "largely on paper" (like the plans for the British 1939 Operation Pied Piper prior to the declaration of war on Germany - the evacuation of kids from London to deter a knockout blow and to mitigate the effects if it did occur).  (See also more specious anti-civil defense propaganda from Kaplan in part 2 of his 1978 Bulletin rant that simply ignores all the detailed nuclear test data proving civil defense.)

What the anti-nuclear, anti-civil defense propaganda of (non)United Nations people like Ward tries to do is firstly to restrict the scope of nuclear deterrence to only extreme all-out nuclear attacks, rather than the deterrence of conventional tank invasions by tactical Mk 54 and W79 warheads as in the 1960's under Kennedy and the 1980's under Reagan, and then to claim that because they have restricted nuclear deterrence to World Wars that have not occurred since 1945 for some (conveniently unspecified) reason, nuclear weapons are obsolete and are only needed to deter other nuclear weapons.

That's a false argument because the reason nuclear weapons have not "been needed" to deter World War since 1945 is that they have been used successfully for precisely that purpose!  You don't need to actually explode your entire stockpile to "use" nuclear weapons to deter world war, any more than you have to burn your house down to get "peace of mind" from paying for home fire insurance that includes smoke detectors to reduce fire risks.  The specious argument that people lose out on a a disaster insurance policy if it helps to avert a disaster is silly.  This is why nuclear war scale-of-attack and destructive exaggerations are used: they are designed to paralyse the faculties, preventing objective discussions and making the relevant facts taboo.

Nuclear deterrence needs low yield tactical warheads to deter major provocations such as conventional invasions and wars by the enemy, which otherwise end up causing more casualties than a nuclear war would:

"In spite of (or possibly because of) the many words that are lavished ... most discussions of the conditions needed for such [all out war] deterrence tend to be unrealistic.  They rely more on assumption and wishful thinking than analysis.  Typically, discussions of the capability of the United States to deter a direct attack compare the preattack inventory of our forces with the preattack inventory of the Soviet forces ... This is a World War I and World War II approach.  It can look very impressive in the columns of the Sunday newspaper or speeches ..."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, pages 127-8.

In fact, the total size of nuclear stockpiles are irrelevant to most war scenarios, the exception being the all-out surprise attack with with all-out instant full retaliation, where both sides completely disarm themselves in a single afternoon by fully expending all their weapons, as in President Carter's much quoted January 1981 farewell address which seemed to predict that President Reagan would destroy the world by accident.

In addition, Kahn points out in On Thermonuclear War, direct nuclear war threats from an enemy is not the primary threat, as proved by events in 1914 and 1939.  It was not the Germans in either year who directly threatened Britain.  The enemy argued instead: "do you want peace, or not?"  In other words, it was indirect provocations not direct threats, that provoked all the world wars in human history from Britain's standpoint!  From the American standpoint, the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 or the bombing of a naval base at Pearl Harbor in 1941 (together with the British base at Singapore shortly thereafter in early 1942, see my interview with an eyewitness here) were not a direct attacks on the American homeland.  They were final straws, breaking the camels back. They were thus triggering points, just as the invasion of Belgium in 1914 or the invasion of Poland in 1939 were triggering points for British declarations of war.  In both cases, appeasement and a policy of non-intervention had undermined deterrence with heavy ambiguity, leading to provocative actions by the enemy that finally broke down pacifism and led to war.  So Kahn argues that the deterrence of a direct attack was successful in Britain in 1939.  Britain did deter Hitler from bombing London in 1939.  But that deterrence of a direct attack was no use, because we could not credibly deter Hitler from major provocative actions, such as invading Poland.  CND and people like (un)UN-hyped Ward Wilson today insist on trying to repeat the mistakes of the past, by using Stalin's method of simply airbrushing out the books the actual facts of history.  No, we don't have nuclear weapons to prevent other people from dropping nuclear bombs on London and New York.  Nuclear weapons are not useful for that purpose in modern concrete skylines (unlike civil defense and ABM, which mitigate the consequences), and even if they were useful for that purpose, neither world war broke out because of air raids on civilian cities: they broke out because of military invasions of other countries, or bases far from the main homeland.  What we need to do is deter provocative actions short of nuclear war, which risk escalating.  Only then are we learning the real lessons from the past.

In reality, the "myths of nuclear deterrence" are debunked by Herman Kahn in his book On Thermonuclear War; the "myths of nuclear weapons" Ward Wilson claims to debunk are specious arguments, based on taking populist myths and proving them wrong, rather than taking the reality.  For example, Herman Kahn's On Thermonuclear War debunks the myth of deterrence through overkill by showing that such a "doomsday machine" (Kahn's term) has no deterrent capability because it's incredible as a deterrent.  In a sense, Wilson's argument at best is just a repeat of this fact, with the true evidence and implications edited out.  Kahn argues that, sure, if we drop thousands of megatons on cities without any civil defense, as Hiroshima, we will get large casualties.  However, that is not a credible deterrent; that's why we need tactical nuclear weapons to deter the kind of provocations - invasions of small countries or bombing of naval bases or torpedoes on ships - which set of both world wars.  It's no use trying to deter Russia from invading Poland again (with Germany, it jointly invaded Poland in 1939) by threatening innocent people in cities.  That is not a credible deterrent.  The result is that to prevent another world war, we need the neutron bomb.

Take an error made by Professor Hans A. Bethe in his April 1982 presentation to the Americal Physical Society, We are not inferior to the Soviets (publishedin Bethe's 1991 book, The Road from Los Alamos, pages 90-98).  Bethe claims falsely that although in 1982 the Soviets had twice the equivalent megatonnage of the United States: "The Soviets have put larger-yield weapons on their missiles, an advantages that is cancelled out by the lower accuracy of their missiles."

This is false because you don't need high missile accuracy if you are using high yield warheads on cities.  Even an error of a mile or two for a city the size of London has relatively little effect on the damage.  Where missile accuracy is crucial is for hitting missile silos where very high overpressure or cratering action is needed.  A dictatorship can credibly deter a democracy with less accurate missiles than a democracy needs, since the democracy is more concerned about protecting the people from retaliation than the dictatorship.  (The Hitler "bunker mentality".)

Bethe's error is in assuming a moral equivalence in the strategy of each side, exactly the same error that Great Illusion author Normal Angell made when he ridiculed Winston Churchill's lecture on peacekeeping by deterrence prior to WWI (as quoted by Cyril Joad who attended and was won over by Angell, in Joad's pre-WWII appeasement book Why War?).

Bethe also falsely claims in his ignorant article that the neutron bomb to deter masses tank invasions is unnecessary if you have over 10 hand held anti-tank rockets per Russian tank.  The problem is that Russia knows all about your anti-tank rockets which are most effective used against isolated tanks: because a barrage of fire from a mass of enemy tanks very soon knocks out the brave guys with the anti-tank rockets on their shoulders.  This is precisely why you also need to neutron bomb, in order to deter attacks by forcing the enemy to disperse tanks, thereby making handheld anti-tank rockets effective.  Additionally, Bethe quotes Brezhnev propaganda speech which claims that there are no winners in nuclear war: "I am quoting Brezhnev to counter the claim by some influential people in the U.S. Government that the Russians consider nuclear war winnable."

Bethe forgets that Hitler made repeated "peace plan" speeches for propaganda, but that didn't prove that Hitler was a man of peace.  On 17 May 1933, Hitler declared:

"Germany will be perfectly ready to disband her entire military establishment and destroy the small amount of arms remaining to her, if the neighboring countries will do the same thing with equal thoroughness. ... Germany is entirely ready to renounce aggressive weapons of every sort if the armed nations, on their part, will destroy their aggressive weapons within a specified period, and if their use is forbidden by an international convention.... Germany is at all times prepared to renounce offensive weapons if the rest of the world does the same. Germany is prepared to agree to any solemn pact of non-aggression because she does not think of attacking anybody but only of acquiring security."

The problem was, Germany was already secretly rearming.  Hitler persisted with peace propaganda, declaring on 21 May 1935:

"The German Government is ready to take an active part in all efforts which may lead to a practical limitation of armaments. ... Just as the use of dumdum bullets was once forbidden and, on the whole, thereby prevented in practice, so the use of other definite arms should be forbidden and prevented. Here the German Government has in mind all those arms which bring death and destruction not so much to the fighting soldiers as to non-combatant women and children. ... it will agree to any international limitation or abolition of arms ..."

For pacifists desperately concerned with "educating the ignorant" that any war will end up with the complete annihilation of humanity amid clouds of poison gas, incendiary bomb firestorms and high explosives, such "peace propaganda" speeches by enemies are very soothing and appear to offer hope of a "peaceful resolution of differences".  Continued diplomatic appeasement by morally weak, deluded democracies, meant a considerable saving ammunition by dictators for use against tough opponents.  Similarly, efforts by the Russians to stir up anti-neutron bomb protests and "nuclear freeze" campaigns in the West suited their own agenda of coercing morally weak opponents into concessions and defeatist policies.  So if you exaggerate nuclear war so much that it appears the biggest threat in the world, you have destroyed the credible nuclear deterrent completely.  The same result occurs if you permit the free media to be saturated for decades with (to be frank) lying hogwash from incompetent, deluded, elitist egotists who nobody wants to debunk for fear the revenge retaliation attack!


"Disarmament can also create pressures towards preventative war. ... Most writers ... focus all their attention on conditions at the moment the agreement was openly abrogated [in 1935 Hitlers' air force was suddenly admitted by the British Government, which had previously denied and ridiculed Churchill's warnings: however the British Government only admitted the threat after it appeared big enough to threaten a destructive war if forcibly stopped, so there was never any period of an admitted "emerging threat" which could be stopped safely].  The arms controller should not advocate anything to decrease the possibility of the accidental and miscalculation wars, that so weakens us militarily that he had, inadvertently, excessively increased the possibility of war by calculation."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, 1960, page 230.

Kahn's criticisms of disarmament begin with E. J. Gumbel's study of how 1920s disarmament effectively encouraged German violations and then coercion, sparking off world war two, Disarmament and Clandestine Rearmament under the Weimar Republic (published in the book Inspection for Disarmament, edited by Seymour Melman, Columbia University press, New York, 1958, pages 203-219).  Disarmament helps law breakers; it doesn't protect you from a world war.

The point Kahn then makes is that larger stockpiles help to decrease the probability of war by enemy calculation, since they make it less certain the enemy could "win".  If you have general disarmament to reduce risks of a large nuclear war occurring through an escalation after an accident or miscalculation (very unlikely if both sides have a protected second-strike nuclear deterrent), a dictator is more likely to believe he could "win" because the potential devastation is reduced, and therefore, you increase the risk of having a calculated nuclear war.

The whole reason for having a large nuclear stockpile is deter a calculated attack by an enemy, so if you disarm or reduce the stockpile "to make the world safer", you actually make the outcome of any attack less certain, and thus you increase the risk that a dictator will take a Russian roulette gamble that may cause a war.  That war may then escalate into a world war, as occurred twice in the twentieth century.  We could do deter with the same threat of devastation using immense conscription and a vast, more expensive stockpile of conventional weapons, but that increases the risk of accidental gunshots triggering war (prevented in nuclear weapons by technological safeguards).


Cheap trenches used in the American Civil War to counter machine guns and mortars, preventing a knockout blow and forcing a protracted war of attrition, are ignored by Germany in 1914

"The mobilization is the declaration of war."

- General Boisdeffre, assistant chief, French General Staff, to Tsar Nicholas (quoted by Sidney B. Fay, The Origins of the World War, Macmillan, 1931, v2, p480).

This is often quoted as if to prove that war through accidental mobilizations was easy.  But the opposite inference is that, as Tsar Nicholas was told by General Boisdeffre, everyone knew that mobilization was likely to lead to war, so countries only mobilized when they were prepared to go to war: war is no accident.

Both World War I and World War II arose in large part because of simplistic historical analyses that drew misleading "lessons" from the previous wars.  In starting World War I by invading Belgium (which drew Britain to declare war due to the 1839 Treaty of London), Germany was applying the "lesson" it learned from its experiences of success when it quickly and efficiently ceased Alsace-Lorraine from the French in 1871.  The problem was that between 1871 and 1914 the machine gun and high explosive shells had been developed and hyped (by both weapons manufacturers and pacifists like Norman Angell) as being spectacular, unanswerable, offensive "knockout blow" technology (akin to nuclear weapons today), which would overcome any opposition, annihilating any enemy forces instantly.

Such "knockout blow" technology had however been disproved in the trench warfare during the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia, which lasted from 9 June 1864 to 25 March 1865, near the end of the American Civil War.  Machine guns and heavy mortars were easily held up by simple earth trenches, as predicted by Bloch (who was ignored by Germany).  Germany in 1914 ignored lessons of the trenches in preventing a "knockout blow" and forcing a war to dragged out in attrition.  The same error was again made in the 1930s, when the simple trench type shelters and gas masks of WWI were ignored by writers of next war fiction who assumed that obvious countermeasures would be neglected in the next war.  Again, the same error was made during the Cold War, when America published pictures of houses blown up by 5 psi peak overpressure, but kept secret in Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons the fact that simple WWI or American Civil War type trenches exposed at early Nevada nuclear tests withstood 20 psi and shielded out most of the thermal and nuclear radiation, too.  Instead, there is a repeated historical obsession with expensive, immobile concrete fortifications, the Maginot Line delusion:

"'Fine concrete', he kept on muttering ... they'll never get through this! ... We left the hot sun and went down into the Maginot Line ... we walked for a mile along a tunnel, meeting occasional soldiers on bicycles or an electric train bringing up ammunition ... The troops ate, slept and worked underground ... As I drank Pernod in the officers' mess, also underground, I said: 'It certainly seems impregnable'.  'It's impregnable all right,' they said.  All the same there was one form of attack they were nervous about, and that was an attack by parachutists ... if anyone had suggested to the French military staff ... resolute Germans, dropped from the sky or infiltrating through under cover of the night, could put the guns of the Maginot Line out of action, he would have been ridiculed or arrested as a defeatist."

- Gordon Waterfield, What Happened to France, John Murray, London, 1940, pages 14-19.  (Quoted by Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, pages 333-4.)

Hitler found a way around the Maginot Line.  The lesson drawn by historians and military strategists from WWI had been that some way had to be made to stop Germany invading France via Belgium in the precise way used in August 1914.  France found a way to stop that threat.  But by 1940, German tanks were capable of going through the rough terrain of the Ardennes Forest, and additionally German troop carriers were capable of flying over the Maginot Line to drop parachutists, despite the special anti-aircraft guns they had.  In other words, it's very easy to draw misleading "lessons" from military history.  Just as the German "lessons" of success from a fast surprise attack in 1871 were misleading in 1914, so the French "lessons" of invasion in 1914 were misleading by 1940.  Historical analysis has itself caused complacency and tragedy, because learning from experience is fraught with problems when circumstances like technology change:

"Most of the [1914] experts argued that the Austro-Prussian war (seven weeks) or the first phase (five weeks) of the Franco-Prussian war would be the model of the future. ... that as soon as one side had been beaten in a significant battle, it would admit defeat. ... In particular, both military and political lessons of the American Civil War were ignored ... the Civil War, being a civil war, did not seem to be a good analogy to an international conflict between civilized nations. ... Both sides enormously underestimated the impact of the machine gun [for keeping troops heads down in trenches], barbed wire and trenches, and most important of all, the resilience and staying power of their soldiers and civilians ... to paint the enemy as inhuman and of making a total commitment to defeating him ... to justify past casualties and sacrifices and to preserve morale ..."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, pages 350-1.

Thus, the Germans put the Schlieffen Plan with its objective of knocking France out in six weeks (based on the war of 1870), into action in 1914, with tragic results for everyone once it degenerated into trench war.  The main difficulty in learning the "lessons of history" is that history is like science, a poorly defined academic discipline with many definitions and arguments over its role.  Some purist historians eschew the notion of trying to deduct any lessons from past events for current use, because even if past successes can be fully correlated with the circumstances that are associated with them (i.e. a perfectly complete historical record), that doesn't prove that circumstances actually caused the events (random chances are involved, too).  Like an electron in the ground state of hydrogen, it may be impossible even in principle to make deterministic predictions.  In addition, as Kahn remarks on page 354, "there are so many more ways to making mistakes than of being right."  In other words, learning from experience is analytically a lot easier if that experience is a success, rather than a failure.

This is why exam successes are rewarded more than exam failures, and generally why success is held in greater esteem than failure, although it is popular to pass off failure as "experience".  If you fail, you do not definitely know exactly how some of the many factors involved (from random bad luck to preparation and planning) should be changed in order to produce success.  It is not even as simple as using a "fault finding tree", because often failure results from a combination of factors.  If a car won't start and you find the battery is flat, that doesn't prove that charging the battery will cure the problem.  The battery may be flat because of repeated efforts to start the car when the spark plugs are dirty; the gasoline tank is empty, the tyres are flat.  In electronics, a typical fault like an failed capacitor dielectric or an overheated resistor may quickly cause a chain of other component failures, before the system shuts itself down.  Merely finding a defecting component and replacing it is therefore not a cure: the fault almost immediately recurs.  Failure is therefore very hard to rectify because there are a very large number of combinations of circumstances that cause it.

Success on the other hand is easier to learn from, because at least it proves that one combination of circumstances at a particular time can (with a probability which depend on the size of the role played by random chance, luck) lead to success.  Nevertheless, military success can lead to the other side "learning its lesson" and taking defensive countermeasures to try to prevent a recurrence of that success by the enemy.


Kahn explains on page 352 that after trench warfare had led to stalemate in North East France during 1915, Churchill's tanks were developed to try to make a breakthrough.  The designers wanted a kind of Manhattan project to secretly manufacture thousands of tanks, and suddenly use them in a tremendous surprise attack to break through the German lines and to end the war pronto.  Bureaucracy instead insisted that they were trialled in September 1916 in small numbers, thereby gaining little and losing the advantage of surprise.  (This was due to the fact that Churchill lost his Cabinet position  in November 1915, losing control of tanks.)  The American Air Force's Colonel Billy Mitchell similarly wanted to use the aircraft to carry paratroopers to overcome trench defences like barbed wire and machine gun posts, but this was never utilized in WWI.  The first use of chlorine gas by Germany on 22 April 1915 at Ypres had terrible effects and opened a five-mile long gap in the front, but this was just an experiment and was not exploited, so they lost the factor of surprise (a million simple hyposulphite of soda gas masks were issued by Britain to every soldier at the front within 14 days, thereby largely negating future German gas attacks).

German submarines nearly won the war for Germany because they were good at sinking merchant ships, cutting off logistics (supplies of food and munitions to the front and also to mainland Britain).  But because Germany had predicted and planned for a six-week knockout blow of the 1870 variety, ignoring the effects of trenches in protracting the war and turning it into a long war of attrition, they had too few submarines for a quick success and a complete blockade of all ports.  As a result, the original 110 German submarines were only able to sink 25% of the ships that left British ports, and so Britain had time to able to develop and deploy anti-submarine convoys of ships, protected by hydrophone submarine detectors and depth charges.  If Germany had taken the American Civil War lesson of trench defences seriously, it would have built more submarines and could have sunk or penned into port all allied shipping, thus winning the war.  Instead, the allies were given the time to develop anti-submarine defences.  (In WWII, Hitler had 1,162 submarines, which sunk 4 million tons of British ships a year in 1941-2, but Britain simply rationed food and turned gardens into farmland, enabling it to survive with fewer imports.)  Likewise, German General Ludendorff deployed the SAS/marine type infiltration tactics against British lines in March 1918 and again at Chemin des Dames in May 1918, where small groups of specially trained, heavily armed fanatically motivated troops would force through the lines in surprise raids.  Kahn points out on page 356 that this infiltration tactic was borrowed from the experiences of the French Captain Laffargue, whose handbook was ignored by Britain and France, but upon falling into German hands it "was at once translated into German and issued as an official German training manual, eventually becoming the basis for General Ludendorff's textbook ..."


17 February 1958 CND meeting poster displaying names of founders, including the WWI historian A. J. .P Taylor.  Taylor possibly exaggerated the risk of an all out nuclear war by his manipulative interpretation of the history of the outbreak of WWI, which in fact was due to the Kaiser's obsession with defeating France again as per the 1870-1 war, using the Schlieffen Plan.
"July, 1914, has produced more books than any other month in modern history. ... Most of the nonsense has sprung from the very human conviction that great events have great causes."

- A. J. P. Taylor, The Observer (Sunday edition of the Guardian newspaper), 23 November 1958.

Kahn relies on historian A. J. P. Taylor's claim in the Observer (later expanded into his anti-arms race book, War by Timetable) that WWI had small causes in accidents which escalated arms race into world war, not a large cause in the form of the Kaiser or the great German Schlieffen Plan for the invasion of France.  The large cause, Kaiser's obsession with achieving a repeat of the short victorious war of 1870-1871, using the 1912 Schlieffen plan, had been planned for many years by Germany (much of their state funded railway system had been built for mobilization for the war of 1914).  A. J. P. Taylor instead tried to portray all of these big causes as "nonsense" and to emphasise the role of trivia.

A. J. P. Taylor belittled this "great cause" and tried repeats Sir Edward Grey's false old claim that WWI was caused essentially by an accident during an arms race (the assassination of the Austrian-Hungarian Archduke on 28 June 1914). However, the resulting crisis was exploited by Germany as an excuse for war.  On 3 August 1914, Germany declared war on France.  Then on 4 August, Germany invaded Belgium, which was under British protection due to the 1839 Treaty of London.  This forced Britain to declare war on Germany.  However, some share for responsibility rests on the shoulders of British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, for failing to make it crystal clear to Germany in advance of its invasion of Belgium, that this would trigger World War.  Grey was in a very difficult position politically, since the British Liberal Government was overwhelmingly pacifist and weak (apart from Churchill, in Cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty), and feared making threats to Germany in case the strong language were used as an excuse for war.  In this sense, the Liberal Party in 1914 appeased the Kaiser and thus encouraged enemy risk-taking and aggression, just as the Conservatives did twenty five years later in the prelude to WWII.  Sir Edward Grey later excused himself for failing to stop WWI, tragically, by blaming the arms race made war inevitable in 1914.  As John F. Kennedy points out in his 1940 book Why England Slept, Grey's blame on the arms race was then quoted throughout the 1930's by pacifists and appeasers to try to prevent an arms race with Germany.

In fact, the arms race prior to WWI was what delayed the outbreak of war until 1914, and it was the weakness of the arms in Grey's hands, due to his Liberal Party Cabinet colleagues (his colleagues in a Cabinet meeting on 24 July, blocked Grey from making a statement to Germany supporting France).  Grey could and should have made clear to Kaiser than an invasion of Belgium would lead to the declaration of war on Germany, because without such a declaration Britain's arms would not play any role in deterring Germany from starting WWI.  To have a deterrent and then not to use it to try to deter war is the worst of all worlds.  "Speaking softly while carrying a big stick" was proved in both 1914 and 1938 to undermine the credibility of the big stick.  This policy was loved by the pseudo-pacifists like Norman Angell who wanted to make deterrence fail to "prove" pacifist rants right, winning Nobel Peace prizes and rewards like Knighthoods.

It is dangerous that this solid fact is still obfuscated by mainstream history, much in the way that the role of field quanta in physically causing electron indeterminancy in the atom is still obfuscated by groupthink physics.  A. J. P. argument is that only the Serbs and Austrians really wanted war in August 1914, and that the relative slowness of the Russian mobilization plan as compared to Germany (Russia had fewer railways) caused it to mobilize on 30 July 1914 on the basis of the crisis, which automatically set off a German ultimatum to Russia on 31 July and to France on 1 August.  The reason for Germany's ultimatum to Russia was its mobilization, while the German Kaiser's War Minister von Moltke refused to mobilize against Russia without also mobilizing against France, on the basis that the Schlieffen Plan did not allow for mobilization purely against Russia.  Germany was tied to a railroad timetabled mobilization plan which ensured that France would be invaded in the next war.

This is the failure in A. J. P. Taylor's argument, for it proves that Germany was from 1905 when Schlieffen first developed his plan, tied to a plan which would trigger a world war in an event of a crisis.  Furthermore, Germany could even have invaded France without invading Belgium (which under the 1839 Treaty of London would trigger war with Britain).  It did invade Belgium on 4 August, triggering the pacifist Liberal government of the UK into having to declare war on Germany.  There was no accident here, any more than the Prussian invasion of France in 1870 was an accident.  It was a deliberate plan to occupy Europe, kept in a draw ready for use whenever the opportunity arose (as occurred after a gunshot Sarajevo on 28 June).  A. J. P. Taylor's revisionist history that it was all an accident was not the view taken by the UK government's afternoon Cabinet meeting on 4 August 1914, which would not have chosen war if it believed the crisis was purely an accident.  Instead, it was clear that even if the 28 June assassination was an "accident", Germany was exploiting that "accident" for its own ends - the conquest of Europe by force.  Taylor ignores this factor.

Sir Edward Grey failed to make it clear to the Kaiser what Britain would do if Germany invaded Belgium on 4 August 1914.  Grey was uncertain himself, since it was a Cabinet decision in the afternoon that resulted in the declaration of war, but it was Grey's duty as Foreign Secretary to communicate effectively and avoid a muddle.  While some responsibility is down to the Liberal Cabinet as a whole, Grey not only failed but also - in blaming the arms race - gave the appeases the excuse to avoid an all-out arms race with Germany in the 1930's, which was financially more damaging to Germany than to Britain.  Historians by and large follow A. J. P. Taylor's lead.  He taught many leading historians and imparted his dogmatic viewpoint that the war was an accident in an arms race, rather than dictatorial plan of invasion, instigated in August 1914 by opportunism, with the accident used as camouflage.  Lloyd George's War Memoirs make clear Edward Grey's responsibility and failings, but Lloyd George was partly responsible too, as well as others in the Cabinet, including Winston Churchill, who always wrote lucrative, best-selling, poetically wise books full of "lessons" after a war, despite having personally failed to use his eloquence to overcome popular pacifism and deter the war the way he wanted.  Winston Churchill on Liberal complacency over war during a 1911 crisis:

"It is too foolish, too fantastic to be thought of in the twentieth century. ... No one would so such things.  Civilization has climbed above such perils.  The interdependence of nations in trade and traffic, the sense of public law, the Hague Convention [the First Hague Peace Conference successfully outlawed gas warfare on paper agreements in 1899, agreements which weren't worth the paper they were written on during WWI], Liberal principles, the Labour Party, high finance, Christian charity, common sense have rendered such nightmares impossible." 

- Winston Churchill, The World Crisis, Charles Scribner's, New York, 1923, page 33.

"The [August 1914 Liberal Party UK Government]Cabinet was overwhelmingly pacific.  At least three-quarters of its members were determined not to be drawn into a European quarrel, unless Britain were herself attacked, which was not likely. ... They did not believe that if Germany attacked France, she would attack her through Belgium ..."

- Winston Churchill, The World Crisis, Charles Scribner's, New York, 1923, page 211.

(To emphasise the point being made, a deterrent and even an arms race may be no use, if the government is not clear about using that deterrent in a crisis.  In any crisis, the liberal or conservative government is going to want to do the exact opposite of being firm, as proved by Edward Grey in 1914 and Neville Chamberlain before September 1939.  The liberal or conservative government in a crisis is going to prefer appeasing diplomacy, for fear starting a war by being firm, because it is afraid that the other side will deliberately misinterpret the firmness as a threat, for propaganda purposes to justify some kind of first strike.  In short, in order to be able to credibly use the deterrent to prevent an extremely provocative action in a crisis situation, such as the invasion of Crimea by Russia, you need civil defence to mitigate retaliation.  If you don't have the stomach to have civil defence for fear of CND Vice Chair Jeremy Corbyn, deterrence fails.  Eventually, the other side goes too far in exploiting your weakness, starting off an unnecessary war.)

The liberal-pacifist dogma that international economics, banking and trade, prevents international war was dismissed by future British Prime Minister, Robert Cecil in 1862, during the American Civil War:

"A few years ago a delusive optimism was creeping over the minds of men. ... It was deemed heresy to distrust anybody, or to act as if any evil still remained in human nature. ... we were invited to believe that ... exports and imports had banished war from the earth. ... that we were permanently lifted from the mire of passion and prejudice ... The last fifteen years has been one of long disenchantment; and the American Civil War is the culmination of the process." (Quotation: R. Taylor, Lord Salisbury, Allen Lane, 1975, p. 21.)

Kahn makes the additional argument on page 350 that the "knockout blow" Schlieffen Plan (which called for Germany to invade and defeat France in six weeks and then do the same to Russia), in ignoring the lessons of trenches cheaply and quickly stopping the over-hyped new offensive technology (machine guns and mortars) during the American Civil War of the 1860s, was partly justified by the populist theories about the economic independence of free trade preventing long wars of attrition (for instance Norman Angell's 1908 pacifist book, The Great Illusion): "most people ... argued that the economic independence of nations was so great that the sheer interruption of normal commerce would cause a collapse after a few weeks or months ...".  Thus, the Great Illusion-type deceptive pacifist anti-war propaganda reduces deterrence, causing war.  Those few people like I. S. Bloch who did predict on the basis of sound reasoning that trenches of the American Civil War type would prevent a knock out blow in 6 weeks were ignored by war planners:

I. S. Bloch in 1899 predicted in his book Is War Now Impossible (a summary of his The War of the Future) that trenches ("everybody will be entrenched in the next war") would negate machine guns and mortars, making it: "impossible for the battle of the future to be fought out rapidly."  Unfortunately, he buried that fact-based prediction within a lot of speculative, grandiose pacifist-biased propaganda which naively and false claimed that such problems made war an actual impossibility.   
"The most spectacular military event of World War I, the development of two parallel lines of trenches from the Swiss frontier to the English Channel, while predicted by Bloch, came as a complete surprise. ... given the examples of such warfare in the American Civil War ... it is hard to see how military experts could have overlooked the possibility that the widespread availability of machine guns and barbed wire might result in static trench warfare, but the military planners on both sides completely overlooked the possibility."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, 1960, page 354.


Pacifist Professor Cyril Joad's sneering attack on Winston Churchill's call for deterrence, on page 71 of the September 1939 reprint of his book Why War?  Professor-pacifists who dominated the anti-war scene hated the idea of ending war by the use of overwhelming deterrent force, which means they downplayed Nazi genocide dangers and launched paranoid and silly attacks on Winston Churchill.  Churchill was an egotist, a capitalist, and made many military errors that cost lives, such as his failed assault on Turkish forces at Dardanelles in March 1915, and then the similarly disastrous Gallipoli tragedy the same year, led to Churchill's forced resignation from the Cabinet in November 1915.

"The British people were still generally ignorant of, and apathetic to, the dangers of the situation in central Europe, despite the eloquent efforts of Mr Churchill [who was easily dismissed as a stupid warmonger by powerful, media-dominating, populist anti-deterrence "pacifists" such as professor Cyril Joad] to enlighten them.  Mr Chamberlain alternatively lulled them into a sense of false security by statements in the House of Commons as to the satisfactory progress of British rearmament, or endeavoured to infuse them with his own sincere belief that in war there are no winners. ... The fundamental and salient weakness of the Opposition was that, in the majority of cases, they evaded the issue ... because no Member of the house was sufficiently assured that the people of Britain [misled by one-sided pacifist media hyped weapons-effects-exaggerating propaganda directed against civil defence and thus against credible, strong deterrence, which was not opposed in a full blown democratic debate with government experts due to official secrecy] would have endorsed such a rejection [of Hitler's demands, thus making deterrence credible at the risk of having a war with Germany while the chances of success were still reasonably good].  They said, which was not true, that there would have been no war, because Hitler was bluffing ... they would not say that, at Munich or at Godesberg, Mr Chamberlain, in the face of what certainly was not bluff, should have taken a determined stand, saying 'Very well, we shall fight'."

- John Wheeler-Bennett, Munich: Prologue to Tragedy, pages 62-4 and 184-5.

This situation of heavily rearmed but nearly bankrupt dictator invading nearby countries on the pretext, at first, that his own nationals in those countries want succession or are under threat from the states involved, is analogous in some respects to Russia's annexation of Crimea in January 2014, while Russia's decision to start bombing anti-Assad forces in the Syrian Civil War is analogous to the Germany's air support for the forces of the dictator Franco in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.  The existence of nuclear weapons and chemical weapons on Russia's side may seem to knock this analogy sideways, but it is in fact makes the analogy stronger, when the exaggerated air bombing fears of the 1930s are examined realistically.

Kahn makes the point in the Preface of On Thermonuclear War that the "bad choices" of history arise not necessarily through ignorance or stupidity, but due to the paucity of alternatives, for example Hitler offered his opponents a clever version of "Hobson's choice": you can have peace, or you can reject peace.  The first defence of anyone making a "bad decision" is always the claim: "there was no alternative."  It is therefore a big business enterprise for politicians to try to find excuses to ignore or dismiss sensible solutions to crisis situations, in order to justify following their dogmatic agenda, whether that is pacifism at any price, or war.  Kahn writes on page xv:

"The final outcome of benevolent, informed, and intelligent decisions may turn out to be disastrous.  But choices must be made ... the current and future reality of vast military power concentrated in the hands of several unpredictable countries, accompanied by the past reality of expansionist doctrine ... had brought Americans and Europeans face to face with the sobering thought that this triumph of material progress and human security may be reversed. ... we have to be prepared for the possibility that we have chosen wrongly or that events may nevertheless continue to unfold in a thoroughly relentless way in spite of our choices."

It is a fault of unfortunate editing of On Thermonuclear War that this comment on the nature of choice in the Preface is so separated from Kahn's discussion of the irrationality of human choices chapter IV, Conflicting Objectives, particularly pages 119-125.  In brief, Kahn there proves that traditional approaches to trying to find the "best choice" have been completely illogical.  Committees of experts are always apt to make unpredictable groupthink decisions for options that nobody on the committee really wants (this occurs because of tactical voting by all "sides" in an almost-balanced controversy to save face by ensuring that no side really "wins").  Additionally, Kahn explains that even the rules of mathematical logic had been misapplied in computer based systems analysis by the RAND Corporation, by seeking an optimal result for the most probable set of circumstances, instead analysing the system's response for under unlikely circumstances which of course are often the circumstances where poor performance has spectacular results:

"In the early days at RAND, most studies involved an attempt to find the 'optimum' ... The emphasis was on comparing thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of different systems under idealized conditions; then the 'best' one would be picked. ... The new viewpoint is different.  We now tend to compare a rather small number of different systems under widely varying circumstances and objectives. ... A system is preferred when it performs reasonably well under probable circumstances ... and yet hedges against less probable or even improbable situations ..."

The reason is simple: disasters and world wars rarely occur under the most probable set of conditions that everyone expects.  Enemies exploit the factor of surprise, engineer secret weapons, and so on.

Kahn then debunks the idea that by a committee of experts can vote for a simple consensus or circumstance risk template that adequately predicts revolutionary new threats or unexpected disaster mechanisms.  Committees of course easily reach good decisions where the choices are uncontroversial, where you don't really need experts, but bad decisions result from the very controversial situations which the committee is supposed to act rationally.  First, Kahn discusses the groupthink "paradox of voting" which was first pointed out by E. J. Nanson and elucidated by Kenneth J. Arrow in his 1951 book Social Choice and Individual Values (Wiley, New York, page 3).  This paradox of voting is due to the fact that given a set of multiple options to choose from, each individual may have a different set of prejudices so that if there is a deadlock over the primary choices, the committee will likely to end up only being able to agree for choices nobody wants, and even then the end result is unpredictable from the laws of logic even if you know the preferences of each individual, as Kahn explains on page 121:

"It turns out that it is perfectly proper to be disturbed because, even after analysis, there seems to be no way in principle (and very often in practice) to make this committee act reasonably - unless we accept a rule of autocracy and delegate the decision making to one of them, a dictator."

Secondly, Kahn on page 122 examines a situation (from Leonard J. Savage's 1954 book The foundations of statistics, Wiley, New York, page 207) which explains precisely how a committee (in a deadlock over a controversy) can end up taking a "tactical voting" decision for something that is nobody's preferred option:

"They want some meat for a picnic so they ask the butcher what he has available.  He tells them he has turkey and ham.  They ... decide on turkey.  The butcher then notices that he also has chicken ... The committee decides that if he has chicken available, they no longer want turkey, they want ham.  That is the way committees often act ... The reason the committee changed its mind was that one member ... really liked chicken and 'sort of' preferred ham to turkey.  Once chicken was available and he could not have it, he forced his colleagues to concede to him on the ham."

This committee based tactical-voting explains how sudden reverses of policy can occur in Cabinets under pressure.  Minority-viewpoint members who cannot get the preferable option they want, end up coercing through a "compromise" that is nobody's preferred option; a poorly-researched policy that can trigger war.

The situation which caused WWI was far more similar to the peace-mongering, war-hatred and general war ignorance that preceded WWII.  Britain in 1914 had a military deterrent, but Liberal politics effectively weakened its credibility and thus prevented it from being used to deter the German invasion of Belgium on 4 August 1914.  The situation in 1939 differed only in that, as a result of Grey's false vague blame on the arms race for WWI, Britain's deterrent in 1939 was undermined militarily in addition to politically (appeasement).  Britain's late 1930s "rearmament" wasn't gaining any time (as Chamberlain and his apologists still dogmatically claim in non-quantitative historical analyses of the Zeno Paradox sort today; as soon as you look at the actual numbers you can see why Chamberlain was wrong).  By spending less each year than Germany, Britain was losing advantage and losing relative strength.  In any race you lose advantage with each second that passes while you run slower than an opponent, because the gap is widening, not decreasing:

Sir John Slessor, Marshall of the RAF, proves we were losing the arms race, not "buying time" by appeasement, on page 161 of in his 1957 autobiography, The Central Blue (Praeger, New York):

"Every undergraduate knows that a sound economic situation is an essential basis of military strength; but ... the Government continued to rule early in 1938 that the three fighting Services between them should not be allowed to spend more than about £1600 millions over the five years 1937 to 1941 - an average of little over £300 millions a year for all three Services; and this eighteen months after the Prime Minister [Neville Chamberlain], as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had confirmed that he knew the Germans were spending £1000 millions a year on warlike preparations, a figure which by now, of course, was being greatly exceeded." 

Note also that the widely-believed propaganda that the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter aircraft then being built were a wonderful contribution thanks to Chamberlain, is actually a lie.  Both aircraft were already obsolete compared to the German Me-109 when used in the Battle of Britain in 1940.  Thus the growing stockpile of Spitfiles in 1938 were not only outnumbered in quantity by Germany, but were also soon obsolete in quality.  Battle of Britain Tom Neil, author of Scramble, aged 95, shot down 14 German aircraft and won two DFCs in the Battle of Britain.  He has now debunked populist myths.  He joined the RAF in 1938 and was taught to fly using a 20 year old obsolete Tiger Moth so that when in 1940 when finally given charge of 249 squadron he failed in practice to hit any target flags with his first 30,000 rounds of ammunition, and then he found that German Me-109s had a larger engine than his Spitfires and could climb faster as well as higher, and also had better guns and more ammunition than Spitfires and Hurricanes. Britain won the Battle of Britain not because it had superior aircraft as hyped up wartime propaganda for the Spitfire claimed, but rather, it survived the German onslaught despite the fact that it had poorer aircraft: "We didn't win.  But we didn't lose."

Not only were Britain's Hurricane and Spitfire actually inferior to German Me-109, but they were outnumbered.  Germany had over 700 superior Me-109s and 227 Me-110s, compared to Britain's inferior 650 Hurricanes and Spitfires.  This disproves Chamberlain's claim.  It was civil defence evacuation and shelters that won the Battle of Britain when German bombers on 7 September 1940 stopped bombing RAF air fields and instead bombed cities.  By reducing casualty rates and panic, civil defence then gave the RAF the time for fighter attrition to cut the Luftwaffe down to size.  On 15 September, 60 German bombers were shot down and on 17 September Hitler postponed the invasion of England, Operation Sea Lion, and turned his attention to planning the June 1941 invasion of Russia instead.  (His invasion of Russia failed because it turned into another WWI type dispersed front, 1,720 miles long in June 1941, increasing to 1,900 miles long by 1942, a logistics nightmare that sucked in massive resources.)

Historian Andrew Roberts has actually claimed in his Storm of War that Churchill deliberately coerced Hitler into bombing London in the Blitz, killing 30,000.  Roberts argues that Churchill used the excuse of a lone Heinkel-111, which accidentally got lost and dropped some bombs on London's East End on 25 August 1940, as an excuse to "retaliate" with a full scale bombing of Berlin.  This, Roberts claims, was aimed at provoking Hitler into stopping his bombing of the RAF fighter bases, and instead ordering the bombing of London.  Hitler's plan called for bombing Britain's fighter aircraft bases out of action before invading by sea (Operation Sealion).  Churchill realized that the concrete runways of most RAF fighter bases had been badly cratered by bombs and needed a breathing space - time for repairing, time for concrete to set - or else Germany would invade England and mass slaughter commence.  This was 1940, before any American air bases had been set up in England, and when shipping was being sunk by German submarines, preventing imports of concrete and other essential materials.  If this is true, then the escalation of WWII to city bombing and killing civilians, was done deliberately by Britain, not by the enemy, for tactical military advantage.  America wasn't in the war yet and although Roosevelt's "Lend-Lease" was supplying arms and ammunition to Britain, no actual American air bases were set up here until after Pearl Harbor, so Britain was still was facing an invasion (millions of lost lives plus Third Reich domination).

The point is that pacifist propaganda today falsely claims escalation in war is rapid and automatic, or else that it is an enemy action, and this lying deception obfuscates the city area bombing reasons in WWII.  The reality is that Hitler wanted to invade without war.  It was, as Kahn has the guts to point out, Britain that made the declaration of war on Germany in both 1914 and in 1939, not the other way around as the "disarm or be annihilated" breed of lying "pacifists" claim.  If they can't tell the truth, why listen to them?  Oh, yes, I know.  It's rude to call people who don't tell the truth "liars".  But it was pacifists in the Cabinet in 1914 and 1933-9 who stopped the "rude" or frank use of deterrence from preventing world war.  Tens of millions died!

Winston Churchill, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Putnam, New York, 1941, page 60, writes with some bitterness of the Munich crisis of September 1938: "It is the most grievous consequence of what we have done and of what we have left undone in the last five years - five years of futile good intention, five years of eager search for the line of least resistance, five years of uninterrupted retreat of British power, five years of neglect of air defences ... We have been reduced in those five years from a position of security so overwhelming and so unchallengeable that we never cared to think about it.  We have been reduced from a position where the very word 'war' was considered one which would be used only by persons qualifying for a lunatic asylum."

Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, page 378: "neither the British nor the French had the resolve to use their superior military power or their superior resources to check German aggression until it was too late. ... The longer they put off using their superior power, the less credible it became that it would ever be used.  Finally, their power became inferior, so that even when its use was seriously threatened, the German government was no longer impressed."

The popular and official exaggerations of aerial warfare effectiveness which led to appeasement were based on unprotected civilians bombed in WWI and in the Spanish Civil War, leading to roughly the same scale of error as Richard Rhodes makes in his discussion of Hiroshima's casualties: British official estimates were 50 casualties per ton of bombs dropped on cities, plus a further 150 additional hysterical psychiatric casualties who would riot against the government to try to make it surrender to the enemy in order to stop further bombing and destruction (Kahn, page 376).  This is a total of 200 casualties per ton of bombs, an exaggeration by a factor of 100 of the 2 casualties per ton which actually resulted even where most people did not use outdoor shelters in winter in Britain.  Similarly, the 1.3 mile radius for 50% mortality outdoors in Hiroshima is preferred to the 0.12 miles radius for people in concrete buildings, again showing that surprise attack on people outdoors in low skyline cities with nuclear weapons produces over one hundred times as many casualties as occur for people in modern concrete buildings.  In the 1930's, the official mixture of facts from surprise air raids against unprotected people, and speculative fantasy from a consensus of psychiatric experts who are influenced by reading "next war fiction" about bombing neuroses and shell shock, was horrific and toxic to anyone trying to have a rational debate on the need for an arms race to deter a war:

"... it is difficult for those who have survived the blitzes and V-bombings to understand or to recapture the sense of fear and apprehension which oppressed Britain in those days.  Our imagination had been whetted by the works of those uninhibited writers of 'next war' fiction, who had assured us that within a week of the outbreak of hostilities, London would be rendered uninhabitable by bombings and by gas. ... In Paris they were fighting for seats on trains, and the roads out of the city were choked with traffic; in London they were digging trenches."

- John Wheeler-Bennett on the Munich crisis of 30 September 1938, Munich: prologue to Tragedy, 1948, pages 158 and 167.

(After Chamberlain had appeased Hitler by forcing the Czechs to accept a Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland, outraged historian Wheeler-Bennett flew there to organize the rescue of Jewish refugees from the Nazi annexed territory.  Hitler apparently responded by having an agent place a time-bomb in the luggage of the aircraft, which exploded on the next flight after Wheeler-Bennett's, blowing up that aircraft.  Critics may say that Wheeler-Bennett's history is prejudiced by first-hand involvement, but the same "personal bias" argument applies to the history written by many others involved in wars, e.g. the war histories written by Winston Churchill.  But, in a sense, this makes them primary sources.)


We showed in previous posts that political cartoonist David Low almost stood alone in condemning the Nazis as a threat, and in response, Hitler - who read British newspapers to check how well appeasement was going - coerced the British government into putting pressure on Low's newspaper publishers and editors to stop printing cartoons critical of Hitler.  Similar coercion occurred when Captain W. E. Johns criticised the British government's weak rearmament and appeasement tactics while editor of the popular weekly and monthly magazines, Flying and Popular Flying; Johns was fired.  This is vitally important: Hitler was not merely a distant threat, far away in Germany, but was actually able to coerce the British government into trying to suppress criticisms of the Nazis by threatening the jobs of critics!  This is never admitted in mainstream pacifist histories, which portray critics of Nazis as cowardly warmongers.  The mainstream of the the British media was still trying to ridicule the threat of Nazi rearmament long after Hitler's election as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933.  For instance, see the following Punch cartoon by Bernard Partridge, published 27 September 1933 (Punch was a popular anti-establishment political satire cartoon magazine, similar in some ways to Private Eye today; our point is that they took the wrong side):

Bernard Partridge's 27 Sept 1933 Punch Cartoon ridiculing German threat to peace after Hitler election as Chancellor in January 1933.  Note the Nazi Swastika on the angry-looking German civilian's haversack!
Partridge shows French gendarme and a British policeman ("P.C. John Bull") having a disagreement over whether to search a suspicious German, suspected by the French gendarme of carrying hidden weapons.  The British policeman replies to a gendarme that it is "very likely" the German has some concealed weapons, but then negates that threat with a high-handed sneer that the French are provoking trouble by being heavily armed.  In other words, Partridge - and most people in Britain - did not see the problem with Germany having a few secret weapons in 1933.  The problem Partridge saw was that the heavy deterrent arms of France were likely to provoke conflict, and the most sensibly way forward was to set a good example by being unarmed.  It is vital to make this fact clear, because pacifists are forever trying to reinvent the wheel by misunderstanding the past.  Churchill's early warnings of German rearmament were seen as silly provocation by a warmonger.  That was their context.  Bernard Partridge's later Punch cartoons even during the Munich crisis of September 1938, continued to play down the danger, firstly on 7 September 1938 by making Hitler look like a crazy busker who attracts both the wild dogs of war and the doves of peace, and then on 22 September 1938 by presenting Hitler as statesman who achieved victory using diplomatic "bluff" as opposed to the blood used by his predecessor:

Bernard Partridge's 7 September 1938 Punch cartoon ridiculing Hitler as a singer who attracts wild dogs of war and doves of peace.  He completely misunderstood the danger of the man, like most pacifists who saw rearmament and war as the lethal danger, not appeasement of a coercive thug who was apparently desperate to conquer Europe.

Bernard Partridge's 21 September 1938 Punch "Bluff and Iron" cartoon, contrasting Hitler's bloodless "bluff" method (threatening war to achieve "peaceful" coercion and invasions without bloodshed, until 1939 anyway) to the force used by his predecessor.  The message seems to be that Hitler is a successful statesman who doesn't actually start wars, although Herman Kahn and John Wheeler-Bennett argue that in September 1938 Hitler was not bluffing but was really prepared to go to war if a peaceful Nazi invasion of the Sudetenland was prevented.  British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French President Daladier were not simply "outbluffed" at the Munich conference by Hitler.  They could see he was willing to go to war, and they were not prepared to go to war over Czechoslovakia.  There was no "bluff" involved.  However, as both Kahn and Wheeler-Bennett point out, the few members of the House of Commons who were critical of the appeasement of Hitler in September 1938 all argued falsely that he was bluffing (the rest accepted he wasn't bluffing and were grateful to Chamberlain for helping to "avert" - or rather delay until the arms race gap was even worse - war).  Nobody dared to earn the "Churchill warmonger" badge from the "pacifists" by arguing for using force to stop German rearmament, thus preventing a world war.  By closing down sensible options, the "pacifists" contributed to the war.

World War II was really due to the "false alternative" or "no alternative" dilemma, that we also see in modern physics today.  The official opposition in the House of Commons to the Chamberlain's Conservative Party appeasement was the even more pacifist Labour Party, led from 1935 by the disarmer and lawyer Clement Attlee, who had first-hand seen the horrors of Winston Churchill's war policies: Attlee was personally in the firing-line of Winston Churchill's disastrous Gallapoli Campaign back in August 1915.  Churchill's warnings of German rearmament could easily be dismissed by the men he had sent to hell in WWI.  Clement Attlee as Labour Party Leader stated in the House of Commons "Defence Policy" debate on 22 May 1935:

"We reject the use of force as an instrument of policy.  We stand for the reduction of armaments and pooled security ... Our policy is not one of seeking security through rearmament, but through disarmament. ... the creation of an International Police Force under the League."

Therefore, there was no really democratic debate about how to deal with Hitler: both sides of the House of Commons wanted appeasement.  The "International Police Force" was just as farcical an idea under the League of Nations as today under the United Nations, where vetoes from Russia and fears of escalation or another Vietnam prevent international peace keeper from being send into Syria and Ukraine.  The whole idea of an "International Police Force" is debunked by the fact that the police even under the best circumstances only succeed in catching a small percentage of offenders, and in any case they have to wait until a crime has been committed before acting.  By the time an invasion has occurred in the international arena, it is too late to stop bloodshed, and as Vietnam proved, attempts to police large areas of the real world against determined ideological fanatics causes an escalation of violence, at enormous cost in human lives and money.  This is why "International Police Forces" are worse than useless. What is needed instead of policemen trying to catch culprits after invasions, is credible deterrence and the ability to use force to prevent the attacks and invasions from occurring in the first place (e.g. neutrons bombs to deter, stop or disperse the massed tank barrage columns as they try to pass the frontier, plus non-nuclear anti-tank rockets which can to stop individual tanks if they are dispersed in response to the neutron bomb deterrent).

Japan distracted international attention away from Germany, just as Attlee averted an arms race:

"In 1933 it was not Germany but Japan that seemed to pose the greatest threat ... In September of 1931 the Japanese army in Korea had invaded the north Chinese province of Manchuria ... a flagrant affront to the League of Nations and the principle of collective security. ... the League merely dispatched a commission of inquiry under Lord Lytton.  The end result was the most ineffective sanctions possible ... The menace in the Far East was to play a vital part in encouraging appeasement of Germany. ... Britain could do nothing [when Japan launched a full invasion of China in 1937] without the USA, who would not budge from her self-imposed isolation. ... fear of upsetting the USA was paramount. ... The conduct of the Labour opposition was marked by a head-burying exercise that outdid the average ostrich in skill.  Attlee wanted the weight of 'the whole world's opinion' to restrain potential aggressors and condemned rearmament. ... There was ... desperate anxiety to avoid an arms race."

- Malcolm Pearce and Geoffrey Stewart, British Political History 1867-1995, Democracy and Decline, Routledge, London, 2nd ed., 1996, pages 313-314.

The disastrous financial and human costs of WWI started under the pacifist government of Britain's Liberal Party, killed the Liberal Party after the war:

"The Liberal party ... was involved in an encounter with a rampant omnibus (the First World War), which mounted the pavement and ran him over.  After lingering painfully, he expired.  A [contrived, specious, spurious, propaganda-based] controversy has persisted ever since as to what killed him."

- Professor Trevor Wilson, The Downfall of the Liberal Party, Collins, London, 1966, page 20.

Germany has been reduced officially to having an army of just 100,000 soldiers with no General Staff, no air force, and just 6 battleships under the Versailles Treaty following WWI.  This disarmament, together with hyperinflation in 1923 in response to the French demands for massive war reparations, infuriated German military patriots into starting militant underground movements like the National Socialists that Hitler had joined, who claimed that the armistice in 1918 had been a sell out by a small number of Jews, and sought to secretly rearm Germany:

"... in spite of the tremendous scale of the violations it still took five years, from January 1933 when Hitler came in to around January 1938, before they had an army capable of standing up against the French and the british.  At any time during that five-year period if the British and the French had had the will, they probably could have stopped the German rearmament program. ... it is an important defect of 'arms control' agreements that the punishment or correction ... is not done automatically ... but takes an act of will ... As late as 1934, after Hitler had been in power for almost a year and a half, Ramsey MacDonald still continued to urge the French that they disarm themselves by reducing their army by 50 percent, and their air force by 75 percent. ... probably as much as any other single group I think that these men of good will can be charged with causing World War II. ... Much of the current discussion about arms control strikes me as being very similar ... October 14, 1933, when Germany withdrew from a disarmament conference and the League of Nations ... the British and the French contented themselves with denouncing the action. ... On March 16, 1935, Hitler decreed conscription in Germany."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, pages 390-392.

The 19 members of the League of Nations, the precursor to the (un)United Nations, could not agree to stop Hitler by force, just as recently the (un)United Nations failed to agree to stop civil wars in Ukraine and Syria due to Russian veto, so as Kahn explains on page 393, the League of Nation's protest:

"simply strengthened Hitler by showing both the Germans and their potential victims that he could safely ignore public opinion and moral outcries.  It is simply not true that a potential aggressor is likely to be restrained from preliminary actions by foreign public opinion [especially where in 1930's Germany or today's Russia, the media is effectively under indirect state control and turns foreign hostility into a propaganda tool to bolster support for war] - particularly if he can justify his action by ... reasonable-sounding excuse, or even better, make the charge uncertain by making the action ambiguous."

The League of Nations was also undermined when it failed to stop Italian fascist Mussolini from invading Abyssinia (located in Eritrea and North Ethopia today) in October 1935, and blistering the local populace with mustard gas.  Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland in March 1936 was preceded by, and encouraged by, the experience of the apathy of League of Nations.  Two years later, on 11 March 1938, he annexed Austria.  No international police force was hastily convened to stop him either time, for fear that such a police type action would escalate into world war there and then (this is precisely the whole problem with the simplistic/idealistic idea of somehow "policing" world peace; every "arrest" risks turning into a world war):

"At several points the democracies seemed willing to fight - when Hitler relaxed the pressure ever so little and dropped some straws which the drowning democracies desperately grasped.  The more often Hitler presented the choice of war or peace as a real choice, the more the democracies were demoralized.  At no time did Hitler threaten to initiate war against France and England.  He simply threatened to 'retaliate' if they attacked him. The Munich crisis had an incredible sequel in March 1939.  In spite of ... the guarantees of Chamberlain and Daladier ... Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.  The technique he used is such an obvious prototype for a future aggressor armed with H-bombs that it is of extreme value to all who are concerned with the problem of maintaining a peaceful and secure world ..."

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, page 403.

Kahn then quotes from Daniel "pentagon papers" Ellsberg's March 1959 Lowell Lectures, The Art of Coercion, which describes how WWI Iron Cross recipient Adolf Hitler in Berlin on 14 March 1939 personally coerced Czech President Hacha and his Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky to surrender his own country to the Nazis for the sake of peace.  Ellsberg quotes Hitler's interpreter Paul Schmidt:

"The invasion would begin at 6 a.m. that morning: in five hours.  There were, said Hitler, 'two possibilities.  The first was that the invasion of the German troops might develop into a battle. ... The other was that the entry ... should take place in a peaceable manner ... The Fuhrer advised him to telephone Prague. ... Hitler signed the [peaceful invasion authority] documents, left the room. ... at that moment the telephone line to Prague was out of order. ... Hacha and Chvalkovsky ... turned from the documents and refused to sign. ... But the Germans [Goering and Ribbentrop] pursued them around the table, thrusting the documents before them and pressing pens into their hands, shouting 'Sign!  If you refuse, half Prague will lie in ruins from aerial bombardment within two hours'. ... Hacha [fainted but] was revived by Morell, with injections.  He continued to resist, fainted again, and was revived again. ... At 3:55 Hacha signed the documents.  He called Prague, Schmidt finally having gotten through, and ordered that there should be no resistance. ... The agreement that the Czechs signed told the world: 'The conviction was expressed on both sides that all endeavours must be directed to securing tranquility, order and peace in that part of Central Europe."

Notice the "peace" propaganda message of Hitler, forever presenting himself as the pacifist, the moralist, the disarmer, the lover of order, so closely interwoven with gradual erosion of liberty by Hitler's salami tactics, cutting into his enemies slice by slice, then allowing the furore to die away, then taking another slice, until the whole cake is gone.  Kahn makes the point on page 407, that Hitler's original plan for WWII was a simply repeat of the Schlieffen Plan used 25 years earlier in August 1914, but in 1940 he modified it slightly with a detour through the Ardennes Forest, to bypass the Maginot Line, a tactic suggested by the innovator von Mannstein, who had to bypass the General Staff to talk directly to Hitler, who immediately saw the light.  The officialdom of the German General Staff objected to von Mannstein's idea of using the Ardennes Forest, because their data was a few years obsolete, and they thought it was still impassable by tanks.

Kahn draws an analogy of the French Maginot Line delusion to the American belief in 1941 that Pearl Harbor was safe from Japanese attack.  Japan was in 1941 under strong pressure from American sanctions after Japan invaded China, a situation analogous to the sanctions on Russia after it invaded Crimea last year.  Pearl Habor is only 30-40 feet deep, whereas the admiralty textbooks of 1941 stated that torpedoes need 75-150 feet depth of water to operate reliably.  Therefore, Naval expert William D. Puleston confidently guaranteed in 1941 that Pearl Harbor would never become a byword for vulnerability to surprise attack:

"The Pacific Fleet is at one of the strongest bases in the world - Pearl Harbor - practically on a war footing and under a war regime.  There will be no American Port Arthur."

- William D. Puleston, The Armed Forces of the Pacific, Yale University Press, 1941, page 117.

Puleston's complacency was disproved soon after his textbook's publication by the Japanese Admiral Onishi, who developed special torpedoes that are effective in 30-40 feet of water.

Kahn in Figure 9 on page 481 analyzes whether the American Minuteman ICBM silo based missile system is vulnerable to a Pearl Harbor style surprise attack.  Defense Secretary Robert McNamara finally authorized that 1,000 Minutemen be built as Kahn in 1960 (prior to the Kennedy administration) assumes, although some in the USAF wanted more Minutemen.  Today, only 450 of those 1,000 are still in operation but Kahn argued that 99% of the original 1,000 Minutemen ICBMs could be wiped out by 6,000 Russian warheads, each having a 50% silo kill probability:

"Figure 9 shows that having a retaliatory capability distributed over a thousand fixed points, such as some proposals for Minuteman, may not be sufficient to deter a determined enemy."

In Figure 8 on page 469, Kahn relates missile accuracy (CEP radius) to warhead yield, reliability and target kill overpressure.  Since then, missile accuracy has improved but MIRV technology has reduced yield, while silos have had improved shock absorbers to reduce vulnerability, increasing silo survival the 1960 value of 100 psi, which is near the edge of the crater, to today's many thousands of psi, so that a surviving silo sticks up like a concrete chimney, well inside the excavated bowl of the crater (silo doors and hydraulics are designed to take the impact from the debris crater fall-back, as well as surviving all other nuclear effects).  Kahn's figure 10, based on Dr Harold Brode's RAND Corporation report P-1951, Ground Support Systems Weapons Effects, shows that a silo hardened to withstand 1,000 psi has a 90% chance of surviving a 5 megaton surface burst, if the missile accuracy CEP = 1 nautical mile.  Most MIRV warheads now are less one tenth of that yield (i.e. under 500 kt), and silos have been hardened to withstand higher pressures, which largely offsets the improvements in missile accuracy.

For hard targets that withstand peak overpressures over about 100 psi - note that 1 psi = 6.9 kPa in metric units - peak overpressure is directly proportional to yield.  Therefore, reducing a weapon yield from 5 Mt to 500 kt is equivalent to reducing the peak overpressure at the CEP radius by a similar factor of 10.  For very high peak overpressures, the most probable overpressure on the target is inversely proportional to the cube of the CEP radius.  Therefore, doubling the missile accuracy, i.e., halving the CEP radius, causes the target to be most likely subjected to an 8-fold increase in peak overpressure.  This is simply due to the fact that such high peak overpressures are inversely proportional to the cube of distance from ground zero: the peak overpressure at 10 feet from a nuclear explosion is 1,000 times higher than at 100 feet radius (ignoring minor effects from the loss of energy by thermal radiation from the shock front, and the changing relative contributions from the bomb case debris shock and pure air blast shock) .  The actual survival probability is:

where S is survival probability, n is number of warheads actually detonating on the target, R is the radius of the peak overpressure that is sufficient to destroy the target, and C is the CEP (Circular Error Probability) radius for the warhead's delivery system.

Nuclear disarmament, such as the decrease from 1,000 to 450 ICBMs, even taking account of similar verified Russian stockpile disarmament, is increasing the statistical uncertainty of a war.  Disarmament to give a smaller nuclear stockpile increases the uncertainty in the number of missiles that survive a first strike (since the standard deviation in percent is 100 divided into the square root of the sample size), so nuclear war increasingly becomes a gamble like Russian Roulette, undermining the credibility of our deterrent policy.


It's a poorly edited book, nearly 700 pages of hard to read, disorganized or badly fragmented nuggets, which could be cut down to less than 70 pages of well-organized, readable analysis to defend the validity of the cost-effective, nuclear deterrent against provocations that escalate into conventional war (not just a deterrent against other nuclear weapons), and more especially, a defence for making the nuclear deterrent credible for military rather than civilian purposes, by using effective, low-cost civil defense.

Unfortunately, Kahn's muddled presentation allowed lawyer James Newman of Scientific American to take bits of the book out of context and then falsely condemn it as warmongering evil.  For example, Kahn's defense for his controversial and poorly designed Table 3, Tragic but distinguishable postwar states, which correlates casualties to recovery times, and includes the question "Will the survivors envy the dead?" was attacked by Newman's March 1961 review of the book.

Kahn defends that chapter 1 table effectively only in an appendix near the end of the book (on page 626) of On Thermonuclear War, not on the page that carries the table, and Newman later confessed to only reading the first 200 pages of the book when writing his review, so he ignored the defense Kahn gives!  

U.S. Congressional Hearings, Civil Defense - 1961, page 184:

Mr Roback: "Mr Kahn, you made a reference to Mr Newman's comment. ... I recall ... he referred to your voluminous opus as a tract for mass murder.  What do you suppose that meant?" ...

Mr Kahn: "Well, the review, I felt was a rather extreme review. ... My first reaction was to put on 10 pounds [laughter].  Newman's reaction to my book ... was remarkable only in that it got published in a respectable magazine. ... Mr Newman did not read the book.  It has been reported to me that he has said that he read less than 200 pages."

Kahn's effective and damning defense of the inclusion of Table 3 which Newman so hated, only occurs much later ,on page 626 of On Thermonuclear War, within Appendix IV, A proposed civil defense program:

"There should be the creation of feasible evacuation measures, improvisation of fallout protection ... Are these things worth the effort?  Anybody who can make the distinctions in Table 3, Tragic but Distinguishable Postwar States, will think they are."  (This should have been printed directly under Table 3 to avoid confusion.  But then, I guess Newman would have ignored the truth, as he did with the rest of his reckless and civil defense damaging tantrum.)

This Appendix IV also recommended $100 million expenditure on radiation meters for fallout shelters in the basement of public buildings made of concrete or masonry, $150 for identifying and ultilizing such existing structures for fallout protection in nuclear war, and research on decontamination, etc., and was based on Kahn's 1957 RAND Corporation report RM-2206-RC, Some Specific Suggestions for Obtaining Early Non-Military Defense Capabilities ....  The problem was that although President Kennedy's administration implemented Kahn's proposals for fallout shelters with radiation meters in public buildings in 1961, he did not implement the first demand of Kahn, which was for sensible plans for the pre-war evacuation of cities.  This error of judgement soon contributed to a crisis in October 1962, because it limited Kennedy's options and forced him to concede that there was no evacuation plan available on 22 October 1962 for cities within reach of the Russian IRBMs shipped to Cuba.  Thus, Kennedy was forced - by the paucity of options at his disposal - into his TV speech that day which threatened an all-out nuclear war if just a single IRBM was fired from Cuba by accident.  By preventing passive defense, Kennedy was forced into committing to a more risky offensive threat to bolster deterrence, in the hope it would coerce the Russians into reducing the risk of an accidental or unauthorized IRBM launch from Cuba.

See, for example, Dr William Chipman's Defense Civil Preparedness Agency report, Civil Defense for the 1980s - current issues, page 47, Civil defense and the cuban missiles crisis, where Kennedy's concern during the Cuban Missiles Crisis that there was no effective Kahn type evacuation plan, limited his options to offensive threats:

The point Kennedy made was that, with a temporary civil defense evacuation of Miami and other cities within range of the SS-4 (or R-12 in Russian nomenclature) missiles, he could have ordered an invasion of Cuba without risking civilians in the event that some nuclear missiles were launched during the invasion.  By ruling out this civil defense possibility, Kennedy felt forced into threatening an all-out retaliation against Russia if a missile was launched.  Thus, in part because James Newman and his Scientific American publishers, and their anti-debate, anti-liberal friends (cloaked in the false, lying colours of liberalism!), had falsely dismissed or ignored the Kahn's argument as taboo warmongering, the Cuban missiles crisis risked escalating into WWIII rather than just a limited invasion of Cuba.  Kahn explains on page 369 of On Thermonuclear War that the use of dogmas to close down discussions of taboo alternatives like civil defense leads to rigid war plans of the sort in place in Germany in 1914 when WWI broke out:

"The rigidity of the war plans.  In 1914 this occurred because they were so complicated that the general staffs felt that they could not draw up more than one.  This single war plan was then made even more rigid because it depended on such detailed railroad schedules. ... They [groupthink planners] want to examine and plan for only the most obvious one, and ignore the others. ... Even more than in 1914, governments of our day are likely to be ignorant of the technical details of war ... it is almost impossible to get people interested in the tactics and strategy of thermonuclear war."

Furthermore, even when there is an interest in nuclear war effects, it is constrained to follow set paths like either a Church service or quantum field theory seminar, in which objective injections and even mere questions from free thinking individuals of the congregation are automatically censored or ignored on some false grounds such as alleged rudeness (often just a lack of respectful worship or of diplomacy) or heresy:

"There is another way in which we can have too narrow a focus.  We can refuse to entertain or consider seriously ideas which seem to be 'crack-pot' or unrealistic, but which are really just unfamiliar.  In more casual days one could dismiss a bizarre-sounding notion with a snort or comment about being impractical or implausible.  Things moved slowly, and no real harm was done if a new idea took several years to prove itself.  Indeed, allowing a notion to stay around for several years ... meant that most of the 'half-baked' ones got scuttled and never had to be considered seriously at all.  The consequent saving on the use of both time and 'gray matter' must have been enormous."  (The bigoted, abusive and LAZY folk are recklessly incompetent and must be fired if we are to make progress, rather than simplistically killing off ideas that need work.)

- Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War, page 125.

Kahn also makes the point on page 414 that even if you have adequate warning and sensible plans, they can backfire under realistic conditions.  His example is the Japanese attack on the Philippines, 9 hours after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 December 1941.  General MacArthur was warned immediately after Pearl Harbor was attacked, and responded by getting the entire fleet of B-17 bombers airborne to resist bombing on their air bases.  Unfortunately, the Japanese attack on the Philippines, which was scheduled for dawn (which occurs 3.5 hours after dawn in Hawaii) was unexpectedly delayed for 6 hours due to fog at the Japanese home base.  By the time the Japanese bombed the American air bases in the Philippines, the American B-17s had returned for refuelling, and were caught on the ground.  This demonstrates that straightforward countermeasures can sometimes fail, due to bad luck (fog in this case).  A similar situation occurred in Hiroshima, where the air raid warning was not sounded before the bomb went off, because the commander was away at breakfast.  There were plenty of air raid shelters in Hiroshima which survived the effects of nuclear weapons, deflecting the blast and absorbing most of the radiation.

Kahn also points out how secrecy can backfire, as in the case where poorly designed American torpedoes were protected from demands for rapid improvement by official U.S. Navy secrecy during WWII:

"Secrecy, a necessary concern of the armed forces, became such a fetish that measures designed to protect a device from enemy eyes actually hid its defects from those who made the regulations.  Ironically, some of those defects were already known to the foreign powers ..."

- Buford Rowland and William B. Boyd, U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II, U.S. Department of the Navy, 1953.

Similar questions were raised against the secrecy of the design and capabilities of "clean" nuclear weapons, undermining their usefulness when the facts about the reduction of fallout dose rates were secret in nuclear weapon test report WT-1317, Characterization of Fallout, Operation Redwing:

"As the nation's most famed weapons expert, Teller had access to secret atomic data which greatly enhanced his ability to be persuasive in public, while not disclosing the data pertinent to his argument.  He could always, if challenged, retreat to a sanctuary of nondiscussable information."

- Dr Ralph E. Lapp, The New Priesthood: The Scientific Elite and the Uses of Power, Harper, New York, 1965, page 138.

Lapp's 1965 book The New Priesthood begins (page 1) with the following quotation from President Woodrow Wilson, on the dangers of dictatorship by secretive expert advisers, like a Manhattan project:

"What I fear is a government of experts.  God forbid that in a democratic society we should resign the task and give the government over to experts.  What are we for if we are to be scientifically taken care of by a small number of gentlemen who are the only men who understand the job?  because if we don't understand the job, then we are not a free people."

Lapp then points out how he saw science change during WWII from a poorly funded, low-prestige business of struggling individuals pursuing unpopular technical questions to find the truth, into today's "big science" of groupthink-dominated government (taxpayer)-funded teams of aim-biased technicians, seeking wealth and prestige, paying only lip-service to freedom and objectivity:

"Today ... the lone researcher is a rara avis (rare bird); most scientists team up to work together toward agreed upon objectives [not an unbiased agenda]. ... A single experiment may involve a hundred scientists ... the research is no longer unspecified as to objective ... democracy faces its most severe test in preserving its traditions in an age of scientific revolution. ... scientists in key advisory positions wield enormous power.  The ordinary checks and balances in a democracy fail when the Congress, for example, is incapable of intelligent discourse on vital issues.  The danger to our democracy is that national policy will be decided by the few acting without even attempting to enter a public discourse ... our democracy will become a timocracy. ... Even if no formal secrecy is invoked by the government, an issue might as well be classified 'secret' if the people in a democracy are incapable of carrying on an intelligent discussion of it. ... The danger is that a new priesthood of scientists may usurp the traditional roles of democratic decision-making"

- Dr Ralph E. Lapp, The New Priesthood: The Scientific Elite and the Uses of Power, Harper, New York, 1965, pages 2-3.

Lapp on page 8 quotes President Thomas Jefferson:

"To furnish the citizens with full and correct information is a matter of the highest importance.  If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."

Education in fact, not groupthink indoctrination nor the propaganda substitutes for fact used by dictatorships.

Lapp on page 14 quotes President Dwight Eisenhower's 17 January 1961 farewell address:

"Today the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists ... In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution ... Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. ... The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded."

Lapp on page 16 quotes Dr Alvin Weinberg (director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1955-1973):

"I do believe that big science can ruin our universities, by diverting the universities from their primary purpose and by converting our university professors into administrators, housekeepers and publicists."

Alvin Weinberg expanded on his critique of "big science" in his 1967 book, Reflections on Big Science.

We quoted Alvin Weinberg's analogy of populist anti-nuclear pseudoscientific rants to witch hunts, in a previous post (linked here). Weinberg wrote Appendix B: Civil Defense and Nuclear Energy, pages 275-7 of The Control of Exposure of the Public to Ionizing Radiation in the Event of Accident or Attack, Proceedings of a Symposium Sponsored by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), April 27-29, 1981, Held at the International Conference Center, Reston, Virginia. (The proceedings were published on May 15, 1982, by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, Md.):

"That people will eventually acquire more sensible attitudes towards low level radiation is suggested by an analogy, pointed out by William Clark, between our fear of very low levels of radiation insult and of witches. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, people knew that their children were dying and their cattle were getting sick because witches were casting spells on them. During these centuries no fewer than 500,000 witches were burned at the stake. Since the witches were causing the trouble, if you burn the witches, then the trouble will disappear. Of course, one could never be really sure that the witches were causing the trouble. Indeed, though many witches were killed, the troubles remained. The answer was not to stop killing the witches - the answer was: kill more witches. ... I want to end on a happy note. The Inquisitor of the south of Spain, Alonzo Frias, in 1610 decided that he ought to appoint a committee to examine the connection between witches and all these bad things that were happening. The committee could find no real correlation ... So the Inquisitor decided to make illegal the use of torture to extract a confession from a witch. ... it took 200 years for the Inquisition to run its course on witches."
Above: Herman Kahn's graph of the massive rise in U.S. government taxpayer funded research and development from 1940-1960, about 20% of which is military and 80% is civilian.  (Lapp states on page 45 of The New Priesthood that in 1939 the entire U.S. Federal research and development budget was just $50 million, mostly for agricultural science, with a small portion for ship studies at the Naval Research Laboratory, and just $2 million for physics research, by the National Bureau of Standards.)  The Manhattan project which resulted in the first nuclear weapons used in 1945, was reported to have cost $2 billion from 1942-1945.  Thus began "big science".  By 1960s, six times as much as that was being spent per year.  Essentially all of this expenditure is decided in advance by timetable and grant-proposal dominated groupthink bureaucracy and officialdom, not by a completely unbiased search for the truth by individuals who are free to follow the evidence.  You cannot find the unknown by a search governed by planned timetables.

Lapp quotes an editorial by Science editor Dr Philip Abelson on page 30 of The New Priesthood:

"The witness in questioning the wisdom of the establishment pays a price and incurs hazards.  He is diverted from his professional activities.  He stirs the enmity of powerful foes.  He fears that reprisals may extend beyond him to his institution.  Perhaps he fears shadows, but ... prudence seems to dictate silence."

The remainder of Lapp's 1965 The New Priesthood (which is not cited in Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb bibliography) is a review of the Manhattan Project and why the nuclear weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, from Lapp's perspective of the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago (Lapp worked there, having a PhD on cosmic rays), where the anti-nuclear bombing Franck Committee was founded on 2 June 1945, whose final report on 11 June 1945 recommended that nuclear weapons should not be dropped on civilian targets to cause mass destruction since the military advantage would be:

"outweighed by the ensuing loss of confidence and by a wave of horror and repulsion sweeping over the rest of the world and perhaps even dividing public opinion at home. ... a demonstration of the new weapon might best be made, before the eyes of representatives of all the United Nations, on the desert or a barren island. ... After such a demonstration the weapon might perhaps be used against Japan if the sanction of the United Nations (and of public opinion at home) were obtained, perhaps, after a preliminary ultimatum to Japan to surrender or at least to evacuate certain regions as an alternative to total destruction."

Lapp adds on page 80 that, while he was assistant to the director of the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory, based at Chicago University, on 12 July 1945 he made a poll of 150 Manhattan project scientists there about how the bomb should be dropped.  This poll by was done by Ralph Lapp on behalf of Arthur Compton, because the Manhattan Project military commander, General Groves, had been confronted by Leo Szilard (based at the Metallurgical Laboratory) on the use of nuclear weapons to end the war with Japan, and had asked Compton for a poll be done to find the consensus in Chicago after Szilard's agitation for an anti-nuclear bombing petition.

Only 15% of Lapp's poll votes went for the maximum destruction option actually used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 46% for a demonstration explosion in Japan before "full use" of the weapon (basically the Franck report recommendation, but without United Nations procrastination), 26% wanted Japan to attend a nuclear test within the United States (such as the Trinity test, held four days later on 16 July), 11% wanted no military use at all, just a public demonstration for political deterrence of war, and 2% wanted it to be kept completely secret and never used for any purpose.

Ironically, that would option would have spelled disaster, since spies like Drs. Fuchs ensured that Stalin already knew far more than the American pseudo-democracy of Joe Public about nuclear weapons!  (The great tragedy of nuclear weapons secrecy is that, as always, only the “free public” are kept in the dark, not the dictators with their big spy networks!)

Leo Szilard was a chemist who had in 1933 applied the chemical concept of an explosive chain reaction to the discovery of the neutron the previous year, coming up with the idea of finding a neutron chain reaction which would explosively release nuclear energy (he had no idea until 1939 that uranium-235 was the key). Szilard in August 1939 convinced Einstein to write to President Roosevelt to request government research on nuclear weapons.  During the Manhattan Project, as Richard Rhodes explains (Rhodes makes Szilard the hero of his book The making of the atomic bomb, just as Lapp does in The New Priesthood), Szilard used his knowledge of chemical engineering to overcome the boron-contaminated graphite moderator problem in the first nuclear reactors.  (Electrodes containing boron, which is a strong absorber of neutrons, were used to produce the graphite moderators for early nuclear reactor research.  The boron contamination spoiled the carbon moderator, by absorbing the neutrons.  The same problem occurred to Heisenberg's nuclear bomb research in Germany, but Heisenberg failed to find that boron contamination was causing the problem, and so he discarded the cheap carbon moderator in preference for expensive heavy water containing deuterium, which was distilled from ordinary water very slowly and at great expense using hydroelectric electricity in occupied Norway.  Commando raids were made to destroy some of the heavy water, so Germany was unable to make nuclear weapons in World War II.)

After that $2 billion American investment, Szilard had doubts about whether it was such a good idea to leave the use of nuclear weapons to politicians.  This infuriated those who just wanted to every means available to end the war as soon as possible.  U.S. War Secretary Henry Stimson was planning for an invasion of Kyushu on 1 November 1945 and an invasion of Honshu in 1946, using 5,000,000 American servicemen, at least a million of whom were not expected to return.  Although many revisionist critics have claimed that Japan would have surrendered regardless of nuclear weapons use, before such an invasion occurred, this is just speculative conjecture and there is no proof of it.  Similarly, throughout the Vietnam war, predictions were made that the Vietcong were perpetually on the point of defeat, even just before the Tet Offensive in 1968.  Japan had invested everything in the war and politically needed a strong excuse to justify surrender.  WWII and Vietnam proved that the way you end a fanaticism-based war is not merely to prove the other side is unlikely to win: you must prove to the enemy that their choice is surrender or annihilation.  Thomas Schelling and President Johnson were unwilling to be that tough, so they went bankrupt and lost.

Lapp on page 82 quotes Admiral Ernest J. King, who was against dropping nuclear weapons, preferring a naval blockade to starve Japan into surrender:

"The President ... appeared to believe that many thousands of American troops would be killed in invading Japan ... the [nuclear weapons] dilemma was an unnecessary one, for had we been willing to wait, the effective naval blockade would, in the course of time, have starved the Japanese into submission through lack of oil, rice, medicine, and other essential materials."

So there were military commanders who believed in alternatives to bombing cities with nuclear weapons.  Admiral King's alternative of starving the whole of Japan into submission was a tough one, however, which probably explains why is has not been hyped by the anti-nuclear people, since although the idea might perhaps appease the conscience of some elite scientist, the amount of suffering might conceivably have been greater.  Nobody really knows for sure when surrender would have occurred if nuclear weapons had not been used.  Dr Lapp points out on page 83 that 2 million buildings had already been destroyed in 66 Japanese cities by conventional bombing without surrender.  Groves discusses Leo Szilard and Joseph Rotblat (who left the project as soon as Germany was defeated) in his 1962 book Now It Can Be Told:

"To achieve surprise was one of the reasons we tried so hard to maintain our security. ... A little later some of the scientists began to express doubts about the desirability of using the bomb against Japan.  A number of these men had come to the United States to escape racial persecution under the Hitler regime.  To them, Hitler was the supreme enemy and, once he had been destroyed, they apparently found themselves unable to generate the same degree of enthusiasm for destroying Japan's military power."

Above: Herman Kahn was not wiped out of existence by James Newman's 1961 Scientific American ill-informed hate attack on his unread book On Thermonuclear War.  Instead, Kahn set up the nonprofit Hudson Institute which undertook research on ABM, civil defense, and futurology, leading to a further clash with groupthink pessimist ideology when Kahn, with co-authors William Brown and Leon Martel (photo below; Kahn is on far right) wrote The Next 200 Years.

Kahn's The Next 200 years confounded the pessimists and communists who predicted that capitalism would destroy humanity, if not by war then by a "population bomb" that would pollute the world and destroy its resources, leading to famine and starvation.  Kahn argued that instead of capitalism making everyone poorer and more hungry, the opposite was occurring and would continue to occur until the population stabilized at 15 billion around the year 2176:

(1) In 1776, when the United States was founded and Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was published, the world had 750 million people, a gross world product of $150 billion (all values are in 1975 dollars, to avoid corrections for inflation), thus $200 per person.

(2) In 1976, the Bicentennial of the United States (which was founded upon gaining Independence in 1776), there were 4.1 billion people generating a gross world product of $5.5 trillion, thus $1,300 per person on earth, an increase by a factor of 6.5 from the state of the world 200 years earlier.  Furthermore, democracy was evening out the wealth by the spread of affordable innovations and food nearly everyone could afford, reducing extreme poverty.

(3) Extrapolating 200 years to 2176, Kahn and co-authors predicted on page 6 that the world's population would peak at 15 billion people, with a gross world product of $300 trillion, and thus an average of $20,000 per person on earth (far more uniformly distributed than in the pre-democratic world of kings and slaves).  This is an increase in the wealth per person by a factor of 15 from the 1976 value, and a factor of 100 larger than the situation in 1776 when the United States was founded!

Industrialization and capitalism, Kahn points out on page 48, are even applauded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the following quotation from The Communist Manifesto (Penguin, 1967, pages 84-85):

"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most backward, nations into civilization.  The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the underdeveloped nations' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. ... The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarcely one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal production forces than have all preceding generations together.  Subjection of nature's forces to man, machinery, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground - what earlier century has even a presentiment that such production forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?"

Kahn and his Hudson Institute co-authors justified Marx and Engel's praise of capitalism by pointing out, on pages 130-131 of The Next 200 years that since in 1976 three grain crops annually each yielded 12 metric tons per hectare, it followed that in 2176 crops over 2 million square miles would be needed, but: "Six relatively unused areas - the Sahara desert, the Amazon basin, the Gobi desert, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the sea coasts of Chile and Peru - offer some 7.5 million square miles of excellent opportunities ... where large-scale sunshine is available.  These lands alone [using hydroponic techniques of growing plants in simple plastic water irrigation tubes supplied by desalination plants, see diagram below] could produce more than three times the food requirements estimated ... for the world in 2176. ... hydroponic techniques have been shown capable of growing crops with less water, fertilizer and other inputs than needed in conventional agriculture, and of growing them unblemished and free of disease or insect attacks."

Above: a computer-optimised hydroponics farm by Fujitsu, completely safe from radioactive contamination, located just 60 miles from the Fukushima nuclear disaster waste storage pools which cracked and leaked radioactive strontium-90 into the ground water, which can potentially yield: "450 and 550 tons of vegetables per acre, compared to the average yield of 15 tons per acre from traditional farming".

Regarding the material damage due to a future thermonuclear war, Kahn and co-authors state on pages 219-220 of The Next 200 Years:

"It is true - though not often acknowledged - that even two enormously destructive wars did not appreciably slow the accelerating pace of industrial growth in this century.  Nevertheless, one can hardly be so confident that the world could similarly overcome the effects of a war involving the widespread use of nuclear weapons, particularly if they were used in their most destructive modes (that is, more against civilian than military targets."

Responding to the abuse of educational resources for the dissemination of communist agenda drive propaganda, Kahn correctly predicted on page 182: "increasing problems of ritualistic or pseudo-rationality and educated incapacity, as well as various reactions against rationality."  He cynically defines "educated incapacity" in a footnote on page 22:

"By 'educated incapacity' we mean an acquired or learned inability to understand or see a problem, much less a solution."

A typical example of this that he gives is the tragic human cost of Rachel Carson's pseudo-scientific environmentalist scare mongering, documented on page 194 of Cy Adler's 1973 book Ecological Fantasies:

"Ceylon was one of the first Asiatic countries to ban DDT ... more than 2 million Ceylonese had malaria in the early 1950's when DDT was first introduced to control malarial mosquitoes.  After 10 years of control, malaria had all but been eliminated in Ceylon.  The country banned the pesticide in 1964.  By 1968 over a million cases of malaria had appeared.  Ceylon rescinded its ban on DDT in 1969."

Kahn then reviews the myths circulated over the genetic effects of radiation, and concludes that scare-mongering environmentalism about pollution causes more harm than good since it consistently ignores obvious feedback which reduces side effects, commenting on page 173: "most predictions of damage hundreds of years from now tend to be incorrect because they ignore the curative possibilities inherent in technological and economic progress."

When the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945essentially all the air raid shelters, excect a few substandard homemade ones near ground zero, survived and offered protection, but nobody was in them because the warning system failed.  In that case, if you are sensible, you don't give up, you improve the warning system.

Also, the conversion of many older city centres after WWII from wooden to concrete construction with fire sprinklers and prevents fire risks, not just because concrete won't burn, but because concrete buildings are taller and have good shadowing effects, since, as soon as you are a distance from ground zero that's a few times the fireball radius plus the burst height, the heat flash and most gamma rays (even after Compton scattering) are coming horizontally if the yield is low (as for terrorist threats and most MIRV warheads), so that the heat flash is emitted before significant fireball rise occurs: the radiations are mostly blocked by the intervening concrete buildings (like sunlight immediately after dawn or sunset).  (Neutrons scatter over a much wider range of angles than Compton gamma ray scattering, but the lower floors in concrete buildings in densely built up cities offer substantial shielding from the scattered neutrons, not just the unscattered radiation.)

This fact kills "nuclear winter" firestorm soot and also mass burns lies that rely on Glasstone and Dolan's misleading unobstructed desert analysis method, that completely ignores the modern concrete building skyline shielding of radiations, and the blast upward diffraction energy loss and damage attenuation.  (For more on the modern city blast wave energy-absorption cover-up by Glasstone's analysis, please click here.)

Bombing Syria will not necessarily be more successful than Vietnam, and it will drive out more war refugees, some of whom will be disguised terrorist insurgents, and it will increase the "home-bred" radical-terrorism risk, such as that in multicultural Belgium that provided a safe haven for the Paris terrorist atrocities. What we need to avoid costly failed wars is public education in self-defense and civil defense. If we don't do that, we will have to leave 100% of security to the nanny state spies and the politically correct military, a kind of USSR.

Update (6 December 2015):

"Islamic State" terrorists have recently massacred 130 civilians in Paris and 14 in California, and Britain has finally committed to bombing Syrian opponents of dictator Assad (effectively helping Assad, who has killed far more people in Syria than "Islamic State" terrorists), France has published a very sensiblsurvival guide for civilians caught in terrorism attacks, called How to respond to a terror attack:

www.gouvernement.fr/reagir-attaque-terroriste  (contrast that well-illustrated guide to the totally non-illustrated list in the official British government guide on terrorism, "Recognising the terrorist threat", located at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recognising-the-terrorist-threat/recognising-the-terrorist-threat ). 

STAGE 1. Get out while keeping your head down below wall height, to reduce your target area and to make the most of any cover to remain out of sight of gunmen.  Many survivors of the Bataclan theatre (where 80 were killed) played dead:

STAGE 2. Hide behind cover, turning off sound on phones, TV and computers to make the place seem unoccupied:

STAGE 3. Call emergency services when out of earshot of terrorists. Do not run towards police in case you are mistaken for terrorists, but instead raise your hands up to prove you are unarmed, to avoid accidents:


"... I am puzzled and the query refuses to go away. It is about attitude to threat and the way different people react. ... Some weeks ago on a train speeding from Brussels to Paris an IS inspired thug emerged from the lavatory with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, virtually a light machine-gun. He entered the first compartment he came to and intended to conduct a massacre. In a carriage full of French and Belgians only four men rose from their seats without thinking things over, and charged him. ... Those who charged him down were lucky but fortune sometimes favours the brave or we would not have a regiment with the motto: Who Dares Wins. But even if he had got off one slug into a man’s chest the other three would have flattened him. Here is part of my puzzle. ... Two weeks ago three IS thugs strolled through the Bataclan rock club in Paris among a thousand Frenchmen. Eight hundred must have been muscular young men. The gunmen fired. Paused, turned their backs, reloaded, fired again. It took 30 minutes and they killed more than 80 victims. ... The gunmen have been portrayed as some kind of elite soldiers. They are not. They are ill-trained thugs seeking death after inflicting it. When their miserable corpses are identified it emerges they, like 90 per cent of IS fanatics, were complete failures: in school, college, the job market and life itself. ... if it happened here in our country, now raised to capitulate, burst into tears and demand compensation, would we risk death and fight back?"

There is something absurd here: if there is a terrorist threat to the civilian population, we need to address that head on.

Gun ownership and terrorist threats

Social media propaganda against self defence spins false claims that the biggest problem facing humanity is the ability to defend against terrorists. This myth was also circulated in the 1930s, when it was claimed that Britain and France disarmed in the face of the Nazis, war would be impossible, thus utopia. The sad reality was this actually encouraged aggression by those who exploited terrorism for profit. Simplistic idealism and wishful thinking are the largest sources of horror. Nobody wants to spend money on sensible, credible deterrence of terrorism. Instead, terrorism is allowed to happen, then we end up in an intractable, "politically correct" war against hardened fanatics who burn pilots in cages and behead journalists in propaganda films. Peace is the easy option: just surrender to thugs and accept their agenda. The harder option is to fight back credibly, in a way that really demoralises them and undermines their agenda.

Cars kill more people than guns do, and cars haven't been destroyed. Gun owner insurance is a good idea. Gun owner insurers will ensure the premiums are adequate to cover losses and make a profit, so they'll be pro-guns, although they might force gun owners to undergo regular training and tests. If just 5% of the civilians in the Bataclan theatre had carried pistols, they'd have outnumbered the terrorists by over 10 to 1, and could have prevented most of the tragic deaths. This is worth thinking about.

There are about a million unregistered firearms in America and many more across the Asian-European-African continents, and even if future registered gun sales could be "banned" by disarmament idealists, there's nothing to stop fertiliser (ammonium nitrate) based improvised explosives being made and used by terrorists.  Anyone looking at the history of the IRA will know the difficulties involved in trying to use spies or disarmament ideals to prevent terrorism.

It is a dangerous myth based on wishful thinking, just as the disarmament of Germany following WWI failed to stop WWII, since it diverts attention from the kind of civil defense that is needed to win wars.  Without Russian civilian defense evacuation of factories to the Urals in 1941, Russia would have lost its manufacturing base and thus WWII.  Without British civilian defense shelters in 1940, it would have been unable to divert enemy bombing from airfields to cities, and could therefore have lost the Battle of Britain, and been invaded.  Without simple underground bomb shelters, the Vietcong would have been defeated by American air power.  Despite the consensus of openly biased and ill-informed historical quackery, self defense and civilian defense remains important today. It is a vitally necessary supplement to both deterrence and military actions, making them more credible and making them more likely to succeed by discouraging terrorism, which can be seriously degraded or even decouraged by effective civil resistance to the threat from terror attacks.

"The question which confronts us in a very, very complex conflict is at its heart very simple. What should we do with others to confront this threat to our citizens, our nation, other nations and the people who suffer under the yoke, the cruel yoke, of Daesh? The carnage in Paris brought home to us the clear and present danger we face from them. It could have just as easily been London, or Glasgow, or Leeds or Birmingham and it could still be. And I believe that we have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria. ... We now have a clear and unambiguous UN Security Council Resolution 2249, paragraph 5 of which specifically calls on member states to take all necessary measures to redouble and co-ordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by Isil, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria. ...
"And we are here faced by fascists. [Emphasis added.]  Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for the motion tonight. [CHEERS]"
It is interesting that when such celebrity politicians call bigoted thugs "fascists" nobody censors them out using the so-called "Godwin law".  If someone without a celebrity cult does the same thing with the same justification, they receive hate attacks in reply!  This is an example of hypocrisy, the cynical hypocrisy of celebrity politics that successfully masquerades as genius, totally unopposed by the full facts (truth is all facts, without censorship) in a "democracy".  Benn could have delivered such a speech 50 years ago in support of "politically correct" bombing the Vietcong in Vietnam in collaboration with Democrat Johnson.  What matters is not whether bombing is politically fashionable, but whether it will prevent terrorism or not.  What we need is proper self-defense of civilians against terrorism, not merely political rabble rousing.  He makes no mention of that at all.

If politicians really want to address terrorism rather than just pander to ignorance and encourage terrorism thereby, they need to face the facts, not make them taboo!

Update (10 Januiary 2016):

See also the UK Government's terrorism public advice film, released 18 December 2016, linked here.  It does not suggest Sharia law dress code (burka and veil) to reduce the risk of terrorism by refugee gangs.  "If women had just the simple sense and decency to wear a full burka and veil, they wouldn't have invited these acts. The EU must issue & enforce Sharia law dress code to the UK to help refugees to keep their eyes off women. Such refugees must be accepted here, because they're in danger where their terrorist behaviour is punishable." - summary of the specious "prevention is better than cure" propaganda of the anti-liberal, mainstream egotistic media. There is also specious political propaganda, which relies for its "authority" on banning objective discussion using censorship, from Britain's CND vice chair and Labour Leader Corbyn, who has now sacked his moderate shadow defence secretary allegedly for not being a biased and ill-informed anti-nuclear CND supporter:

"You may perhaps recall Ms Thornberry from 2014, the only previous time when she has entered public consciousness. During the Rochester and Strood by-election she tweeted a picture of a house with a white van in the drive and a flag of St George flying. The tweet was taken by almost everyone who saw it as being contemptuous of the van driver and the patriotism. Look at these uncouth types, it was clearly intended to sneer. When it was brought to his attention Ed Miliband was said to have gone berserk and demanded Ms Thornberry’s resignation, which she provided. ... It is a contempt for the broad mass of the population, the very people Labour claims to represent. ... On his election, however, Jeremy Corbyn put her back on the front bench. ... Her interest in actual defence has until now amounted to nothing more than membership of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  In other words it appears that she doesn’t even believe in serious defence as a concept because CND effectively proposes that we simply hold up our hands and beg to be left alone. But here’s where it gets worse.  Throughout her time as an MP there is one consistent issue which she has pursued in written questions to the Ministry of Defence. Not the welfare of our brave soldiers, not the equipment shortages, not any strategic issues. ...  Indeed the only oral defence-related question she has ever asked in the Commons has been about alleged violent crimes by servicemen. ... After her appointment this week it emerged that she has even taken money from Leigh Day, the law firm that is under investigation over false claims it has pursued that British soldiers were involved in torture and murder in Iraq. One MP speaking in the House of Commons even described the firm as “immoral, thieving and ambulance chasing”. The Al-Sweady inquiry into the alleged crimes found that they were “wholly and entirely without merit” and a key document was shredded by the firm. As a result Leigh Day is the subject of an investigation, having been accused of “deliberate and calculated lies”. But Ms Thornberry has been happy to take £48,125 in donations from the firm between 2012-2014 to fund her parliamentary activities."


At 3:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn, MP, Labour Party Leader and potential next prime minister, is to become Vice President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34558956 17 October 2015

Labour's [Leader and potential next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom] Jeremy Corbyn to become CND vice-president ... Mr Corbyn joined CND as a teenager in 1966 and has long campaigned against the replacement of Trident. ... Currently, the government is spending [only]about 6% of its annual defence budget on Trident, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed ... Trident is reported to have a potential destructive power eight times that of the first atomic bomb, which is estimated to have killed 140,000 people, and to have maimed many more, when it was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in Japan on 6 August, 1945."

[That's a CND-BBC scare-mongering lie because (1) equivalent megatonnage goes as two-thirds power of yield for blast or less than that for initial radiation, which is the predominant kill mechanism inside modern city buildings, and only scales as a very weak function of weapon yield, certainly not directly with yield, as the liars in the BBC always claim, along with CND liars who seem to want to encourage dictators to start a world war without us having protection through civil defense, and (2) Hiroshima's population were almost entirely in light wooden buildings or outdoors travelling to work or clearing firebreaks in wide streets: according to the table on median or 50% survival radii in Hiroshima in Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 Effects of Nuclear Weapons, in the lower floors of concrete buildings 50% survived at 0.12 mile ground range in Hiroshima, whereas for unwarned kids outdoors it was 1.3 miles. That means that concrete buildings can reduce median lethal areas calculated by Glasstone and Dolan's assumptions for people outdoors in the nude, by a factor of well over 100, reducing 140,000 killed by the 16 kt Hiroshima air burst to 1,400 killed if people are indoors in modern concrete city buildings or equivalent simple WWII type air raid shelters such as the indoor Morrison table or the outdoor buried Anderson which can be used in hilly areas with low water tables]

CND's general secretary Kate Hudson said Mr Corbyn's new role was a "fitting tribute to a very principled man [Marxist civil defense liar]with a lifelong commitment [mad delusional ranting paranoid religious fixation]to CND and the cause of nuclear disarmament". ... The group promises to "organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement", but Mike Gapes, the Labour MP for Ilford South, has told the BBC he fears some members of the campaign have an agenda. ... However, a spokeswoman for Momentum said such fears were a misunderstanding, and she said it was "a positive, outward looking" organisation [like the deluded "pacifist" Clement Attlee's leadership of the Labour Party from 1935 onwards, when he naively and disastrously argued in the House of Commons that we must avoid an arms race to stop providing excuses for Hitler's Nazi rearmament]."

At 3:03 pm, Anonymous Deterrence said...

Based on the history of Labour Party Leader Clement Attlee's attitude to the the Nazi threat in 1935 (he ignored it and argued against keeping ahead of the Nazis), here is a simple forecast of what the "too little, too late" British media will have to report to the public, too late to stop disaster, in the near future:



 Dictators party in the streets, free to enslave the world and force their dogmas and indoctrination on everyone.

 Radical thinkers and social reformers locked up in lunatic asylums, Soviet-style, to prevent violence and terrorism

 Millions of arms workers and defense contractors lose jobs. Spin-off electronics, computing, and space industries close.

 Progress replaced by economic and scientific stagnation. A new dark ages dawning, with plagues and famine due to overpopulation.

 Invasions and ethnic cleansing holocaust activities are no longer stoppable. Thugs take over civilization.

 Carefully developed weapons deterrent technology replaced by old fashioned sticks, stones, drownings, burning at the stake, and starvation in filthy, cold, disease ridden concentration camps and Siberian salt mines.

 Egotistic politicians who instituted this tragedy are awarded Nobel Peace Prizes and saturation media propaganda.

 Thugs shout down reasoning folk, deleting their comments from blogs to pretend they don't even exist!

 War spin-offs like nuclear explosives science, relevant for low cost intergalactic Freeman Dyson's Project Orion (nuclear explosion powered spacecraft) are totally taboo.

 Dictators secretly stockpile arms like Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, preparing to turn world into their own Evil Empire by the peaceful coercion Hobson choice question: "Do you want WAR or peace? It's your choice. Just remember, if you don't want peaceful invasion, we'll kill you. Speak up now, our invasion is about to begin!"

PHOTO: CND rally. CND's Jeremy Corbyn, MP, now Leader of the British Labour Party and potential next Prime Minister of the United Kingdon, joins the "Wrap up Trident" mass CND protest march in London. Jeremy Corbyn and hundreds of CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) protesters joined in encircling The Ministry of Defence building in London with a ‘peace scarf’ knitted by thousands of people against the Trident nuclear weapons system.

At 9:30 am, Blogger nige said...

Regarding "Sir Joseph Rotblat", there are strong parallels to "Sir Jimmy Saville" and in the way MILLIONS IF NOT BILLIONS of people were duped by his populist lies on nuclear weapons effects and his ignorance of civil defence, war realities, peace propaganda dangers before WWI and WWII, etc. This is why there will be WWIII, for exactly the same weapons effects lying, anti-civil defence propaganda media spin. In the final analysis, it's not the SOLE FAULT of Sir Jimmy Saville who abused kids when presenting BBC TV live that THE BBC, THE PUBLIC, THE PRESS, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE POLICE, and supposedly HUMANE propaganda "child protection lobbies" all FAILED to stop that criminal monster.

They LOVED the criminal, just as most of the British media effectively spun anti-civil defence lies and anti-arms race lies, and thereby very effectively sided with Hitler until war broke out with Britain it a very poor state compared to Germany, in 1939. Whose FAULT is it? It's ultimately the fault of MANY people.

If "socialists" were really HONEST, not religious ranting liars who support, protect and defend monsters, they could point out the facts are not determined by a "bigoted peer-reviewed consensus science" or Soviet style propaganda, but by OBJECTIVE criticism. We live in an era where Joe Public, by being lazy and rewarding celebrities with attention regardless of the lies and bigotry they spin, tries to blame other people. If you vote in a pseudo "democratic" country that gives one vote every five years for a choice between two clones with the same budget and dogma, then you're asking for dictatorship for eternity. Only true democracy, which means OBJECTIVE DEBATES, not pseudo-debated between two parties with the same agenda, are needed before decisions can be made.

At 9:44 am, Blogger nige said...

The top result on Goggle for "The effects of nuclear weapons" is currently a Jeremy Corbyn CND lies page which falsely states:


"The heart of a nuclear explosion reaches a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. Over a wide area the resulting heat flash literally vaporises all human tissue. At Hiroshima, within a radius of half a mile, the only remains of most of the people caught in the open were their shadows burnt into stone."

- Lie. In fact, even at ground zero the thermal radiation only burned a thin surface layer. That is proved by the USSBS report 92 which I published years ago on Internet Archive, which Dr A. Frankenstein and other abusive lying evil folk simply ignore, deleting the facts from their lying, self-deluded, egotistic, money spinning tantrum blogs. The truth is that even people in modern buildings near ground zero survived without being vaporized: Glasstone shows that there was 50% survival in modern city buildings at just 0.12 mile, regardless of the thermal flash and the "firestorm". This message is taboo because it is a truth that criminals don't want to hear, accept, or think about.

"People inside buildings or otherwise shielded will be indirectly killed by the blast and heat effects as buildings collapse and all inflammable materials burst into flames. The immediate death rate will be over 90%. Various individual fires will combine to produce a fire storm as all the oxygen is consumed. As the heat rises, air is drawn in from the periphery at or near ground level."

- Complete lies, debunked by the declassified data I published years ago on internet archive at https://archive.org/details/TheEffectsOfTheAtomicBombOnHiroshima

25 years ago, I believed the myth I taught that if you tell the truth, you embarrass the devil into changing its lying propaganda. Well, CND will never stop publishing lies, and Joe Public, too lazy and biased by decades of dangerous delusions and propaganda from the USSR, "World Peace Council", "International Red Cross", CND, Conservative party, Labour Party, Socialist Party, Pseudo-Scientific American, New Yorker, New Scientist, Communist Party, and Halloween party, will continue to attack civil defence, safe and credible nuclear deterrence against military invasions, and all the humane lessons of REAL PEACE learned from the study of wars and genuine peacekeeping that actually deters wars, instead of creating them.

At 9:51 am, Blogger nige said...

"The International Red Cross has concluded that the use of a single nuclear weapon in or near a populated area is likely to result in a humanitarian disaster that will be "difficult to address". ... In the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear power explosion and fire in the Ukraine in 1986, radioactive rain fell over the next few days in a wide arc across Northern Europe, from Scandinavia to Scotland, Cumbria and Wales, a distance of over 1,700 miles from Chernobyl. [BENEFICIALLY REDUCING CANCER DUE TO RADIATION HORMESIS AT LOW DOSE RATES, AS PROVED BY DR CHARLES SANDERS' 2010 book "RADIATION HORMESIS", Springer] Nuclear weapons cause severe damage to the climate and environment on a scale incomparable to any other weapon. Research by the International Red Cross shows the effect of a ‘limited’ nuclear war involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs (i.e. less than half a per cent of the world's stockpile). The five million tonnes of soot produced by the ensuing fires would cause global temperature to fall by an average of 1.3C. The disrupted global climate would have an overwhelming impact on food production. The Red Cross estimates that a billion people around the world could face starvation as a result of nuclear war."

- http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/global-abolition/effects-of-nuclear-weapons

- Organizations that lie about thermal transmission through modern concrete city skylines using Glasstone's open, unobstructed desert transmission curve, are wrong about firestorms. The International Red Cross supported the Nazis in effect, just like everybody else before WWII, so it's clear why their propaganda is cited by CND's rant.

At 9:57 am, Blogger nige said...


Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold Assumption, by Dr Charles Sanders, Springer, 2010:

The author shows how proponents of the LNT assumption consistently reject, manipulate, and deliberately ignore an overwhelming abundance of published data and falsely claim that no reliable data are available at doses of less than 100 mSv. The consequence of the LNT assumption is a radiophobia that is very costly in terms of lives and money.

Download Preface 1 PDF (263.6 KB)

Download Sample pages 1 PDF (789.3 KB)

Download Table of contents PDF (387 KB)

At 2:59 am, Blogger nige said...

The UK government option is as always to try to shut down democratic debate by "banning" (driving underground) lying populist I.S. supporting counter-fact extremism of the Sir Jimmy Saville or "Nuke map" untruthful sort, using the military or secret police. However, why can't the government just employ the highly competent experts around in multimedia and factual journalism to combat extremism using the facts? If its advisers are so expert as it claims, why can't it use knowledge rather than the bullet or prison cell, to eradicate extremism?

Or at least, it could simply "name and shame" dangerous anti-fact liars and propaganda spreading BBC "journalists" who are trying to spread hate agenda terrorism to cause needless deaths both in support of anti-deterrence agenda lobbyists, and also in support of jihadists:

Counter extremism

Counter-extremism: May targets 'all those who spread hate'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34568574 Well, let's hope she starts at home and shuts down all government funds for hate-spreading, anti-humanity, quack, elitist-eugenics-type "consensus science research" which is one-sided propaganda, and also closes down the "consensus science" propaganda units in BBC news, to start off with. It always helps if demonstrate that the same standards apply to one and all...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34568574 :

"Counter-extremism: May targets 'all those who spread hate'

"The home secretary has vowed to "systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology" as she detailed new curbs on those who "spread hate". Radical preachers will be banned from posting material online ... Deradicalisation classes will be made mandatory for others deemed a threat. ... Demands that internet service providers do more to remove extremist material and identify those responsible for it. ... Prime Minister David Cameron said the plan would work because it was "comprehensive" .
"It's no good leaving this simply to the police or the intelligence services. It's no good simply talking about violent extremism. We need to confront all extremism," he said.

"He said its effectiveness would be measured by whether people were being turned away from extremism ... plans to create blacklists and exclude and ban people those deemed to be extremists. ... At the heart of this considerable strategy on counter extremism are two significant challenges for the prime minister: the internet and the law. ... "

I'd be willing to help counter extremist of the lying, BBC sort that helps recruit terrorists for I.S.

At 3:15 am, Blogger nige said...

“Piers Corbyn [Labour Leader and CND Vice Jeremy Corbyn's brother] ... believes humans have no role in climate change and that the Met Office, media and "corrupt scientists" are "brainwashing" the public as part of a Qatar-run conspiracy to keep oil prices high.”

- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-there-trouble-ahead-for-jeremy-corbyn-enter-sibling-piers-the-wacky-weatherman-10454680.html

Explanation why the climate change contribution due to CO2 is trivial due negative feedback from cloud cover (which also falsified the Hockey Stick groupthink temperature record, since the way the proxies are converted into temperatures ignores cloud cover changes):


If the British government gave me charge of their "climate change department", I'd save taxpayers billions and wipe out war and terrorism almost instantly, by using FACTS and exposing the lies of the pseudo-science "consensus science" quacks who rant through the media to applause without every telling the whole, relevant truth:

(1) INCOMPETENT LIKE DR FRANKENSTEIN (see previous post), and

(2) EGOTISTIC MONEY SPINNING "PROFESSIONALS" (MONEY MAKERS), people who have no role as scientists, although they often portray groupthink populist celebrity, peer-review status (citation index rank), prizes and wealth as (false) measures of scientific "credibility".

Cameron's wife (Samantha) has a father who lives off taxpayer funded wind-farm subsidies, so yes, they're corrupt. All scare-mongering scams always have a spin-off in giving taxpayer funded "big science" contracts to quacks who milk them for all they are worth, heedless of objective criticism. Thatcher had her faults, but she got it right when she said that once the government sets up a department to solve an imaginary fear-mongering problem, the problem is made "real" by propaganda, and you can then never put the genie back in the bottle:


Why doesn't the Prime Minister simply give his wife Samantha's father rather a peerage in the House of Lords and a Cabinet job on £350,000 a year, instead of wasting BILLIONS on a whole industry, just to provide state handouts to losers? That would save billions. Before anyone claims that taxpayer subsidised "jobs" building windfarms help the unemployment problem, remember that each "windfarm" job costs the taxpayer over £100,000, so that's a con too (75% of the money goes into the pockets of Sam Cam's dad and his tory friends). You would better "employ" FOUR people at £25k a year to fiddle their thumbs, for the cost of each subsidised windfarm job.

It's the same for nuclear power, where "big shots" like Lord Penney and Cockcroft smugly ignored anti-nuclear propaganda during the critical years in the 50s and 60s, which then shut the industry down. They behave like Her Majesty the Queen, keeping "above" controversy, which might be find for the Queen, but is a disaster when it allows one-sided propaganda to accumulate for decades, unchallenged by objective facts. Then you get other “big shot” quacks coming in to make money out of trying to challenge the mainstream liars, and getting the technical arguments wrong, so that the mainstream then claims “the big shot egotist critics like James Delingpole are wrong, the science has settled now, we’ll close the argument down and prevent anyone else who has actual facts from getting media BBC publicity to put the matter right.”

At 3:47 am, Blogger nige said...

"There has never been a war yet which, if the facts had been put calmly before the ordinary folk, could not have been prevented. ... The common man, I think, is the great protection against war."

- British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, House of Commons Debate on Foreign Affairs, Hansard, 23 November 1945, column 786, linked here

(Unfortunately the secret Cabinet committees called "democracy" for propaganda purposes have not been quite so successful in preventing war.)


If one-tenth the energy was devoted into genuine democracy, by educating the public of threats and countermeasures, that is still devoted to secret cover ups of the facts (known by terrorists) from Joe Public, the intelligence service might really do a public service by informing the whole world of the truth that is normally kept secret to dictators and spies, thereby allowing democracy to work and end violence.

At 1:33 pm, Anonymous BBC News editor said...


If it is true that neutron bombs in conjunction with civil defence can be used with fewer casualties to deter or stop conventional massed tank invasions and therefore wars, surely millions of lives could have been saved during the cold war.

In that case, would you not agree that Sir Joseph Rotblat's Pugwash anti-nuclear propaganda, in conjunction with CND's anti-civil defence propaganda, has cost considerably more human lives than Sir Jimmy Saville destroyed by raping a few hundred girls under our roof here at the BBC?

Please correct your blog!

At 1:51 pm, Blogger nige said...

Thanks for that, "BBC News editor".

Please confirm your name.

I suspect there are many editors working in the BBC news offices.

Please also confirm whether or not you will agree publish the truth on the BBC.

At 8:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Nige! Tell the truth and shame the devil.

At 8:35 pm, Blogger nige said...

Thanks, but I'm just publishing facts, not trying to "shame" people.

As the history in this blog post shows, it is important to clear the air of the existing emotional bias and untruths on the subject, uncovering the facts.

If anyone has anything technical (factual) to say, that's fine, but I'd prefer people to use their real names, despite the fact that this is supposedly a "controversial subject." It's not controversial but a matter of the well established laws of physics and experimental data. The wishy-washy emotional tantrums of mainstream media celebrities on this subject shows that their "judgement" is unreliable. People can throw tantrums to cover up the fact they they telling lies. What we're doing on this blog is keeping to facts, not "controversies". Sure, liars can call facts "controversial" if the facts disagree with false mainstream prejudices, but that's sophistry. Once a fact is proved, only the ignorant and the deluded will continue to preach it. Again, we're not interested in shaming people, just in exposing evil for the specific purpose of enabling civil defense and war avoidance (credible deterrence) to SAVE LIVES. That's the aim. The sooner the ignorant CND folk stop telling lies, the better!

At 2:40 pm, Blogger nige said...

To get away from the nuclear effects cover-up for a moment, consider this "green" destruction of British heavy industry:

How the Government has shut down our steel industry by pseudo-green taxation for carbon dioxide (the steel mills and blast furnaces burn huge amounts of coal, producing CO2):

www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/leo-mckinstry/613793/Tata-steel-China-David-Cameron-green : "heavy industry might pay £80 per megawatt hour for electricity. More than £30 of that is attributable to renewable energy costs and the carbon floor tax. ... our electricity bills twice those of France and Germany. What we are now witnessing is the perverse, deliberate creation of market failure for British steel-making. The green zealots knew that this would happen but their attachment to ideology outweighs their concern for British jobs.” A big price in human suffering to pay for leading the world in pseudo-science. My paper on vixra spelled out the crucial IPCC CO2 model flaws two years ago but is ignored:

vixra.org/abs/1302.0044 :

“The only reason why significant CO2 related temperature rises are predicted by all 21 IPCC climate models is that they all contain the same error: assuming that water vapour absorbs sunlight to amplify the CO2 injection by positive feedback, ignoring the fact that it would gain buoyancy, rise and condense into cloud cover. It is easy to prove that any net positive feedback by water vapour (which all IPCC positive feedback climate models assume) would have boiled the oceans off long ago and would have prevented human life from evolving. Since H2O vapour is a greenhouse gas 26 times more powerful in the atmosphere than CO2, it follows that the atmosphere did not need to wait for human CO2 emissions before H2O kicked in. Water positive feedback would have kicked in and endlessly accelerated of its own accord millions of years ago, if it were positive. Whenever the rate of increase of a variable is proportional to that variable, you get self-feedback, thus an exponential rise in that variable. Positive feedback on temperature T implies the rate of rise of temperature, dT/dt, is proportional to temperature, T. Hence dT/dt = cT, where c is a constant. Thus: (1/T)dT = c dt. Integrating gives ln T = ct. Making both sides powers of e (base of natural logs) then gets rid of the natural logarithm, yielding T ~ exp(ct). Thus, net positive feedback leads to an exponential temperature rise. This error in all 21 IPCC climate models is not an opinion, or speculation, but a fact of physics, robustly confirmed by evidence. The temperature, if positive feedback were true, would have boiled off the oceans hundreds of millions of years ago in a runaway greenhouse effect like that on Venus.”

The suppression of this proved fact by liars, quacks and charlatans is analogous to the same evil abuse of power by the Nazis and their supporters in the British Government and other places in the 1930s to cause war under the cloak of “peace for our time” peace-propaganda, and thus lying corruption and evil abuses of power fully explains why the science is being censored out by quacks acting as pseudo-“peer reviewers” who are ignorant of negative feedback from cloud cover, and are determined to stay that way at any cost. Furthermore, 100% of the media and public are taken in by the liars, by refusing to acknowledge the existence of the proved facts. Science is still pathetically corrupted by “authority”, an error supposedly killed by Galileo back in 1610 or so, and this corruption is down the “big science” government taxpayer funding, a legacy of the Manhattan project to develop nuclear weapons.

At 11:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, great blog!

Just a quick question you may know the answer to
Let's say you stand 7 miles from ground zero:

Will you, 30 seconds after the eery brilliant flash
hear the pitched bang sound, or feel shock wave first?

Or are the two practically concurrent at that point?

I know the shock wave is supersonic in the beginning
but sound also travels faster in superheated environment...


At 10:37 am, Blogger nige said...

Thanks, anonymous.

The shock wave decays into a bang sound. Basically, when the pressure is many atmospheres, the air molecules in it have a lot of energy so they are moving much faster than the ambient speed of sound, 340 metres/second, so heat is transferred quickly as pressure behind the shock front (the isothermal or uniform temperature early phase).

However, a simple calculation of the arrival time of "sound" corresponds roughly to the arrival time of zero pressure after the shock wave! At very long distances where the shock velocity decays to sound velocity, the blast duration peaks and ceases to increase further. So you can get an idea of the blast wave or sound wave duration by subtracting the calculated sound wave arrival time from the shock wave arrival time!

Some examples. Sound takes 4.7 seconds to travel one mile. So if you are at 10 miles from a 1 megaton low air burst over Trafalgar square, the shock front arrives at 40 seconds after the first flash of the explosion, and zero pressure (sound arrival time) is about 47 seconds, so the total shock duration is around 7 seconds!

There's some interesting physical mechanisms. Because sound is a longitudinal pressure wave, and is not a transverse wave, it is basically an outward force (pressure = force/area). So you get some simple basic concept physically, like Energy = Force x Distance, or more precisely: Energy = Integral of Force over distance. The distance here is the distance of the outward pressure phase of the shock. Then by Newton's 3rd law of motion, you get the prediction of the negative (inward directed) pressure phase, which has lower peak (negative) pressure, and so has a somewhat longer duration. Of course, in the very early phase of the blast wave there is no negative pressure, because when the pressure wave is isothermal, Newton 3rd law reaction force consists entirely of the blast going out in the opposite direction, e.g. before the negative phase sets in, the reaction force of the blast force which is going Southwards is simply the blast force that's going Northwards. After the pressure in the middle drops to ambient due to outward motion of most of the air in the shock front, this reaction force is replaced by the negative phase (reversed blast winds). So it's possible to get a physical, intuitive feel for the physics of all the details of the blast wave. Please see http://vixra.org/abs/1003.0259 for more mathematical details.

During 40 seconds between flash and first sound/pressure arrival at 10 miles from a megaton air burst, millions of people listening to the BBC and CND's Corbyn's anti-civil defense rants and anti-understanding nuclear effects propaganda, might get needless flash burns if outdoors out of shadows (admittedly that's very unlikely unless they're on high floors of skyscrapers that have a clear radial time of sight to the fireball, with open curtains, and on the side of the building that happens to face the fireball).

The first sound in actual nuclear blast, regardless of the blast duration, is like a pistol shot, according to Jack W. Reed, who saw more atmospheric nuclear tests than anyone else in the West while in the Nevada( and later Pacific) long-range nuclear blast prediction unit (which had to predict blast reflections from atmospheric temperature inversions to prevent broken windows and injuries in Las Vegas, etc.). Humans can only hear sounds with frequencies of 20 Hz - 20 kHz, so a 1 second blast duration is 1 Hz and is too low to hear. So all you hear in a nuclear explosion is:

(1) The crack-like (pistol shot) sound of the abrupt rise in pressure when the shock front arrives (if it takes 1 ms to go from ambient pressure to peak overpressure, that is a frequency of around 1 kHz).

(2) The sound of the wind blowing behind the shock front (which is only 40 miles/hour peak wind speed at 10 miles from 1 megaton, but is much higher closer in).

(3) Sounds from damage caused like breaking windows, impacts of blown debris.

At 8:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, thank you Nige, for the blog, and the fast response!

While i'm at it, how long would the negative phase in your 10 miles 1 megaton scenario be, i guess it happens briefly before the shock front?

On the crack: "The sound of a nuclear blast is distinctive as more of a bang than a boom because thermal energy is directly proportional to low frequency absorption. or heat soaks up low frequencies. There is a hell of a lot of heat in a nuclear bomb - hence the higher pitched bang sound than you would expect from such a massive explosion."

The delay also explains this comment from Alex on the dailymail:

"I had a friend who was a POW at Hiroshima in 1945. He was working in a ship that was in a dry-dock and very close to the epicentre of the bomb. The peculiar thing is that he told me that he never heard the bomb go off and can only remember what happened afterwards?" There are many Hiroshima/Nagasaki accounts like this. Obviously the bombs made noise, but why did nobody there hear them? An interesting physical fact is that the blast wave of the bomb moves faster than the speed of sound -- so it would hit you slightly before you'd hear it."

Maybe you could dedicate a whole post to the detailed human "point of view" experience:

Because it's rather interesting, an eye witness from the First British nuclear test:

"And then at zero we felt this almighty heat, it was so unexpected and eery in a way, because there's no sound whatsoever. There's this brilliant flash, although you have sunglasses on and your hands covering your eyes, you could see all the bones in your hand showing through, it was that bright."

Complete silence is the last thing people associate with a nuclear detonation.


"Unfortunately the gurus forgot to tell us about the blast, me and a couple of other chaps, we jumped on the back of a lorry that was close by, to get a better view, then we suddenly saw the trees in front of the thing bend over towards us, and then the next thing we knew we've been blown off the lorry, because we've forgotten about the blast."

They were 20 miles away from ground zero and it took the shock-wave more than a minute to arrive, that's a lot.

You can even do some streching in a minute, before properly ducking! :)


At 11:38 am, Blogger nige said...

The negative pressure, or suction phase, occurs after the pressure of the shock front. Until the shock front arrives, there is no pressure or sound variation at all.

The negative phase is due to the conservation of mass: the shock front is compressed air, so as it moves outwards some distance and cools down, the air density and the pressure in the middle region falls, creating the suction phase.

If the positive and negative phase impulses are equal, then because the peak negative pressure is always smaller in a shock wave than the peak positive (shock front) pressure, the negative phase has a longer duration than the positive phase.

Once the shock wave has degenerated into a sound phase, of course, the positive and negative phase have, ideally, equal peak positive and negative pressure, and similar duration.

By the way, in physics books "impulse" is defined as force integrated over time, whereas in Glasstone and Dolan, impulse is defined as pressure integrated over time.

The best way to understand all this is to look at the graphs and empirical equations in Harold L. Brode's RAND corporation reports, like "Numerical solutions to spherical blast waves".

Because the blast and all sound is delayed for a long time if you're miles away from an explosion, it's often the case that people "don't hear any explosion".

Richard Feynman, the path integrals genius who I feel is underrated but who Alex detests, in one of his anecdotes tells the story of showing NYT Science reporter William L. Laurence the Trinity nuclear test from about 20 miles away on 16 July 1945. The blast arrived a minute and a half later (or whatever; I'm writing quickly, from memory). Feynman says Lawrence asked "What was that?" Feynman was astounded that Lawrence, a science writer, had no idea of the speed of sound, and replied sarcastically: "That was the BOMB!!!"


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All of this data should have been published to inform public debate on the basis for credible nuclear deterrence of war and civil defense, PREVENTING MILLIONS OF DEATHS SINCE WWII, instead of dDELIBERATELY allowing enemy anti-nuclear and anti-civil defence lying propaganda from Russian supporting evil fascists to fill the public data vacuum, killing millions by allowing civil defence and war deterrence to be dismissed by ignorant "politicians" in the West, so that wars triggered by invasions with mass civilian casualties continue today for no purpose other than to promote terrorist agendas of hate and evil arrogance and lying for war, falsely labelled "arms control and disarmament for peace": "Controlling escalation is really an exercise in deterrence, which means providing effective disincentives to unwanted enemy actions. Contrary to widely endorsed opinion, the use or threat of nuclear weapons in tactical operations seems at least as likely to check [as Hiroshima and Nagasaki] as to promote the expansion of hostilities [providing we're not in a situation of Russian biased arms control and disarmament whereby we've no tactical weapons while the enemy has over 2000 neutron bombs thanks to "peace" propaganda from Russian thugs]." - Bernard Brodie, pvi of Escalation and the nuclear option, RAND Corp memo RM-5444-PR, June 1965.

Update (19 January 2024): Jane Corbin of BBC TV is continuing to publish ill-informed nuclear weapons capabilities nonsense debunked here since 2006 (a summary of some key evidence is linked here), e.g. her 9pm 18 Jan 2024 CND biased propaganda showpiece Nuclear Armageddon: How Close Are We? https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001vgq5/nuclear-armageddon-how-close-are-we which claims - from the standpoint of 1980s Greenham Common anti-American CND propaganda - that the world would be safer without nuclear weapons, despite the 1914-18 and 1939-45 trifles that she doesn't even bother to mention, which were only ended with nuclear deterrence. Moreover, she doesn't mention the BBC's Feb 1927 WMD exaggerating broadcast by Noel-Baker which used the false claim that there is no defence against mass destruction by gas bombs to argue for UK disarmament, something that later won him a Nobel Peace Prize and helped ensure the UK had no deterrent against the Nazis until too late to set off WWII (Nobel peace prizes were also awarded to others for lying, too, for instance Norman Angell whose pre-WWI book The Great Illusion helped ensure Britain's 1914 Liberal party Cabinet procrastinated on deciding what to do if Belgium was invaded, and thus failed deter the Kaiser from triggering the First World War!). The whole basis of her show was to edit out any realism whatsoever regarding the topic which is the title of her programme! No surprise there, then. Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia are currently designing the W93 nuclear warhead for SLBM's to replace the older W76 and W88, and what she should do next time is to address the key issue of what that design should be to deter dictators without risking escalation via collateral damage: "To enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of our nuclear forces as directed in the 2018 NPR, we will pursue two supplemental capabilities to existing U.S. nuclear forces: a low-yield SLBM warhead (W76-2) capability and a modern nuclear sea launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) to address regional deterrence challenges that have resulted from increasing Russian and Chinese nuclear capabilities. These supplemental capabilities are necessary to correct any misperception an adversary can escalate their way to victory, and ensure our ability to provide a strategic deterrent. Russia’s increased reliance on non-treaty accountable strategic and theater nuclear weapons and evolving doctrine of limited first-use in a regional conflict, give evidence of the increased possibility of Russia’s employment of nuclear weapons. ... The NNSA took efforts in 2019 to address a gap identified in the 2018 NPR by converting a small number of W76-1s into the W76-2 low-yield variant. ... In 2019, our weapon modernization programs saw a setback when reliability issues emerged with commercial off-the-shelf non-nuclear components intended for the W88 Alteration 370 program and the B61-12 LEP. ... Finally, another just-in-time program is the W80-4 LEP, which remains in synchronized development with the LRSO delivery system. ... The Nuclear Weapons Council has established a requirement for the W93 ... If deterrence fails, our combat-ready force is prepared now to deliver a decisive response anywhere on the globe ..." - Testimony of Commander Charles Richard, US Strategic Command, to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, 13 Feb 2020. This issue of how to use nuclear weapons safely to deter major provocations that escalate to horrific wars is surely is the key issue humanity should be concerned with, not the CND time-machine of returning to a non-nuclear 1914 or 1939! Corbin doesn't address it; she uses debunked old propaganda tactics to avoid the real issues and the key facts.

For example, Corbin quotes only half a sentence by Kennedy in his TV speech of 22 October 1962: "it shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States", and omits the second half of the sentence, which concludes: "requiring a full retalitory response upon the Soviet Union." Kennedy was clearly using US nuclear superiority in 1962 to deter Khrushchev from allowing the Castro regime to start any nuclear war with America! By chopping up Kennedy's sentence, Corbin juggles the true facts of history to meet the CND agenda of "disarm or be annihilated." Another trick is her decision to uncritically interview CND biased anti-civil defense fanatics like the man (Professor Freedman) who got Bill Massey of the Sunday Express to water down my article debunking pro-war CND type "anti-nuclear" propaganda lies on civil defense in 1995! Massey reported to me that Freedman claimed civil defense is no use against a H-bomb, which he claims is cheaper than dirt cheap shelters, exactly what Freedman wrote in his deceptive letter published in the 26 March 1980 Times newspaper: "for far less expenditure the enemy could make a mockery of all this by increasing the number of attacking weapons", which completely ignores the Russian dual-use concept of simply adding blast doors to metro tubes and underground car parks, etc. In any case, civil defense makes deterrence credible as even the most hard left wingers like Duncan Campbell acknowledged on page 5 of War Plan UK (Paladin Books, London, 1983): "Civil defence ... is a means, if need be, of putting that deterrence policy, for those who believe in it, into practical effect."