The effects of nuclear weapons. Credible nuclear deterrence, debunking "disarm or be annihilated". Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars.

Friday, July 14, 2017

New photos of non-collapsed Nevada houses after 5 psi peak overpressure in the 29 kt Teapot Apple-2 test, Nevada, 5 May 1955; plus an analysis of why the freedom of the press means freedom for dictatorial censors of the facts (the press)

Philip J. Dolan (editor), U.S. Department of Defense, Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons 1972, Secret - Restricted Data, DNA-EM-1 (declassified extracts).

61.9% of people were killed when caught totally unprepared in houses subjected to total collapse by supersonic V2 missiles where the lethal radius corresponded to a blast arrival time too short for any "duck and cover" at all, unlike the case for nuclear weapons! (report S118, 1946).

These facts are all important for civil defence against conventional weapons and other disasters, not just nuclear attack (where they are most effective, due to the relatively long blast arrival times over most of the area in which houses are demolished, which permits very effective duck and cover).  Note also that there is a lot of anti-civil defence hogwash about "risks" of standing people being blown out of tall steel frame buildings by blast, but again, simply lying down behind low cover reduces exposure to the blast winds, which are reduced in a built up city by shielding of buildings. Test experiments proved that blast drag displacement is reduced substantially by lying down.

Above: the effects of blast duration for severe damage (50% risk of collapse) on diffraction sensitive targets are highly limited.  A peak overpressure of 5 psi (note that 1 psi = 6.9 kPa in modern units) causes severe damage to brick houses for all yields above about 20 kt.  This means that the cube-root scaling law determines damage effects and casualty radii.  The casualty data in the table on the right is correlated to the risk of building collapse, rather than peak overpressure.  In reality, the blast duration effects are eliminated at high yields because it is not the impulse but the maximum (peak) pressure which determines whether walls crack, and if the pressure is too low to crack a wall, then regardless how long that low pressure lasts (i.e. regardless how high the impulse loading is), it survives.  Put another way, chairs don't collapse after sitting them for a given period of time if the force on them per unit area (pressure) is below the failure limit: thus the impulse, pressure integrated over time, is simply not relevant.  Glasstone and Dolan obfuscate this to the point of deception.  Sources: here and here.  The reality is that blast duration effects are grossly exaggerated for propaganda purposes.  In the 1957 edition of Glasstone's Effects of Nuclear Weapons, the nonographs for damage correctly reverted - using a curved scaling line - from 0.4 power of yield to 1/3 power of yield for high yields, but this was eliminated in the misleadingly simplistic graphs in 1962/4 and 1977 editions.

Nuclear radiation does have a safe dose rate, contrary to ill informed political propaganda which simply ignores all the relevant evidence instead of investigating it.

5 May 1955: Operation Teapot, shot Apple 2 (nuclear test of 29kt on 500 ft tower), giving 5 psi peak overpressure to a brick frame American house, which had the outer walls blown out in the negative (suction) phase, not inwards on to people inside the house! (an important debris direction distinction for people ducking and covering under tables from glass and falling debris!).  Note that the remaining partition walls prevented full collapse, but the house was later manually pulled down by the "Operation Cue" civil defense workers, to prevent any risk of people later entering it in the future, with the possibility of causing it to collapse on them.  A photo of the manually-demolished (totally flattened) debris was lyingly then used for propaganda purposes (without admission that the nuclear blast had failed to collapse the house!) in the 1979 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment anti-civil defense propaganda whitewash, The Effects of Nuclear War!

Actual evidence, collected in great detail by the U.K. Ministry of Home Security's wartime Research and Experiments Department (which became the great postwar U.K. Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch) from duck-and-cover under simple table shelters in Britain in WWII proved very high survival rates even when the debris was inward-moving (not outward moving) and when there was total collapse (not merely loss of outer walls) by blast (see earlier post, linked here).

Above: Operation Teapot (civil defense Operation Cue), shot Apple-2, 29 kt yield on 500 foot tower, fireball at Yucca Flat in Nevada on 5 May 1955.

5 May 1955 Apple 2 nuclear test of 29kt giving 5psi peak overpressure to a brick house, which does not collapse completely, and the risk of people being hit by anything other than flying glass (behind windows on the side facing the fireball) is trivial, because the walls are blown outwards, not inwards.

5 May 1955 Apple 2 nuclear test of 29kt giving 5psi peak overpressure to a wood frame American house on Yucca Flat, Nevada test site.  Again, the cine films prove that the house failed in the negative phase, exploding outwards, not inwards.  Anyone under a British Blitz "Morrison shelter" type table away from windows facing the fireball could have survived.  The house didn't burn.

Shelter at Home: June 1941 (U.K. Ministry of Home Security)

1917 British school kids "duck and cover" under desks to avoid glass debris and shrapnel from Gotha bombing air raids.  Yes, 1917, not 1941.  The school girls in the photo are not fully under the desks for reasons of the photographer: they would not be seen if they were, and they would be directly under the desks in a real drill.  This was a REAL threat even in 1917.  On 13 June 1917, in a daytime raid on London, a bomb dropped on Upper North Street in Poplar hit a primary school, killing 18 children.  This led to "duck and cover".  It was based on practical facts, not propaganda.  Unfortunately, the WWII data on the immense success of such cheap civil defence countermeasures against building collapse were classified Confidential in the U.K. Ministry of Home Security report RC-450 "Structural Defence 1945" (U.K. National Archives: HO 195/16/450).  The Americans used "duck and cover" and had the British report (which they used in their secret Capabilities of Atomic Weapons 1957 and Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons 1972), but didn't make public such data to support civil defence.  Hence, communist propaganda and anti-nuclear bigots had a field day trying to "ridicule" proved cheap duck and cover.

Let's try to communicate these facts one more time, in a different way to last time.

U.K. National Archives document HO228/1, "Notes on the occupancy of shelters during attack by V1 weapons on London, 1944" (which we put on Internet Archive years ago) found that in a sample of 1,471 people within 170 feet of V1 explosions (approximately 1 ton of TNT) from 18 June to 28 August 1944, 853 took shelter in Andersons (outdoor earth-covered corrugated steel arches) or Morrisons (indoor steel table shelters, with 3 mm thick steel table top, roughly equivalent to a typical inch thick wooden table), and 618 did not.  This was for a situation where the air raid warning sirens were basically useless in giving a credible warning.

Many V1s were fired everyday and passed over large areas before the crashing and exploding, so you had the "crying wolf" syndrome if the air raid warnings were given too often, and many people became inured to the warnings and didn't take cover.  The time available to duck and cover for 1 psi blast overpressure on seeing the flash of the explosion (1 ton of TNT) was just 0.4 second, whereas you have 4 seconds for the same window-busting pressure in a 1 kiloton explosion and 40 seconds in a 1 megaton explosion.  The point is, you get better civil defence possibilities in properly informed populations for nuclear attack, than for conventional explosives, especially if the civilian casualty risk is due to long range collateral damage to a city from a distant nuclear explosion on a military target.  (That credible nuclear war situation maximises the time available to duck and cover, and then to take shelter or evacuate from any surface burst downwind area fallout risk.)

Next, consider shelter occupation during the 13 June 1917 air raid on London by twin-engined Gotha bombers during WWI, when 41 of the 59 people killed were exposed outdoors in the open (usually watching the aircraft bombing them!): see U.K. National Archives report 225/12, "A Comparison between the number of people killed per tonne of bombs during World War I and World War II" (which we put on Internet Archive years ago).  The same report does an analysis which compared this 13 June 1917 air raid, where 69.5% of people were totally unprotected, standing outdoors while being bombed, with the World War II Blitz where only 5% of people were in the open, 60% were indoors and not in shelter (but usually in rooms with cross-taped windows or papered window glass to reduce the risk of cuts from glass fragments), and 35% were in shelters (Andersons, Morrisons, tube station tunnels, Dover caves, etc.).  Even poor shelter in houses is immensely safer than exposure outdoors.

As Terrence H. O'Brien explains in the official U.K. government history book, Civil Defence, H.M. Stationery Office, 1955, at pages 9-13, the 13 June 1916 air raid on London by 14 Gotha bombers was the worst of the war, killing 162 and injuring 426 (because there was no duck and cover advice initially, and people moved outdoors to watch bombs falling on them, or stood behind glass windows to watch bombs fall before them and blast glass into their faces).  The British government did nothing until a repeated air raid on 7 July 1916 killed another 54 and injured 190.  This forced the government to make the police display "Take Cover" notices to encourage people to get indoors, and to blow whistles or even explode "maroon" sound bombs to indicate the danger for the deaf.  But still nothing was done about sensible "duck and cover" indoors to reduce dangers from collapsing houses until further air raids killed school children, and forced a further improvement in civil defence advice.

Now let's consider casualty rates.  The Secret 5 May 1941 British Cabinet report by Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, "Air Raids on London, September-November 1940" (U.K. National Archives document CAB 67-9) found that 1 ton of bombs totally destroyed homes for 35 people (10 houses) but killed only 6, in other words, 6/35 or 17% of those whose homes were wrecked were killed.  The majority survived, even in protracted bombing air raids where few people bothered to take shelter!  The report further noted: "most valuable information has been obtained on the effects of bombs in framed buildings.  Such buildings are practically immune to anything but a direct hit."

Ministry of Home Security reports S118 and RC450 show the casualty rates in totally demolished buildings (grade A damage, extending to 70 feet from ground zero in V1 and V2 surface bursts).  Report S118 shows that for the brief period of "duck and cover" possible in subsonic V1 cruise missile attacks on Britain in 1944, 23.5% were killed within 70 feet from ground zero (grade A damage to houses, total collapse), while RC450 shows that for the same zone in supersonic V2 missile attacks (no time for duck and cover, due to sound arriving with the shock wave), 61.9 of a sample of 155 people were killed in houses.  The RC450 data for V1 missiles on brick houses, giving a very brief duck and cover time, were used in Table 6.1 of the American Capabilities of Atomic Weapons (TM 23-200, November 1957, Confidential) and in Table 10-1 of Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons (DNA-EM-1, 1972).

Even more spectacular, within 70 feet radius, over half (51.2%) were totally unhurt in completely collapsed brick houses with the brief duck and cover time for V1 attacks (source: report RC450), compared to just 16.1% unhurt for the supersonic V2 attacks which gave no time for duck and cover (source: report S118).

Report S118 is based on a detailed analysis of 12 explosions of V2 missiles without any warning in built-up areas, where 155 people were in unprotected parts of brick houses within 70 feet of ground zero (grade A damage, collapse from over 30 psi peak overpressure), and 146 were in unprotected parts of brick houses within 70-100 feet of ground zero (grade B damage, partial collapse from 15-30 psi peak overpressure).  Grade C damage (cracked walls, houses standing but beyond economic repair) extended from 100-300 feet radius (2.5 to 15 psi peak overpressure) in these 1 ton TNT explosions where 90% were unhurt in brick houses, while grade D damage (glass and tiles damage) extended from 300-600 feet radius (1-2.5 psi peak overpressure) where 99.5 were hurt indoors.

Notice that these peak overpressures for 1 ton of TNT actually observed in WWII are:

70 feet radius: range of collapse or grade A damage = 30 psi peak overpressure
100 feet radius: range of partial collapse or grade B damage = 15 psi peak overpressure
300 feet radius: range of cracking to walls or grade C damage = 2.5 psi peak overpressure
600 feet radius: range of serious damage to glass and tiles or grade D damage = 1 psi peak overpressure

The same A, B, C and D damage overpressure zones defined by the U.K. government in Nuclear Weapons 1959 (which gives ranges corresponding to the overpressures listed below), and the pressures were reduced to take account of the longer blast duration from nuclear weapons:

grade A = 11 psi
grade B = 6 psi
grade C = 1.5 psi
grade D = 0.75 psi

Therefore, the 1950s U.K. Civil Defence Corps was not ignoring blast duration effects in its casualty estimates, because it correlated the world war II damage (not the overpressures from 1 ton TNT bombs!) with casualty rates and then compared actual damage from Nevada tests and Japan in August 1945 with the effects of similar house damage on people in Britain in WWII.  (CND type propaganda during the 1980s from Phil Bolsover, the BBC and Duncan Campbell falsely claimed that the UK data was based on blast pressures from conventional bombs.  But, as we have shown, the Home Office took account of this, showing that grade A damage brick house was caused by 30 psi peak overpressure in 1 ton of TNT V1 and V2 bombs, but required only 11 psi for nuclear weapons with a long blast duration, and so on.)

If we move to the data in each report (S118 and RC450) for the grade B damage (partial collapse) at 70-100 feet radius from 1 ton of TNT, we find that only 2.7% are killed for V1 attacks (slight duck and cover, report source RC450) compared to 7.5% killed for V2 attacks (no duck and cover).

The reports also give data for injuries (light injuries which require only plasters for glass cuts, and serious injuries which require hospital attention for broken bones, etc.).  But when you look into the details in the original reports you actually find that far from minimising casualty data, the U.K. reports maximise and tend to exaggerate casualties, because the few casualties that did occur in shelters tended to result from people ignoring the instructions and putting table shelters into rooms with unprotected glass windows or on insecure floors, or not properly bolting the shelters together.  Very few casualties if any tended to occur where the local street air raid wardens had inspected the shelters and ensured they were properly located and constructed!

Minuteman missile flight trajectory example (click here for larger view).

Update (15 July 2017):

Dr David Baker's September 2017 Haynes Nuclear Weapons Manual now has a preview on amazon, two months before publication. I remember being told by a physics professor that only criticisms from the famous are taken objectively, so maybe since I'm not famous, I'd better avoid making any criticisms.  From the selection of extracts available, it's a coffee table version of existing, widely known information, rather than setting out a more revolutionary approach that kills off propaganda.

David Baker's nice schematic of elementary physics digs a little deeper than the superficial drivel of most "introductions".
The contents appears to be based on the weapons themselves and their history in various countries, not our revolutionary facts about their real capabilities and effects with and without simple countermeasures, their real deterrent uses against conventional wars that risk escalating into nuclear wars, and their true, surprising equivalents to conventional wars.
Page 58 states: "ERW warheads were originally selected for the Lance missile ... but the public outcry was so great that they were never deployed."  But he doesn't seem to go into the facts about this, and sort the wheat grain from the chaff.
Dr Baker does do a very good job at covering the development of nuclear weapons by different countries, such as this example of British nuclear weapons including the configurations of the weapon casings and photos of arming keys.
Baker also describes warhead delivery systems such as Trident.

Review of Henry Wickham Steed (former Times newspaper editor), The Press, Penguin books, 14 October 1938

The Pope may launch his Interdict,
The Union its decree,
But the bubble is blown and the bubble is pricked
By us and such as we.
Remember the battle and stand aside,
While thrones and powers confess
That King over all the children of pride
Is the press, the press, the press.

- Kipling, The Press

Above: first edition of The Press by Henry Wickham Steed, Penguin Special S20, 250 pages (update on pages 249-250 is dated 14 October 1938)

Steed's The Press is vitally important for understanding the current taboo on the publication and broadcast of the nuclear weapons capabilities facts by the mainstream media, because there was a similar taboo on a similar subject (arms and deterrence) for a similar reason ("political correctness") when he wrote it, in 1938, during the disarmament of the west relative to the fascist Nazi regime.  (Both were then arming, but the Nazis were doing it much faster than Britain, so the arms gap was widening and the prospects for winning a war were diminishing every day.)

The basic cause of the lack of free speech and publication then was exactly the same as it is today: foreign fascists, and other dictatorial regimes who hate free liberty, cloaked themselves in false liberal colours and claimed to be "offended" by free speech which denounced their aggressive threats.

As we previously pointed out in detail, contrary to popular historical drivel, the fact is that Winston Churchill was busy writing his histories of the Duke of Marlborough during the period, and his only contributions made the problems worse.  As appeaser Professor Cyril Joad pointed out in his Why War?, Churchill had prior to the first world war debated pacifist drivel monger and liar Sir Norman Angell on the arms race, losing the argument.  Angell simply sneered that if both sides try to deter the other, they will cause fail.  He didn't explain how.  The audience were taken by Angell's lies, not Churchill's blathering.  It's the old Machiavellian story of factual evidence losing the battle in the media because its proponents are pompous fools and can't make the evidence convincing:

"But to come to those who, by their own ability and not through fortune, have risen to be princes, I say that Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and such like are the most excellent examples. ... It was necessary, therefore, to Moses that he should find the people of Israel in Egypt enslaved and oppressed by the Egyptians, in order that they should be disposed to follow him so as to be delivered out of bondage. It was necessary that Romulus should not remain in Alba, and that he should be abandoned at his birth, in order that he should become King of Rome and founder of the fatherland. It was necessary that Cyrus should find the Persians discontented with the government of the Medes, and the Medes soft and effeminate through their long peace. Theseus could not have shown his ability had he not found the Athenians dispersed. These opportunities, therefore, made those men fortunate, and their high ability enabled them to recognize the opportunity whereby their country was ennobled and made famous.

"Those who by valorous ways become princes, like these men, acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease. The difficulties they have in acquiring it arise in part from the new rules and methods which they are forced to introduce to establish their government and its security. And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.

"It is necessary, therefore, if we desire to discuss this matter thoroughly, to inquire whether these innovators can rely on themselves or have to depend on others: that is to say, whether, to consummate their enterprise, have they to use prayers or can they use force? In the first instance they always succeed badly, and never compass anything; but when they can rely on themselves and use force, then they are rarely endangered. Hence it is that all armed prophets have conquered, and the unarmed ones have been destroyed. Besides the reasons mentioned, the nature of the people is variable, and whilst it is easy to persuade them, it is difficult to fix them in that persuasion. And thus it is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force.

"If Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus had been unarmed they could not have enforced their constitutions for long - as happened in our time to Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who was ruined with his new order of things immediately the multitude believed in him no longer, and he had no means of keeping steadfast those who believed or of making the unbelievers to believe. Therefore such as these have great difficulties in consummating their enterprise, for all their dangers are in the ascent, yet with ability they will overcome them; but when these are overcome, and those who envied them their success are exterminated, they will begin to be respected, and they will continue afterwards powerful, secure, honoured, and happy.

"To these great examples I wish to add a lesser one; still it bears some resemblance to them, and I wish it to suffice me for all of a like kind: it is Hiero the Syracusan. This man rose from a private station to be Prince of Syracuse, nor did he, either, owe anything to fortune but opportunity; for the Syracusans, being oppressed, chose him for their captain, afterwards he was rewarded by being made their prince. He was of so great ability, even as a private citizen, that one who writes of him says he wanted nothing but a kingdom to be a king. This man abolished the old soldiery, organized the new, gave up old alliances, made new ones; and as he had his own soldiers and allies, on such foundations he was able to build any edifice: thus, whilst he had endured much trouble in acquiring, he had but little in keeping."

- Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI, "Concerning New Principalities which are acquired by one's own arms and ability".

Steed in The Press puts himself in the position of Machiavelli by telling the reader truths they don't want to hear about the "news".  On page 248 Steed writes:

"My paper would be national, not nationalist.  It would be liberal, not Liberal.  It would strive for Peace, without pacifism. ... Never would it fall into the grievous error of thinking the avoidance of conflict the same thing as peace. ... men will never be weaned from war, with its spirit of life-risking adventure, unless peace enlist the spirit of self-devotion and self-sacrifice in ways worthier than those of war.  My newspaper would seek to link the nations not only against war but in defence of individual freedom and of human right ... it would work to harness all classes of citizens to the task of constructive improvement in the edifice of society."

On pages 249-250, Steed's 14 October 1938 update to the book damns the British media's appeasing cover-up of Nazi genocide in the Munich Agreement signed by Chamberlain days earlier, allowing the invasion of the Sudetenland without a bullet being fired, in the name of "peace", while Hitler monitored the British press and coerced Neville Henderson and Chamberlain into putting "old boy" pressure the publishers to fire appeasement critics like Captain W. E. Johns, editor of both Flying and Popular Flying, and to get Hitler critic cartoonist David Low to tone down his attacks (such critics were attacked falsely as racists who irrationally hate war mongering Aryans, etc):

"Since these lines were written in mid-September the British press has - with one or two notable exceptions - made further progress on the road that leads to totalitarian servitude.  Though we are not yet in a state of war ... the great majority of our newspapers toned down the news and withheld frank comment upon it.

"This they did partly in response to suggestions of "confidentially" made by some clandestine organisation that represents, or pretends to represent, the [anti-Jew, pro-fascist] views of official quarters.  No newspaper, as far as I am aware, has denounced in public this impertinent meddling with the freedom of responsible journalism.

"On the early afternoon of Sunday, October 9, the German Dictator, Herr Hitler, fortified by the Munich Agreement and by a scrap of paper which he and the British Prime Minister had signed - publicly told Great Britain to mind her own business and not to meddle with Germany's business; and, on pain of German displeasure, he placed his veto upon the return to office of three prominent British public men.

"When this news was broadcast on the evening of Sunday, October 9, the whole nation was moved to wrath.  Of the depth of its wrath hardly a hint was given next morning in the leading British newspapers ... large advertising agents had warned journals for which they provide much revenue that advertisements would be withheld from them should they 'play up' the international crisis and cause an alarm which was 'bad for trade'.  [Emphasis added.]

"None of the newspapers thus warned dared to publish the names of these advertisement agents or to hold them up to public contempt [it's unlikely that this would have worked if they had the mindset of former Labour Party MP fascist Sir Oswald Moseley, who openly wanted fascism in Britain, ran a "Blackshirt" newspaper in Britain, and had some powerful supporters camouflaged as "anti-war" pacifists on his side].  And this at a moment when it is of the utmost national importance to unite the country in defence of its freedom and, maybe, of its independent existence!

"Never since the distant days of Ethelred the Unready [a Chamberlain-like weak King who was never ready for the invading Danes and tried to buy them off, which just encouraged more and more blackmail] and the later days of Charles II, have more humiliating pages of British history been written than those which bear the record of the past few weeks.

"Of Ethelred the Unready and the period of Danegeld the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said: 'All these calamities fell upon us because of evil counsel, because tribute was not offered to them [the Danes] at the right time nor yet were they resisted; but when they had done the most evil, then was peace made with them'."

"Of evil counsel there has been no lack during recent years.  'Leading' organs of the British Press have offered it in plenty [in 1935 Labour Party leader pacifist George Lansbury resigned at the thought of having to deter Nazi fascists from over-running the planet, and replaced by the disarmer Clement Attlee who we have quoted at length in previous posts, dismissing deterrence; thus Chamberlain had no real opponents and could rearm Britain slower than Hitler to avoid credibly deterring him].  'Leading' organs of the British Press have offered it in plenty.

"It would remain only for them to accept with dutiful submissiveness the claim which Herr Hitler has already put forward, and may soon renew, that unless the British Government wishes to incur German hostility it must so control British newspapers as to prevent them from taking exception to anything Herr Hitler may say or do.

"Fortunately, there are signs [too late to deter Hitler] that a spirit of revolt against this foreign dictation is stirring ... May this spirit spread ... until it finds courage to serve neither the timidity nor the dictatorial itch of Governments but the public to whom alone it owes allegiance."

This is a pretty damning critique of the British Press in 1938 by a former Times newspaper editor.  He was damned as a racist by the Nazis for writing that book, and Chamberlain's fascist mindset continued, getting Captain W. E. Johns fired for his Flying and Popular Flying magazine criticisms early in 1939.  It was only after the civil defence was really going, with Anderson shelter development in February 1939, that the mood changed and the press realised that its appeasement of Hitler's peace propaganda lies was wallpapering over the news of a real threat that needed to be stopped, and that war would not annihilate everyone in a few seconds if there was evacuation and shelter in place to reduce the dangers.  Conclusion: the "free" press is a laggard and historically stopped dissemination of facts in an unequivocal manner, until too late to credibly deter aggression.

Why the freedom of the press means freedom for dictatorial liars and thugs

It is fashionable for self-proclaimed "liberals" who hate freedom to prattle on about the existence of "freedom of the press", as if that freedom to elitist, rich thugs is any better than, say "freedom of dictators", "freedom of elitists", "freedom of bigots", or indeed "freedom of liars".  Steed quotes Socrates:

"The sun might as easily be spared from the universe as free speech from the liberal institutions of society."

But Steed recognised that bigoted dictators like Hitler are easily "offended" by the "rudeness" of any critics (if the critic is so polite that the criticism is impotent, it's not a severe criticism, is it?) and states the key question on page 7 of The Press:

"Dictatorial systems which muzzle or control the Press and do away with freedom of speech and of public and private criticism, are claiming for themselves a degree of political and social efficiency superior to that of democracies.  How far is this claim warranted? ... One thing they cannot tolerate is is the freedom of public knowledge that goes to the forming of sound judgement."

On page 8, Steed argues that the Aryan Nazi fascist racism is as bad as his own families Jewish-Marxist hate of liberty, in suppressing objective, rational criticisms and smearing critics with abuse:

"Unless there is freedom to know, to agree or to disagree, there cannot be enlightened support of the men charged with the conduct of public affairs.  In other words, there cannot exist the instructed public opinion which is the mainstay of democratic governments."

For that defence of freedom of speech and critical debate, despite having a Jewish family, Steed was called a racist by the Jewish Marxists who prefer a Nazi-type Stalinist dictatorship to honest debate, because of their fanatical, paranoid hatred of "capitalism".  Steed explains on pages 8-9 the problem:

"... absence of informed criticism or agreement, and the restriction of public knowledge, tend to breed the corruption and other forms of inefficiency to which dictatorial systems are particularly liable.  The same lack of public control allows abuses to grow until they reach a point at which a community is compelled to conspire or to rebel against its rulers, seeing that no other means of redress can be found.  Thus, the end of dictatorship man be chaos and social disorder."

Another prescient remark is made by Steed on page 28 of The Press, on the subject of the future of television (which was still in its infancy in 1938):

"... television should enable people to see what is actually taking place and to be spectators of real events.  Thus, it may exercise their powers of direct observation and strengthen, rather than weaken, their perceptive and reasoning faculties.  If so, it will be a gain, both to the public and to the press."

Steed on page 41 of The Press also offers sage editorial advice to journalists and authors on the eternal problem of being fashionable enough to be of interest to potential readers:

"If the Press would lead, it must first follow.  In any case, it must march so nearly abreast of its readers as to seem to be keeping pace with them.  To run too far ahead is to lose touch. ... The crowd likes to feel that those whom it follows know where to go, and how to get there.  Above all, the crowd likes its leaders to be proved right by events.  It does not easily forgive those who mislead or who fail to guide it at difficult turnings."

Steed adds on page 42:

"Mr Bernard Shaw has written some shrewd truths upon journalism.  'What people cannot endure,' he declares, 'is the pompous oracle with nothing to say ... They prefer snippets because the snippets are usually much better.  But let anyone come along who can supply the real thing, and the public cannot have enough of it. ... offices are prisons in which the cleverest editor will soon lose touch with the world, being cut off as he is from political meetings, scientific lectures, concerts and even dinners by the hours during which he has to work'."

He adds on page 57 a summary of the bugbears for different regimes that use "fashion" censorship:

"Communist Russia cannot tolerate free discussion upon matters like the ownership of property.  Nazi Germany cannot allow the dogmas of blood and race to be called in question.  Fascist Italy cannot brook free enquiry into the nature or functions of the state, or into the position of individuals in regard to the state."

On the next page, Steed quotes John Stuart Mill's On Liberty: "A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions, but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury."

The point here is that censorship prevents the correction of error, as Steed explains on page 58:

"This sound doctrine applies with especial force to the freedom of the press.  In free countries, the press fails in its proper task if it glosses over or shirks from exposing abuses or practices harmful to the general welfare."

On pages 63-64, Steed explains that Hitler's error was in assuming that the diversity of thought between Aryan and Jewish cultures in Germany in WWI led to defeat, whereas supposed unity or herd like co-operation in Britain led to its victory in that war:

"Human progress, as I understand it, has not been bought about by 'mass thought' or 'likemindedness' [Although this was important in American and British factories for the efficient manufacture of munitions in WWI, and is also used in large lecture theatres for mass-education and for scientific journals to indoctrinate people in fashionable dogmas regardless of the benefits of less fashionable alternatives which, with funding, are eventually shown to model the data more consistently.  Since 1972 this has been named "groupthink" by Dr Irving Janis.]  ... The worth of freedom is that it gives a chance to individual minds to wrestle with error and ignorance, so seek what is true and to proclaim it, and, no matter at what risk, to bear witness to the truth they have found.  It is an opportunity for personal enterprise and endeavour; and, politically and socially, an opening for public service.  It is the antithesis of dictatorial constraint."

Steed explains on page 68 of The Press that in Nazi Germany, Herr Wilhelm Waldkirch's book, Die Zeitungspolitische Aufgabe, or The Political Task of the Press, instructs newspapers to communicate Hitler's messages to the people, and as Hitler himself said (a quote the communists believe, too):

"A newspaper is the means of popular self-education [if it is censored by bigoted dogmatists]."

Now contrast this crap of Adolf Hitler to the London 7 February 1852 The Times newspaper editorial:

"The duty of the journalist is the same as that of the historian - to seek out the truth, above all things, and to present it to his readers, not such things as statecraft would wish them to know, but the truth as near as he can attain it."

Steed argues that wars and revolutions are the lifeblood of the news on page 110 of The Press:

"... in August 1642, three months after Charles I had raised his standard against Parliament at Nottingham, the first true newspaper came into being.  Regular English journalism began with the Civil War and the political strife that led up to it.  From the outset it was vivacious and, on the whole, truthful."

He explains on page 112:

"It was not by accident that the first English newspapers took shape between 1640 and 1688, that is to say, during the troubled period covered by the reign of Charles I, the Commonwealth, and the reigns of Charles II and James II, for at no time in English history had so many conflicting political ideas and passions filled the public mind, or had the essentials of political freedom been so fiercely debated.  With the Revolution of 1688, the expulsion of James II and the accession of William and Mary, English political ideas began profoundly to influence the Continent of Europe.  The movement of thought represented by Locke's essays on Toleration and Concerning the Human Understanding led, directly and indirectly, to the "Encyclopaedism" [the political satires of Voltaire, et al.] which was to culminate in the French Revolution of 1789, after having been responsible, in part, for the terms of the American Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776."

Steed argues on page 113:

"This movement of thought might not have spread and flourished without the constant discussion of fundamental principles in English newspapers ..."

He explains that King Charles II had tried to prevent this freedom of the press by his 1680 proclamation For Restraining the Printing of News, Books and Pamphlets of News without Leave.  In other words, Charles II was well aware that the free press was being used to incite and spread dissent and revolutionary conspiracies that (in the words of Charles II's Chief Justice Scroggs in 1680) "showed a manifest intent to breach the peace", and tried to stamp it out by using censorship (like the Vatican's Index of heretical books).  But in 1695, Parliament liberated the press from the shackles of Charles II's law.  During the period 1680-1695, England had to rely on personal letters and word of mouth for uncensored news, as in Nazi Germany and the USSR.

Steed writes on page 114 of The Press that the liberation of the press from censorship in 1695 led to an explosion in popular publications:

"Within a few weeks of the freeing of the Press from censorship, a number of newspapers of a fresher type came into existence ... On May 17, 1695, appeared the Flying Post, published thrice weekly.  It was followed quickly by The English Courant, the Post Boy and the Weekly Messenger, all of which were morning papers. ... On Wednesday March 11, 1702, however, the Daily Courant was published.  It was the first English daily paper."

What is most interesting on pages 166-167 of Steed's The Press is his discussion of how Hitler controlled the censorship of criticism of Nazi propaganda in Britain's "free press" in Britain:

"Totalitarian Governments often profess to desire peace and friendship ... So foreign criticism and and the publication [in free countries] of unpleasant facts are deplored as tending to 'impede friendship and to endanger peace'.  Moreover, when independent and well-informed writers in free countries comment truthfully upon the doings of totalitarian Governments, the ambassadors or other emissaries of those Governments [whose job it is explain foreign newspaper headlines and leading articles with the dictator] lose no time in suggesting to newspaper proprietors or editors [or in the case of David Low's cartoons or the Flying and Popular Flying magazines editor Captain WE Johns, cabinet ministers, who can coerce and pull strings with otherwise independent-minded publishers] that the publication of contributions from such writers 'irritate' the dictators and are therefore dangerous. ... to restrain foreign criticism without causing public resentment.

"Herr Hitler has, it is true, publicly demanded that British newspapers be brought under Government control, at least to the extent of suppressing criticism of himself or of Nazi Germany.  And he threatened Great Britain with a 'National Socialist answer' if this were not done. ... They forgot that in dealing with bullies, meekness is a vice."

Hitler's answer to charges that he was bully was simply to assert that his critics were bullies.  The word doesn't convey any meaning without the context being taken into account: who is telling the lies, and who is exposing the relevant facts against the censorship of liars?  That tells you who the bully is.  While you might claim that everybody has the right to censoring others, the problem is that this gives a free hand to lying fairy-tale "story tellers" who publish partial facts and refuse to engage in debate with real opponents, publishing only praising comments, which make them appear right.  That was the subtle tactic used by Hitler: there was no censorship of people writing to praise him!

President Ronald Reagan put this beautifully as a joke, along the following lines:

American says to a Russian comrade: "I'm liberal, as I'm free to criticise the American government."
Russian replies: "I'm also liberal, as I'm also free to criticise the American government!"

(The point being made is that, even in the worst dictatorships, there is plenty of so-called "freedom" if you just love dictatorships and praise the dictator, or you criticise or attack the dictator's enemies!)

The attempts of Hitler to use influence over the Daily Mail and other British newspapers for fascist revolution in London were in 1936 analysed in detail by Nazi researcher Dr Max Gruenbeck in his two-volume treatise on the British press for fascists, Die Presse Grossbritanniens, a work approved officially by Hitler's expert on foreign media, Dr Ernst Hanfstaengel (Chief of the Nazi Party Foreign Press Department), and that book is quoted by Steed on pages 174-175 of The Press, as follows:

"Especially in recent years, British newspaper men and politicians insist that Great Britain and the United States of America are countries where the Press is absolutely free. ... When Lord Rothermere's papers [e.g. London Daily Mail] gave vigorous support for a time to the Fascist movement [of former Labour Party MP, Sir Oswald Mosley] in England their initiative was throttled in a few weeks by their advertisement department ... The State has various possibilities of influencing newspapers; and, particularly at critical moments, old and half-forgotten laws like the Official Secrets Act can be brought forward to throw serious shadows upon the halo of British newspaper freedom."

Ummm. Nazis appealing to the British Official Secrets Act to defend fascism?  That was of course exactly what happened in 1935 when British government fascist-supporting appeasers used the trick of keeping secret estimates on the size of the illegal German Air Force, while making public statements denying any air threat, but then suddenly reversed direction when Hitler announced an air force and announced that the German Air Force was not only real but too big to fight, so that due to the Official Secrets Act, at no time was there an admitted "emerging threat" which could be stopped!

Steed explains on page 194 how secrecy laws in France were abused by a spy who had infiltrated the French military, Colonel Henry, who gave French military secrets to Germany and covered up the disclosures by fabricating a trumped up charge against an innocent scapegoat, Captain Dreyfus, who was wrongly convicted or treason on the basis of faked evidence by the spy, and was sentenced to penal servitude on the worst French prison, in Devil's Isle.  This led to Emile Zola's article J'accuse, and Colonel Henry's eventual arrest and suicide in 1898.  Steed had met Bernard Lazare, the French Jew who exposed the facts that led to Zola's article, while he was working on a history of liberal thought in Europe, in Paris University, as he explains on page 194 of The press:

"This 'Dreyfus Affair' contained in germ the anti-Jewish feeling that has since been exploited by Hitler in Germany.  The French anti-Semites made capital out of it.  They claimed that the honour of the French Army was offended by suggestions that a French court martial had condemned an innocent man ... So fierce did controversy become that the stability of the French Republic was believed to be threatened. ... And, since Germany and Italy were alleged to have benefited by Captain Dreyfus's 'treason', the crisis took on a dangerous international character."


Science has always been corrupted by malicious hate attacks on new technology, such as nuclear weapons deterrent, an exploitation for quackery, which is defined as a "professional" (money-making) activity, akin to peddling snakeoil for profit.  Throughout the 20th century, nuclear weapons effects were abuse by communist fronts like CND and Greenpeace, just as today they prevent any just, constructive, and evidence based criticisms of CO2 climate theory from being published (but do allow lies to be published), using paranoid and pseudo-scientific "elitist" dictatorship rather than reason.  This is called hubris, it is the corruption of power by a lying cartel of funding grant milkers.

To give some examples, in the 1930s the irrational hater of cheap Anderson type air raid shelters who delayed civil defence possibly for years (which were needed for credible deterrence of the Nazi bombing threat, the main obstacle in stopping genocide in Europe), the famous chemistry professor J. B. S. Haldane was able to put out a series of books linking science to his pet politics, Marxism.  In 1938 he published The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences, as well as Heredity and Politics, while fellow Marxist and best-selling  popular mathematics author (who had the long-winded best sellers Mathematics for the Million and Science for the Citizen) Lancelot Hogben, edited the book Political Arithmetic.  These were abuses of science for supporting dictatorship propaganda about "equality".

Anyone who argued was censored out, and these people were only willing to enter debates with biased empires who would silence just opponents to make it appear they were wrong, without being given any fair chance to oppose the liars.  A major reason why so many East Enders bombed in the Blitz did not use their Anderson shelters in the London Blitz and other air raids was not the cold and damp (duck boards had been invented in WWI trenches to deal with the problems), but the J. B. S. Haldane's continuing lying Marxist crusade to exaggerate high explosive effects and to call for deep shelters by claiming that simple, affordable earth covered shelters gave no protection (totally untrue):

Lying scientist Professor JBS Haldane exaggerated explosive bombing effects to attack effective cheap air raid shelters, ensuring that many people were murdered needlessly in the Blitz of 1940 by not being in their shelters during air raids!  Exactly the same thing occurs in conventional wars today for the same reason: egotistic, ignorant, narky professors who have never tested shelters make up ranting hate campaigns in the name of "peace".  This also applies to nuclear weapons civil defence.
Like the repeated lying articles on a "missile gap" which the lying Washington Post newspaper published by Democrat writer Alsop and which Kennedy naively believed, the lying Daily Worker newspaper in Britain hated civil defence and ensured that as few people as possible used safe air raid shelters, using cartoon propaganda that effectively supported the Nazis, something understandable when you remember the Nazi-Soviet Pact made in August 1939 for Germany and Russia to jointly invade Poland in September 1939 (a pact that continued right through the Blitz of 1940 and only ended with Hitler's invasion of Russia in June 1941, to the complete surprise of Stalin, who had been shooting the messengers who truthfully told him what his beloved fellow dictator and comrade Hitler was planning).  The communists wanted Britain to give a free hand to the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and civil defence shelters stood in the way of the Daily Worker's agenda.

Update (22 July 2017): This Glasstone blog

Above: from May 2010 to 22 July 2017 there have been 1,491,479 views of this blog, mainly on the default page rather than any archived post (the most popular archived individual post has received 60,301 bits, which is only 4% of the total number of views). The blogger Glasstone blog was set up in March 2006, but blogger statistics are only displayed on this page from May 2010, probably due to blogger dumping the earlier statistics a few years ago (the statistics recorded from 2006 to 2010 are available in screen prints on earlier posts in that period, and bring the total to something over 2 million hits).  Fascism is a fashion conscious, populist, groupthink movement of hypocrisy, so they are always keen to claim that they have to pay no attention to something nobody reads, no matter how much factual evidence is available which debunks the fashionable lies of the populist media on nuclear weapons effects for deterring conventional wars.  Therefore, it is advisable to record statistics which prove that there is some interest in the facts, debunking fascist anti-civil defence, anti-life, anti-freedom and anti-liberty hubris in the mainstream pseudo-liberal media.

Update (23 July 2017) on the rising threats of fascism in Britain from the hard pseudo-liberal left

16 July 2017 page 8 SUNDAY EXPRESS: Corbyn's racist and fascist Labour Party anti-Jew hate incitement tragedy facts. Jews are being attacked by ignorant Left wing communists and Marxists on the false Nazi claim that they are evil capitalists.

Frederick Forsyth has written on page 13 of the 21 July 2017 Daily Express about the rising tide of evil fascist racial hatred in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, reminding the world of historical facts:

"Moderate Labour MPs have been threatened with death ... This happened in the 1930s in Italy.  The extreme Left demagogue then was called Mussolini. Lest you be confused, both the Italian Fascist Party and the German NSDAP started out as extreme Left.  [And Britain's Union of Fascists leader, Sir Oswald Mosley, was a former Labour Party MP.  The Labour Party leader George Lansbury in 1935 resigned because he couldn't face an arms race to deter Nazis from killing Jews. In August 1939 the USSR and Nazis signed a pact to invade Poland from East and West in September 1939 and before the Nazis started the Holocaust in Poland, the USSR had already murdered in cold blood 22,000 Polish Jews in the Katryn Forest Massacre of March 1940. USSR-Nazi collaboration continued after the USSR invasion of Poland in 1939 and continued throughout the Blitz of London, ending only in June 1941.  Stick that fact in your pipe and smoke it, communist thugs.] They were later dubbed Right because each was a vicious rival of the communist parties for the working class vote. ... But the new ultra-Left adores Jeremy Corbyn, a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist-Leninist and demagogue.

"Mr Corbyn has publicly supported the provisional IRA which murdered 18 paratroopers at Warrenpoint ... He has lauded Hamas and Hezbollah ... He proudly subscribes to the economic theories of Marxist-Leninism which, everywhere they have been tried, have led to ruin. ... its gulags set up more concentration camps than the Nazis. ... Behind him stands Momentum and inside it the hard squad for whom intimidation is no stranger.  Already within Labour anti-Semitism, always a storm-cone of coming nastiness, is virtually institutionalised.  But the truly weird thing is this.  According to the polls, more than half the voters of Britain would elect him tomorrow - the new duce of hard-Left fascism - to be our prime minister."

The reason for this result is precisely the same TV and general media bias that has been allowed to occur on nuclear weapons, which filters out all the hard facts, leaving only lying crap to mislead!

Beryl Peach exposes cowardly rioting thugs tactics in supporting Jeremy Corbyn Labour party fanaticism: DAILY EXPRESS 2017.
Frederick Forsyth DAILY EXPRESS 21 July 2017 page 33 exposing fascism of left wing fanatic Jeremy Corbyn.
Frederick Forsyth DAILY EXPRESS 21 July 2017 page 33 exposing fascism of left wing fanatic Jeremy Corbyn.


At 5:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true. It's hard to get real "free press", or to be sure you really have it, when both the government and foreign powers are covertly bribing and blackmailing newspapers etc into presenting the news they want distributed. Your blog seems to provide another source of information to add to the (sometimes false) data from more "official" sources. This post dispels the idea that 5 psi causes widespread mortality, even in normal houses. Just as importantly, if not more so, it compares the peak side-on overpressures for damage by 20 kt and .002 kt bursts. Thus, a rough yet credible comparison can be made between normal air raids and nuclear attack. As I have said before, a 1 mt airburst at 7600 ft could cause "grade A" damage out to maybe 9000 ft. V-2 only did this to 70 ft. Hence, the 1.3 mt of conventional air raids on Germany were equivalent to roughly 1300000/(70/9000)^2=79 individual 1 mt hits. Due to nuclear weapons and other considerations such as current political alliances, I fit into JD Culshaw's second group. I think that if there were another world war in the near future, it would be like ww2 but very much worse. I would guess anywhere from 100 million to a billion deaths, and not all from nukes. Starvation, disease, genocide, and conventional and guerilla warfare would all likely be important. I'm not trying to fear monger. A war such as this can be deterred by both ofensive and defensive methods, as well as peaceful cooperation, when appropriate. You might also be interested in William H Hessler's collier article "The A-Bomb Won't Do What You Think!" Hessler recognizes that the huge number of injuries and deaths in Japan were due to the lack of warning. Being that the article was written in the late 1940's, he doesn't understand land surface burst fallout. Hessler describes that 10 devices, each with a tenth the power used at nagasaki, would be more militarily effective than the single Fat Man weapon was. I might add that this does have to do with the scientifically calculated destructive power of these weapons. If dropped "in a random pattern" on "a considerable area of general strategic importance", the barrage of smaller devices would be 2.15 times as effective. For destroying a small target area, a single small device would be better than a single big one, because, as describedin your previous blog post, it would not cause as much collateral damage. Hessler comes to the same conclusion you have: while nuclear weapons are certainly powerful, and in some cases quite effective, they cannot always be counted on to produce complete devastation in every military situation. As I have said before, this also means that they cannot be relied on, by themselves, to deter all enemies.

At 5:29 pm, Blogger nige said...


I'm not happy including claims that you make such as: "As I have said before, a 1 mt airburst at 7600 ft could cause "grade A" damage out to maybe 9000 ft. V-2 only did this to 70 ft. Hence, the 1.3 mt of conventional air raids on Germany were equivalent to roughly 1300000/(70/9000)^2=79 individual 1 mt hits."

You shouldn't make claims like that without stating what types of building you refer to (modern city steel frame, reinforced concrete, or brick) and what their density is per unit area for calculations of blast attenuation (energy loss and upward diffraction of energy) due to scattering of blast energy upwards into the free air, and also damage done as the blast encounters successive buildings in travelling outwards along any particular radial line from ground zero. Please take more care, in any future comments, to spell out what assumptions you make in back-of-the-envelope calculations. Thank you!

At 7:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou for not censoring my comment. When I said "damage out to maybe 9000 ft ", I was talking about damage to brick buildings, in the region of regular reflection. At that range, the angle of incidence of the blast relative to the ground is about 40 degrees, and the distance the blast must travel through any given kind of building before hitting the ground is (height of building)/sin40°, regardless of the scale of the damage (so long as the buildings are much shorter than the burst altitude). According to Philip J. Dolan's 1972 em-1, the blast from a 760 ft scaled height burst does not form a mach stem "traveling outwards along any particular radial line from ground zero" until it reaches a scaled ground range of 900 ft. After that, the amount of attenuation will increase as an exponential function of the TRUE distance (not scaled distance) from the start of the mach stem at 900 W^1/3 ft from ground zero. Thus, in the Mach stem, larger yields are more attenuated. I don't know exactly how to calculate such attenuation, but I know that for ~60m tall brick buildings and 40° incidence, the path through the buildings is only maybe 100 m. Of course, such a high airburst will have almost no effect on concrete buildings. This is why the lethal range within such buildings at Hiroshima was only .12 miles. At nagasaki, there was at least moderate stuctural damage and occasional mortality out to .3 miles, according to Dikewood's AD653922 Analysis Of Japanese Nuclear Casualty Data and ADA219691 Japanese Nuclear Casualty Data Combined Injury And Mortality Analysis. For a 580 ft scaled HOB, the mach stem reaches out to perhaps 580ft with almost 30psi. I'm not sure about the degree of attenuation in a surface burst, although I attempted to estimate this in a previous comment with many inaccurate assumptions and a large, confusing table. I only used the airburst with brick buildings to give a rough comparison between normal air raids and nuclear attack. Positive phase duration appears to make a real difference I also found it interesting that "Grade B" damage (6-15 psi for brick buildings and long blast durations) only causes 7.5% mortality (maybe even less if the walls blow outward) and that simple duck and cover reduced this to only 2.7%. Of course, for a low airburst or ground burst near a city, attenuation might make this actual area much smaller indeed, so that even this countermeasure would be largely unnecessary. That would be very good. Better, of course, would be if the facts were disseminated and prevented a nuclear war to begin with:-) When I told my estimates for a ww3,my point was that it would be bad, and not soley due to nuclear conflict, but society would still be able to recover. Great post!

At 8:19 pm, Blogger nige said...

The 1957 edition of Glasstone's "Effects of nuclear weapons" is the only one to give an honest analytical blast effects description, including a formula for maximum displacement of a building wall by a blast wave. In addition, the nomographs for blast damage in the 1957 edition allow correctly for the effects of blast duration becoming insignificant in the high (megaton yield) range, so that at very high yield the correct criterion for damage is the peak overpressure (or peak dynamic pressure), regardless of the duration. Only at low yields does blast duration have an effect.

This is best seen in chapter 11 (Damage to Structures) of the 1972 Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons, EM-1, which unfortunately is not available in PDF format although the British Library Document Supply has it on microfiche in an obscure nuclear reports collection (not listed in their online computer catalogue, so you have to email them). However, the key data from Chapter 11 is available in PDF form in Appendix C, Tables C-2 through C-5, which gives the destruction peak overpressures for all the structures, as a function of bomb yield. (I've put all the Appendices to DNA-EM-1 1972 edition on the internet, e.g. internet archive and also linked from the DNA-EM-1 summary/background info on this blog.)

For example, a brick house (structure 11-4 in Table C-2 on page C-10 of DNA-EM-1, 1972) suffers "severe damage (50% collapse risk)" at a constant 5.0 psi peak overpressure for yields from 30 kilotons through 30 megatons. But at lower yields than 30 kt, Dolan shows that the peak overpressure rises to 5.5 psi peak overpressure at 1 kt, 6.5 psi at 0.1 kt, and 7.5 psi at 0.01 kt (or 10 tons of nuclear yield, equivalent for 50% blast to a WWII bomb of 5 tons of TNT conventional explosion).

This proves that for such brick houses, there is actually very little effects from the increasing blast duration (impulse) at higher yields: it reduces the peak overpressure to a a certain value, which then remains constant regardless of further increases in yield. A good way to understand this is to consider the time factor of pressing against a wall, or sitting on a chair: clearly a wall doesn't get pushed over, and a chair doesn't collapse, if the force applied is below the threshold needed to crack it, regardless of the duration of the small force. If it takes 5 psi to knock a wall over, then you can apply 4 psi for as long as you want and it will remain standing! Hence the data in this blog post, and previous posts, really is accurate in extrapolating from WWII damage to nuclear weapons.

Other examples:

DNA-EM-1 data for w3-8 storey reinforced concrete city buildings (type 11-3 in Table C-2) shows 50% collapse (severe damage) at 10 psi peak overpressure for 30 megatons, 11 psi for 1 megaton, 17 psi for 1 kt, and 28 psi peak overpressure for 0.01 kiloton.

DNA-EM-1 data for "moderate damage" (defined as 50% risk of damage beyond economic repair) in Table C-4 is generally two-thirds the peak overpressure needed for severe damage.

Table C-3 with data on peak dynamic (not over) pressures needed for 50% risk of severe damage to more drag-sensitive targets shows that steel frame office buildings with glass walls (structure 11-11) have greatest sensitivity to weapon yield, ranging from 60.0 psi dynamic pressure at 1 kiloton down to just 2.4 psi dynamic pressure at 30 megatons.

The 1957 edition of Glasstone's "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" indicates in Figure 6.41b (when combined with figure 3.94a in the same book) that severe damage (type A damage) to multistory reinforced concrete builds with light walls requires 50 psi peak overpressure for 1 kt yield and 15 psi for 1 megaton, while for multistory steel frame city skyscrapers with glass walls the peak overpressures are 30 psi for 1 kt and 10 psi for 1 megaton.

At 12:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. Exactly my point! Peak overpressure alone is the criteria above a certain yield. This precise yield depends on the target in question. Blast waves with very high peak overpressures decay from their peak more rapidly than lower overpressure ones, more massive or less rigid buildings respond to loads more slowly, and diffracion loads often last less time than the positive phase itself. In any case, the yield above which overpressure is the only criteria is typically very large. For a house it might be 500 tons of tnt, or a 1 kt nuclear weapon. Above this yield, it will take 6psi to cause partial collapse and 11psi to cause complete collapse regardless of whether the yield is 1kt, 20kt, 1000kt, or 10,000kt. At lower yields, more typical of normal HE,higher pressures are needed. At 1t, it might take 15psi to induce partial collapse and all of 30psi to cause complete collapse. For a charge of 100 kg (.00022kt), the pressures will be even more. For a grenade or small mortar shell of 3.7kg (.0000074kt) to blow a hole in a structure (a task more difficult than collapsing the whole thing at the load bearing joints) probably requires hundreds or thousands of psi. Of course, by that point, metal fragments and direct fireball contact are likely of more importance. In general cube root scaling is good for comparing various kiloton and megaton nuclear yields, but not so good for comparing different subkiloton conventional yields.
I also find it interesting that Capabilities of Nuclear Weapons gives 60 psi dynamic pressure as causing severe damage to steel buildings at 1 kt, but Effects of Nuclear Weapons gives 30 psi overpressure (17psi dynamic pressure?) as the same criterion!
Correction: cube root scaling still predicts overpressure, dynamic pressure, duration, time of arrival, etc just fine at subkiloton yields and even ton and pound yields. What I meant is that the overpressure for a given kind of damage increases as the yield decreases in this range of yields. Thus the cube root scaling law alone will not give an accurate answer when comparing 100 kg and 3.7 kg yields with megaton yields.

At 12:03 pm, Blogger nige said...

Thanks. "For a grenade or small mortar shell of 3.7kg (.0000074kt) to blow a hole in a structure (a task more difficult than collapsing the whole thing at the load bearing joints) probably requires hundreds or thousands of psi. Of course, by that point, metal fragments and direct fireball contact are likely of more importance."

At very low yields, peak overpressure (and peak dynamic pressure) simply fails to last long enough to cause enough deflection to damage the object. That's the only reason that you have to take time (thus impulse) into account there. As I've said before, longer blast duration is actually a benefit for survival in houses because the weight of the room doesn't fall on occupants in a shelter - it gets blown downrange into the yard. So the weight falling on a table shelter roof is reduced in high yield nuclear weapons.

For TNT bombs, as you imply, the metal case - depending on its thickness - picks up energy that would otherwise go into air blast. So metal debris or shrapnel ends up doing most of the damage (cratering and injury to personnel), if the case is properly designed, in a conventional explosion. The air blast energy is reduced due to the kinetic energy gained by the metal debris from the casing surrounding the explosive. The metal jacket in a "pineapple" design hand grenade is given a chunky design - like a chocolate bar - to enable bits to break off predictably with certain size and momentum, so that the effects are reliable.

After college, I was given an unclassified tour of computer simulation software by a UK military research agency in Surrey. They were predicting the radius of injuries for such weapons using very crude mathematical models that ignored air drag on on the shrapnel, and simply took account of gravity. The context was a pretty impressive but partial computer map of Iraq, based on satellite data and ground surveys by personnel to determine how passable the terrain was to tanks, wheeled vehicles, etc. So they had this computer war game simulator, something along the lines of Grand Auto Theft, in which the military could rehearse. The data collection by military personnel was excellent, but the weapons effects predictions looked over simplistic, ignoring air drag on shrapnel.

You see exactly the same crap in Glasstone and Dolan's 1977 "Effects of Nuclear Weapons" where they deleted the final chapter on principles of protection (which was in all earlier editions, 1950, 57, 62 and 64), they deleted the data on how simple whitewash saved the clean Encore nuclear test house from burning in 1953 (while the unpainted and thrash surrounded houses burned at 12 cal/cm sq), and they included a "thermal burns distribution" predictor graph that lacked any discussion of how to include city skyline shielding effects on thermal burns.

Note also that scattered thermal radiation does not offset direct attenuation (contrary to Glasstone 1957-77). Like air scatter from the sun (the blue sky), wide angle distribution of scattered thermal may mathematically be impressive for an imaginary plane in free air, but a solid object gets a surface exposure of only half the scattered radiation on each side! A window gets even less, since the solid angle is only a small portion. Then you have got the problem that scattered thermal doesn't concentrate like direct radiation as a "pane shaped area" in the room like direct sunshine, but is diffuse and spread over large wall areas like light on a cloudy day, diluting the exposure to objects in a room by a large factor (equal to the window area divided by the effective area of exposed surfaces in the room, roughly half the area of the floor, ceiling, and four walls, allowing for the cosine of the angles for the spreading of the calories per unit area)! No mention of any of this by Glasstone, and no use of it in any of the biased folk who exaggerate thermal effects!


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